JANUARY BUSINESS LEADERS’ MEETING POINT
DRAGAN FILIPOVIĆ, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Generali Osiguranje Srbija
RADOMIR MILJUŠ, Director, Šinvoz, Zrenjanin
Damage Assessment By Drone
Šinvoz Conquers New Markets
CSILLA IHÁSZ, Chairwoman of the Management Board, UniCredit Bank Serbia
MIROSLAV PREŠERN, Director of OVEN Elektro Maribor, d.o.o. (Ltd.)
Clients Come First
Adapt To Rapid Market Changes
NENAD AVLIJAŠ, Director, ASW Inženjering
MIODRAG MITROVIĆ, MITECO
Data Makes Money
We Discard Millions Of Euros At The Dump
SRBISLAV VIDOJEVIĆ, Director, Timomed
Honey Production As A Life Calling
DRAGAN FILIPOVIĆ, CEO AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AT GENERALI OSIGURANJE SRBIJA
Damage Assessment By Drone Thanks to the constant introducing of innovations into its operations and the monitoring of trends, Generali Osiguranje enables its clients to purchase travel insurance and policies for households via mobile phone. In this, the company is unique in Serbia
t the end of a year that was a difficult one for business, Generali Osiguranje Srbija is recording excellent results and also expects to set new records. They believe that regulatory changes, the development of the economy and the growth of living standards will raise this branch of the economy to a higher level, the greatest benefits of which will be felt by their growing number of clients.
■ How would you assess Generali’s operations in 2017? - Last year, 2016, was a record year for our company, and for this year we had even bigger and more ambitious plans. If we succeed in realising them, we will have set a new record on the Serbian market, in terms of profitability and services, but also in terms of the speed of settling damages. Total premiums of all types of insurance in Serbia this year stands at around 800,000,000 euros, while in Slovenia it is 2,100,000,000 euros, which means there is a direct correlation between insurance, economic development and living standards in a country. That’s why we’re doing the groundwork for the time to come. In future we need to turn towards private individuals as much as 28 |
possible, primarily due to the overall result, and it is important that our risks are resolved, with us having hundreds of thousands of new clients instead of just five major companies. We are well rated within the Generali Group and are continuing along the path we have set... We have the most innovative products on the market, are the fastest at settling damage claims for clients and we generate profitability for our shareholders. ■ How does Generali interpret the digitisation process in its operations? - I’m very proud of what we’ve done to date, because we operate in accordance with the trends of the Generali Group at the global level. We are the first company in Serbia to enable clients to buy
Generali Group requires that we operate as a truly European company in terms of standards, regardless of which market we are working on, and we adapt to that successfully two types of insurance via their mobile phones, travel insurance and household insurance policies. Until last year, our clients who only remembered at the Greek border that they didn’t have travel insurance were directed to the nearest town with a branch office. This meant losing time, which prompted most clients to opt not to buy the policy. That same client can today call any of our agents and, with five or six clicks on their mobile
phone, buy and pay for the insurance and continue their journey. We have also enabled people to very quickly choose the type of insurance they want, buy it, pay for it and insure their household without our agent having to go out into the field. Generali Group requires that we operate as a truly European company in terms of standards, regardless of which market we are working on, and we adapt to that successfully. We increasingly use drones to assess damage to crops. This provides us with a safe and reliable video account and an indisputable claim for damage settlement, unlike situations where an army of people tasked with evaluating damage spend many hours inspecting some crop fields. We’ve also introduced the digital signature to damage settlement claims, thanks to which a large number of our employees are now able to do other things that benefit clients. ■ What are your expectations and forecasts for the year ahead? - I am an optimist by nature and expect changes in everything we recently discussed during the Days of Serbian Insurance in Aranđelovac, and which relate to regulations; I expect that all the initiatives we are working on will bear fruit and that awareness of the importance of insurance will continue to grow among citizens. I also expect the development of our country’s economy and the growth of living standards to raise our branch of the economy to a higher level. ■
CORPORATE RADOMIR MILJUŠ, DIRECTOR, ŠINVOZ, ZRENJANIN
Šinvoz Conquers New Markets A lack of continuity in investments on the domestic market led Šinvoz to turn towards foreign partners. Long-term contracts provide this enterprise with operational continuity and stability, and as of recently it has also begun supplying parts for the auto industry (BMW and Rolls Royce...)
fter two decades of stagnation and decline, Zrenjaninbased company Šinvoz finally regained its feet. It now bids farewell to 2017, which saw the company celebrate its 130th birthday, with positive business results, new contracts and increased volumes of work. In constant search of experts and skilled labour, this company also hopes to increase its number of employees. ■ Šinvoz stagnated and decayed for 20 years, but you have resurrected it from the ashes. How did you succeed? - We restructured in 2009 and mapped out the direction of development. We saw that we couldn’t rely solely on the domestic market, so we turned towards foreign partners. We signed long-term contracts that provide stability for our operations over a longer period. We had to completely renew the factory, to restore it to the level of 20 years ago. Half a million euros has been invested each year, and we have permanently invested resources in staff training and the certification of the process in the factory.
■ You have conquered new markets and signed important new contracts. What would you highlight? - We signed a ten-year contract with Vossloh Kiepe, for which we are making air-conditioning units for railway vehicles, and an eight-year contract with multinational company Bombardier to deliver cabins and roofs for trains. Cooperation with these companies is tied down, with a tendency to constantly increase the scope and type of services. We are still working for railway companies in Serbia and railways in the region.
We have a constantly open application contest for mechanical and electrical engineers, locksmiths, welders, electricians, electronics experts, CNC machine operators etc. We offer them all safe employment and opportunities for additional education ■ Do equipment and the expertise of staff create problems when it comes to meeting customer demands? - Equipment is not a problem – there is money for that and it is renewed as required, following the latest technolo-
gies. Two years ago, with the financial support of the owner of our factory, Nebojša Ivković, we adapted part of the plant covering 2,500 square metres and bought new machines and equipment, but we lack expert personnel. We have a constantly open application contest for mechanical and electrical engineers, locksmiths, welders, electricians, electronics experts, CNC machine operators etc. The response is very poor, while the quality requirements are very rigorous, so every new employee goes through additional training and education. ■ How are you ending this jubilee 130th year for your company? - We will finish it with positive business results. Profits won’t be huge, because this year we invested significant funds in procuring machines and equipment, educating personnel and arranging infrastructure, but that will improve our operations in the years ahead. We are aware that there is no progress without development. ■ And what kind of plans do you have? - We are partly involved in work for the auto industry, so for instance we became a supplier of parts for BMW, Rolls Royce... We plan to expand production capacities, build new halls, acquire new machines and new equipment, invest in personnel and certification. We don’t fear the future. ■ JANUARY
BUDGET “The 2018 budget cannot give the maximum to everyone as the goal is to ensure stability and permanent GDP growth.”— DUŠAN VUJOVIĆ, Serbian Finance Minister DAHUA TECHNOLOGY
Dahua Technology To Better Serve Serbian Market
First State Data Centre In Serbia
Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co., Ltd. is a leading solution provider in the global video surveillance industry. With around 13,000 employees all over the world, Dahua solutions, products, and services are used in over 180 countries and regions. As a leading solution provider in the global video surveillance industry, Dahua has been serving Serbian market since 2010, offering comprehensive video surveillance products, advanced and diversified solutions as well as end-to-end services. In November 2016, Dahua Technology SRB d.o.o was officially established in the business complex Airport City in New Belgrade. This showcased its commitment to Serbian market by better serving local customers and partners. Stronger and more timely support regarding technology, sales and marketing will be delivered to them.
Winner Of “Belgrade Victor” Award Public Company Službeni glasnik (Official Gazette) has won the Annual “Belgrade Victor” Award for business results achieved in 2016. The award is granted by the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia Regional Chamber of Commerce of Belgrade. This significant recognition was presented at a Belgrade City Assembly ceremony and was given in recognition of outstanding results in developing and contributing to the success of the Belgrade and Serbian economy in the previous year. “This recognition is the crown of our work in the previous year, which we marked as one of the most profitable public companies. I can already now announce that we will end 2017 with equally good results and with revenue growth many times higher than in previous years. I am proud of everything the Official Gazette has achieved and continuously does in the field of cultural development in Serbia,” said Dr Jelena Trivan, Director of the Official Gazette. With a tradition dating back more than two centuries, the Official Gazette has evolved into one of the most important publishers of capital editions, professional and theoretical literature.
The first state-of-the-art Data Centre in Serbia, which houses key information and communication infrastructureimportantfortheefficientfunctioning of electronic administration and the development of new services for citizens and businesses, was opened by Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.
In the premises of the Office for Information Technology and Electronic Administration, Brnabic pointed out that it is a “very important day for eGovernment and for all citizens, because we will no longer have a situation in which each individual ministry, each agency, administration will have its own data centres in unsafe conditions, but everything will be able to run centrally.” There will be millions of useful savings in the future important for the citizens of Serbia.
International Work Experience Programme
Generator Competition Winners Declared
For the fifth consecutive year, the UniCredit Foundation and universities are jointly launching a competition for the International Work Experience Programme, under the auspices of which 30 students from Europe, including Serbia, will have the opportunity to spend three months of work experience practise at member banks of the UniCredit Group in Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Serbia and Slovakia. The practise will take place from June to August 2018, and the UniCredit Foundation and universities will cover travel expenses, visas and other costs of up to €1,000 for the selected students. Additionally, monthly funding in the amount of €700 will be provided for participants. The international programme of work experience in banks throughout the UniCredit Group is open to applicant students from different educational profiles who are in at least their second year of studies. It is also essential for candidates to be citizens of one of the countries where UniCredit operates, including Serbia. Applications can be submitted via the link http://www.unicreditanduniversities. eu/index.php/en/fellow/show/fellow_id/26. All documentation must be sent in English, in PDF format, by 4th January 2018 at the latest. The Scientific Committee of the Foundation will select the 30 successful applicants by 1st March.
In the final of the major prize competition Generator, organised by Societe Generale Bank, entrepreneurial innovations were presented by 10 teams and evaluated by an expert jury. The best entrepreneurial innovation was declared as the “Keep it cool” smart cooling system, which saves energy of up to 30 per cent, presented by Milan Đurica and the “Food Group” team, which won prize money of a million dinars, awarded by Societe Generale Bank. The 500,000-dinar public prize, which was chosen via voting on the generator.rs website, was won by the “PetGuards” team, who designed an online platform for finding reliable pet minders while owners are away. Competition participants were also awarded by partner companies: the Vip mobile prize was won by semi-finalists “Plativoo”; KupujemProdujem awarded the “Cake Wizard incubator” team; retail chain Maxi awarded the “Kuponocikl” team, while ICT Hub gave a prize to the “Woobox” team. The finalists were initially selected among 780 applicants, then 40 semi-finalists. Generator is the first major prize competition organised by Societe Generale Bank to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its operations in Serbia. “It is very important for Societe Generale Bank to once again highlight its great commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in the year of this anniversary of doing business in Serbia,” noted Maria Ruseva, President of the Executive Board of Societe Generale Bank.
PROGRESS “Serbia has done a lot of work in the economy over the past years…, but reforms must be continued for the country to make progress and open new negotiation chapters.” — H.E. SEM FABRIZI, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia OTP BANK
OTP Bank Buys Vojvođanska Banka
Placements & postings firstname.lastname@example.org
▪ H.E. FRÉDÉRIC MONDOLONI, NEW AMBASSADOR OF FRANCE TO SERBIA
Hungary’s OTP Bank bought Vojvođanska Banka, as well as NGB Leasing and the National Bank of Greece’s corporate loan portfolio in Serbia. This is one of the biggest recent banking transactions in the region and it was closed beginning of last month Belgrade. Karanović & Nikolić, in cooperation with the global law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, advised the buyer – OTP Bank, one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe, throughout all of the stages of the acquisition process. This is OTP Bank’s third successful acquisition in this year, after acquisitions in neighboring Croatia and Romania. After the realization of the financial part of the transaction, the company’s presence in Serbia is further solidified, in line with their strategic goal of increasing their market share in the countries in which OTP operates. Hungary’s OTP Bank now has a 5.7% market share in Serbia and is the seventh biggest bank in the country.
BELGRADE AIRPORT NIKOLA TESLA
Record 5 Million Passengers
H.E. Frédéric Mondoloni was born on 23rd September 1971 and graduated from the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris and the National School of Administration (ENA), as part of the “Valmi” generation, in 1998. He began his professional diplomatic career in 1998, in the Directorate for North Africa and the Middle East, and then served from 2000 to 2002 in the Directorate for Strategic Affairs, Security and Disarmament. During 2002-3 he was an exchange diplomat at the State Department in Washington, and from 2003 to 2005 he held the post of first secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of France in Washington. From 2005 to 2007 he was a technical advisor in the Cabinet of the French Prime Minister, and from 2007 to 2009 Mr Mondoloni served as a diplomatic advisor in the Cabinet of the Minister of Defence. From 2009 to 2013 he was Director of the Office for Strategic and External Relations and Director of International Relations at the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), after which he transferred to the position of governor for France at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna (2009-2013). Prior to his arrival in Serbia, Mr Mondoloni was Counsellor-Minister at the Embassy of the Republic of France in Moscow (2013-2017). Apart from his native French, Ambassador Mondoloni speaks English, Italian and Russian.
▪ H.E. JUNICHI MARUYAMA, NEW AMBASSADOR OF JAPAN TO SERBIA H.E. Junichi Maruyama (63) holds a BA in Law from the University of Tokyo and an MA in Public Administration from Princeton University. His professional experience began in 1977 at the Japanese Ministry of Finance. In 1981 he was appointed to the Office of the Vice-Minister of Finance for International Affairs, Secretarial Division, Minister’s Secretariat, MOF. During 1983 and 1984 Mr Maruyama served as head of the Katsurngi Taxation Office, Osaka Region, and for the next two years held the post of Deputy Director, Coordination Division, Financial Bureau, MOF. Between 1984 and 1986 he served as Second Secretary at the Embassy of Japan to the U.S., followed by two years as First Secretary at the same embassy. From 1981 to 1991 he was Deputy Director for Foreign Exchange and Money Market Division, International Finance Bureau, and from 1991 to 1992 he was Deputy Director of the Commercial Banks Division, Banking Bureau, MOF. He spent the next two years as Research and Planning Division Director, Minister ‘s Secretariat, MOF, and in 1994/95 served as Deputy Director of the Financial Institutions Department, EBRD, followed by a stint as Director of the EBRD Central Asia Department (1995-1997). In 1997 Mr Maruyama was appointed Director of the Foreign Exchange and Money Market Division at the International Bureau, MOF, and for the next two years served as Director of the Development Institutions Division, International Bureau, MOF. During 2002-2003 he was Director of the International Organisations Division at the International Bureau, and the next year he was appointed Director of the Coordination Division and International Bureau, MOF. In 2004 Mr Maruyama became Deputy DirectorGeneral of the European Affairs Bureau, MOF, and from 2006 to 2009 he was Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs, Planning and Coordination Bureau, Financial Services Agency. In 2009 he served as Director-General of Yokohama Customs and from 2011 he became Vice-President at Citibank Japan Ltd. From 2013 to 2017 he was Managing Director and Head of Government Affairs at Citigroup Japan Holdings Corp., and from 2013 to 2017 he held the post of Managing Director and Head of Government Affairs at Citigroup Japan Holdings Corp. In 2014 Mr Maruyama became Chairman and Representative Director of Futures Industry Association Japan and from 2017 he is Managing Director and Head of Government Affairs at Citigroup Global Markets Japan Inc., and Citibank, J.A., Tokyo Branch.
▪ H.E. KATI CSABA, NEW AMBASSADOR OF CANADA TO SERBIA Belgrade international airport has handled a record five million passengers year-to-date, the Serbian government said in a statement on Friday. In April, the managing director of Belgrade airport operator Aerodrom Nikola Tesla [BEL:AERO], Sasa Vlaisavljevic, said the airport targets passenger traffic of 5.5 million in 2017. The airport will book record-high results in terms of passenger traffic, number of aircraft handled and financial performance this year, he noted. The airport has the capacity to handle up to 7.5 million passengers annually and expects traffic will rise gradually in the coming years, infrastructure minister Zorana Mihajlovic said back in July.
Ambassador Kati Csaba holds a BA in Political Studies and Russian from Queen’s University, graduating in 1988, and an MA in Central/Eastern European and Russian-Area Studies from Carleton University (1993). Mrs Csaba began her career at External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1993, where she was engaged on Canada’s assistance programme to Hungary. In the following years, Kati occupied several programming and analytical roles covering Central and Eastern Europe, including four Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) postings in the region: second secretary in Kiev (1995 to 1997), head of aid in Sarajevo (1997 to 1999), head of aid in Moscow (2005 to 2009) and development director in Kiev (2009 to 2012). In 2013 she served as a member of the transition team responsible for the amalgamation of the then Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the then CIDA, after which she served as the director of amalgamation implementation at Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s Sub-Saharan Africa Branch (2014 to 2015). Most recently, she held the post of senior director responsible for Canada’s development programme with Ethiopia, based at the Embassy of Canada in Addis Ababa. Kati was appointed Ambassador to both Serbia and Montenegro in December 2017 and has also been AmbassadorDesignate to Macedonia since November 2017. Mrs Csaba is a married mother of two teenage children.
CORPORATE CSILLA IHÁSZ, CHAIRWOMAN OF THE MANAGEMENT BOARD, UNICREDIT BANK SERBIA
Clients Come First UniCredit Bank has done something no other bank has previously done – it launched the initiative Uchange, listening to the complaints, wishes and needs of clients in order to offer them the kinds of products and services they want
need to walk in the shoes of our clients in order to understand what they really care about. With the aim of winning over the hearts of the people, we launched the UChange initiative.
he banking sector, perhaps more than any other, must constantly change and meet the needs of increasingly demanding clients. UniCredit Bank realised this on time and entrusted its clients with the main role of creating offers and introducing novelties. Speaking to CorD about this is UniCredit Bank Serbia Management Board Chairman Csilla Ihász. ■ UChange is something unique on the Serbian banking market. How did you get the idea? - When was the last time you went shopping for daily groceries; one of those most mundane, let’s say transactional purchases you can do? Yet, you somehow felt engaged. Valued. Something happened that made you feel understood, appreciated. Even respected. It touched you emotionally and you somehow felt special. We all have moments like this. But unfortunately they seldom happen in banking. So, at UniCredit Bank Serbia we decided to embark on an exciting journey to understand more about our customers, their feelings and behaviour. We at UniCredit Bank realised that if we want to make a difference we 32 |
■ You invited clients to lead changes aimed at improving their own experience. That is not common in the banking world. What did you do specifically and how did they react? - When we decided to change the way of doing banking, the only thing that was clear from the very beginning was that we had to give the main role to the clients. We asked ourselves who better than them could know what could we do to improve their experi-
That’s because everything in banking is about the people and, thus, they will continue playing the main role in transforming our business ence in a branch? And that was a major milestone in our UChange initiative. Together with 50 existing, prospective and former clients, we reshaped the way they feel in our branches. Colleagues presented them with potential solutions, which they tested and then suggest changes. It was nothing extraordinary for us when we sent invitations for the UClient event. But when I met the guests I realised that we had done something unexpected. They told us that this was the first
time any bank had sought their opinion in this way. Even though they were sceptical about their role, once workshops started they soon realised that we really need them to make a change. This was a breakthrough. I have to say that energy and engagement peaked. When I saw how different groups defended their standpoints – with lots of passion – I was convinced that we had done the right thing. ■ What are the next steps? Is this actually just the beginning of creating an excellent customer experience? - This very unique initiative, UChange, was made through different preparatory phases. First we listened to our customers through various communication channels in order to find out what bothers them about the way we do banking. We put all this data together and analysed the customer experience, clustered major pain points and observed them in three areas - space, people and service. Then we invited guests who, after a very productive all-day discussion, agreed upon three quick solutions that will be piloted in several branches in the months ahead. We decided that all those engaged in creating an excellent customer experience at UniCredit branches will be the first to test the solutions. That’s because everything in banking is about the people and, thus, they will continue playing the main role in transforming our business. ■
CORPORATE MIROSLAV PREŠERN, DIRECTOR OF OVEN ELEKTRO MARIBOR, D.O.O. (LTD.)
Adapt To Rapid Market Changes With its web shop, www.trgovina-oven.si the company OVEN Elektro Maribor has already achieved visibility and a presence in the region, and in this way citizens and enterprises in Serbia can also browse and order all products
e live in times of fast changes and often too little time remains for the important things and people in our life,” says Miroslav Prešern, Director of OVEN Elektro Maribor, d.o.o. (Ltd.)
we prepared a catalogue of practical business gifts that can make your work easier and your free time more fun. We live in times of fast changes and often too little time remains for the important things and people in our life. At Oven, we have sorted products into four sets, to help everyone find the perfect innovative gift. The catalogue of business gifts can be viewed at: https://www.trgovina-oven.si/ media/files/E-katalog_Oven_LAST_pdf.pdf As for the services we offer on the market, they will be orientated primarily into self-sufficient or combined microsystems for producing electricity from renewable sources. We also expect Serbian consumers and enterprises to respond to our extended offer of products and services in the future.
larger cities in the region and in Serbia. The conditions in the countries in this region vary a lot, of course. At the moment, the high price of e-bikes is quite a challenge. Here we are counting on state subventions and other initiatives, though we are confident that in time the absolute prices of these products will drop. In any case, the business models of rental and purchase of e-bikes are future-orientated, and therefore unlikely to yield large profits in the first few years of business. That’s why we need to take the long view on this matter and remain persistent and patient. Already on 1st February 2018 we are starting a new serious project – a rental service with 15 e-bikes, which will also be offered to tourists in various interesting packages. In this way, we will enable people to have a genuine experience of Maribor and the surrounding area. Our company will only undertake the sharing of e-bikes; we will not be building any charging stations.
■ What are your experiences in selling green-related products and services on the Serbian market, given that you’ve announced the start of sales for July this year? - In the second half of 2017 we, at the company OVEN, set up a web shop with related products for electrical mobility (e-bikes, scooters, hoverboards), heating (IR heating panels), cooling (air conditioning Our products need no units), smart home products (LED smart supporting infrastructure at lightbulbs, smoke detectors, water senall. We are definitely interested ■ OVEN’s plans in Serbia, accordsors), nature and health (nutritional and cosmetic hemp products), electricity in developing business models ing to what we’ve been able to hear (electricity storage facilities, industrial and read publicly, are clear –mini in larger cities in the region lighting), water (waste water treatment hydro power plants. What have you and in Serbia systems and rainwater reservoirs), acachieved in this field in Serbia in the meantime, in tangible terms? cessories (solar phone chargers, power - Yes, our plans are clear: small hydro banks, VR goggles), along with the option ■ Appropriate infrastructure is required power plants. From the time of signof renting e-bikes and hoverboards and for urban E-mobility and the use of your buying other services. products, and your company has itself ing the memorandum with the Serbian We are very satisfied with the effects specified that it will not invest in that government in previous years, and then and response, both in sales of products infrastructure. Given that OVEN products finding suitable locations, we are now in and placements of services. We have also represent the “future” for existing condithe middle of serious negotiations about translated our web shop into English, to a larger project. We will continue to tions in the countries of the region, what allow for marketing in other countries; the carefully and keenly observe the Serbian is their status on the market? catalogues of services will be redesigned market, since we are mostly interested in - Our products need no supporting infrafor international markets early in 2018. buying existing operational small hydrostructure at all. We are definitely interAs a new feature, at the end of the year ested in developing business models in power plants. ■ JANUARY
PERSPECTIVE “We both reaffirmed our commitment to the region (the Western Balkans), which has a clear European Union perspective, and encouraged continued reforms and reconciliation process in the region”— FEDERICA MOGHERINI, EU foreign policy and security chief
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Dacia Limited Edition Can Be Purchased Online Only
Natron-Hayat Is Planning €120 Million New Investment
The 100 cars are available only in the Orange Atacama color and can be purchased exclusively online at a price of €18,900. Customers can book a car on the One.dacia.ro website by making a down payment of €500. The payment will be made by bank card through a payment processor. Once the booking is confirmed, customers can choose their own Dacia dealer for the car delivery. E-commerce allows the company to be closer to its customers, Hakim Boutéhra, general director of Renault Commercial Roumanie, said.
The successful industrial tradition in Maglaj was continued by the factory of cellulose and paper Natron-Hayat, which used to be the largest manufacturer in the Balkans. Sino-CEE Fund Chairman JIANG JIANQING and Magyar Eximbank CEO ZOLTÁN URBÁN sign the agreement HUNGARIA
Eximbank signs up to Sino-CEE Fund Hungarian Export-Import Bank Plc will subscribe to 100 million euros of Sino-CEE Fund on accumulative basis, according to a subscription agreement signed by the two parties in Budapest. Aiming to raise a total of €10 billion, Sino-CEE Fund is actively pushing forward the investment cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries. Its investments into Hungary are expected to exceed €300 million. The subscription by Hungarian Eximbank on behalf of Hungarian government to Sino-CEE Fund is a major step forward taken by Hungary in response to the call for enhanced cooperation between China and CEE countries. It will build partnerships with governments, enterprises, and financial institutions to promote capacity cooperation and industrial cooperation between China and CEE countries.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it is extending two loans totalling €5 million to Sparkasse Bank Makedonija. “This is the first time the EBRD is GLIGOR BISHEV, CEO, Sparkasse Bank extending funds to support retail lending by a Makedonija, and ANCA IOANA IONESCU, EBRD Macedonianbank,”saidAncaIoanaIonescu,head of the EBRD office in Skopje. The first loan, of €2 mln, comes under the EBRD’s Green Energy Financing Facility for the Western Balkans, and will be used to support investments in energy-saving improvements in the residential sector. In addition, the EBRD said it is providing a €3mln loan to supply Sparkasse Bank Makedonija with long-term funding for mortgage lending operations. Sparkasse Bank Makedonija is owned by Steiermarkische Bank und Sparkassen AG, an Austrian savings bank backed by Erste Group. To date, the EBRD has invested 1.6 billion euro in more than 100 projects Source: EBRD in Macedonia. MONTENEGRO
Record-Breaking Summer Tourist Season According to preliminary data, Montenegro’s 2017 summer tourist season was record-breaking in terms of the number of tourists and realised turnover. However, efforts should be made to achieve such results in continuity, the Montenegrin Chamber of Commerce (PKCG) said. At the sitting of the committee of the PKCG’s Tourism and Catering Association, it was concluded that the long and high-quality tourist season, with good consumption, is what Montenegro needs. Committee chairman Dragan Ivancevic said that Montenegro is a desirable destination but that the season is too short. “That’s why we are not able to accept all those interested in staying in Montenegro during July and August,” Ivancevic said. According to the PKCG, he assessed there is the need to improve the environment for business in the sector. 159
“The parent company has invested more than €100 million so far, but we are planning to invest a total of €120 million. Our first goal is to increase the production capacity of cellulose to 120,000 tons a year,” said the Managing Director of Natron-Hayat Ltd. Maglaj, Mehmed Eray Nasoz. From the Municipality of Maglaj announced new investments and workplaces. That is the main goal of the amendments to the Development Strategy.
TO DO IN YOUR BUSINESS BEFORE 2018
EBRD Lending €5mln To Sparkasse Bank Macedonia
MEHMED ERAY NASOZ
It’s beginning of the new business year, and often that means people start mentally shutting down, waiting on the festive season. But you’re an entrepreneur, and there’s no such thing as taking time off! Use Christmas and New Year holiday as your planning time. Jump on this right now so that you can set the course for what’s going to happen in your business this year. Here are 10 things you should take action on in your business before 2018.
1. Develop Your Sales Strategy 2. Update Your Website 3. Engage customers 4. Develop New Products/Offers 5. Make a Marketing Calendar 6. Evaluate Your Social Media Strategy 7. Master Email Marketing 8. Send Direct Mail 9. Invest in Online Ads 10. Conduct a Year-End Review
“The only purpose of the Kosovo Armed Forces today and tomorrow, will remain the same. It is the empowerment of peace, stability in the region and the provision of security to all the citizens of our country”— HASHIM THAÇI, President of Kosovo
World Leader In The Production Of Lavender Oil
▪ H.E. GUSTAVO TRISTÁ DEL TODO, NEW AMBASSADOR OF CUBA TO SERBIA
H.E. Gustavo Tristá del Todo (58) graduated with a degree in journalism from the Faculty of Communication, University of Havana. His professional experience at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs begin in 1980, when he spent a year at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo, former Republic of Yugoslavia, department for Serbian language. From 1982 to 1986, Mr Todo was engaged at the Europe Division Official within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba. Between 1986 and 1992 he served as Economic and Commercial Attaché at the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba to the Republic of Yugoslavia, followed by his return to Europe Division Official at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1992-1999). Mr Todo was appointed First Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1999, and from 2005 to 2009 he returned to the Europe Division Official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2009 he was appointed Political Counsellor at the Embassy of the Republic Cuba to the Kingdom of Spain, and from 2014 he served another three years at the Europe Division Official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before this year being appointed Ambassador of Cuba to Serbia. Apart from his native Spanish, Ambassador Todo also speaks Serbian, German and English. He is a married father of two daughters.
▪ H.E. SEYF ALLAH REJEB, NEW AMBASSADOR OF TUNISIA TO SERBIA Last year Bulgaria retains its position as a world leader in the production and export of lavender oil. This is what Nikolina Uzunova Executive Director of the Bulgarian National Association “Essential Oils, Perfumery and Cosmetics” said. “Last year continued the trend towards increasing lavender growing areas, and the interest in this culture is even strong in Northern Bulgaria. Until a few years ago, this area was not associated with essential oil crops in general and lavender in particular. The increased dimensions of lavender areas have affected the amount of lavender oil that was produced this year. The number of distilleries in which the oil is processed increased, and there are also a few in Northern Bulgaria,’’ Uzunova said. Interest in lavender oil has led to more Bulgarian farmers turning to this raw material. Traditional market for Bulgaria is Japan and China, where the quantities of exported essential oils increase each year.
Ambassador Seyf Allah Rejeb (47) holds a Bachelor’s Degree in legal sciences from the University of Tunis Faculty of Legal, Political and Social Sciences, as well as a Certificate of Specialised Studies in Administration and Public Policies. Mr Rejeb Joined the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1994, serving initially at the National School of Administration “ENA” in Tunis for Secretaries of Foreign Affairs until 1995. Assigned to the Directorate for Training and Perfection from 1995 to 1996, he transferred to the Diplomatic Institute from 1997 to 1999, where he advanced to the level of Counsellor – a position he held until 2003. In 2004 Mr Rejeb became a staff member of the Cabinet of the Tunisian Foreign Minister. In 2005 he was appointed as Head of Desk in charge of Japan, then in 2009 he became Deputy Director in charge of Libya and in 2014 became Deputy Director in charge of consular relations with Germany, Austria, Eastern European and Scandinavian countries. In June 2015 Mr Rejeb was promoted to the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary, and in 2016 he was appointed Director of Consular Conventions, Litigation and Studies at the General Directorate for Consular Affairs. Among Mr Rejeb’s foreign postings, he served as First Secretary at the Embassy of Tunisia to Japan from 1999 to 2004, then as Consular Section Head at the Embassy of Tunisia to Germany from 2009 to 2014. In August 2017 he was appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia to Serbia and Non-Resident Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia to Bulgaria and Montenegro.Ambassador Rejeb is a married father of one daughter.
▪ JELENA MATEJIĆ, NEW GENERAL MANAGER OF SERBIAN TSO ELEKTROMREŽA SRBIJE The Serbian government has appointed Jelena Matejić as the General Manager of state-owned joint stock company Elektromreža Srbije (EMS), Serbia’s electricity transmission system operator (TSO), after she has spent almost a year in the function of acting general manager of the company. Ms Matejić graduated from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Economics and took specialist courses at the WIFI institute (Austrian Development Agency), earning the title of project manager. She has amassed many years of rich working experience in the private and public sectors, working for such companies as Mark Plan, Delta sport, Droga Kolinska Group and Atlantic Group. Ms Matejić has been employed at EMS since 2012, initially in the position of Executive Director for Investment and Strategy. She was appointed acting director in December 2016. She has been the chair of the Serbian state Equity Fund’s Council since February 2015 and became a member of the Board of Directors of the Montenegro’s TSO Crnogorski elektroprenosni system in 2016. During this period, she was also a member of the Managing Board and a member of the Supervisory Board of public power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS).
Start-Ups Leader In Southeast Europe
Forming National Airline
The data from Atomico, an international technology investment company and the largest European capital fund, which invests in startups, shows that in the period from 2012 to 2016, Croatian start-ups drew around $100 million of investments. According to a research conducted by The State of European Tech that was published at the world’s leading start-up event held in Helsinki last month, by the amount of investment Croatia was put side by side of Luxembourg, Lithuania, Portugal and Cyprus. In SEE region, according to Atomico, the most successful start-ups in drawing capital are those from Croatia that attracted $100 million of investments in the four-year period. The data also mentioned Romania and Hungary, however, these two countries drew investments less than $100 million The largest investments in start-ups was drawn by the United Kingdom ($18, 7 billion), followed by Germany ($11.4 billion), France ($10 billion) as well as Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia and Switzerland.
With the help of Turkic Airlines, Albania will set up a national airline that will be named Air Albania, announced. It is expected that the first flights will start in 2018. Prime Minister Edi Rama, who is personally involved in forming the company, has specified that flights are scheduled to connect Tirana with Skopje, Podgorica, Pristina, Sarajevo and Zagreb. “Our goal is to create an Albanian carrier. I am very grateful to Turkey’s Prime Minister and the Executive Director of Turkish Airlines for providing us with such valuable help. We are close to finalizing the project and I hope that the first flights will start soon, “Rama said without committing to specific deadlines.
CORPORATE NENAD AVLIJAŠ, DIRECTOR, ASW INŽENJERING
Data Makes Money Artificial intelligence is becoming the next transformational force in our world, and this revolution can only be used by those who collect information about their daily operations
he most important branch of artificial intelligence, machine learning, provides the opportunity to unlock and exploit knowledge hidden in this information, thereby increasing companies’ profitability.
- The domestic business environment doesn’t sufficiently stimulate the development of the IT industry and I’m afraid the IT sector is turning into a market of cheap labour, while creative young engineers leave the country due to a lack of development projects that would represent a challenge. In my opinion, the state is the largest investor and user of IT, and as such needs to develop a strategy based on infrastructure development projects, which should engage our own resources, thus preserving autonomy with the applying of own software products in key functions of the state. In this way, the state would preserve its creative personnel and enable the sales
of such products on world markets. ASW’s comparative advantage lies in the fact that it has evolved conceptually from a project-based to a production-based organisation, which is crucial in the IT industry. We develop our software products, plan their content and distribute them to our clients. The formation of our machine learning laboratory is the result of a tendency to keep pace with innovations. Our products and solutions have a lot of experience and knowledge built in from many years of work that we now place at the disposal of our clients, thereby becoming consultants in their business.
■ The industry you belong to is developing at the speed of light. Would you say that your company and your creative staff monitor trends? - ASW and its team are at a world-class level when it comes to monitoring IT trends, incorporating them into products and ■ It is less known that you were one of providing customers with solutions that the 25 young “geniuses” who 33 years improve their business. The best example ago created the software for the Winter confirming this statement is the forOlympics in Sarajevo. How would you Machine learning is part of compare that time to today? mation of our laboratory for machine - We were a respectable team of engilearning, which we stepped into during the artificial intelligence the era of artificial intelligence. A sysneers who developed a very complex process in which machines product, and we were not geniuses. tem has been developed that provides develop intelligence by learning On the contrary, the availability of inour clients with the creation of new valindependently from the data ues by using the history of their busiformation favours today’s generations compared to us back then. ness expressed through large amounts and making decisions on the It was a good strategy to implement of statistics. Applying mathematical basis of what has been learned. such a complex project with domestic algorithms to such data provides deep The management of the resources and create new values that insight into existing business procompany receives an remain here or are sold to others. Our cesses and provides extremely precise irreplaceable consultant who Olympic Committee sold the software predictions for the future. to the next host of the games, Calgary, is in a position to anticipate and some members of our team be■ What is the environment in which and measure every the IT sector is developing in Serbia came highly respected IT experts of the combination to which a like? What are the comparative adInternational Olympic Committee, and particular decision applies remain so to this day. ■ vantages of your company? 36 |
MIODRAG MITROVIĆ, MITECO
We Discard Millions Of Euros At The Dump Waste management analysis shows that awareness of waste as a resource still doesn’t exist in Serbia and that, due to a lack of infrastructure, poor organisation and a shortage of modern technologies, Serbia annually discards raw materials worth millions of euros
he European Commission adopted a new legal framework in late 2015 for the introduction of the model of the circular economy, in order to strengthen the economy through the sustainable use of resources and ensure sustainable economic growth. Proposed measures, such as increasing reuse and recycling of waste instead of landfill dumping, thus “closing the circle”, or extracting the greatest possible benefit from all raw materials, products and waste, along with increasing energy savings and reducing pollution of air, water and soil. ■ As the leading operator in Serbia and the region in the field of industrial and hazardous waste management, how would you assess trends in developing recycling and waste management? - The waste industry is in its infancy in Serbia. Pioneering steps were taken in 2001, following the democratic changes. When the country emerged from isolation, first to emerge was the export of hazardous industrial waste began, and operators from Western Europe charged excellently for this service. In later years appeared companies that started dealing with the treatment of hazardous waste, especially using waste as a resource. Special impetus was given to this process by a set of laws adopted in 2009, as well as the later establishment of a fund as an independent institution for eliminating historical pollution. This was followed by a period of stagnation in financing those jobs that are a state obligation. Some things
were launched as of 2017. After a ten-year break, a dedicated Ministry of Environmental Protection has been re-established, with this area having previously been dealt with by various ministries for which this was a secondary domain. Additionally, the so-called Green Fund began to function, though for now it only subsidises the recycling industry (EEE, waste tyres). Unfortunately, Serbia still doesn’t have an adequate administrative capacity to conclude the integration process
The 5th International MITECO Forum was held on November 30th 2017 with the message “TODAY RESPONSIBLE, TOMORROW SUSTAINABLE”. The focus of this Forum were the topics related to the business environment in Serbia from both national and international perspective and the possibilities of creating an environmental policy in accordance with the EU postulates in accordance with EU directives, to which we aspire as a candidate country. ■ Are you succeeding in your mission of waste being treated as a resource, and not as an unnecessary thing, which practically extends the technological production chain?
- Confirmation that there is no systemic solution for the disposal of hazardous waste is also provided by the example of cement plans that cannot maximally utilise alternative fuel from waste, which inevitably leads to the prices of their products increasing. This doesn’t only mean cement companies losing out, but the domestic economy as a whole. It is necessary to secure sufficient quantities of reliable and stable waste that cement plants could use as an alternative to fossil fuels in the production process. MITECO has the potential and ability to prepare such alternative fuel from waste. ■ While around 90 per cent of waste is recycled in Germany, this figure is only about 10 per cent in Serbia. To what extent does this testify to the state and society’s relations towards their own surroundings? - My associates and I, through the Waste Industry Association and the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, are working intensively on introducing several main principles to the industry: introduce a landfill charge of a minimum €30/t for municipal waste; increase the insured sums for operators, thus contributing to reducing the black market in Serbia; and for all polluted locations to be cleaned with transparent funding from the budget of the Green Fund. Of course, we have to work on improving awareness and education of the wider public. Confirmation that Serbia is heading in the right direction is provided thanks to the fact that in spring 2018 we expect to open Chapter 27 of the EU accession negotiations. ■ JANUARY
RECOGNITION “I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I am also directing the State Department to begin preparations to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” — DONALD TRUMP, U.S. President U.S.
Apple To Design Its Own Power Chips
Volkswagen, JAC Motors Teaming Up
German automaker Volkswagen AG is joining hands with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co Ltd (JAC Motors) to develop and sell commercial vehicles in China in an effort to grab a slice of the segment that is growing rapidly in the world’s largest car market. The two companies will build a 50:50 joint venture in Hefei, Anhui province, where JAC Motors is headquartered, according to a memorandum of understanding signed on Monday. Volkswagen said the partnership will involve a full range of cooperation covering research, development and sales of multifunctional vehiclesboth powered by internal combustion engines and new energy ones. As the best-selling carmaker in China, Volkswagen and its joint ventures delivered some 2.9 million cars in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong in the first three quarters of this year, up 1.4 percent year-on-year.
Apple Inc is designing its own main power management chips for use in iPhones as early as in 2018, the Nikkei business daily reported. Apple’s move would reduce its dependence onDialogSemiconductorPlc,thatmakespowermanagement chips for smartphone makers.
VLADIMIR PUTIN and XI JINPING RUSSIA
Russia-China Trade May Reach $66bn In 2017 Russia-China Trade May Reach $66bn In 2017 The volume of trade between Russia and China is growing and has already reached $61.6 billion in the first nine months of 2017, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two countries have set a goal to boost trade to $80 billion by 2018 and $200 billion by 2020. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said preferential trade rules are being considered, which would increase the use of national currencies in settlements. In 2014, the Russian and Chinese central banks signed a threeyear ruble-yuan currency swap deal worth up to $25 billion, aimed at boosting trade and lessen dependence on the US dollar and euro. Russia’s largest lender, Sberbank became the first bank in the country to start issuing credit guarantees denominated in Chinese yuan. Moscow and Beijing plan to extend the swap deal and are looking to increase the use of domestic currencies in trade. In May, the countries established a Russian-Chinese investment fund worth 68 billion yuan (over $10 billion) to develop trade, economic investment, and scientific cooperation.
“Based on Apple’s current plan, they are set to replace partially, or around half of its power management chips to go into iPhones by itself starting next year,” a source said, according to the Nikkei report. Shares of the Anglo-German chipmaker fell 7.2 per cent, while Apple’s shares were up marginally in premarket trading. Source: Reuters
10 SOCIAL-MEDIA TRENDS TO PREPARE FOR IN 2018
Entrusters Peer-To-Peer Shopping Platform Expands In Brazil Entrusters is a peer-to-peer shopping platform aimed at disrupting the global shopping and shipping model. American expatriate in Rio, Brandon Collier, has been the director of operations for the start-up since 2015 and is excited to see the business continue to grow in Brazil. Entrusters defines itself as a platform changing the way people shop and travel the world. Shoppers around the globe can use the platform to order BRANDON COLLIER everyday retail products, and the Entrusters community of users earns money buying and delivering those items as they travel. So far the Entrusters marketplace has taken millions of dollars in orders, according to Wesley McRae, co-founder and CEO. Describing how he got involved in Entrusters, Collier shares, “It’s funny, the business model for Entrusters was something I was engaged in long before even joining the startup at the end of 2015. If you are an expat or travel internationally to places where family or friends live, you undoubtedly have too!”
Next year, social media is poised to create even more disruption as a number of new technological advancements go mainstream, and as social norms related to social media change. Here are the top 10 social media trends to prepare for as 2018 draws near.
1. Rise of augmented reality 2. Increasing popularity of Instagram Stories 3. Continued investment in influencer marketing 4. Focus on Generation Z (the oldest Gen Zers are 22 years old) 5. Increasing brand participation in messaging platforms 6. Expansion of live streaming 7. Rethinking Twitter 8. Digital hangouts go mainstream 9. Facebook Spaces goes mainstream 10. Social platforms embrace stronger governance policies
“I cannot silence my deep concern over the situation that has emerged in recent days. At the same time, I appeal strongly for all to respect the city’s status quo, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.” — POPE FRANCIS, France
Just Eat Enter FTSE 100
Just Eat, the online takeaway company, was end last month officially promoted into the FTSE 100 list of Britain’s blue chip companies, with a valuation of £5.5bn (€6,25bn) – making it worth half a billion pounds more than the UK’s second biggest supermarket chain . TheUK’sloveaffairwithhavingpizzas,curriesandkebabs delivered to their door has spawned a mobile food business with no products and no outlets that is more highly valued than Sainsbury’s, which sells 90,000 products through 1,400 stores – and also owns the Argos chain. The man who came up with the idea was Dane, Jesper, now 44, when he couldn’t find a phone number online to order pizza when he was hungry in Olso. Realising there was a “massive gap in the market” he created his own website which would list all nearby restaurants. “I did not need to handle any product – I could just charge a commission for every transaction,” he said After the UK, the business expanded into Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland. In the first nine months of this year sales were up 45% to £385m. The company expects to make profit in the region of £160m in 2017.
Alfa Romeo Returns To Formula 1 The new Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team will make its debut in the 2018 season, the first time that the company has competed on an F1 track in more than 30 years. The 2018 car, emblazoned with Alfa Romeo’s snake-and-cross logo, will be powered by another Italian legend of motorsport: Ferrari, which has supplied Sauber with racing engines for many years. Alfa Romeo, founded in Milan in 1910, dominated Grand Prix racing in the early 20th century. In 1950 Italian driver Nino Farina drove its Alfetta to victory at the very first Formula 1 championship. After its early success, the company competed on and off, but finally withdrew as a constructor in 1985. Next season’s return will be its first direct involvement in F1 since then. GERMANY
Stuttgart 21 Rail Project To Cost An Extra €1 Billion
The controversial Stuttgart 21 railway development project is now expected to cost a full billion euros more than previously projected, according to new Deutsche Bahn Supervisory Board estimates.
The project is slated to cost €7.6 billion, a full €1.1 billion more than the figure projected four years ago. Construction, which began in 2010, is also expected to finish four years later than first anticipated, in 2024 instead of 2021. As recently as October Deutsche Bahn finally admitted that the goal of opening the project by December 2021 was not realistic, but at that stage they still claimed it would be operational in 2023. The higher price tag can be attributed in part to increases in construction costs and more restrictive rules about species protection for lizards and beetles. The plan envisions replacing Stuttgart’s main train station and building underground high speed links to other cities in Germany and Europe.
Denmark’s 'Biggest Ever Shopping Day'
Black Friday further established its spot as Denmark’s most important consumer event, with 2017’s edition setting record sales for the year. Close to 2.1 billion kroner (€282 million) were spent as the American shopping tradition continued to cement its place on the Danish calendar, according to an analysis carried out by payment service. Those figures make the biggest shopping day of all time in Denmark, eclipsing the total reached on last year’s Black Friday by 5.6 percent. Year-on-year increases in Black Friday spending since its introduction to Danish consumers in 2013 has made the tradition as firm a part of Danish culture as fellow American import Halloween, says the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv).
Apartment Prices In Paris Hit Record High Buying a property in Paris is more expensive than it’s ever been with house hunters now having to fork out a record €9,000 per square meter on average if they want to own a piece of the French capital, according to new figures. The latest LPI-Se Loger property barometer showed that in October, properties in 12 of the French capital’s arrondissements cost €9,165 per square meter, marking a new record for the city’s real estate market. On top of that, all of the city’s 20 arrondissements saw a rise in prices with an average annual increase of at least eight percent. And it seems the trend is set to continue. According to the industry, sales increased by seven percent in just one year in Paris and with the city set to host Olympics 2024 it’s likely to continue this way for some time. JANUARY
CORPORATE SRBISLAV VIDOJEVIĆ, DIRECTOR, TIMOMED
Honey Production As A Life Calling “We constantly adopt new production technologies and invest in the development and quality of products,” says Timomed Director Srbislav Vidojević
njaževac-based company Timomed d.o.o. (Ltd.) was founded in 1989 and grew from being a basic organisation of collaborators to become a limited liability company. Timomed is one of Serbia’s most renowned honey producers, selling 30 per cent of its total production on the markets of Europe, America and the Middle East. According to company director Vidojević, collaborators are vital to the the production, and Timomed has around 400 of them. This is especially so when it comes to honey, propolis, pollen powder and royal jelly. - Our honey is produced in the Timok Frontier (Timočka Krajina) region, which is an ecologically clean area and consumers know that. That’s why, among other things, we protected the name and built a recognisable brand. Otherwise, our apiary, with about 500 hives, has developed into our Centre for the selection and reproduction of queen bees. Our goal is to achieve annual sales of around 1,000 tonnes of different types of honey - acacia, meadow, floral, linden, forest. I would add that our country’s policy of beekeeping subsidies is very important to us. Considering the importance of exports for the state, it would be a good idea for subsidies to be even higher, because that would prompt 40 |
beekeepers to opt for even more hives and, thus, higher exports. I also advocate, in the context of assistance to beekeeping, that account be taken of the fact that vehicles for the transport of bees have to be registered for a full year, even though these vehicles are used for practically only three months. I think producers and the state could find a better solution than the existing one. ■ In your opinion, how dedicated is the state, or its competent services, to the fight against producers of fake honey, or how carefully does the state protect serious producers like you? - Honey is honey and can be nothing else. The Guidelines regulate the issue
Our honey is produced in the Timok Frontier region, an ecologically clean area, and that’s why we built a recognisable brand that consumers trust of honey quality and only in that way can it be sold on domestic and foreign markets. Our Guidelines on honey quality are harmonised with the European Union’s procedural rules. The state, with its veterinary inspection bodies, ensures and controls the quality of honey on our market. The state is determined to fight any bad quality honey or the falsification of honey, and results are already evident. Thus, on the local market there
is only pure natural honey and nothing more. When it comes to the quality of our products, Timomed primarily possesses its own facility, which adheres to all standards for honey packaging and, as such, represents an example to other companies in Serbia. We have certified ISO, HACAP, HALAL and KOSHER standards for emerging markets around the world. We were the first to break through the barriers opening the way to new markets, while respecting all standards and guidelines for any country around the world. ■ One of the latest Timomed products is organic honey. Considering that you’ve won numerous awards for honey quality generally, why do you emphasise “organic”; how exactly does this product differ from others that you sell on domestic and foreign markets? - Organic honey is produced and controlled according to prescribed standards of good manufacturing practise and has certificates obtained from certification bodies. It is a natural honey, produced according to the rules of organic production. Considering that we are situated on the ecologically clean territory of Stara Planina, in the last two years we directed some of our associates towards organic production. Our plan for the coming period is to produce and sell in excess of 100 tonnes of organic honey on the domestic and foreign markets. ■
Published on Dec 20, 2017