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Renewing Old Ties

H.E. Mr. Harold Augustus Koko

Delivering a New Now!

Danish Minister for Trade and European Affairs

Director General of the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA)

Nick Hækkerup

dominic lyle

dec ‘13 / ISSUE No. 110

Nigerian Ambassador to Serbia

No Time to Rest

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COVER Saša Radulović, Serbian Minister of Economy


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Opportunity for a New Beginning

December 2013

Serbia must get its house in order before its economy can grow. The drivers for this will be greater transparency, sound taxation policy, strong social welfare provisions and a ‘spring cleaning’ of public companies ahead of planned privatisations. The next year is going to be difficult, but for Economy Minister Saša Radulovic and the country, there can be no going back.

EDITOR: Saša Marić

D  emons Lurk at the Bottom of Transition


O  pportunity for a New BEGINNING


R  enewing OLD TIES




H.E. MR. HAROLD AUGUSTUS KOKO, Nigerian Ambassador to Serbia


Global diary


D  elivering A NEW NOW!

T  ime to Take Responsibility

editorial MANAGER: Tanja Banković

Al  ways the FIGHTER IVANA ŠPANOVIĆ, Athlete

DOMINIC LYLE, Director General of the Ruropean Association of Communications Agencies (eaca)


CONTRIBUTORS: Rob Dugdale, Mirjana Jovanović, Radmila Stanković, Steve MacKenzie, Zorica Todorović Mirković, Sonja Ćirić

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Demons Lurk at the

Bottom of Transition Economically speaking, 2014 is going to be one of Serbia’s most difficult years. Additionally, there has been news about growing youth violence and the involvement of young people in criminal structures, primarily drug trafficking. So how do these two things correlate? Jovana gligorijević, Editor


wo topics were widely reported in the Serbian media last why is it happening in the 21st century, a century that should be month, both seemingly unrelated. Ever since it signed the all about human rights, social justice and equal opportunity for Brussels Agreement with Priština in April this year, the everyone. In the case of Serbia, the answer lies in the transition, Serbian Government has been focusing on conducting economic the struggling economy and the painful attempts to mend it. The reforms. Economy Minister Saša Radulović has announced a set of by-product of the transition is the division of transition winners economic measures that are supposed to heal the Serbian econand losers, something we’ve been hearing about since 2000. omy. You can read all about that in this month’s issue of CorD. A new generation of young, anti-social, vandalism- and crimeIn this column, we are going to focus on one thing the prone people came out among the transition losers. And while in Economy Minister has been stressing: 2014 will be an exceptionalBritish society these people are subjected to mockery and snobly difficult year. The troubles awaiting citizens can be summed up bery, and have been involved in isolated criminal incidents only, in with the following words: bigger and more frequent layoffs, lowSerbia they have fallen prey to various interest groups – from exer salaries, more pronounced poverty. Next year is supposed to treme right-wing organisations to drug cartels, which use them be a culmination of a process we have been waiting for the end of to widen their dealership networks. for a decade and a half – the transition process. Or put more simAt the same time, a new generation of people came from the ply, the period when everything has had to be bad, so that, once transition winners – they are young, educated at European unicompleted, everything can become better again. versities and successful in what they do. Although the social ladThe other topic the media dwelled upon last month was hoolider in Serbia is rickety, they are climbing it fast nonetheless. gans, violence in sports grounds and the criminal structures that use viThere is a huge gap of ignorance and misunderstanding olence in sports as a smoke screen between the new generation of transition winners and for drug trafficking, racketeering and losers. They only things they have in common are the other criminal deeds. Hooliganism anger and contempt they feel for each other, while the is not a new problem in Serbia; the news is that the media have started most difficult part of the transition is yet to come to report on it in a more open, corroborated manner, and about the heavy criminal activities these They bring change to social patterns and these changes are hooligan groups are involved in. But what does this have to do visible everywhere you look – in business, communication and with the transition process? urban structures. For the first time, Serbian society has been inIn the first decade of the 21st century, the British media troduced to a term ‘gentrification’ – a shift in an urban communicoined the term ‘chav’, which denotes young anti-social people, ty towards wealthier residents at the expense of the poor. There usually from the lower classes of society, poor and prone to acts used to be certain areas in cities where one would not walk alone vandalism and crime. The mass media have been using this term at night for fear of safety. Today these areas are home to exclu– chavs – while failing to get to the bottom of the real issues. sive restaurants, popular night clubs and galleries. Gentrification Subsequently the term has been branded as stereotypical, snobis a semi-spontaneous process and it is difficult to control its bish and racist due to its origins – it is derived from the Roma negative aspects. word for child (‘chavi’). The wealthy have always mocked the There is a huge gap of ignorance and misunderstanding bepoor, and this sneering gave birth to the rebellion of the poor. tween the new generation of transition winners and losers. They The rebellion, in turn, bore violence, just like what has been haponly things they have in common are the anger and contempt pening in Serbia these last few years. they feel for each other, while the most difficult part of the tranThis mechanism is nothing new, but it does make one wonder sition is yet to come. ■

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110 December 2013 | |

110 December 2013 | 7


■ By Jovana gligorijević ■ Photo: Zoran PETROvić

Saša Radulović

Serbian Minister of Economy

Opportunity for a New

Beginning Serbia must get its house in order before its economy can grow. The drivers for this will be greater transparency, sound taxation policy, strong social welfare provisions and a ‘spring cleaning’ of public companies ahead of planned privatisations. The next year is going to be difficult, but for Economy Minister Saša Radulovic and the country, there can be no going back


ccording to Economy Minister Saša Radulović, the goal of the latest set of economic measures is to conduct systematic and core reform of the Serbian economic system. Radulović believes this reform will bring stable and long-term results. It entails a new approach to company privatisation, tax reform, social welfare reform, labour legislation and work in other areas integral to Serbia’s economy. The key message to take from the Minister of Economy’s exclusive interview with CorD can be summed up as follows: we cannot go on like this. ■ On 29 October, the Ministry of Economy posted the draft of the new Privatisation Law on its website. What is at the root of this law and how will the completion of the privatisation process progress?

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110 December 2013 |

- The bottom line is that, first and foremost, we are going to eliminate debt from all of the companies that are undergoing restructuring and the companies under the jurisdiction of the Privatisation Agency. We are also going to create clean balance sheets for these companies, so when investors peruse through them, they will know that these sheets truthfully represent the realistic situation of the company. We need to complete the registration of the companies’ assets in order to have a fair assessment of their market value, so once investors acquire these companies, they are not going to be drowning in debt. The privatisation process to date was such that you never knew what would happen in the future. Apart from that, we are going to consider the assessments made by the courts so we can create a sound basis for the entire process and, by doing so, considerably increase the probability of finding investors for these companies.

Present day



The number of legally employed people is declining, the grey economy is thriving and fewer taxpayers are carrying bigger loads.

We need to turn the domestic economy by facilitating a good legal and business environment and a sound tax policy.

An economy based on subsidies is a perpetuum mobile economy and has caused the state we are in today.

■ The new law stipulates 31 December 2014 as the deadline for completion of privatisation. What will happen to companies that are not privatised by that deadline?

Also, there are other options for acquiring different shares. By allowing this, we have created an opportunity for investors who are not willing to take huge risks, since, in some cases, it is not very clear whether the company will become successful or not. By having these flexible methods, we are allowing for risk share. It is also quite possible to have former company directors and trade unions stepping up, providing they are confident they could lead the company to profitability. They can participate in the privatisation process too. It is also important to mention that off-shore buyers are no

- The companies that can operate independently will continue to do so, but without the possibility of receiving state help. We are going to instigate an insolvency or liquidation procedure for companies that are not able to operate independently. A year should be enough time to try to find investors. The state will do its part and give all companies a chance. Nevertheless, if they cannot find a sustainable long-term solution that doesn’t involve spending taxpayers’ money, then these companies will have to be terminated. We have anticipated flexible privatisation formats. First and foremost, once the Privatisation Law comes into force, all management bodies in companies will cease to exist. We will have a capital management representative, which is stipulated in the draft law. This will actually be a privatisation manager, who will, together with a Privatisation Agency team, conduct the entire privatisation process. Applications for privatisation manager roles are open and available to everyone, both Serbian and foreign nationals. The candidates have to have appropriate skills, speak a foreign language and be well acquainted with the business activities of the company undergoing privatisation. The existing directors of these companies, or the ones who have been doing We don’t need their job properly, will be allowed to compete for the investors who are position of privatisation manager. However, those who coming from tax haven’t been doing their job properly are not going to stay in their current positions. havens, but rather

longer going to be allowed to purchase companies. We don’t need investors who are coming from tax havens, but rather from countries with regulated tax systems, where ownership details are clear. I think that this is also going to contribute to us from countries having a solid privatisation. We are going to ■ Is there a list of criteria to assess which of these with regulated have very pronounced transparency in the existing directors are doing their job well and which tax systems, privatisation process. I think this is a huge are not? - I know all too well what corporate management enwhere ownership opportunity for a new beginning. The state cannot provide a solution for tails. If we know what corporate management in pubis transparent these companies; the state creates a framelic enterprises is, it is safe to assume that we know corporate management in private companies too. Strict criteria had work, cleans up the companies and expects Serbian citizens, already existed beforehand but were not implemented. foreign investors and our diaspora to get involved and work on building a sound basis for these companies. ■ How do you envisage the flexible privatisation format? - Apart from an opportunity for somebody to buy an entire com■ How are you going to deal with botched privatisations? Will the state take over these companies or is there another solution to pany, i.e. 100% of the company’s capital, they can purchase even the problem? less than that, with the re-capitalisation. There is also the possibility of concluding a management contract where somebody - There is another solution. There is one solution for all, and that is can buy 5% of the company’s capital and conclude a management cleaning companies’ balance sheets and converting debt into capicontract stipulating the distribution of profit, on condition that tal. Our goal after 2014 is to have the state and taxpayers in Serbia the management has been accomplishing good business results. stop squandering their money on companies that have no future. |

110 December 2013 | 9

■ The Ministry has launched “a public call for the collection of business plans and ideas for companies in restructuring”. What do you expect from this public call, and what benefits will the Serbian Government provide to those who respond? - This is a call to investors, future buyers and managers to get involved early in the privatisation process, and to give ideas. The feedback we get from them will be valuable information for the Ministry of Economy in terms of deciding about the further direction of the privatisation process. We are making a decision about the privatisation format, i.e. whether we are selling an entire company, a share or want to recapitalise it, how many workers does the company need in order to continue production, etc. Depending on the contents of the let-

shore companies to third, related persons. At the same time, they invested in Serbia, in real estate, which caused grave problems for us since their healthy business foundations had been suffering under the burden of granted loans. Banks have more money for loans than financially sound clients to loan that money to. The solution lies in cleaning up these companies’ balance sheets, very much like what we have been doing with the restructuring. In this case, banks also need to reduce lending to a reasonable level. Of course, we have to be careful not to jeopardise the stability of the Serbian banking system, but the burden of these loans has to be distributed among everybody. Taxpayers alone cannot pay for these things, nor is it appropriate to expect them to. The burden needs to be carried by the company owners whose bad business decisions resulted in such a dire situation, and the banks because of their loan policies. ■ The creation of so-called ‘company

identity cards’ has caused public uproar. Could you please elaborate on this? What is the idea behind these identity cards and how do you explain such a strong public reaction?

- The resistance in the very beginning wasn’t handled well, but this resistance is much milder now. I think even the Privatisation Law – which stipulates the abolishment of those bodies that have made the process of establishing clear responsibility far too complicated – has helped make everybody aware that we simply have to ters of intention, we are going to assess My approach is the do this. We cannot go on like before. what will be the realistic thing to do. We The identity card is actually an Excel have already formed an opinion about following: doing table. There is a financial report, which this, but having an opinion is one thing business on a sound contains the value of real estate, equipand real market interest is something tobasis and having a tally different. We want to reconcile these ment, revenue, expenses, financial liabilistrong welfare system two things, but we are also aware of the ties, etc. This table also analyses the data line that we will not cross – this is not a in it, so when we use the word ‘assets’ we and strong economy sale, after all. based on efficiency and can clearly see what assets are we talkWhen we look at certain large comabout. And there are plenty of details good management, i.e. a ing to come with that: the size of the facility, panies that have a market in Serbia, like system that makes sense how many floors it has, information about Galenika, for instance, in their case we the land plot it is erected on, the size of have to make sure that we don’t sell the land plot, information about the mortgage, does the company them to somebody who would immediately shut them down have the right to use or own these assets, etc. in a bid to gain access to the medication market in Serbia. We Basically, the data is organised in such way that it gives you are focusing on investors who are going to continue developa complete picture and the book value. On the basis of that, we ing this domestic company, its brand and its products. We want can ascertain whether the company’s value is a fair market value investors who are beneficial to the overall Serbian economy in or not. This is a balance-sheet cleaning method. In this way, we the long run. know what we are privatising and what we are disposing of. ■ Illiquidity is one of the Serbian economy’s biggest woes and has been a problem for years. What is the solution? ■ It seems that employers support your measures, while trade unions are against them. When is Serbia going to experience a - There is a solution. A number of companies took out loans on substantial creation of jobs? the tails of botched privatisations and transferred money via off-

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110 December 2013 |

- 2014 is going to be a very difficult year. ■ The Labour Law is supposed to be dis2014 is going to be a This is the year we are supposed to clean cussed by Parliament by the end of the year. up the situation and put everything on very difficult year, as we What do you think of the draft law and what healthy legs. Once we do that with comwill this more flexible law bring to Serbia? are supposed to clean panies, come 2015 they are going to be The following is the key: if your labour legup the situation and put -islation able to function properly and will create is flexible, it translates into new jobs, everything on healthy new jobs. If we conduct the procedure as and laying-off people will become much simit should be conducted, the end result will pler than it is now. Of course, there is this unlegs. Come 2015 the always be economic growth. derlying fear of mass layoffs if the law makes economy will start to Apart from the Privatisation Law, the layoff process easier. I think that has no function properly and other important laws are the Bankruptcy merit. Mass layoffs haven’t happened in any we will create new jobs Law, Labour Law and Spatial Planning and of the countries in which labour legislation Construction Law. The Labour Law is very complies with these standards. They haven’t important because if we have restrictive labour legislation, as we happened in the EU or in the rest of the developed countries. do now, we are going to reduce the number of potential investors. Employers are not letting go of their workers arbitrarily and The Labour Law is critically important in the investment decision out of anger, but because their business activities have been in process, both for domestic and foreign investors. decline and they are forced to preserve the company by cutting The Spatial Planning and Construction Law is also of crucial back on overheads, or because employees are not doing a good importance, as investment decisions also hinge on the time and job. This is something that employers have to assess and it is not procedures needed for obtaining building permits. This is one up to the state to regulate this, apart from in cases of mobbing of the key parameters. All these laws put together are critically and discrimination of any sort. important for completing the restructuring process by the end The gist is that because of the existing, quite restrictive law, of 2014. The deadlines are very short, and we are aware of that, which has been supposedly protecting employees, we have been but on the other hand, the problems we are dealing with are also witnessing a lack of jobs. People should understand that there is huge. In order to overcome them, we need to work fast, thorougha cause and effect between a bad labour law, bad tax policy and a lack of new jobs. ly and in-depth. |

110 December 2013 | 11

■ Certain members of the Fiscal Council have branded the Ministry of Economy’s proposal to reduce labour taxes as risky. What is your argument in favour of this proposal?

the best signal for foreign investors to come. Foreign investors cannot single-handedly resolve the Serbian economy’s problems. This of course doesn’t mean that they are not an important development component, but we really ought to turn to our economy.

- We have seen the number of legally employed people declining, the grey economy thriving and fewer taxpayers carrying bigger loads. I think that is far riskier than changing the existing system. ■ Your announcement about closing the Serbian Investment and People in general like to resist change, and so do certain conservExport Promotion Agency (SIEPA) and the Bankruptcy Superviative institutions such as the Fiscal Council. sion Agency was met by conflicting public views. What is the raOver the course of events, the Fiscal Council has completely tionale behind this decision and what will replace these agencies lost some of its purpose, which is maintaining the state deficit at if they are abolished? 45% of national GDP. I understand their - The level of misuse, corruption and unconcern, but if we fail to exercise a stimuprofessionalism in these bodies, the way their mandate has been defined and the lative tax policy with reduced labour taxresults they have achieved all speak in faes, we are not going to make any progress in curbing the grey economy and increasvour of these institutions not doing their job efficiently. They cost us a lot and they ing employment. It is one thing when have failed to produce results. Of course debt amounts 60% of GDP and economic we need to attract foreign investors, but growth is 1%, and another when your not in the way we have been doing it so economic growth is 5%. This is a crucial far. The state will continue to do its job via employment-inducing measure. In this the relevant ministry sectors and this will way we are going to widen our taxpayer cost the state at least five times less than it base and move the line between the grey costs now. Simply put, things cannot go on economy and the legal market. like this anymore. You cannot form agenWe are going to make a huge mistake if this measure is not adopted swiftly. What cies run by a single political party, hire could happen is that we might end up in incompetent staff and produce no results. the situation from a year ago, when we As far as the Bankruptcy Supervision had a budget consolidation programme Agency goes, its task was to make the bankthat reduced spending and hiked taxes. A ruptcy system as transparent as possible, year later, we are 4 billion deeper in the and to supervise bankruptcy managers. hole, with diminished economic activThere are serious problems in the way this agency’s work has been devised. We are goity and a growing deficit. We should not make the same mistake again. ing to change this, and some of its jurisdicThe companies that can tion will be transferred to the Privatisation operate independently Agency. Civil servants have to work in the ■ The World Bank’s Doing Business report will continue to do state and society’s best interests and they ranked Serbia 93rd of 189 countries, a need to be responsible towards their duties. drop of six places relative to last year. On so, but without the the other hand, PM Dačić said at the opening of the ‘Serbian Investment Day’ forum that Serbia was “a promised land for investors”. Could you comment on this?

possibility of receiving state help. We are going to instigate an insolvency or liquidation procedure for companies that are not able to operate independently

- In order to appeal to investors, we need laws that would simplify doing business. Apart from the set of laws we have been amending, there is a whole series of laws that we plan to change. This will improve Serbia’s standing on the competitiveness list and is probably going to be one of the most important things we could do. Sound tax policy also needs to play an important role in fixing the situation and attracting investors. Foreign investors are very important but they cannot replace the domestic economy. We must turn the domestic economy by facilitating a good legal and business environment and a sound tax policy. When the situation is beneficial for domestic companies, when they are generating profit and growing, this is also

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110 December 2013 |

■ Deputy PM Aleksandar Vučić commented

on your approach to the economy and said that the neoliberal concept was the healthiest concept around, but that we could not implement it because it has become obsolete in Europe. What do you think about this and is your approach to the economy really a neoliberal one?

- My concept is not neoliberal. I’m even not sure what that means. The word ‘neoliberal’ is used here as a scare tactic. My approach is the following: doing business on a sound basis and having a strong welfare system and strong economy based on efficiency and good management, i.e. a system that makes sense. Sustainability and transparency are the key terms here. An economy based on subsidies is a perpetuum mobile economy and has caused the state we are in today. This is no longer sustainable. ■

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H.E. Mr. Harold Augustus Koko

Nigerian Ambassador to Serbia


Old Ties

Nigeria’s economy has been booming in recent years on the back of its oil revenues. The African nation is now attempting to diversify its economy and find new trading partners. In this context, the re-opening of the Nigerian Embassy in Belgrade brings with it the potential for old friends to forge new economic bonds


ollowing a spell in which the Nigerian Embassy in Belgrade was closed, this April saw H.E. Mr. Harold Augustus Koko arrive as Nigeria’s new Ambassador to Serbia. The two countries, once close allies as part of the Non-Aligned Movement during the time of Yugoslavia, had drifted apart. But now Mr. Koko and the Serbian Government are looking to usher in a new era of greater economic and diplomatic ties between Belgrade and one of Africa’s most important and economically powerful states. ■ The Nigerian economy was ranked 30th in the world by GDP

in 2012 and, according to projections, will be one of the 20 largest world economies by 2020. What factors were critical for the rapid growth of the country’s economy?

- The Federal Government of Nigeria has embarked on a very am-

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110 December 2013 |

bitious transformation agenda. The aim is to reinvigorate every sector of Nigeria’s socio-economic life to improve the state of infrastructure, employment and increase productivity and wealth. The reforms involved are geared towards correcting flaws in the country’s drive for development, such as the absence of long-term planning, continuity, consistency and commitment to agreed policies. With these reforms, Nigeria has experienced rapid growth in the last few years, with an average annual GDP growth of 7.5%, constituting 15% of Africa’s total GDP. As a result, the country has been able to attract massive investment, especially in the petroleum, infrastructural, energy and agricultural sectors. In 2012, Nigeria was the highest recipient of foreign direct investment in Africa, which reached US$20 billion. Another factor is the conscious effort to diversify the country’s economic base away from oil to solid minerals and agriculture.




Nigeria has experienced rapid growth in the last few years, with an average annual GDP growth of 7.5%, constituting 15% of Africa’s total GDP.

In 2012, Nigeria was the highest recipient of foreign direct investment in Africa, which reached US$20 billion.

The African Union’s goals of cooperation are free movement and a trade area, customs union and common currency with the overall objective of an economic African Union.

■ Apart from oil, in which other economic branches has Nigeria achieved a high level of development?

- Nigeria is beginning to achieve a high level of development in the solid minerals, agricultural and manufacturing sectors. Nigeria is endowed with mineral resources such as tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, etc. Conscious efforts and enabling laws for prospecting and exploitation of these minerals have attracted investment. Also, Nigeria is primarily an agricultural country. The huge arable land supports the cultivation of various crops, including groundnuts, cocoa, palm oil, cassava, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, yams, sugar cane and fruits and vegetables. Massive investment under the transformation agenda has resulted in growth and development in the sector.

aspiring to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council and needs to extend its reach in terms of diplomatic presence globally. Added to this, important developments were taking part in the Balkan region, requiring the presence and action of prominent countries. Hence a policy decision was taken to re-open the Nigerian Embassy in Serbia. This coincided with a push by the Serbian Government based on reciprocity, since Serbia still has its embassy in Abuja. These things, added to the efforts of the Serbian Ambassador to Nigeria Rifat Rondić and the desire to foster greater economic and investment relations, played a role in the embassy’s re-opening.

■ How would you evaluate the quality

of cooperation and diplomatic relations with Serbia?

- Relations between Nigeria and Serbia are cordial and warm. Diplomatic relations, which date back to 1961, remain intact despite the political changes that led to the emergence of Serbia as the successor state to The petroleum industry is main generator of GDP in Nigeria the former Yugoslavia. Recently, Serbia and Nigeria have expressed desire to strengthen ■ In your opinion, how important to It is sad that economic political and bilateral relations and coopSerbia is integration into European and Eurocooperation between Atlantic organisations? eration during talks between former PresiNigeria and Serbia is at - In Serbia there are mixed feelings on the dents Umaru Musa Jar’Adua and Boris Tadić at the margins of the Non-Aligned Movea low level. Each country prospects of the country’s integration into the EU and Euro-Atlantic organisations. ment Summit in Egypt in 2009. has goods, services, These are organisations of the Western Relations between the two countries technical know-how and world, and for those who cherish Serbia’s are also sustained by shared common valopportunities that the leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement, ues of peace, democracy, human rights and this is not a noble idea, even after the end the rule of law. Both are actively involved in other needs of the Cold War. Secondly, integration with United Nations peacekeeping operations. these organisations involves surrendering some amount of the They have also pledged to support each other’s candidature in incountry’s sovereignty and independent course in efforts to imternational organisations. Hence Serbia supported Nigeria’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, prove the economy and the welfare of the people of Serbia. Also, while Nigeria supports Serbia by not recognising Kosovo’s unilatwith the problems and near stagnation of growth in the EU, espeeral declaration of independence. cially the eurozone economies, some people think that proceeding to join and be part of this problem is not worth it. However, on the other hand, one could reason that Serbia’s ■ At one point, for economic reasons, the Nigerian Embassy in integration within the EU will provide the need and push toBelgrade was closed, which led to the stagnation of relations between the two countries. What played a key role in re-opening wards liberalisation of the Serbian economy, greater investment the embassy? and improvement of Serbians’ standard of living. It will launch Serbia into Western financial circles and provide the necessary - Apart from the realisation that the closure was affecting relations, finance in the form of grants, loans or credits and investments, other factors played part in the re-opening of the embassy. Nigeria is |

110 December 2013 | 15

which can be made possible with European institutional guarantees. This will enable the country to realise its potential in terms of infrastructure and the production of goods and services in many sectors. Also, EU integration requires Serbia to embark on reforms and attain certain socio-economic standards. Seen from this perspective, the importance of EU integration for the Serbian economy and society cannot be overstressed. ■ Economic cooperation between Nigeria and Serbia is still at a low level. Aside from geographical distance, what are the main reasons for that?

- It is sad that economic cooperation between Nigeria and Serbia is at a very low level. This is in spite of the great and enormous potential

■ Are there any existing plans with Serbian officials, or at least an agreement in principle, to increase the scope of economic cooperation?

- There have been expressions by Serbian and Nigerian officials and businessmen to increase the level of economic cooperation. For instance, the SCC has demonstrated its desire to foster partnership with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). To that effect, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in December 2010 between the SCC and NIPC on cooperation in trade and investment matters during the visit of the Executive Secretary of NIPC to Belgrade. Following the success of the Nigeria-Serbia business seminar the embassy organised with the SCC, some Serbian businessmen have indicated interest in doing business with their Nigerian counterparts. To facilitate this, the embassy and the SCC have mooted an idea to organise a Serbian trade mission to Nigeria as soon as possible. It should also be mentioned that the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce and the Aba Chamber of Commerce in south-eastern Nigeria have finalised an agreement for the latter to send a delegation of representatives of eight companies to Serbia to explore opportunities for cooperation with Serbian enterprises. ■ At a meeting with Assembly President Nebojša Stefanović in April, you said that finding a suitable Serbian partner for Nigeria’s Ministry of Energy was underway. Has that task been completed and what type of project does it relate to?

- One important aspect of Nigeria’s transformation for trade and investment. Each country is endowed agenda is to reposition the energy sector to improve The problem electricity supply. A lot of investment is being made with goods, services, technical know-how and opin electrical power generation, distribution and transportunities that the other needs. Serbian technolappears to ogy, expertise and prices are good and competitive, mission. Under our policy of economic diplomacy, Nibe a lack of while Nigeria has primary products and opportunigeria’s diplomatic missions abroad are charged with awareness the responsibility of attracting investors to partner ties for the application of Serbian technical knowlof the with Nigeria’s public and private sectors to realise this edge, as well as a market for Serbian goods. There transformation agenda. have also been expressions of desire and willinginvestment It is against this background that the embassy has ness by the governments and business practitioners opportunities the desire to identify a suitable Serbian partner that of both countries for greater economic cooperation. available in can be introduced to Nigeria’s energy authorities. Why then has the level of cooperation been low? Serbia The reason cannot be geographical distance. I believe that there are Serbian companies that fit into There is greater cooperation in terms of volume of that category. Already, the Energo Project company, trade with countries such as China, Thailand and the Asian tigers, which has been operating in Nigeria for some time in infrastrucwhich are further away from Nigeria than Serbia. The problem apture development, is also involved in electrical transmission projects. The effort is continuing and if the right things are done, pears to be a lack of awareness of the investment opportunities another Serbian energy company could get involved in Nigeria. available in Serbia by Nigerian businesses and vice versa. The absence of a resident Nigerian mission in Serbia for over a decade contributed to this dearth of knowledge. This is why it is necessary ■ In which sectors can economic cooperation between the two for the responsible institutions in Serbia and Nigeria to organise countries be accelerated and improved? forums and exhibitions to sensitise businessmen to the opportuni- The potential for cooperation between Nigeria and Serbia covties available in both countries. The Embassy of Nigeria set the ball ers a wide range of areas. Studies identifying areas of cooperarolling by organising a business seminar in Belgrade in July 2013, tion included the following: air transport, power generation and with the collaboration of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC). distribution, agriculture, food processing, oil refinery and mar-

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110 December 2013 |

keting, the petrochemical industry, banking and credit facilities, water management and hydrogeology, pharmacy, medicine, biotechnology, engineering, tourism and agro-allied industries. However, efforts to improve economic cooperation between Nigeria and Serbia should concentrate on areas relevant to their present situations. Nigeria is diversifying its economy away from oil while the Serbian economy is transitioning to enhance and broaden its production base. It is therefore appropriate to suggest that economic cooperation should be improved in agriculture and the agro-allied industry, production and trade in goods and solid minerals, trade in primary products, machinery, processed- and semi-processed products, pharmaceuticals, medicine and the veterinary sectors. In doing so, we would be taking advantage of Serbia’s technical know-how and the abundant resources, primary products and huge market of Nigeria, to the mutual benefit of both countries.

■ After South Africa, Nigeria is the second-largest economy in Africa. How much does membership of the African Union contribute in terms of economic cooperation between member states?

- The African Union has provided a lot of platforms for economic cooperation among its 54 member countries – in line with its stated objective to develop Africa economically and combat poverty and corruption. Milestones among African Union countries include the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action for the Development of Africa and the 1991 Abuja Treaty to set up the African Economic Community. It has set up a process of regional integration through eight African Regional Economic Communities, with a timetable for continental integration. The goals of cooperation are free movement and a trade area, customs union and common currency with the overall objec-

■ In April this year you noted that Serbia and

Nigeria have signed a number of agreements that are yet to be ratified. Which agreements are in question and has anything changed since April?

- There is a tendency to equate agreements entered into with the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) to agreements with the present Republic of Serbia. It is in that sense that one speaks of agreements with Serbia. However, following the Yugoslav wars and the political changes that have taken place, these agreements have expired and need to be revalidated. So far only two of the agreements have been revalidated. These are the Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in Belgrade on 7 March 2011 for joint ventures between Yugoimport SPDR and the Nigerian Ministry of Defence, and the Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2010 between the SCC and NIPC. Efforts are being initiated to revalidate the Joint Commission Agreement, which will be the renegotiating and implementation platform for other bilateral cooperation agreements.

Perhaps the ultimate objective is to return to the situation attained in the 1970s and 1980s, when scores of Nigerian students received technical training in Belgrade under crash scholarship programmes

■ In addition to economic cooperation, what

other forms of cooperation are being nurtured?

- Another area of cooperation is in education and technical training. Nigeria and Serbia have demonstrated the desire to strengthen cooperation in capacity building for Nigerian students and experts. This is underscored by the ongoing offer of limited scholarships by the Serbian Government to selected Nigerian students at the University of Belgrade. Perhaps the ultimate objective is to return to the situation attained in the 1970s and 1980s, when scores of Nigerian students received technical training in Belgrade and other Eastern Bloc countries under crash scholarship programmes.

tive of an economic African Union. The collectively owned African Development Bank also provides financial resources for development projects. ■ Is Nigeria’s economic growth being coupled with development in other areas, such as social welfare, improving education and the stabilisation of economic growth across the entire country?

- Prior to this period, a lot of investment and development was concentrated on the petroleum and oil sector, which is Nigeria’s major foreign exchange earner and provides over 70% of government revenue. Most other sectors, including agriculture, infrastructure, social services and education were neglected and did not receive enough attention and resources. However, with the Government’s current transformation agenda there is a general awareness of the need to diversify the country’s economic base and increase social services and welfare for the people. Many public enterprises, including the electricity company, are being privatised to attract investors for their development. There is massive investment, with enabling laws for infrastructural development, especially in the transport and energy sectors. ■ |

110 December 2013 | 17

global diary

Typhoon Wreaks Havoc in the Philippines One of the strongest typhoons ever to make landfall devas09.11.2013 tated the Philippines, with the Red Cross estimating the deaths of more than 10,000 people in the city of Tacloban alone. The day after Typhoon Haiyan churned through the Philippine archipelago from east to west, rescue teams, hampered by washed out roads choked with debris and fallen trees, struggled to reach the country’s farflung regions. As well as the 10,000 estimated dead in Tacloban, thousands across the region are missing. Typhoon Haiyan threatened to become the deadliest disaster in Philippine history, surpassing Tropical Storm Thelma, which killed 5,000 people in 1991. With sustained wind speeds of 150 to 170 mph, Haiyan is among the strongest storms on record. 01.11.2013

Germany Hurts Global Economy, U.S. Claims The United States reprimanded Germany, saying its exporting prowess was hampering economic stability in Europe and also hurting the global economy. The U.S. Treasury Department said Germany should focus on boosting domestic growth to stabilise European economy. “Germany’s anaemic pace of domestic demand growth and dependence on exports have hampered rebalancing [of the eurozone economy],” the Treasury said in a report. “The net result has been a deflationary bias for the euro area, as well as for the world economy.” The Treasury also noted that Germany’s net export of goods, services and capital in 2012 exceeded that of China. Policy recommendations for Germany topped the list of actions Washington feels are necessary to make the global economy more stable. 05.11.2013

Turkey-EU Talks Renewed

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Turkey and the European Union started a new round of membership talks just months after EU member states including Germany had them delayed to protest Turkey’s crackdown on anti-government demonstrations, which resulted in the deaths of six people and 8,000 injured. EU and Turkish negotiators spoke optimistically about new momentum in Turkey’s long-stalled membership drive after they met to begin talks on a new chapter of accession talks, the first in three years. “This is really a turning point in Turkish-EU relations. We are opening a chapter after a gap of 40 months… It is symbolically very important,” Turkey’s chief EU negotiator Egemen Bağış told a news conference. Referring to an EU official’s call for greater engagement with Turkey, Bağış joked: “We are ready to not only get engaged, but also get married.” 14.11.2013

Google Wins Legal Battle on Copyright Google has defeated a legal action mounted to stop it scanning and uploading millions of books. In 2005, the US Authors Guild sued Google, alleging that its plans to create a digital library amounted to massive copyright infringement. In its defence, Google said its plans constituted “fair use” because it was only putting excerpts of texts online. US judge Denny Chin has now sided with Google and dismissed the case brought by the Guild. Judge

110 December 2013 |

Chin accepted Google’s argument that its scanning project was “fair use”, adding that the project provides “significant public benefits”.

The decision could be a significant milestone in the long-running legal battle between Google, the Authors Guild and US publishers. Both the publishers and authors started legal action over the scanning project in 2005.

works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including ‘The Golden Notebook’, ‘Memoirs Of A Survivor’ and ‘The Summer Before The Dark’. She became the oldest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007, when she won the award for her life’s work, aged 88. Her most famous book, ‘The Golden Notebook’, hit bookshelves in 1962. Paying tribute to the longtime HarperCollins writer, Charlie Redmayne, the publishing house’s CEO said: “Doris Lessing was a one of the great writers of our age. She was a compelling storyteller with a fierce intellect and a warm heart who was not afraid to fight for what she believed in. It was an honour for HarperCollins to publish her.”


Author Doris Lessing Dies The writer and Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing passed away at her London home at the age of 94. Lessing penned more than 50

China ‘to End Labour Camp System’ 15.11.2013 China is to abolish its labour camps, says state news agency Xinhua. The move came after a meeting of a key decision-making body of the governing Communist Party. The network of camps created half a century ago holds thousands of inmates who are made to undergo ‘laojiao’, also known as re-education through labour. Police panels currently have the power to sentence offenders to years in camps without a trial. The decision to do away with the camps was “part of efforts to improve human rights and judicial practices”, Xinhua said. The Third Plenum of the Communist Party under President Xi Jinping, who took power last year, also announced plans for economic reform. Reforms are traditionally expected by the Third Plenum because leaders are seen as having had time to consolidate power.



Kosovo Elections

Paris Gun Attacks

A total of 5,231 people voted in municipal elections in Serbdominated northern Mitrovica, a participation rate of 22.38%, according to the Electoral Commission. The ballot took place “without incident”, reports in Albanian-language Kosovar dai-

A gunman attacked offices of the newspaper Liberation and fired outside the HQ of the bank Societe Generale. A photographer, 23, was critically hurt at Liberation. The gunman later forced a motorist to drive him to the Champs-Élysées before allowing him to go. Police are looking for the same man who broke into the Paris offices of 24-hour news channel BFMTV on 15 November. Police have now been stationed outside all of the main media offices in Paris. At a news conference, investigators held up two images, one of the suspect in a street and another taken from BFMTV surveillance cameras on Friday. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the “most likely possibility”

ly Koha Ditore. Local elections in northern Kosovska Mitrovica were repeated under heavy security in three places after unknown perpetrators smashed ballot boxes during the first vote on 3 November. European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed her satisfaction about the voter turnout in the elections re-run in north Kosovo and lauded the efforts of Prime Minister Ivica Dačić to mobilize eligible voters to vote: “I am impressed by the efforts Dačić and his team made to ensure the success of the election process in Kosovo”, said Ashton after a meeting of the EU foreign ministers on November 18, adding that the same goes for the leadership in Pristina.

was that a lone gunman was behind the three attacks and the hijacking. He said the suspect had not yet been identified and the motive was still unclear. 20.11.2013

Macedonian Museum Robbery Macedonian police say 166 artefacts, including gold and silver jewellery dating from the 4th century, have been stolen from the storage of the country’s biggest museum. Police said that an organised crime ring is thought to be behind the theft, and the antiquities are believed to have been sold abroad. Authorities are still uncertain when the pieces were taken from the Museum of Macedonia in central Skopje. Last month, curators reported that 60 artefacts, mainly ear-

South Stream Construction Kicks off

25.11.2013 Gazprom has launched the construction of the Serbian section of the South Stream gas pipeline. The new route will transport Russian natural gas to southern and central Europe in order to diversify transit routes and stabilize gas deliveries to Europe. The pipe section will have a capacity of 40.5 billion cubic meters per year and the length of about 420 kilometers through the Serbian territory, while its cost is estimated at around €1.9 billion . Russia’s Gazprom accounts for 51 percent of the joint venture, while Srbiagas, for 49 percent of the Serbian section. Gazprom is to finance the partners’ stake in the construction of both the Serbian and Bulgarian sections of the pipeline. Gazprom offered the loan on favorable terms “below the market,” said the head of the company Alexey Miller, adding that the contribution is expected to be repaid with the money received from gas transit.

rings, pendants, rings and bracelets from two cemeteries in central Macedonia, had gone missing. They later added another 20 artefacts to the list. Police spokesman Ivo Kotevski said a full investigation had raised the number of missing artefacts to 166. He added that museum employees are being questioned.

The deal was struck on November 11, the first day of the China - Central

Ivica Dacic (left), Li Keqiang and Viktor Orban


Agreement to Modernize Budapest-Belgrade Railway Route Serbian Prime Minister, China and Hungary have reached an agreement in Bucharest on a joint project to overhaul and modernize the railway route between Budapest and Belgrade. At a joint press conference, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said that it was agreed to immediately set up a working group in order to start implementing the project as soon as possible.

and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Summit, which is discussing a USD 10 billion Chinese government program for infrastructure development in the 16 CEEC countries. Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said that the working group will draw up a financing plan for the project and deal with all technical details, including the speed of the trains. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that this is a project unlike any before - a cooperation between China, one EU member-state and one European country that has not yet joined the EU - and one that puts all parties in a win-win situation. |

110 December 2013 | 19


dominic lyle

Director General of the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA)


a New Now! Changes to the media landscape have shaken the foundations of this sector’s great bastions, particularly print. As our world becomes increasingly interconnected and web users have greater interactivity with brands and each other, so must companies adapt to their needs as we pass from the era of Web 2.0 to Web 3.0


he European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) is an organisation that brings together advertising, media and sales-promotions agencies from across Europe, enabling international experience and issues to be shared and dealt with on a pan-European basis. It provides an important link between agencies, advertisers and advertising media in Europe and around the world and participates closely in the setting of standards in many aspects of the business. In early November, EACA Director General Dominic Lyle visited Belgrade to attend the 5th Media Summit, titled New Media Revolution. CorD took the opportunity to speak with Lyle about the future of media and advertising, the innovations Web 2.0 brought to the media landscape, his expectations of Web 3.0 and the ways in which it will change habits of consumers, and the challenges media and advertisers face in light of these new habits. ■In early November, you took part in the 5th Media Summit in Belgrade organised by ABC Serbia. What were your impressions from the conference in terms of Serbia’s place in global online communications and advertising?

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- Serbia is clearly an important player in the context of the Central European advertising market. I got the impression that digital media has still to become as widely accepted in Serbia as it is in other European countries, and was particularly surprised by the conservative attitude of some of the media to the digital revolution.

Dominic Lyle Director-General of the European Association of Communications Agencies and Honorable Ambassador and Member of the Webit Ambassadors Honorary Board

■ How has Web 2.0 changed the media landscape and media market, from its early days to today?

- Web 2.0 was the beginning of the era of Google search and Facebook. The social media revolution meant the separation of information from the means of distribution. It transformed the media landscape by freeing up content – mass information distribution cost nothing, content was liberated, everyone had the tools to create and share. As a result, you could argue traditional media now answers to a problem that no longer exists.

Dominic Lyle is the Director-General of the European Association of Communications Agencies, which represents the interests of commercial communications agencies in Europe. He was appointed to EACA in May 2002, having previously spent 25 years in the communications business. Dominic studied International Law at Lausanne University, Switzerland and worked as European Sales & Marketing Manager for a UK food manufacturer based in Frankfurt before moving to London to handle business-to-business PR campaigns for UK companies and industry associations. In 1994 he moved to Brussels to set up a PR company for Omnicom’s global PR Group Porter Novelli, handling international clients such as Ericsson, BT Europe, WorldCom, HP, GE Plastics, The European Space Agency and Iomega. From 2000 to 2002, he was Chairman of Porter Novelli’s European technology practice, based in Paris. Since joining EACA, he has co-ordinated major initiatives for European agencies in areas such as sustain-

■ Considering the broad

able development, corporate social responsibility, obe-

definition of Web 3.0, is it possible to anticipate the changes it will make (or perhaps has already made)?

sity, alcoholic beverages, advertising to children, self-

- Web 3.0 upgrades us to ‘super-humans’: time and space become irrelevant; physical limits are eliminated; we are everywhere; we see everything. Apps are the key to Web 3.0. Web 3.0 is ultra-mobile and thus adds location-based services to ‘the web’. This makes the web both more space-neutral and more local – both with major implications! The input is no longer limited to keyboards – voice, pictures, even clothing contribute to data input. Web 1.0 was about search engines; Web 3.0 is about find engines. Web 1.0 was about ‘The Others’; Web 3.0 is about ‘Me’.

in commercial communications education and research

Web 2.0 transformed the media landscape by freeing up content – mass information distribution cost nothing. As a result, you could argue traditional media now answers to a problem that no longer exists

■ How do changes caused by the web affect the nature of marketing and media markets?

- Everything gets new faster… but that also means everything gets old faster. The only way to avoid death of old age is to update, innovate and

regulation and effective advertising awards. In 2007, EACA created the European Foundation for Commercial Communications Education to promote excellence and to further exchanges between the European commercial communications sector and academic partners. Also in 2007, EACA created its own ACT Responsible website, showcasing hundreds of examples of social marketing campaigns. In 2008, EACA launched the Care Awards for European Social Marketing Campaigns, recognising excellence in promoting care for people, resources and the environment, and judged by a panel of members of the European Parliament. In 2009 EACA created the International School of Advertising and Communications. Dominic is a regular speaker at industry events such as National Advertising Festivals, and international awards including the Golden Rose of Montreux, Golden Drum and the Rainbow Marble. EACA organises the annual Euro Effies Awards for effective advertising. |

110 December 2013 | 21

keep delivering a new now! We all operate in the now. This has created a world where a late response is no response. Brands have to act and react in real time. Our mobile phones are constantly engaging us to check what might be happening now. We have a fear of missing out. Time-sensitive ads are 500% more effective than permanently reduced offers. Every moment of truth is now. Brands have to perform perfectly, on any device, at any time. Now is not only a factor of time but also of space. Now is local; 25% of all online searches are local. This changes the way we work and shop. Online shopping already accounts for 8.6% of global retail sales value. E-commerce is booming. Why? Because getting stuff

■ What are the biggest challenges faced by agencies in such an environment?

- The biggest challenge is managing the budgetary implications of digital advertising. Clients expect to spend less on digital campaigns than they used to in traditional media, and that means agencies have to adapt their structure and way of working to accommodate this. ■ What are the latest trends in said segments in Europe?

- Mobile, mobile, mobile!

■ At the Belgrade conference you were quoted as saying the web had changed advertising and that instead of advertising we should use the term ‘use-vertising’. Could you elaborate on this term and tell us how the media market should change to accommodate it?

Dominic Lyle was the key speaker on the 5th ABC Media Summit in Belgrade

online is easier. This is digital laziness or low-access cost! Responsive website design is a must. ■ How has the web changed the na-

ture of each individual media channel, and how has that affected the work of advertising agencies?

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25% of all online searches are local. This changes the way we work and shop. Online shopping already accounts for 8.6% of global retail sales value. E-commerce is booming because getting stuff online is easier

- The web doesn’t change the channels themselves but the way we interact with them. Television is still television, newspapers are still newspapers. What the web has added is the ability for consumers to interact with certain media and to contribute to the creation of content. From an agency perspective this offers new opportunities to create campaigns that engage and involve consumers in a much more compelling and inclusive way. At the same time, the agencies have had to learn new ways to use integrated media – but adaptation and innovation has never been an agency weakness.

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- Use-vertising is a way to describe the power of peer-to-peer recommendation for products and services. Most people now share their own experiences of the things they do, buy and like, and this provides others with a strong indication of the attractiveness of a considered purchase. This trend will only become more prevalent. The media market should monitor and respond to the online conversation when their own products are implicated – for better or worse. ■ Speaking about the present-day generation media audience, namely the groups targeted by media and advertising campaigns, you mentioned the phrase ‘Generation Connected’. What is this generation like and what are their requirements?

- Generation Connected is online for nearly 23 hours a day. Being online is the new normal, being offline is the total exception. It takes an active choice to pull the plug for a short time. Generation Connected changes marketing; they have changed ‘CON-sumers’ into ‘PRO-sumers’. The pro-sumer does what the brand does… but even more effectively. Pro-sumers love connectivity – between them and the brand, between devices, within devices. So connectivity becomes a discriminating advantage. This also changes branding. The brand becomes dynamic. It is defined by the before-after difference. This creates a new brand momentum.

■ What is the destiny of traditional media in such an environment? Can it overcome the challenges of a new era?

The web doesn’t change media channels but the way we interact with them. Television is still television, newspapers are still newspapers. What the web has added is the ability for consumers to interact with certain media

- Traditional media still has an important role to play – the rise of webbased media has not affected the amount of time people spend watching TV, for example. But there is no denying that the media landscape has changed forever. One third of online Europeans use three screens. In 2012 there was 0.05m2 of LCD screen for every human being on the planet. We have more than 6 billion mobile phones, more than 1 billion smartphones. This makes markets and marketing truly individual. The challenge for the media is to remain relevant to this new audience which consumes media in a different way. This will require out-of-thebox thinking that goes beyond just adapting an existing channel to being online. It requires an understanding of what consumers want and expect in the online environment, and being brave enough to deliver it, even if that means moving away from tried and trusted formats.

■ The marketing revenue generated by print media has been declining steadily. Although the future of web advertising looks bright, its growth is not sufficient to compensate for the losses sustained by print. It seems that not a single print medium has found a way of making money from the web. What is your explanation for this phenomenon?

- Difficult to say. Part of the challenge is not to expect like-for-like revenues – the web works differently and traditional media have to accept that. Also, the web is very young and advertising revenues have been expanding rapidly. There are companies making money from online advertising, so it is possible – but it requires a different way of working. ■ How much does transparency in the media industry

contribute to mutual trust between media actors and the overall development of the media industry?

- One hundred per cent. ■



110 December 2013 | 23

How others do that: football hooligans

Tackling Serbia’s


Following another outbreak of violence and vandalism at the Belgrade derby, CorD investigates how the UK managed to curb its own problems with football hooliganism. Was the violence on British terraces in the 1970s and 1980s comparable to Serbia today, and is the solution as simple as new laws and stronger policing?


n November violence flared up once more at the derby between Belgrade’s two biggest clubs, Red Star and Partizan, leading to public calls for the government to act decisively against the perpetrators. With elements of organised crime and far-right extremism permeating Serbian ‘ultra’ (hardcore supporter) culture, hooliganism has long replaced any sporting quality as the Serbian league’s calling card on the international stage. As well as violence at matches, nationalist football hooligans have been linked to attacks on journalists, gay activists and Roma, and others have been convicted of murder. Following the recent derby clash, sociologist Stanko Lazić commented: “If they decide whether the Pride parade shall be held or not, if there shall be elections in Kosovo and Metohija or not, and if a football match will be interrupted or not, it means they are in control of society. The matter for serious concern is that an increasing number of young people are identifying with them. Hooliganism is a cancer in this society.” Previous incidents have also led to calls for stronger measures from the government, with then-Defence Minister Dragan Šutanovac promising in 2009 that “next year should produce an outcome in the fight to crush hooliganism at sports events in Serbia”. No such outcome occurred. Now, the solution, as spelled

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out by Secretary of Sport Nenad Borovčanin after the recent derby fracas, is to take lessons from the UK, which was blighted by hooliganism in the 1970s and 1980s. “The response of the state must be strong like the one Britain made when they removed the fences and replaced them with severe punishment for all offenders,” he told television station RTS. But would it be as simple as implementing UK-style measures? To some degree, there are similarities between the old British terraces and Serbia today. “Football was an outlet for young people to release pent-up aggression,” says Mike Nevin, co-author of ‘On The March With Kenny’s Army’, an account of Liverpool’s 1985-86 season. “For some, being part of a feisty atmosphere was enough, but for organised fighting groups the sense of belonging perhaps replaced an identity that was being eroded through unemployment and having no obvious role in society.” This was the era of Margaret Thatcher, when employment was decimated in many of Britain’s industrial heartlands. Football in the UK was a working-class game and its terraces reflected that. The consequence of British hooliganism, with rival ‘firms’ (the UK equivalent of ultras) seeking fights and even attempting to ‘take’ sections of the stadium housing rival supporters, was an increasingly heavy-handed police presence, which Nevin says

fire on the same day as the Birmingham “created another outlet for aggression”, Red Star and Partizan and fences and pens to keep fans off the have fans all over Serbia, riot in 1985, killing 56. Now, a combination of incompetent policing and a stapitch and away from each other. and ultra groups are dium without a safety certificate (where Following the Heysel Stadium disasmobilised to a degree other crushes had also occurred in 1981 ter in 1985, in which 39 Juventus fans and 1987) caused the worst stadium disdied at the European Cup final after a the political parties can wall collapsed as they attempted to esonly dream of. Herein lies aster in British history, which, despite attempts by media and authorities to spin cape from Liverpool fans, English clubs the difference between it as such, had absolutely nothing to do were banned from playing in Europe Serbian fan culture and with hooliganism. for five years, Liverpool for 10 (later reThe recommendations of the Taylor duced to six). That same year, fighting bethe UK – Serbia’s ultras Report, published in 1990 following an tween 500 Birmingham City and Leeds have a degree of influence inquiry into the disaster, led to the introUnited fans led to the collapse of another and politicisation that duction of all-seater stadiums, CCTV in all wall, killing a 15-year-old boy. Decaying never existed within grounds, better stewarding, more medgrounds and a fractious relationship with ics and the removal of fences and pens. In the authorities only exacerbated footBritish fan groups more authoritarian terms, football banball’s problems. All football fans were ‘dening orders (FBOs) of up to 10 years were introduced in 1989, humanised’ in wider society, not just the aggressive ones. In the excluding fans from stadiums for anything from violent behavlate-1980s, British Minister for Sport Colin Moynihan tried to iniour to using racist or threatening language. As part of FBO controduce an ID card scheme for fans, marking them as something ditions, fans must report to the police regularly and even submit separate from others. their passport if a match is played abroad. The catalyst for change came in further tragic circumstances, Nevin praises the Taylor Report, although he attributes the when in 1989 a crush in one of the pens at Hillsborough Stadium change of atmosphere in UK stadiums to something else. “Allin Sheffield caused the death of 96 innocent Liverpool fans. Poor seater stadia didn’t make any real difference until the Premier stadium safety standards had led to the Bradford City stadium

General Manager tel: +381 31 563 442 fax: +381 31 563 472 Marketing Manager: tel: +381 31 563 478 fax: +381 31 563 436; Prvi Partizan a.d. Miloša Obrenovića 2 31000 Užice, Serbia


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Serbia have struggled to do. Prime Minister Ivica Dačić has spoLeague and Sky television’s arrival saw those seats become very ken candidly about the blurred lines between the words of poliexpensive,” he says. “English grounds have moved from being ticians and their actions: “It turns out we’re surprised now that populated by a large number of young people occupying rival there are mafia and criminal groups, while for years and decades home and away ends to homogenous all-seater bowls. Football everyone’s been courting these groups. Even my party led a polis affordable only to those who can afford £50 tickets and season icy of sometimes wooing nationalism and chauvinism when they tickets costing £800, which precludes the young – especially in needed votes because it was fashionable and popular.” large groups. If teenage fans do still attend, they are likely to be Red Star and Partizan have fans all over Serbia, and ultra accompanied by a parent. groups are mobilised to a degree the political parties can on“The average age of the Premier League fan is now 41. While ly dream of. Herein lies the difference between Serbian fan culclub-based rivalries still exist, the absence of large numbers of ture and the UK – supporters in both countries are as passionadrenaline-filled youth means incidents are far less common. And ate and tribal as each other, but Serbia’s ulif there does still exist a small element intent tras have a degree of influence and politicion violence, FBOs are a major deterrent.” sation that never existed within British fan Steven Powell, Director of Policy at the groups. Some UK firms such as the Chelsea Football Supporters’ Federation and an Headhunters had links to far-right moveArsenal fan, isn’t convinced by the ecoments such as the National Front and nomic argument. “I’ve always found the Combat 18, as well as Northern Irish loy‘alienated unemployed youth’ theory of alist paramilitary organisations, but their football violence vastly overstated,” he influence was minor. By contrast, nationsays. “I knew most of the so-called ‘top alist and extremist elements carry influboys’ [of the firms], at least by sight. Some ence within Serbian ultra groups, who in were successful businessmen with their turn carry influence within the clubs, soown companies; one was a barrister. The ciety and the Establishment. Ultra groups idea that hooligans were all alienated unare also thought to be home to members employed young headbangers on glue was and leaders of drug-dealing gangs. nonsense. People have searched for comAs it was in the UK, though, it is danplicated rationale motivating violence. I’ve “The response of the gerous to tar all Serbian football fans and always thought it was simple: those who state must be strong like ultras with the same brush. The disasters got involved in the violence did it because the one Britain made that afflicted British football show the danthey enjoyed it.” That the problem of hooliganism at when they removed the ger of treating football fans as something less than human. If Serbia is to face its hoostadiums in the UK has been greatly difences and replaced ligan problem, it will not only need to be seminished is not in doubt. Football-related them with severe rious about tackling the issue with strongarrests in England and Wales hit a record punishment for all er laws and better policing and security, low in the 2011-12 season (2,363), and even though they rose 4% in 2012-13 to offenders,” said Nenad it will have to understand that each inci2,456, that was from a total 39.2 million Borovčanin, Secretary of dent is a symptom of a wider issue. The nature of ultra groups’ relationships with the attending fans. FBOs continued to decline Sport. But would it be as clubs, authorities and other officials will (2,451, down 11%) and in 75% of matchsimple as implementing have to be investigated, made public and es there were no arrests, with 58% of weeded out. As Milivoj Mirkov, Security matches police-free. UK-style measures? Commissioner of the Football Association Powell believes FBOs are overused of Serbia, put it: “We need to define what a fan group is, what its and should be used only in cases of violence, suggesting the exstructure, rights and responsibilities are, its relationship with the pansion of the UK’s CCTV programme in the 1990s was more club, and the way it is financed. This way, we would separate loyimportant in curbing hooliganism inside stadiums and on the al fans from hooligans.” streets. “Any criminologist will tell you that the most effective deThere are plans to privatise both Red Star and Partizan, terrent to crime is the certainty of detection and successful proswhich could provide an opportunity to reduce the ultras’ influecution. CCTV makes it very difficult to commit an act of violence ence within the clubs. There will need to be investment in inin or around a stadium and get away with it,” he says. frastructure such as CCTV to identify offenders and greater conThe talk in Serbia is of a fresh attempt to stop the hoolisistency when it comes to punishing them. And the government gans, with Secretary of Sport Borovčan stating, “If the authorities must do more to get Serbia’s economy growing, to create jobs for are consistent and willing to deal with this problem, there is no young people – half of whom are unemployed – and to better edchance what we saw on Saturday will happen again – but the govucate them on social issues. Only then can Serbia start to do its ernment must show that it’s stronger than hooligans.” But showtalking on the pitch. ■ ing strength in the face of hooligans is something politicians in

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dec 2013 business leader’s meeting point

Page 30

Page 38

Miljana Vidović

Pascal Lamy

Let Us Build Serbia’s Renewable Future

Europe Needs a New Dream

Director of REV d.o.o.

Former head of the World Trade Organization

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Page 39

The International School of Belgrade (ISB)

PRIMA International School of Belgrade

Many Languages, One School

The Best of a British Education |

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Business Dialogue interview

Miljana Vidović, Director of REV d.o.o.

Let Us Build Serbia’s Renewable Future Renewable Energy Ventures’ long-delayed attempts to construct two hydro-electric power plants on the River Lim have been a source of frustration for its director, Miljana Vidović. Here, she speaks to CorD about the benefits the project would bring to the area around Brodarevo


he company Renewable Energy Ventures (REV) has been operating in Serbia for seven years now. This is a daughter-company of Canada-based Reservoir Capital Corporation, which has floated its shares on the Toronto, Berlin and Frankfurt stock exchanges. The company’s main shareholders are internationally known for their substantial investments in renewable energy resources and mineral raw materials. In Serbia the company is the biggest private investor in the hydro-energy sector, with investments amounting to €146 million. For several years now, REV has been trying to build two hydro-electric plants on the River Lim near Brodarevo but has constantly found itself coming up against new obstacles.

aged by the project. The main construction site would be located in Brodarevo itself, and more than 1,200 people would be involved in the construction. If construction had begun, Brodarevo would already have a new modern elementary school, which would have been built within the framework of preliminary work on diverting the river course in the Broderevo 2 location. With the construction of a 110kV power line, Brodarevo would be connected with Sjenica, which would round off the regional energy connection and secure stability of the energy supply in this part of Serbia. Additionally, with the construction of a new road and two tunnels (the 2,450m Junakovina tunnel and 1,390m Brusovnik tunnel), the most dangerous sections of this part of the main road would be eliminated. Not only would commuting time between Prijepolje and Bijelo Polje be reduced, but the most dangerous sections of the road would be bypassed and the road would be infinitely safer for traffic. ■ Despite many years of invested efforts and the Ministry of We all know that the state did not have a long-term solution for Energy, Development and Environmental Protection’s green landslides and mudslides in the area where the two plants were light in June for a study on the envisupposed to be built. Both the power line ronmental effects of constructing two 1,200 workers would be hired for and the road with tunnels, worth €40 hydro-electric power plants on the million, would become the property of construction of the hydro-electric the Serbian state. All of the aforemenRiver Lim, media reports suggest that power plants, which would last tioned is obviously beneficial to the state the Administrative Court has revoked several years and the local community. REV’s building permits. What actually It is a well-known fact that Serbia happened? has a lot of problems with floating debris on the River Lim, which - This is a classic case of misinformation. It is a misuse of the fact comes from neighbouring Montenegro. All the debris that comes that the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy has been sued for excluding NGOs from participating in the issuance of energy licences, from Montenegro would be collected by the Brodarevo 1 hydrowhich is contrary to the Energy Law. Our energy licences are valid electric power plant, which would make the Lim much cleaner and undisputed. throughout its course in Serbia. We also have to underline that both the state and local authorities will benefit a lot by collecting various ■ What kind of benefits would the local community and Serbia fees once the plants start producing electricity. as a whole would enjoy if construction of the two hydroelectric I have already said that close to 1,200 workers would be hired power plants went according to plan? for construction, which would last several years, which in turn - The main benefits for the local community and Serbia would be means that 68% of their salaries would be paid into the state budget on the basis of mandatory contributions. realised through construction of the infrastructure facilities envis-

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110 December 2013 |

■ Are your problems caused by the general investment cliwill come to ‘cut the rope’, so to speak. Whether the Ministry of Enmate in Serbia or are they related to necessary reforms in the ergy will support us or not hinges only on the line minister. energy sector? So far, I have scheduled three meetings with the Energy Minister, - Our problems have nothing to do with the general investment clibut unfortunately haven’t had a chance to speak to her in person. I mate, since the state is quite welcoming to investors, but the intenhave only spoken to various associates in the ministry and couldn’t tions of the Serbian government do not adequately translate into explain in detail all aspects of the biggest greenfield investment in reality. If there had be a continuity of positive attitude towards the renewable energy resources in Serbia. We have significant foreign project during the political changes over all these years we have been capital and influential companies such as Sprott Global, Earth Resource Investment Group, Royal Bank of Canada, J.P. Morgan, CIBC present in Serbia, the construction could already have been well on UK, GMP Europe and Macquarie Securities backing us up. its way, and we as investors would have spent much less money on As a company we have full-fledged support from both the Cadevelopment. A huge amount of investment money has been spent nadian and American embassies in Belgrade, and they are familiar considering the project has gone on longer than it should have. with every single step we have made and are making in these inHowever, considering that our company floats its shares on vestments, considering the capital we have been investing in our the Canadian stock exchange, that alone costs a lot every year. We projects originates from their respective countries. We have brought have offices in Canada, Italy, Belgrade, Prijepolje and Brodarevo. several large investors to Serbia who were eager to get to know the All our studies have been drafted by the biggest global companies. country in which they plan to invest Our project in Serbia is much older their money a bit better. Since this than a year and a half. We have been capital mostly originates from North implementing our energy and mining America and Canada, diplomats from project in Serbia since 2006. So far we both countries had meetings with have invested around €15 million in investors, trying to convince them the Brodarevo project alone, and over that Serbia was a good destination for €20 million in development projects potential new investments. in the region, including Brodarevo. The last group of investors came to It is not easy explaining to investors why the implementation of the visit us and our project locations less project, in which so much money has than a month ago. We drafted an environmental impact study, which underbeen invested, has slowed down and went a state review, as well as a spatial even almost stopped. It is not easy plan for the special purpose area, which approaching the local authorities and came out in the Official Gazette (no.49, community and explaining to them 2012). We have also created a hydrauwhy we haven’t started building yet. Everything we have done so far lic model, completed geological research, We get calls from the local population all fulfils the strictest criteria of bought all of the required land and obtained the time looking for jobs and begging us to start working. We have a list with the international law and standards more than 50 official opinions and terms and conditions from various state institutions. names of 640 unemployed people who have put all their hopes and the financial survival of their families in our hands. I lived abroad for many years and I have returned here to ■ Based on your experience of doing business and investing in Serbia, what can you conclude about the investment climate in try to bring huge investments and thus contribute to the economic our country? development of my country. - Energoprojekt, Zagreb Shipping Institute and Zigma from PodgorI do hope that the Serbian government will help me in trying ica were all involved in drafting the documentation. Experts from to explain to my investors and locals that the project is in a grave Tractebel Engineering GDF Suez and Coyne Et Bellier Ingénieurs danger of not surviving, but the question remains whether the government will do everything in its power to help, as they have been Conseils Group carried out the review of the project documents. promising in the media. We did everything in accordance with IFC standards while auditors from Tractebel Engineering GDF Suez and Coyne Et Bellier Ingé■ How much time and money has been invested so far and what nieurs Conseils are controlling our operations. All of this validates the fact that everything we have done so far fulfils the strictest critekind of cooperation do you have with the Serbian government? ria of international law and standards. - A lot has been done by the current government, but the crucial Suez GDF is one of the most renowned global companies, with document, which determines the destiny of the entire project, does 200,000 employees (in its portfolio, the company has 68,400 megawatts not depend on the Ministry of Energy. We have invested a lot of of installed output with additional 20,000 megawatts in development). ■ money in obtaining the relevant documents and in spring the time |

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local news

Business Dialogue 01


Decisions Serbia cannot help you today with guns and tanks... because we cannot win that battle. Today we can win only with strong political connections and smart decisions, therefore your future depends on you.” — Ivica Dačić, Serbian prime minister


Intelligent Drive

Bank of Reasonable Choice

It first started 10 years ago with PRE-SAFE® and continued with Distronic Plus, and in the space of the next few years it’s due to take motoring into a whole new dimension at Mercedes-Benz: comfort and safety merged together as one, opening up all sorts of new prospects for motorists and car developers alike. Mercedes-Benz calls it ‘Intelligent Drive’ – and the new S-Class will already boast an array of new systems designed to make driving an even safer and more comfortable experience. Ever since the brand’s earliest origins, Mercedes-Benz’s current flagship model has assumed a very special role – not just for the company, but for the automotive world as a whole. Because the S-Class has never ceased to keep raising technological standards, it has come to be a role model with symbolic status. A decade ago PRE-SAFE® ushered in a new era of vehicle safety with the advent of technology that was able to detect the risk of an accident occurring in advance and prepare both vehicle and passengers for a possible collision. For the first time, active and passive safety technology worked together in synergy. “The intelligent assistance systems of the future will be able to analyse complex situations and recognise potential dangers out on the road with the aid of improved environment sensor systems even more accurately than today,” explains Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of MercedesBenz Cars Development.


Erste Bank

Supporting the SME Sector

Crédit Agricole Serbia


Dedication to developing longterm relations with clients and attention to their financial requirements are directly manifested in the operations of Crédit Agricole Serbia, which has improved its results year-on-year

Crédit Agricole Serbia is a universal bank and a member of French banking group Crédit Agricole. Owing to 125 years of experience, Crédit Agricole is now the leading retail bank in Europe. Some 250,000 clients in 81 branch offices of Crédit Agricole in Serbia have been provided with a carefully planned product range, tailor-made to their needs and requirements, and services complying with the highest financial standards. Dedication to developing longterm relations with clients and attention to their financial needs and requirements are directly mani-

ProCredit Bank

Introducing German Strategies


fested in the operations of Crédit Agricole Serbia, which has been achieving better results year-onyear. The growth of the client base and deposits in Crédit Agricole Serbia are the best testament to the credibility and trust that clients have put into the bank. Supporting the local community, economy and citizens through specialised products, participating in state subsidies and providing special credit lines is Crédit Agricole Serbia’s strategic course, with more than 1,000 banking professionals working on accomplishing these tasks.


Murals for a More Refined Exterior

ProCredit Bank has organised a trip to Germany for representatives of the most successful Serbian SMEs Over the first three quarters of this year, Erste Bank has injected €120 million into SMEs. Of that amount, €80 million were loans and the rest were guarantees and letters of credit. During this period, a total 375 SME clients received funding. Relative to the end of last year, the total number of small and medium enterprises Erste Bank is working with has gone up by 150, a 7% increase. Erste Bank provides international credit lines with long repayment periods and favourable interest rates. Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad is the oldest financial institution in Serbia, founded in 1864 as the first savings bank. It is a part of Erste Group, which operates in seven regional countries and has 16.6 million clients. 32 |

SME entrepreneurs visited six German companies on a study tour organised by ProCredit Bank, where they had a practical introduction to best organisational practices. While touring the production plants and presentation centres of renowned companies MAN Truck & Bus, Kärcher, Kleiberit, SEW-Eurodrive, Hewlett-Packard and Herbertz Dairy Food, the Serbian businessmen were shown the latest technological solutions and the importance of work and product quality as competitiveness tools in the European Union. During their visit to Munich’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s academy, Serbian entrepreneurs were able to see how the Chamber collaborated with the SMEs in Germany, with special emphasis on the examples of additional training for personnel in Bavarian SMEs. The tour of the RENEXPO Fair in Augsburg, at which Serbia was a partner country this year, was yet another opportunity for the entrepreneurs to find out about the latest developments in the renewable energy resources sector, which Germany is known for.

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Renowned regional artists have painted 10-by12-metre murals on the walls of Nelt Company’s warehouse in Dobanovci Murals featuring unique motifs and styles, painted by renowned regional artists and designers, have been presented officially to Nelt Company. Nina Radenković, EmaEmaEma, Maša Milanković, TKV, Bratislav Milenković, Marko Prokić, Nebojša Cvetković, Braća Burazeri, Nemanja Jehlička and Željko Lončar are the creators behind the murals. The format of the images turned out to be a real challenge, which prompted the designers to exceed the limits of their work so far. The murals are tailor-made to suit the specific environment in which they have been painted, and together they represent a unique artistic collage. The project has been initiated by one of the coowners of NELT Company, Nebojša Šaponjić.

The Case


“I absolutely do not believe in the possibility of Croatia winning the genocide case against Serbia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.” — Rasim Ljajić, Serbian deputy prime minister

Placements & Postings


Celebrating 45 Years in Serbia

Three factories within the Coca-Cola System employ 1,300 people, each job is directly related to 13 more jobs in Serbia and the company’s business operations account for 1.18% of the country’s GDP This year Coca-Cola is enjoying its 45th anniversary since launching in this country, and to celebrate is planning to establish 45 outdoor gyms across Serbia. The first Coca-Cola active zones have been opened in Pančevo, Užice, Pirot, Arilje, Bajina Bašta, Nova Varoš, Petrovac na Mlavi, Kanjiža, Mali Zvornik and Lazarevac. Today, the Coca-Cola System comprises the Vlasinka and Fresh & Co. factories and the bottling plant in Zemun, with the total of 1,300 employees, while via four distribution centres and a network of 37,000 distributors and retailers, its beverages refresh consumers across the region every day. Coca-Cola’s impact on the economy and society has been confirmed by the results of a study conducted by reputable European economists. In addition to the number of people employed, another 18,500 people are engaged in companies that cooperate with Coca-Cola, showing that each employee is related to another 13 jobs in Serbia, or 0.62% of the total workforce. The overall value added by the Coca-Cola System to the Serbian economy is €345 million, or 1.18% of GDP. In addition to successful business operations, Coca-Cola invests heavily in local community development via numerous long-term projects and initiatives.


Super Card

Cooperation Between Four Companies Thanks to collaboration between NIS, Idea, Telenor and Sberbank, consumers in Serbia, and very soon the region, will be able to enjoy many benefits of a new customer reward programme called Super Card

NIS and Idea have become partners in a joint loyalty programme called Super Card by signing a Cooperation Protocol with new programme partners Sberbank and Telenor. The Protocol was signed by NIS CEO Kirill Kravchenko, Chairman of Agrokor’s Supervisory Board Ivan Todorić, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank Sergey Gorkov and CEO of Telenor Serbia Ove Fredheim. Sberbank is the biggest Russian bank with more than 100 million clients and more than 18,000 branch offices. The bank tailors its services in a flexible manner to suit the needs of its cli-

ents, with the aim of providing a wide range of quick, efficient and appealing services. Considering that Telenor is a mobile operator with a wide client basis, its partnership in the programme means Super Card will cover all main sectors of consumer needs. Five months after the programme’s launch, a total of 1 million Super Cards have been issued, which is a testament to how well received the programme has been. Currently, there are more than 500 retail facilities and more than 200 towns and villages covered by the programme, while north of 10 million purchases have been made using the Super Card so far.

H.E. Dr. Ranko Škrbić New Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Serbia


Former Health and Welfare Minister of Republika Srpska Ranko Škrbić has been appointed new Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Serbia. Dr. Škrbić is a medical doctor and university professor. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in Banja Luka and completed his post-graduate master’s studies at the University of Zagreb. He earned his PhD from the University of Belgrade in 1994. Dr. Škrbić underwent additional training in London, Bristol, Stockholm and Barcelona. He was a pharmacology professor at the Banja Luka Faculty of Medicine and founded the National Medication Information Centre of Republika Srpska as well as the Health Management Institute. Dr. Škrbić worked as a regional coordinator of the PHARE programme for pharmaceutical-sector reform.

Vojvodjanska Banka

Big Year for Domestic Banking Vojvodjanska Banka racks up profits of RSD 1.3 BILLION and aims to further its offer to customer and businesses in 2014

Vojvodjanska Bank a.d Novi Sad has established strong growth in all sectors of its business operations during the first six months of 2013, earning profits of RSD 1.322 billion, putting it among the top five banks in the Serbian market. Revenue growth is a result of the increased dynamics of business operations during the year, competitive offers customised to meet the customer requirements and contemporary global trends. The bank’s overall loans were valued at RSD 76.038 billion while the total value of deposits (from both citizens’ and legal entities) was RSD 80.940 billion on 30 June. “The excellent performance of Vojvodjanska Bank is the result of systematic improvements introduced across all business areas over the past three years, but of above all it is the result of work between management, employers and clients. We are planning to invest €6 million in 2014, creating additional value for customers, the economy and society,” said Marinos Vathis, President of the Executive Board of Vojvodjanska Banka a.d. Novi Sad. |

110 December 2013 | 33

Business Dialogue Corporate

The International School of Belgrade (ISB)

Many Languages, One School The International School of Belgrade’s language programme is a means to give its diverse student body not just the best education possible, but a rounded worldview. Graduating students leave ISB with a greater understanding of themselves and their culture, and are prepared for the challenges life sends their way ■ Bill Kralovec Upper School Principal

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he International School of Belgrade (ISB) is an International Baccalaureate World School. That designation means we are committed to the ideal of international-mindedness. One interpretation of this concept is understanding oneself and one’s culture, and reaching out to understand others’ cultures and viewpoints. A key to understanding any culture is through language. Language learning, both of one’s mother tongue and a second and third language, is a hallmark of ISB. With 48 nationalities represented in the student body, there is a rich and diverse palette of languages spoken

110 December 2013 |

and taught at ISB. Walking through the hallways and the grounds of the beautiful campus, one hears many languages, ranging from English and Serbian to Italian, Chinese and Hebrew. The diversity of our faculty compliments the students and brings even more internationalmindedness to the school. The language of instruction at the school is English and this takes precedence. Students new to English are supported both in-class and separately to help them reach the level of English needed to access the curriculum. There are five full-time teachers in the English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme and they work to identify and support students who need assistance in acquiring both social and academic English language. All International School teachers are language teachers in a sense, and all faculty members at ISB are trained in ‘EAL in the Mainstream’ classes to further support Englishlanguage learners at all levels.

It is a goal for all students to graduate from ISB fluent home language in the Diploma Programme as well, and in at least two and often three languages. Besides English, recent graduates have earned IB credentials in Finnish, we offer Serbian as a native language for the 25% hostHindi, Norwegian and Lithuanian, to name a few. country-national students at the school. Students can also It is indeed a rich and diverse learning community at choose one or two other lanISB. This diversity invigorguages from among French, ates and inspires students, With 48 nationalities represented in teachers and parents to German, Serbian as a Foreign Language and Spanish. Over the student body, there is a rich and navigate the ever-increasing 50% of our IB Diploma Prodiverse palette of languages spoken interconnected world of the gramme graduates earn a 21st century. When students and taught at ISB ‘Bilingual Diploma’, which is from different backgrounds much higher than the world and cultures learn together, average for bilingual diplomas. Language teaching begins it encourages them to understand others – and also to in Grade 1 and continues through to Grade 12. better understand themselves and where they and their ISB also makes it a priority to help students with their culture fit on the world stage. ■ home languages not featured in our regular programme. Our Mother Tongue Programme helps students find the resources they need to develop a high level of literacy in their home language. For example, this year we are offering instruction in Swedish, Hebrew, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese and Italian. Students can choose to study in their |

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regional news

Business Dialogue 01

Rating “Shame on the rating agency which keeps the country in the junk category.” — Mihály Varga, Hungarian Minister of National Economy



Development Bank with a New Strategy The new Bulgarian Development Bank’s (BDB) managers reveal the bank's long-awaited new strategy

Free Economic Area in Tetovo

Petar Chobanov Bulgarian Minister of Finance

The strategy includes the establishment of a new subsidiary structure, namely a special fund for investing in private companies with initial capital of €100 million. The strategy also envisages the closure of the JOBS MFI (Joint Opportunities for Business Support Microfinancing Institution). The bank launched a new borrowing programme for new businesses and existing small enterprises worth some BGN 20 million (€10.2 million), announced BBD CEO Bilian Balev. The programme also features eased requirements for companies wishing to participate. Among those is a considerable lowering of the co-participation requirement – from 25% to 10% of the borrowed amount. “We consider the Bulgarian Development Bank as a natural partner of the government in the financing of SMEs,” said Petar Chobanov, Bulgarian Minister of Finance at the ceremony for signing the first loan under the new bank programme to support micro and small enterprises.


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The construction of the free economic area in Tetovo is now underway For a total of €157 million, the government trusted the management of the technological development of the industrial area of Tetovo to the two nationalities and three Norwegian companies that comprise Normak Investment Group. With these funds, Norwegian investors have won concession rights over TIRZ Tetovo for the next 96 years. The industrial technological area in Tetovo will be managed according to the principle

another (11.4%). Bribe-paying businesses pay an average of 6.6 bribes per year. Both the prevalence and frequency of bribery by businesses is higher in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (13.2% and 7.4%) than in Republika Srpska (5.5% and 4.8%). Among those covered by the survey, building and construction is the sector most seriously affected, with 15% of respondents confirming that they had paid a bribe to a public official. This is followed by businesses in transportation and storage (11.1%), wholesale trade and retail trade (9.9%), accommodation and food service activities (8.8%), and manufacturing, electricity, gas and water (6.2%). The public officials most at risk of bribery are health authorities (prevalence rate of 8.5%) and police officers (6.1%).

110 December 2013 |

of partnership between the public and private sector. Normak Investment Group’s job is to withdraw investors in the area and the state must build a highway between Tetovo and Skopje in order to have better access to the area. The free economic area in the region of Tetovo will include an area of 94 hectares. The first phase of the project will consist of the construction of 25 to 30 industrial objects, which are expected to employ around 7,000 people.


Bosnia and Herzegovina

Corruption – Major Obstacles to Doing Business At the end of November in Sarajevo the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) presented a report funded by the European Union as part of a regional project assessing corruption in the Western Balkans. “The survey clearly shows that corruption and crime have a negative impact on the business climate and deter both local and foreign investment, with serious implications for economic development and growth,” said Michael Jandl, Research Officer in the Statistics and Survey Section at UNODC, who presented the report. The survey finds that almost half (46.6%) of all the bribes paid to public officials by businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina are paid in cash, at an average of 318 BAM (€162.00). Food and drink (29%) are the next most popular form of payment, followed by the exchange of one ‘favour’ for



Reducing the Burden on Swiss Franc Mortgage Loans Croatia’s government sent an amendment to a final bill of amendments to the consumer credit law to parliament, recommending an interest rate of 3.23% on loans pegged to the Swiss franc as of 1 January. Deputy Finance Minister Boris Lalovac said the government received a calculation from the central bank under which the average weighted interest rate on housing loans pegged to the Swiss franc over a 13-year period was 4.62%. A 30% discount will be applied to that rate, making the interest rate on all loans pegged to the Swiss franc 3.23% if the franc appreciated 20% from the day when the loan was taken. Lalovac said the government received a note in writing from the Croatian Banking Association that it was scrapping any interpretations of constitutionality and retroactivity regarding the lower rate. He said this was important for the law to go into force on 1 January 2014, so that citizens could pay lower interest as of February.



KAP's Property Worth €52.47 Million

The property of the Aluminium Plant Podgorica (KAP) has been valued at €52.47 million, said Bankruptcy Administrator Veselin Perisic. He could not specify when the call for the sale of the plant would be launched because he had to study the law first. The bankruptcy proceedings were launched on 8 July because of a debt amounting to €386 million.

Shake hands



Until now we have negotiated 10 logistical agreements. A year ago we didn’t even shake hands when the prime ministers of Kosovo and Serbia meet.” — Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister of Kosovo

On-line Store Sells Discounted Cars Romania’s largest online retailer eMag, which chose to start an early Black Friday all discounts day on 22 November, sold four discounted cars in the first three minutes after the start of day and had to post the sold out label on several types of products. Tablets at RON 99 (€22) and Samsung phones at €110 were all sold in the first five minutes, according to eMag. The retailer started the day with 160,000 already logged in on its website, waiting to snatch discounted products. In the first two hours, it recorded 45,000 orders. The total value of these orders was of €6.8 million. Unlike last year, when the retailer’s site was down on several occasions due to higher than expected number of visitors, this year the company said the site was up all through the morning. The retailer had a stock of 63 discounted cars, worth some €1 million, on sale for early Black Friday, under the brands Dacia, Ford, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz. The retailer sold two Ford Focus cars, a Dacia Logan and a Ford Kuga, which were priced at €11,000 – a discount of over €5,000 for the Ford Focus, € 7,300 for the Logan. The discount for the Ford Kuga was of €7,300.

Placements & Postings

H.E. Mr. Yousef Ahmad Abdulsamad New Ambassador of Kuwait to Serbia

H.E. Mrs. Adela Mayra Ruiz García New Cuban Ambassador to Serbia

Michel Saint-Lot New UNICEF Representative for Serbia

As of the beginning of November, Mr. Yousef Ahmad Abdulsamad is the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Kuwait to Serbia. Mr. Abdulsamad started his diplomatic career in 1988 as a Diplomatic Attaché in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait. Throughout his career he has been: Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Greece; Second Secretary in the Asian and African Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait; Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Kuwait in Canada; Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Kuwait in Poland; Head of African Affairs in the Asian and African Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait; Consul-General of the State of Kuwait in Frankfurt, Germany; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Kuwait to Brasilia, Brazil; and non-resident Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Guyana. H.E. Mrs. Adela Mayra Ruiz García is the new Cuban ambassador to Serbia. Before her appointment to Serbia, Mrs. Ruiz García was a diplomat in several Latin American and European countries. Her previous diplomatic missions include the Republic of Chile from 2005 to 2010 and 2012 to 2013. She has been a member of several official Cuban delegations and has participated in the Ibero-America Summit and EU-CELAC Summit. Mrs. Ruiz García graduated Journalism and has a master’s degree in International Relations and Law. She started her diplomatic career in the Cuban Foreign Ministry in 1978.

Michel Saint-Lot has 30 years of experience in the field of development. Prior to his posting in Serbia, he held the following roles:UNICEF Deputy Representative inBangladesh from 2010; Field Office Chief in Hyderabad, India from 2004 to 2010,and Enugu, Nigeria from 2001 to 2004; Senior Adviser for Water and Sanitation at New YorkHQ from 1995 to 2001; Chief of Water and Sanitation in Mali from 1992 to 1994. Mr. Saint-Lot, a national of Haiti, is a post-graduate fellow of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. His studiesthere were focused on economic development. He holds a diploma in Architecture and Civil Engineering from the Faculty of Sciences of Haiti and post-graduate certification in Project Formulation and Elaboration (Haiti), Micro-planning of Educational Infrastructures (Mexico and Colombia) and Leveraging Resources for Children from the Graduate School of Governance at Maastricht University (Netherlands). Mr. Saint-Lot speaks three languages: French, Spanish andEnglish, and is married with two daughters. |

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Europe Needs a New Dream If Europe’s policy elites could choose the next head of the EU’s executive, then Pascal Lamy, the Frenchman who stepped down as head of the World Trade Organization in July, would be near the top of most people’s list The ‘never again’ spirit that inspired the EU’s founders to pool their coal and steel industries in a common market amid the ruins of World War II no longer resonates with today’s Europeans, most of whom have never experienced armed conflict. Instead, Europe needs a new rationale based on preserving a combination of high living standards, democracy and civil rights, environmental protection, social justice and a work-life balance that still makes it the envy of many beyond its borders. “Europeans have to live up to what non-Europeans see as the European identity,” Lamy said. “The ‘European way of life’ remains an attractive brand... It’s a peculiar balance between individual freedom, the market, systems of solidarity and a certain economic dynamism.” Dismantling the 17-nation eurozone, breaking up the EU or re-erecting protectionist barriers would bring economic disaster and make it impossible to keep on financing the generous benefits that distinguish the European social model, he said. Failure to keep Europe’s economies

sure the Commission machine delivered an unprecedented wave of single-market legislation on schedule. Wags dubbed him the ‘Dalai Lamy’ because of his shaven head and ascetic lifestyle. After returning to France in 1995 to help rescue the stricken Credit Lyonnais bank, he became EU Trade Commissioner in 1999, helping launch the Doha round of global negotiations before heading the amy, 66, was chief-of-staff to WTO in Geneva for eight years. Those jobs Jacques Delors, the Commission put him in the cockpit of globalisation just president who pulled Europe out as China, India, Brazil and other emerging of the doldrums in the 1980s by economies were challenging the pre-emtearing down internal barriers to create inence of Europe and the United States. a single market and paving the way for Lamy quoted an Asian statesman as tellthe euro single currency. Now he says the ing him that the world looks to Europe to European Union needs a new dream to re“civilize globalization” by spreading its vive its sagging fortunes, based on modrules-based system of governance that ernising its ‘social market’ model of temsmoothes the rough edges of capitalism. pering economic forces with social proWithout directly criticising outgotection to keep it sustainable. ing Commission President Jose Manuel He also says EU governments deliberBarroso, he says the former Portuguese ately weakened the European Commission prime minister was installed by EU leadduring the eurozone debt crisis by taking ers because they wanted to call the shots decision-making out of its hands but leavthemselves. “He was put there delibering it to enforce austerity policies ately. He didn’t fall from the moon,” made elsewhere. As a result, citiEU governments deliberately weakened Lamy said. “The fact is that in this zens are confused about who is redifficult period, member states the European Commission during the sponsible for what in Europe and took things back into their own eurozone debt crisis by taking decision- hands in the institutional set-up.” ‘Brussels’ takes the blame. making out of its hands but leaving it to Noting that support for Europe Barroso’s successor should rehas historically ebbed and flowed enforce austerity policies made elsewhere vert to Delors’ method of building with the economic cycle and is now a consensus among member states at low tide, Lamy argues that the EU needs competitive could also undermine the and parliamentarians on one or two maa new narrative reconciling economic efability to fund the welfare state: “There jor objectives for European reform, Lamy ficiency with social progress. “When the are no solutions that could resolve tosaid. This could involve creating a real cake is getting bigger, people are less reday’s global challenges better without single energy market, true liberalisation luctant to share it. When it stops growEuropean integration than with it.” of the internal market for services that ing, there’s a sense of crisis amplified by Lamy earned his spurs first at the make up two-thirds of European output the fact that Europe was long sold to citFrench Finance Ministry and then at the and employment, and the transition to a izens as a protection against a menacing Commission. A workaholic who ran marlow-carbon economy. outside world,” he told Reuters in an inathons and eschewed the Brussels busi“I don’t have that project and I have terview. “Now we have to reformulate the ness lunch for a banana and a piece of no mandate to draw it up. But we need European project,” he added. wholemeal bread at his desk, he made that kind of project,” he concluded. ■


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110 December 2013 |

Business Dialogue corporate

PRIMA International School of Belgrade

The Best of a British Education In order to absorb the demand for further expansion, and to keep our promise and dedication to always improving your children’s education, PRIMA International School has moved to a new location modern technology, the school provides a truly effective learning arena. Our wireless campus allows classes seamless access to the internet. In addition, visits to the library are designed to foster love of reading while introducing students to the excitement and potential of research both online and through written text. In the Art studio and Science Laboratory our students are enRIMA International School of Belgrade offers its students the couraged to explore and take advantage of all the resources on offer. best of a British and international education in a setting that Our new premises also comprise adequate play areas equipped is nurturing, safe, and stimulating for all families seeking the with swings, teeter-totters, slides, sand boxes etc.; track and field; highest quality education for their children. It consists of Preschool, an open-air Amphitheatre; a basketball court, a volleyball court and Primary and Secondary Department. a football court. PRIMA International School also offers a number of PRIMA International School is accredited CIE (Cambridge Interindoor, flexible-use spaces. national Examinations) Centre and as such, has gained a reputation PRIMA International School of Belgrade provides Security Video as a serious educational institution here System including cameras which monitor in Belgrade so enquiries and enrolment both entrances of the school and all levThe new school fascility is located els of the campus. Our Security System numbers for this school year have inon Dragana Mancea Street in Senjak! was improved by employing a security creased significantly. Come and visit us! In order to absorb the demand for guard who is on duty during the school further expansion, and to keep our day hours, and pupils are not allowed to promise and dedication of always improving your children’s educaleave the school without parental permission. tion, PRIMA International School has moved to a new location. For the children safety, we also provide a transportation service THE NEW SCHOOL FACILITY is situated on Dragana Mancea designed for them. Bus service picks up and drops off pupils to and Street in Senjak, Belgrade. The new building suitably holds all of from various destinations of their homes. The service is safe, reliable PRIMA International’s departments: Preschool, Reception, Primary and always on duty. and Secondary. It is a 2500m2 building which meets all the modern Additionally, we made sure that our new location offers convenient access to the school premises by parent’s car, with an easily acstandards of education, providing our students with the most cutting cessible pick up and drop off area. edge methods of learning and development. In addition to meeting PRIMA International School is a vibrant and exciting school and the growing need for space for students and staff, this new school will we look forward to welcoming you, so, COME AND VISIT US! ■ ensure a positive, safe, inclusive, and dynamic learning environment. Step inside our new campus and you’ll notice the striking classrooms equipped with state of the art interactive whiteboard technology. By combining traditional elements such as reading rugs, areas for circle time and dynamic play with

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world news


Business Dialogue 01

“Recent developments in Turkey underline the importance of EU engagement and of the EU remaining the benchmark for reform in Turkey.” — Stefan Fuele, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy



Tender to Upgrade 2018 World Cup Stadium

Eni to Sell Stake for US$2.9 billion

The Russian government has put out a RUB 20 billion (US$612 million) tender to reconstruct Moscow’s iconic Luzhniki Stadium, the venue for the 2018 football World Cup final The winning contractor, to be announced on 12 December, will have three and a half years to complete all necessary work. World Cup organisers had initially put the costs of the refurbishment at US$800 million before announcing a more frugal approach to building for the tournament. The original plans for the new stadium had a capacity of 90,000, but the budget was reduced and world governing body FIFA approved new designs with the more modest total. The Luzhniki’s last major event in its current form was August’s athleticsWorld Championships. The stadium also hosted athletics at the 1980 Summer Olympics and is best known in footballing circles for holding the 2008 Champions League final. It is one of 12 stadiums in 11 cities set to stage the tournament. All are to be built from scratch or undergo major refurbishment.


Xi Jinping, Chinese President and Barack Obama, US President

China’s GDP is expected to exceed that of the United States by 2022, according to a report by Standard Chartered Bank forecasting the global economic outlook in 2030

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expanding middle class, particularly in Asia, will be the major engine for the world economy. The aging population in emerging countries, however, may hinder development. For China, where the labour force is shrinking and therefore pushing up incomes, enterprises may find it more profitable to invest in high value-added products. In the long-run, Standard Chartered Bank predicts that 10-year US treasury yields will increase to 4.5%.

Italian energy giant Eni has agreed to sell its 29% stake in Russian natural gas producer SeverEnergia for US$2.94 billion to a consortium of Russian oil giant Gazprom Neft and independent gas producer Novatek. “With this sale, Eni monetises its investment in Siberian upstream assets,” the company said in a statement, noting that it would be paid in cash upon completion of the transaction. Eni and Enel bought 49% of SeverEnergia in 2007 during an auction of gas assets formerly controlled by Yukos, the oil



GDP to Overtake U.S. in 2022

The report, released on 19 November, said that the success of China’s reform holds the key to its economy, which is expected to grow at a rate of 7% between 2013 and 2020 and 5.3% between 2021 and 2030. Emerging economies, which account for 38% of the world’s GDP, will see their share of global GDP increase to 63%by 2030, with the world trade volume expected to grow four-fold to US$75 trillion by the same year. Urbanisation and an


company that was broken up after the arrest of owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The deal will give Gazprom Neft and Novatek control of just over 80% of SeverEnergia, which Novatek estimates to have 1.35 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves. Rosneft, which became the world’s largest listed oil company after the acquisition of TNKBP last year, is expanding aggressively into Russia’s gas production industry.


Adidas-FIFA Agreement Extended to 2030 German sports gear manufacturer Adidas has announced that its long-standing sponsorship agreement with FIFA will be extended to 2030, complementing a 60-year mutually beneficial partnership. The value of the deal was not disclosed by Adidas or FIFA,but FIFA’s top-tier sponsorships are currently estimated at about €74 million for a single four-year World Cup cycle. Adidas, which is the world’s second-largest sportswear maker after US-based company Nike, has been granted far-reaching marketing rights and will also provide the ‘Brazuca’ ball to be used at next year’s World Cup in Brazil. Following weak earnings this summer, Adidas hopes to boost sales by €300million to a total of €2 billion on the back of the 2014 World Cup.



UN to Help Develop Tourism Sector The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has signed an agreement with Libya to help the country become less reliant on energy exports by developing its tourism sector Under the agreement, the UNWTO will provide technical support to help the Libyan government develop a tourism strategy and update laws governing the sector. “This agreement is a very positive step in reviving Libya’s tourism sector and affirms UNWTO’s commitment to Libya during this time of national rebuilding,” the agency’s Secretary-General and former Tourism Minister of Jordan Taleb Rifai said in the statement.

110 December 2013 |

Libya boasts over 1,700 kilometres of Mediterranean coastline, palm-fringed oases, spectacular desert views and magnificent Roman and Greek ruins. “Tourism provides great opportunity for investment and employment and will give a better face for Libya,” said Libyan Tourism Minister Ikram Bash Imam. “By joining hands with UNWTO, we will work to implement our plan for sustainable tourism development.”




“Today we are realising the dreams of 150 years ago, uniting the two continents and the people of these two continents” — Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey

Placements & Postings

After the expiry of the four-year term of Director General Michael Janković, the company Knjaz Miloš AD has declared that its new General Manager will be Daniel Boehle, former Director of Operations at Bambi AD. Mr.Boehle graduated economics from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where he received his PhD in strategic management and marketing. His professional experience includes work in numerous international companies, such as IBM, Nestlé, Danone and Capri-Sonne. He had been the Executive Director for Operations at Bambi AD since June 2012.

PPF Group Eyes State Stake in Telekom Investment group PPF, owned by the Czech Republic’s richest man Petr Kellner, is eyeing a minority stake in Slovak Telekom However, the pre-emptive right to 49% of Slovak Telekom, currently owned by the Slovak state, belongs to Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, which already holds a majority stake in the Slovak operator. “We do not comment on speculations from the market in principle,” saida PPF spokesman. The Slovak government said earlier that it intended to sell its minority stake in Slovak Telekom. According to the media, the transaction could generate between €600millionand€800million for the state. The cabinet of Prime Minister Robert Fico would like to use the money to nationalise two private health insurers, thus gaining control over the entire health insurance system. According to the Slovak Economy Ministry, no official talks about the sale of the state’s stake in Slovak Telekom have been held with any of potential buyers yet. The government is waiting for Deutsche Telekom to say whether it will use its pre-emption right. In the first three quarters of this year,the Slovak Telekom group’s earnings before taxation, interests and depreciation decreased by 4% to €25billion. The operator’s revenues dropped by 3.5% to €591.9million.


A new PayPass system is to be introduced in Austria, which will allow bank debit cards to be used for payments of up to €25 without the need to enter a PIN number Debit cards would simply have to be held over a reading device at the checkoutfor the payment to be made. “Entering the PIN is a thing of the past,” said Christina Kroyer of Bank Burgenland. “For security reasons you can only make payments of up to €25 a time and it can only be used five times in a row. Then it will ask for a PIN code. This is in case the card is lost or stolen.” The new system has already been introduced in a number of shops and increasing numbers of people will have the function on their debit cards. The extra service will be an automatic feature of new debit cards and will not cost extra.Customers have the option to deactivate the service from their card if they wish. Four million cards with the PayPass function are expected to be in circulation in Austria by the end of the year.

Aleksandar Djordjević, 43, was born in Čačak. In 1995 he graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Belgrade and conducted an internship from 1996 to 1998 at the Belgrade District Court. From 1998 to 2001 Mr. Djordjević was an associate at Veljko Guberina’s law firm in Belgrade. Since 2001 he has had his own firm, dealingsolely with criminal law, and has acted as an attorney in more than 500 criminal law cases throughout Serbia and as legal counsel to significant state institutions. Mr. Djordjević speaks English, is not married and has one child.

Aleksandar Djordjević New Director of Serbia’s Security Information Agency (BIA)



PayPass System Introduced

Daniel Boehle New CEO of Knjaz Miloš AD


No Dividend Exemption for Foreign Investors The Supreme Court has ruled that foreign investment firms are not allowed to apply for repayment of dividend taxes paid in the Netherlands. The country’s highest court has quashed a ruling by an appeal court in Den Bosch. At the beginning of last year, the Den Bosch court ruled that an investment fund based in Finland could apply for repayment of previously withheld dividend taxes. Finance State Secretary Frans Weekers then appealed to the Supreme Court, winning the case. The Supreme Court ruled that a foreign fund is not comparable to a Dutch-registered legal entity that is not subject to corporate tax. The verdict stated that there is no question of incompatibility with free movement of capital. The case concerned a Finnish investment fund that received a dividend from investments in Dutch shares. The dividend tax had been withheld on this, which under Dutch law the fund could not claim back. According to Het Financieele Dagblad, the Treasury has been spared a hit of €1 billion-€1.5 billion by the ruling, although Weekers has not specified an amount.



Boeing Dominates

U.S. aerospace giant Boeing announced up to US$101.5 billion in aircraft orders at the Dubai Air Show, as its new 777X model propelled total demand to more than twice that booked by European rival Airbus. More than $95 billion of the Boeing orders were for the 777X long-haul aircraft, making it the “largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by value”, said the firm. European giant Airbus meanwhile totted up orders worth $44 billion, with Emirates placing the biggest order: $20

billion for 50 A380s. The total takings of about $145 billion by the two at Dubai were about twice those recorded at the Paris Air Show in June, when Airbus announced $39.3 billion in orders and Boeing unveiled $38 billion for a total of about $77 billion. |

110 December 2013 | 41

faces & places 29.10.2013

Republic Day in Turkey

Mrs. and Mr. Bozay and their daughter welcome guests

Turkish Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Mr. Mehmet Kemal Bozay hosted a reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel to honour the Republic Day of Turkey and the 90th anniversary of Turkish independence. “It is a privilege to be the Turkish ambassador to any country, but it is an even greater privilege being one in Serbia,” Mr. Bozay said, adding that he was greatly honoured to celebrate the jubilee national holiday in Serbia, surrounded by friends.


Indonesian Culture A travelogue evening titled ‘The Impact of Indonesian Culture on the Art of Southeast Asia’ was held at the Belgrade City Library, with the Indonesian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Mr. Semuel Samson, giving a welcoming speech. Travel writer and publicist Marija Savin talked about the influence of Indonesia’s culture on South East Asian art. She also said that population migration and visits by the Cambodian and Malaysian aristocracy to Indonesia have resulted in great similarities in architecture, art, dance, literature and the development of a number of arts and crafts in these countries.

Mrs. and Mr. Chepurin welcome Nebojša Stefanović, Speaker of the Serbian Parliament 30.10.2013

Russian National Unity Day Russian Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Mr. Alexander Chepurin hosted a reception at the Russian Embassy in Belgrade to honour Russia’s National Unity Day. The reception was attended by many guests, including the Speaker of the Serbian Parliament, Nebojša Stefanović. In his address, Mr. Chepurin talked about the importance of advancing collaboration between the two countries in all areas.

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110 December 2013 |


FIC White Book

Frederic Coin, FIC President

The Foreign Investors Council presented its White Book 2013 to Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and officials of the Serbian Government. This year’s edition, the 11th in a row, provides suggestions to aid business in Serbia. FIC members’ knowledge was invested into the project with the aim of helping Serbia to improve its business environment, attract more investments and unleash economic growth.

First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and H.E. Mr. Abdelkader Mesdoua 01.11.2013

National Day of Algeria Algerian Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Mr. Abdelkader Mesdoua hosted a reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in celebration of Algeria’s National Day. The reception was attended by First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, Speaker of the Serbian Parliament Nebojša Stefanović and many other public figures. Ambassador Mesdoua used the occasion to point out that Algeria and Serbia had been working together closely despite occasional interruptions caused by both countries’ transition process and that cooperation had been bolstered in recent years.


‘The Light of Letters’ The Embassy of Bulgaria in Serbia staged a photo exhibition called ‘The Light of Letters’ at Dom Omladine in Belgrade for National Enlighteners Day, which honours brothers Cyril and Methodius. This year marks the 1,150th anniversary of their evangelical mission to Moravia. The exhibition presents the most valuable medieval Bulgarian manuscripts from between the 10th to 18th centuries.

Vasya Velinova, one of the exhibition’s authors, H.E. Mr. Angel Simeonov DIMITROV and Marko Stojanović, Acting General Manager of Dom Omladine Beograd |

110 December 2013 | 43

faces & places 13.11.2013

Partnership Launch The Serbian Association of Managers (SAM), Autogarant and Fiat Automobili Srbija held a cocktail party at Restaurant Comunale in Belgrade to celebrate new cooperation. In keeping with the cooperation’s aim of promoting national companies and brands, SAM is going to promote the Fiat 500L in the next year. The guests were welcomed by Commercial Director of Fiat Automobili Srbija Gerry Clarke, President of SAM Milan Petrović and Raško Kaplarević of Autogarant.

Gerry Clarke, Commercial Director of Fiat Srbija (left), Milan Petrović, President of SAM, Jelena Bulatović, Executive Director of SAM and Raško Kaplarević of Autogarant 14.11.2013

Angolan Independence Day Angolan Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Mr. Tako Diakenga Serão hosted a reception at the Crystal Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel to honour Angolan Independence Day, which falls on 11 November. Angola gained its independence on this day in 1975 after five centuries of the Portuguese rule.

H.E. Mr. Alain Kundycki (left) and H.E. Mr. Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, Norwegian Ambassador to Serbia 15.11.2013

Belgian King’s Day Mr. and Mrs. Serão

Aleksandar Vučić, First Deputy Prime Minister and H.E. Mr. Tako Diakenga Serão

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110 December 2013 |

Belgian Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Mr. Alain Kundycki hosted a reception at the Belgian Embassy in Belgrade to honour Belgian King’s Day. The event was attended by numerous political, cultural and diplomatic figures, including an advisor to the Serbian President, Professor Dr. Oliver Antić, and the State Secretary of the Serbian Interior Ministry, Vladimir Božović. During his address, Ambassador Kundycki also bid farewell to Serbia as his mandate here will be expiring soon.


Managers’ Forum The Serbian Association of Managers (SAM) hosted the 16th Large Forum of Managers, titled The EU Negotiations from Managers’ Perspectives – What to Expect?, at the Metropol Palace Hotel, Belgrade. The head of the Serbian team for EU accession negotiations, Tanja Miščević, was the Forum’s special guest. She was also a panellist alongside Srđan Lazović, Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs for Southeast Europe at British American Tobacco, Iztok Seljak, Chairman of Hidria Slovenia, and Susan Kutor, Head of USAID’s Economic Development Office.

Susan Kutor (left), Srđan lazović, Tanja miščević, Iztok Seljak and Milan ćulibrk


Fashion Night The Slovenian Embassy organised an exclusive fashion night, which took place at luxury fashion outlet XYZ Premium Fashion Store. Slovenian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Franc But acted as the event’s host. Several of the top brands sold at XYZ Premium were on show, including Armani Jeans, Emporio Armani, Boss, Burberry, Furla, Ice Iceberg, Jimmy Choo, Just Cavalli, Juicy Couture, Marc Cain, Michael Kors, Moschino, Pinko, Polo Ralph Lauren and many others. The event was attended by a number of diplomats, as well as other public figures.

H.E. Mr. Franc But, Slovenian Ambassador to serbia 22.11.2013

Lebanon: 70 Years of Independence

H.E Mr. Semuel Samson, Ambassador, (left) and Nebojša Stefanović, Speaker of the Serbian Parliament

Miladin Milošević, (left), Director, Arhiv Jugoslavije, H.E Mr. SEmuel Samson, Indonesian Ambassador, Serbian Patriarch Irinej, Representative from the Friendship Group of Indonesian House and Serbian Parliamentary Itet Tridjajajti Sumarijanto and Husnan Bey Fananie

The 70th jubilee anniversary of independence of Lebanon was honoured in Belgrade at an official reception at the Metropol Palace Hotel. Lebanese Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Mr. Toufic Jaber welcomed more than 100 guests, including Serbian Sports and Youth Minister Vanja Udovičić. “The strongest expression of friendship is expressed by unspoken words, and there are many such words exchanged between Lebanon and Serbia,” said Mr. Jaber at the beginning of the reception.

H.E. Mr. Toufic Jaber, Lebanese Ambassador to Serbia, (left) and Vanja Udovičić, Serbian Sports and Youth Minister


Jakarta-Belgrade Exhibition An exhibition of archival documents titled ‘Belgrade-Jakarta – From Establishment of Diplomatic Relations until Today’ opened at the Yugoslav Archives. The exhibition was opened by Speaker of the Serbian Parliament Nebojša Stefanović in the presence of Serbian Patriarch Irinej, representatives of the Serbian government, embassies and cultural institutions, members of the Friendship Group of the Indonesian Parliament and the National Archives of Indonesia. At the exhibition’s opening, Stefanović said that apart from the collaboration between the two countries’ parliaments and their governments, there should be cooperation between the nations too. |

110 December 2013 | 45

after work ABC srbija – New Media Revolution

Attendees Enjoy Cocktail Party

dalila ljubičić, Asocijacija Medija Srbije and Manfred Werfel, WAN-IFRA

ruža ristanović, aim (left), Marijana Sekulić, Verano Motors and nataša djurdjević, Delta Generali


New Opel Insignia

Dragan Nenadović Opel Director

Media industry leaders attending ABC Serbia’s 5th Media Summit, New Media Revolution, were welcomed to the event at a cocktail party held in Belgrade’s Metropol Palace Hotel on 5 November, the night before the summit. As well as panel speakers visiting from elsewhere in Europe, the reception was attended by directors, editors and guests from the Serbian media and marketing industry. This year’s Media Summit attracted more than 220 listeners from within Serbia, and covered topics such as new media, transparency within the industry and business projections for 2014.

ivan stanković, Communis (left) and Veselin simonović, Blic

miroslava nešić bikić, Piraeus Bank (left) and Vanda kučera McCann

The new Opel Insignia was officially revealed to Belgrade audiences at an exclusive promotional event held at the Metropol Palace Hotel. Opel has improved its flagship car’s interior and exterior, taking the company’s award-winning design philosophy of ‘sculptural artistry meets German precision’ to the next level. Since the car’s first launch, Opel has built 600,000 Insignias to date. The new Insignia boasts top-level performance, the latest in infotainment system technology and a super-efficient engine. “By paying great attention to detail, our engineers have managed to fine tune all the important parts of our best model,” said Opel Director Dragan Nenadović. “These attunements are especially visible in the Insignia’s appealing design and fantastic driving performance.”

color press

After Work Party Lepota i Zdravlje (Beauty and Health) magazine, the October Salon and Knjaz Milos hosted the After Work Party at Zepter Expo (formerly Kluz department store). Around 50 guests, celebrities and representatives of the media, agencies and Serbia’s leading companies were greeted with drinks provided by the Vinum winery. After drinks, guests enjoyed a private tour of the 54th October Salon exhibition, No One Belongs Here More Than You, which was narrated by the curator. Guests took in the contemporary multi-media art exhibition, which this year had a feminist theme, with each Goran Radulović, CPG (left), Milica exhibit possessing a strong sto- Djokić, Color Press Group and Robert Čoban, president of CPG ry and message. 46 |

110 December 2013 |


Centenary Celebration of the Župa Tugboat

Back row: Branislav Novcic, aim (left), Per Kjellerhaug, IFC, Nebojša Ćirić, Milka Forcan, Form Communication, Jeremy Lang, British Embassy, Mark Harrison, Harrisons Solicitors, Hom Parviz, Hyatt Manager, Michael Kreiling, Chief Executive; Front Row: James Thornley, KPMG (left), Vladimir Milovanović, Energoprojekt, Matthew Palmer, US Embassy, Dominique Kuhling, Dutch Embassy and Andrew Pierson, Jones Lang LaSalle

A few hundred metres from Branko’s Bridge in Belgrade, just down the River Sava, one of Serbia’s few steamboats or steam tugboats – Župa – sits decaying and rusting despite having the protection of the state. But in October and November, Župa’s centenary was marked by a new project, Urban Incubator: Belgrade. With the approval of the relevant authorities, students of Hamburg’s Faculty of Applied Arts and project manager Nikola Marković opened the tugboat’s doors for one day to the people of the Savamala neighbourhood, as well as fishermen, cyclists and any fans of the outdoors spending a sunny Sunday afternoon along Belgrade’s most popular cycling path. Respects were paid to Župa by cracking a bottle of champagne against her stern and the offer of complimentary drinks to visitors.

Chef’s Table

Harrison’s Chef’s Table Mark Harrison, Principal of Harrisons Solicitors, organised the ‘Chef’s Table’ event at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on 22 November. Under the watchful eye of Michael Kreiling, Chief Executive of Hyatt Regency, guests participated in preparing lunch, which consisted of a shellfish and seafood appetiser, a lunch of meat and pasta, followed by dessert. Visitors to the event displayed impressive cooking skills and after lunch were presented with certificates for completing the ‘Chef’s Table’ exam. DSOJ

PRilika (PRopportunity)

ivan jakšić and Saša Radulović, Serbian Economy Minister

More than 200 PR experts attended the official start to the Telekom Serbia PRilika 2013 conference, which was held by the Public Relations Society of Serbia. Conference participants comprised renowned international and regional experts, including many Serbian PR professionals, media representatives and the PR Society’s official partners. The conference was opened by Economy Minister Saša Radulović, who stated that reputation management was a strategic discipline exercised by top management and key to PR work.

ivan jakšić, DSOJ President |

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Top 10 New Year’s Eve Destinations in Europe

The Best Ways to Celebrate

New Year 2014


on’t be one of those people who scramble frantically to make lastminute plans on 31 December. CorD’s guide to New Year’s Eve is your one-stop shop to knowing where Europe’s best NYE party cities are. Whether your preference is somewhere picturesque like Paris or Rome, cultured celebrations in Vienna or hard-party good times in London, you can’t go wrong with any of these New Year hotspots. Don your best threads – but wrap up warm! – grab a glass and get ready to welcome 2014 in style.


Silvester in the City New Year’s Eve, or Silvester as it is called in German, offers endless possibilities in this creative metropolis. Celebrate with a crowd of approximately 2 million revellers at Germany’s largest openair New Year’s Eve event in front of the iconic Brandenburg Gate. Count on loads of champers, rowdy fun, musical acts, lightshows and, of course, fireworks at midnight. And if you don’t want to mingle with the masses in the cold, Berlin hosts plenty of indoor parties, from cruises to restaurants serving special dinner menus. London

Riotous Open-Air Party British reserve is in short supply on New Year’s Eve, when 250,000 partiers descend upon central London for a riotous open-air party. Count down Big Ben’s 12 final chimes and watch the city explode in light and colour as the fireworks go off over the London Eye and River Thames. For prime viewing, head to Victoria Embankment or the Waterloo and Westminster Bridges (the area around the London Eye is cordoned off). Once you’ve taken in the fireworks, hit the pubs with scores of other hardy souls, link arms and sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ in your best, rowdy, off-key singing voice. 48 |

110 December 2013 |


High-Class Fun Time You’ll appreciate a New Year’s stay in Austria’s fine capital. Substitute night-long raves for dignified balls, loud club music for the world’s most memorable symphonies. On New Year’s Eve, this ‘Old World’ city comes alive via Le Grand Bal (formerly Kaiserball) at the Hofburg Palace, and then there’s the performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 by the famous Vienna Symphony Orchestra at the Konzerthaus on New Year’s Day, which should be coupled with a champagne brunch at one of Vienna’s elegant halls. Numerous other classical concerts are organised in the city, and there are several private galas organised by hotels. Research some of these events or simply have a go at Vienna without an itinerary. Paris

New Year’s Eve under the Eiffel Tower Flying to Paris and standing on the Champs-Élysées to see in the New Year is one of those do-before-you-die activities. Crowds start to gather at around 9pm, bottles of champagne and plastic flutes bundled under jackets. There are several points along the ChampsÉlysées that offer good views of the Eiffel Tower, and the midnight light show that envelops the iconic monument seems to almost lift it off the ground. Montmartre is also a great spot from which to watch the action.


Street Parties and Fireworks Aplenty Known locally as ‘Oudejaarsavond’ (Old Year’s Eve), New Year’s Eve in the Dutch capital is marked by spirited street parties and fireworks aplenty. Hitting Amsterdam for the festivities guarantees a good time, whether its spent marvelling at fireworks, impromptu outdoor festivities or New Year’s extravaganzas at the city’s multitude of top-notch nightspots. Dam Square, Rembrandtplein and Nieuwmarkt are all popular gathering places, but the bridges crossing Amsterdam’s main canals are also great spots for watching the fireworks for those who wish to avoid the crowds. Moscow

Enjoy Good Food and Champagne Could there be a more timeless backdrop to New Year’s Eve than the colourful onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral? If you are planning on welcoming 2014 in Red Square, get there as early as you can. In previous years the police have closed the square as soon as it becomes too crowded. With the freezing Russian winter and the amount of time it can take to get in and out of Red Square, only the very dedicated – or very inebriated – will choose to celebrate New Year’s Eve outdoors. Our tip is to look for a private party with friends and enjoy good food, champagne and other drinks in an intimate atmosphere, or choose one of Moscow’s many great restaurants. |

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River Danube and the Iconic Chain Bridge Budapest remains one of Europe’s top destinations for New Year celebrations, with the River Danube and the iconic Chain Bridge providing the perfect backdrop to the spectacular firework displays that light up the city sky as the countdown to midnight reaches its conclusion. It’s also one of the more reasonably priced European capitals – you can spend some quality time there without breaking the bank, with a number of luxury hotels that would be at home just about anywhere. With a great range of dining options, party bars and nightclubs, and top-quality hotels for all budgets, Budapest is a great alternative for seeing in 2014. Prague

An Affordable New Year Getaway Prague enjoys a burgeoning reputation as a party city, with crowds flocking from across Europe to enjoy its New Year’s Eve party. As with most European capitals, the centre piece of the event is its midnight fireworks display, with Prague Castle providing an impressive backdrop. For the best views of the excitement, popular viewing points for the countdown include the Charles Bridge, which overlooks the River Vltava. In terms of cost, although prices have increased a little of late, Prague remains one of the more affordable European city break destinations, and with regular flights from budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair arriving all year round, getting there shouldn’t prove too much of a problem either.


Impressive Array of Fine Dining Establishments There are few holiday destinations as alluring as Italy, and celebrating New Year’s Eve 2014 in Rome is an especially popular choice during the Christmas season. Rome is an exceptional place, filled with a diverse selection of ancient monuments, luxury hotels and an impressive array of fine dining establishments, bars and nightclubs to choose from. The fireworks are truly spectacular as well, with a breathtaking backdrop of world-renowned historic monuments that include the iconic Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona and the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, all of which are favoured places for taking part in the countdown to midnight and spectacular fireworks that follow. Belgrade

An Unforgettable Good Time If you choose to stay in Belgrade, the New Year’s Eve celebrations in the city’s public squares have long-since been a recognisable hallmark of the Balkans party capital, not only in Belgrade, but in all of Central Europe. Festivities are distinguished by that special Belgrade spirit, which runs through the wellconceived New Year programmes and the attitude of revellers. For an unforgettable good time laden with local brandy, Belgrade welcomes citizens of Serbia and guests from all corners of the world. See in 2014 with a degree of community and fun only visitors to Serbia can understand. 50 |

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World Markets and Opportunities

denmark 2013

As a result of its acclaimed ‘flexicurity’ model, Denmark has a modern, prosperous and developed mixed market economy (source: World Bank). Employers can hire and fire whenever they want, but between jobs, unemployment compensation is very high.

Over the centuries, dancing has formed a key part of celebrations in Denmark. Festive gatherings often took place in farmhouses where chain dances or rotational sequences gave everyone the opportunity to join in.

The Lego Group’s motto is “the best is never too good”. Small town Billund is home to the LEGO Group and the theme parks Legoland and Lalandia.

According to a survey of 156 countries in the 2013 World Happiness Report released by Columbia University, Denmark is the happiest country in the world.

The Kingdom of Denmark is a unitary constitutional monarchy organised in a parliamentary democracy with Margrethe II as Queen Regnant.

The flag of Denmark, Dannebrog, is the oldest state flag in the world still in use by an independent nation. It was adopted in 1219.

The Faroe Islands and Greenland are part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Danish Constitution stipulates that the foreign and security interests for all parts of the Kingdom of Denmark are the responsibility of the Danish government.

From the 8th to the 10th century, the Danes were known as Vikings. The Danish Vikings were most active in the British Isles and Western Europe. They conquered and settled parts of England under King Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013, as well as Ireland and France, where they founded Normandy.


Nick Hækkerup, Danish Minister for Trade and European Affairs

No Time to Rest For a country as export-reliant as Denmark, the European and global slowdown and resultant drop in demand was always likely to have a negative effect. However, Denmark is a resourceful, forward-thinking country with world-leading capabilities in green technology and a business-conscious approach, meaning it stands ready to capitalise as markets pick up once more

economy and what are the economy’s main features? - We see the potential for renewed growth through sectors where Danish businesses have world-leading competencies. These include green technology and environmentally friendly energy. As the consequences of continued reliance upon fossil fuels become increasingly clear, there will be more demand for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Even though Denmark has yet again been rated


enmark’s Minister for Trade and European Affairs, Nick Hækkerup, was appointed to the position in August this year after a two-year spell as Defence Minister. Given the Danish economy’s dependence on its strong export sector, the 45-year-old member of Denmark’s Social Democrats, which has governed the country as part of a centre-left coalition since 2011, will be a key player in helping bring the country back to consistent economic growth following falling house prices, rising unemployment and a swing from budget surplus to deficit post-2007. However, Denmark’s businessfriendly economic environment and strengths in important sectors such as green energy, technology and agriculture, as well as new EU Commission projections that suggest growth will pick up over the next two years, mean Hækkerup can expect to be a very busy man.

Danish investors are skilled at evaluating opportunities in foreign markets and will take risks if they perceive them to be reasonable in relation to the possible returns

• What are the Danish government’s current priorities regarding the World Markets and Opportunities | denmark

the most business-friendly country in Europe, we must not rest on our laurels. We have to continue to improve the business climate so we can continue to attract investment. • Denmark relies on exports a great deal. Could you tell us something about the export tendencies of the Danish economy considering that purchasing power globally and in Europe has declined?

- We are indeed a very export-dependent economy and have obviously felt the drop in demand in the European and some of the emerging markets. Our reaction is to rely increasingly on our comparative strengths in terms of advanced technological solutions in a number of sectors, such as clean technology, energy conservation, pharmaceuticals and information technology, but equally in new ways of developing our traditional goods, such as quality agricultural products and equipment, and global shipping. • What is the sustainability of the Danish economic model based on, and how does it differ from other countries in Scandinavia? - Our economic model is characterised by a large but effective public sector, which acts in partnership with private business and wage earners in a highly developed social contract. The government, led by the Social Democrats, is carrying out reforms that are broadly supported by the right-wing opposition parties. Denmark has for decades followed a stable currency policy, with the DKK pegged to the euro. This is unlike in Sweden, which is also outside the eurozone. Although energy self-suffi-

• You assumed your new ministerial responsibilities in August this year. What plans do you have in this position? - Uppermost in my mind is to create more jobs and increase prosperity at home through external trade and European cooperation. Only by demonstrating the mutual advantages of partnership with European and foreign commercial stakeholders can we ensure the necessary domestic support for our policies. • What are your priorities in terms of a strategy for economic cooperation with West Balkan countries? - I see substantial potential in developing our economic cooperation with this region, which is geographically close but until now distant in terms of a lack of political and economic stability. Although we do great amounts of trade and cooperation with markets far outside our immediate proximity, we should not forget to explore the emerging markets and growth prospects in our European neighbourhood, including certainly the Western Balkans. • With its new reforms, the Serbian government has been trying to improve conditions for the arrival of new foreign direct investments (FDIs). Which economic sectors in Serbia are Danish investors especially interested in? - Danish investors are quite skilled at evaluating opportunities in foreign markets and will take risks if they perceive them to be reasonable in relation to the possible returns on their engagement. If they realise that reforms are being implemented in Serbia, leading to a good business climate, I expect them to react quite positively. Danish business has strong brands within renewable energy solutions, agricultural machinery and animal farming, to take but three examples.

• How much do you know about the situation in Serbia and what information do you have about the business climate awaiting potential Danish investors here? What priorities do Danish investors have when deciding which country to invest in? - I understand that your government realises that in order to get out of the crisis, there is an urgent need to

PHOTO: Tanjug / Dragan Stankovic

cient, Denmark has neither Norway’s rich hydrocarbon resources nor Sweden’s industrial manufacturing base.

Our economy is characterised by a large but effective public sector, which acts in partnership with business and wage earners in a highly developed social contract address the deficit and public debt through serious structural reform, not least to diminish waste in the state sector of the economy and introduce modern principles of economic governance. This is also high on the agenda of Serbia’s upcoming accession negotiations with the EU. Danish investors will be interested in the skilled and competitive workforce in Serbia and the market’s strategic location regionally in South Eastern Europe and in terms of its free trade with third countries. With EU membership visible at the end of the accession process, they will be attracted by more familiar and predictable ground rules and regulations.

• It is a well-known fact that Denmark has high standards in terms of importing goods, equipment and services. What should Serbian companies planning to export to Denmark know before starting negotiations with Danish partners? - Serbian enterprises certainly have the potential for exporting their products to Denmark. At the moment we see an increase in Serbian companies acting as sub-suppliers for Danish companies. Due to their highly skilled labour and sense of quality, the Danish companies can find sub-suppliers among Serbian partners in rather advanced technological fields. The short geographic distance between our two markets, combined with a mutually flexible approach to business, makes it possible to find good suppliers in Serbia who can deliver faster than, for example, competitors from Asia. And as your country embarks on reforms, the number of Serbian entrepreneurs will grow, developing new products that will find their way to the Danish as well as to other markets. • Denmark is considered a developed economy and a so-called welfare state. What kind of context does the welfare state have in today’s recession? Did the social status of Danish citizens change, and, if it did, in which way? - We have managed to maintain the essential features of the welfare state throughout the crisis. Our population is strongly attached to the principle that society should be organised in a way that shows solidarity and secures the basic human needs of citizens – health, education, employment – regardless of their financial means. We have had to trim some of the subsidies and benefits, but without seriously undermining the social status of our citizens. The welfare state is, however, not the reason for the crisis; quite the contrary. To me and the government, now is the time to strengthen our welfare state, not weaken it. ■

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H.E. Mr. Michael Borg-Hansen, Danish Ambassador to Serbia

Time to Take Responsibility Denmark is a strong and supportive friend of Serbia. However, despite the important progress made along Serbia’s EU pathway, it will take more than just new legislation to make Serbia fit for integration. According to the new Danish ambassador to Serbia, the actual implementation of EU-ready reforms is the key to the country’s future


n 17 September this year, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić received the credentials of Denmark’s newest ambassador to Serbia, Michael Borg-Hansen. Noting the links between the two nations, such as expertise in agriculture and a wellintegrated Serbian diaspora living in Denmark, Borg-Hansen expressed his deep commitment to improving bilateral relations and supporting Serbia’s EU accession process. Here, he speaks frankly but supportively about the tough road ahead and the role Serbia has to play in ensuring long-term stability in the region and creating an environment in which business can thrive. • How would you rate the quality of bilateral relations between Serbia and Denmark? Good and improving. There are excellent prospects for enlarging areas of bilateral cooperation as the Serbian government turns a page in the country’s annals away from regional conflicts and strife, and embarks on a course towards EU integration and socio-economic renewal. Importantly, this course is improving the image of Serbia in Denmark, since we were used to receiving mostly bad news from the western Balkans. We approve and encourage what we per-

ceive as a determination to assume responsibility and face realities, and are ready to support such a line.

We approve and encourage what we perceive as a determination to assume responsibility and face realities, and are ready to support such a line

World Markets and Opportunities | denmark

• What areas of the two countries’ political and economic relations could be improved further? - The relatively intense recent exchange of official visits taking place on governmental and parliamentary levels testifies to an interest in developing political relations. The extent to which Serbia progresses in its accession negotiations with the EU will enable an overall enhancement of these relations bilaterally, including

in the commercial field, since Danish businesses will evaluate opportunities in the Serbian market more positively. We can already see this happening in relation to neighbouring Croatia since its accession. • Denmark has been supportive of Serbia’s efforts to establish good relations in the region, especially with Priština. How do you view this process? - Serbia has a crucial role to play in this respect. We welcome and are ready to support the courageous decisions that will have to be taken in order to bring these efforts to a constructive and lasting conclusion acceptable to all communities in Kosovo. Reconciliation with Croatia will also contribute to regional stabilisation and prosperity.

experience Denmark has had its own experiences of facing up to difficult facts about the loss of provinces in which ethnic balances changed over time. Denmark has had its own experiences of facing up to difficult facts about the loss of provinces in which ethnic balances changed over time. The kingdom’s eastern provinces were lost to Sweden in the 17th century, and the southern land border with Germany was only settled permanently in a plebiscite in 1920 after centuries of tensions, culminating in wars brought on by the emergence of modern nationalism in the 19th century. Our relations with our neighbours and national minorities today are exemplary. Although historical parallels can be stretched too far, this demonstrates that such problems are in fact possible to overcome. • As a well-regulated country with a high level of social security, the rule of law and one of the lowest levels of corruption in the world, what do you think of the efforts of the Serbian government to improve in these areas? What are Denmark’s experiences in this respect? - Serbia has a lot of work ahead in this area, and as we know, it entails in many ways a collective change of lifestyle and the establishment of a solid institutional basis, not least in the operation of an independent judiciary. It is one of the main conditions to achieve EU membership. No one claims this will be easy, and it has taken us many generations to achieve it in Denmark. It began with broadly based elementary education of the rural population 200 years ago, consolidation of parliamentary democracy 100 years ago, social security legislation in the 1930s, regulation of labour market relations etc. What we have thus gradually brought about is a high level of trust, solidarity and consensus in society, in which corruption has become un-

business climate

implementation Decisions on legislation will not be enough – it is the actual implementation that will count. Serbia will have to establish its record in accordance with the existing criteria.

Serbia should not expect foreign investment to be the main driver of reforms and modernisation. Investment will follow a credible effort to improve the business climate.

acceptable and is prosecuted in the courts. I would argue that in modern conditions, with instant communication, such a turnaround can be carried out much faster to the benefit of the entire population. • Are you satisfied with the current level of economic cooperation between the two countries? - I am encouraged by the tendencies mentioned earlier, but much more has to be done to reach a satisfac-

Serbia will have to establish its record in accordance with the existing criteria, with an emphasis on the rule of law and sound economic governance tory level in economic cooperation. It is an important part of my work to help this happen. The two countries are of comparable size and have a lot to offer each other. Denmark excels in sectors such as renewable energy and green technology, IT and agribusiness. We typically operate in advanced niches and by small- and mediumsized enterprises of the type Serbia will have to launch to leave large and inefficient state corporations behind. • What do you think of the European integration process in Serbia so far?

- The right government priorities have been set and the necessary political support garnered in parliament and public opinion. A skilled negotiating team and cross-agency coordination structures have been set up. So far, so good. A lengthy negotiation process will soon follow, during which Serbia will have to deliver many results. Decisions on legislation will not be enough – it is the actual implementation that will count. No favours or disfavours will be given. Serbia will have to establish its record in accordance with the existing criteria, with an emphasis on the rule of law and sound economic governance. You can count on help and support from Denmark and other member states along this demanding road. • Have you received any feedback from Danish investors operating in Serbia? How satisfied are they with the current business climate here? - Some larger Danish enterprises have recently successfully invested in production facilities in Serbia. They have partly based their decision on the skilled and competitively priced human resources available, as well as the opportunity to make use of Serbia’s free-trade areas (FTA) with third countries. They find the central and local investment promotion agencies to be helpful interlocutors. Our investors would, however, be more positive in their assessment of business opportunities if they were certain that reforms leading to a better investment and business climate will in fact be implemented. More fair and transparent rules and regulations, and their more predictable application in practice, would be welcome. Equally conducive to positive investment decisions would be a modernised labour legislation, fewer

denmark | World Markets and Opportunities

sonnel and English-language training through the Serbian Ministry of Defence; it cooperates with the Serbian Ministry of the Interior on civil-emergency preparedness and has helped the Serbian Air Force set up a search and rescue service and with materiel donations. These activities are funded to the amount of €1.6 million.

and less time-consuming procedures for company start-up and construction permits, as well as fewer parafiscal charges. Serbia should not expect foreign investment to be the main driver of reforms and modernisation. Foreign investment will surely follow a determined and credible domestic effort to improve the business climate for the sake of Serbia’s own companies and development in the interest of its citizens’ wellbeing. • LEDIB (Local Economic Development in the Balkans) is a Danish programme launched to support economic development in the region, with a focus on SMEs. What are LEDIB’s most important goals? - LEDIB was a very successful programme that ran its course for five years before it ended at the beginning of this year. Through it, Denmark contributed €10 million in grants and expertise to small- and mediumsized enterprises in south-eastern Serbia. There is still a revolving credit facility with the participation of a number of banks, which helps provide affordable credit to a wide variety of beneficiaries in the region. • Denmark and Serbia have quite developed defence cooperation. What would you single out about this cooperation? - The goal of our longstanding (since 2000) cooperation with Serbia’s defence and security authorities and armed forces is to promote their engagement and interoperability within Euro-Atlantic cooperation structures. We would like Serbia, with its solid military traditions, to play its full role in international peace support operations alongside us and our allies and partners. In addition, we would like to see Serbian defence act as an anchor of regional cooperation and stability, making the Western Balkans a contributor to – not a consumer of – European security. Our cooperation takes several forms: Denmark supports the resettlement of redundant military per-

Our investors would be more positive in their assessment of business opportunities if they were certain that reforms leading to a better investment and business climate will in fact be implemented

World Markets and Opportunities | denmark

• Denmark is one of the donors to Serbia’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Justice Sector Support (MDTF-JSS). Could you tell us more about this project? - We support the MDTF-JSS to assist Serbia in undertaking comprehensive reforms of the justice sector. The justice sector is the backbone of the rule of law, which again is the foundation for creating an environment where investors feel safe to come, where citizens trust their government and not least where the EU sees the path towards European integration. • One of the most important elements of cooperation between Denmark and Serbia is the Fruits & Berries project, which was devised to support south Serbia’s fruits and berries sector.

What has been done in this respect so far and what are the project’s aims? - The Fruits & Berries programme is the flagship of the bilateral development cooperation between our two countries. In this programme we aim to create a basis for economic growth in five districts of south-western Serbia through assistance to the producers and farmers of fruits and berries. This is done not only in terms of grants for equipment, planting material and so on, but also through capacity building, helping them to reach new markets and helping them to obtain more profits from the value chains, from producer to consumer. The programme runs over a fouryear period, due to end in 2016. The Danish financial contributions, totalling approximately €5.4 million, are supplemented by national sources from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, as well as the private co-financing of revenue generating investments. Thereby local co-ownership of the project is assured. • How much do our two countries cooperate in non-economic areas such as culture and education? - Quite a lot, I am happy to note. But not necessarily on a government-togovernment level, which is how it should ideally be in the very important area of people-to-people contacts. There are many such links, both by virtue of the Serbian diaspora and through twinning arrangements between municipalities. Danish jazz has been and is one of the mainstays of the Belgrade Jazz Festival. Danish productions have been featured successfully in Serbian film and dance Festivals. Danish TV serials, which currently enjoy international success commercially, help to brand Denmark in Serbia. There are numerous connections between educational institutions, some of which we aren’t even aware of on the official level. Secondary schools and folk high schools pay frequent study visits to Serbia, as do university groups; for instance, from politicalscience and journalism faculties. ■


Predrag Radošević, General Manager, Novo Nordisk Serbia

Focusing on Patient Needs As the market leader in diabetes treatments, Novo Nordisk has been investing a huge amount of effort in raising public awareness about the consequences of this disease


ovo Nordisk is the leading global company in diabetes care, with the most complete range of diabetes medication, including the latest medical products for insulin administration. The company’s HQ is in Copenhagen and today it supplies medication to almost every country in the world. • Diabetes care is one of Novo Nordisk’s priority segments. What products do you have? - Diabetes is the chronic non-communicable disease with the fastest growing number of patients in the last few years. Such a huge increase in the number of people with diabetes is the result of excessive calorie intake and insufficient physical activity. It is interesting to note that with only slight modifications in diet and physical activity, almost 60% of type2 diabetes is preventable. As the leader in curing diabetes, Novo Nordisk has been investing a lot of effort in substantially raising public awareness about the consequences of this disease. Novo Nordisk supports a number of diabetes-prevention programmes all over the world. Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, the most important goal of treatment is to prevent further complications

with adequate disease control, and in order to do that, there must be highquality medical treatment. In its product range, Novo Nordisk has the latest medication for each stage of this disease, which progresses over time. Pills are used at the very beginning of treatment for type-2 diabetes, while in advanced stages of the disease other medication such as insulin analogues or human insulin, which is now less used, are administered. Type-1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in children and adolescents, is treated with insulin from the very onset of the disease. While focusing on patient needs, Novo Nordisk developed the first ever insulin pen for subcutaneous administration almost 30 years ago. The pen made diabetes patients more willing to accept very demanding therapy.

While focusing on patient needs, Novo Nordisk developed the first ever insulin pen for subcutaneous administration almost 30 years ago • Novo Nordisk is one of the leading global manufacturers of recombinant human growth hormone (HGH). The company is also engaged in researching this hormone. What is the goal of this research? - Since the growth hormone is administered with subcutaneous injections, most often in children, it is very important to make administration simple and well-received by patients. In this domain as well, Novo Nordisk has developed pens for simple administration of growth hormone. Apart from that, we have a longer-acting formulation

of recombinant growth hormone in the early stages of clinical development in several countries, so our patients will not have to administer the hormone every night, but rather once a week. • What other products from your portfolio would you like to single out? - Definitely medication for treating patients with haemophilia. We have a product that is used for treatment of the most severe cases of this disease. We have recently had several new haemophilia drugs registered in Europe and we are also conducting clinical research into longer-acting haemophilia medication, with the aim of reducing the number of administered injections while keeping the same effect. • In Serbia, Novo Nordisk became an independent company in 2006 (before that you operated as a representative office). How much has the business environment changed since then? - This year the company is celebrating 90 years of worldwide operations. We are very proud of the fact that, during this period, most of the insulin therapy innovations came from Novo Nordisk’s clinical development laboratories. In Serbia, the company has been operating for almost a quarter of a century. We started off as a representative office and later became an independent company. In the 1990s, our operations were reduced to the basic supply of medication. At the beginning of this century, the state authorities took responsibility for securing a sufficient supply of medicines and our operations became, more or less, similar to those of other countries in the region. ■

denmark | World Markets and Opportunities

The Danish Monarchy

The History of the Throne As part of Denmark’s constitutional monarchy, Queen Margrethe II’s main tasks are to represent the nation abroad and act as a figurehead at home. The line of monarchs that preceded her have all played a role in forging the modern nation state Denmark is today


enmark is a constitutional monarchy, which means its monarch cannot perform political acts independently. Although the monarch signs all Acts of Parliament, these only come into force when they have been countersigned by a cabinet minister. As head of state, the monarch participates in the formation of a new government. After consultation with representatives of the political parties, the party leader with the support of the largest number of seats in the Folketing (Danish Parliament) is invited to form a government. Once the government has been formed, the monarch formally appoints it. Additionally, the monarch is the formal Head of the Government and therefore presides over the State Council, where acts passed by the Folketing are signed into law. The Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs report regularly to the Queen to inform her of the latest political developments. The Queen also hosts official visits by foreign heads of state and pays state visits abroad. She receives all ambassadors from foreign countries, who must present their credentials before starting their work in Denmark. Her Majesty also formally appoints and dismisses civil servants. The Queen’s main tasks are to represent Denmark abroad and to act as a figurehead at home. The Queen performs the latter task by accepting invitations to open exhibitions, attending anniversaries and more. Exhibition openings abroad in connection with export campaigns are also often attended by members of the

The monarchy was originally elective, but when absolutism was introduced in 1660-1661, it was replaced by inherited monarchy

World Markets and Opportunities | denmark

royal family. In addition, the Queen regularly gives audience, so that citizens with legitimate petitions can offer their personal thanks regarding civil service appointments and retirements, knighthood appointments and the receipt of public service medals. The Danish monarchy can be traced back to Gorm the Old (reign: circa 936-958). The monarchy was originally elective, but when absolutism was introduced in 1660-1661, it was replaced by inherited monarchy. The direct lines of the ancient Danish dynasty became extinct with the death of Christoffer III in 1448. That same year, Duke Christian of Oldenburg was chosen to be the King of Denmark and took the name Christian I. He belonged to one of the side branches of the original dynasty and became the founder of the Royal Family of Oldenburg, which reigned until 1863 when the last sovereign of that line, Frederik VII, died childless. In accordance with the Act of Succession of 1853, the throne passed to Frederik VII’s relative, Prince Christian of Glücksborg, who was a direct descendant of the Royal House. He acceded to the throne as Christian IX and became one of Denmark’s longest-reigning monarchs (1863-1906). He was also the first monarch of the current House of Glücksborg. Christian IX eventually became known as the ‘father-in-law of Europe’. His

daughter, Princess Alexandra, married Edward VII of England. Christian IX’s son, Frederik VIII, was 63 when he finally acceded to the throne in 1906. When he died in 1912, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Christian X, who reigned over Denmark throughout both World Wars. He is remembered as the ‘Equestrian King’ due to his ride across the old border into Nordschleswig after its reunification with Denmark in 1920. He became popular during the German occupation of Denmark between 1940 and 1945, when every day he mounted his big white horse and rode through the streets of Copenhagen. Christian X died in 1947 and was succeeded by his son, Frederik IX, who had married Sweden’s Princess Ingrid in 1935. They had three daughters: Princesses Margrethe (born 1940), Benedikte (born 1944), and AnneMarie (born 1946). When Frederik IX died in 1972, his eldest daughter was proclaimed Her Majesty Queen Margrethe. She was born in 1940 but did not become heiress presumptive until 1953, when a constitutional amendment allowed women to inherit the throne (after it became clear that King Frederick was unlikely to have any male issue). In 1967, she married Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, with whom she has two sons: Crown Prince Frederik (born 1968) and Prince Joachim (born 1969). ■


Jim Toft Nielsen, General Manager, Grundfos Serbia

Taking Our Own Medicine Grundfos, which has had a presence in Serbia for three years, is a global leader in advanced pump solutions and a trendsetter in water technology our customers’ energy consumption is one of the most important aspects in efforts to realise our ambition of never emitting more CO2 than we did in 2008, despite economic growth. The new factory in Serbia is built in accordance with LEED Gold requirements, as a natural step in following the high commitments Grundfos has towards a sustainable footprint.


rundfos Manufacturing Serbia produces small and medium circulator pumps for use in heating and sanitary systems. First preparations for the start of production in Serbia were made in 2009 before the decision was finally taken in 2010 to start production first in Nova Pazova while an entirely new plant was constructed in Indjija. In December 2012 Grundfos officially moved to its new premises in Indjija, a factory of 26,000m², representing just the first phase of Grundfos’ plans in Serbia. • Grundfos is driven by the belief that the future of energy lies in energysaving products, new forms of energy and sustainable production. How is the company committed to meeting these goals? - At Grundfos we take our own medicine and commit to reducing our environmental footprint throughout our value chain in buildings, processes and activities, regardless of whether we’re operating on a production line or in an office. More than anything, taking our own medicine is about creating an environmental mindset, management commitment and involving employees. It’s also about having the right tools: when good environmental ideas and initiatives are generated by our employees, we turn them to a systematic and conceptualised approach, bringing these initiatives to a higher level. Reducing energy consumption related to our activities and reducing

• Grundfos is one of the leading pump manufacturers in the world. Apart from high quality, energy saving is one of your production priorities. How do you succeed in that?

Latest generation of Grundfos’ speed-controlled pumps installed at the Indjija factory

Reducing energy consumption related to our activities and reducing our customers’ energy consumption is one of the most important aspects

- After setting our ambitious goal, the improvement process has started and close monitoring of each production site has been established in order to ensure that the ambitions are reached. Every year the Future Now Award is given to the company that has implemented the most innovative and giving project. • Which industrial branches use your products? - A large portfolio of industries can be mentioned, but some of the largest areas are the machine industry, the automotive industry, food and beverages, and the marine industry.

• How important is Serbia and this part of the Balkans to the company’s global operations? - It has been a very important part of the Grundfos Group’s globalisation strategy to establish production in Serbia and be closer to our customers in the South East Europe region. • Grundfos has replaced its ‘mission and vision’ with the word ‘purpose’. What is the company’s purpose? - Grundfos is a global leader in advanced pump solutions and a trendsetter in water technology. We contribute to global sustainability by pioneering technologies that improve the quality of life for people and care for the planet. To be a “global leader” means that we operate with excellence in all we do, improving Quality – Delivery – Costs and orchestrating a globally competitive production set-up. In order to produce and deliver “advanced pump solutions” for different sales channels, we interact with customers to understand their needs. “Trendsetter in water technology” and “pioneering technologies” means that we are safe, fast and able to produce new trendsetting products and apply new production technologies. “Contribute to global sustainability” means that we in the entire supply chain put sustainability first by lowering our CO2 emissions and being a role model. We reduce water and energy consumption and continuously strive to re-use resources. “Improve quality of life for people and care for the planet” means that our solutions always balance human, social and environmental concerns. We strive to have a safe and good working environment with possibilities for our talents and people with special needs. ■

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Søren Engelbrecht Hansen, Regional Coordinator Western Balkans, Trade Council of Denmark

Opening Doors to Trade Since the turn of the millennium, Denmark has focused heavily upon promoting trade with other nations, a philosophy embodied by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Trade Council, which operates worldwide. With companies such as Carlsberg leading the charge, expect Denmark’s presence in the Western Balkans to continue to grow


enmark is seen as the model of a modern democracy, balancing strong socialsecurity provisions with a global, free-trade market outlook. As such, the Scandinavian nation utilises state resources to foster strong bonds with the private sector, promoting trade abroad and economic stability at home. Søren Engelbrecht Hansen, Regional Coordinator in the Western Balkans for Eksportrådet, the Danish state’s Trade Council, discusses his organisation’s aims and the growth in Danish-Serbian trade relations. • When was the Trade Council founded and what is its main purpose? - The Trade Council was founded on 1 January, 2000. It is an integrated part of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was created with the aim of having one common unit within the Danish state and government for all trade-related matters, including multilateral trade policy. The Trade Council consists of different business areas such as Invest in Denmark, a customer relations department, and trade departments in embassies around the world. Today, the Trade Council is represented globally in more than 80 countries, with a total of 115 missions assisting Danish business and industry.

The idea of this one-unit state export system was to be more efficient on the cost side and deliver a high quality level of service. In the embassies abroad we see a strong synergy effect, in that the commercial advisors work side by side with diplomats and ambassadors, who all take part in the trade work. Before 2000 we did not have the same efficient state body to implement trade and export policies

Today, the Trade Council is represented globally in more than 80 countries, with a total of 115 missions assisting Danish business and industry

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into efficient daily operations that would create more exports for Denmark and high value for our companies. The main focus of the Trade Council then as now is to create more exports and ultimately more jobs in Denmark. • The Trade Council’s operating procedures are very detailed. Could you elaborate on them? - The Trade Council (TC) works according to very specific rules. The TC con-

sists of business counsellors at home and abroad who help Danish companies to create value in their businesses. TC advisors and counsellors work as business consultants who in many ways are similar to our colleagues in the private sector. We seek to help our exporters penetrate the markets, identify the right opportunities and open doors to decision makers. As consultants in private sector companies, we invoice our clients. The fee is based on an hourly rate set by our Ministry of Finance. There are several reasons for invoicing –one is that the embassy budgets are financed partly by the TC’s income. The embassies have their own income targets, and in cases where they are not met, their budgets will be cut accordingly. • Are you satisfied with the level of development in Danish-Serbian economic cooperation? - Trade between Serbia and Denmark has been increasing in recent years and we expect this positive development to continue. Denmark believes strongly in free trade and we see our trade relations with Serbia as a good

example of the benefits of free trade. Serbian exports to Denmark have increased and so have exports to Serbia from Denmark, so it’s a win-win situation. The total trade volume is still at a relatively low level, but as Serbia reforms its economy and our relations become deeper due to the EU integration process, more trade between our nations can be expected. The positive development in trade relations is also due to the increase in a variety of sectors. For instance, Denmark exports machinery to the agro and energy sectors. Also, we see a large proportion of exports to Serbia within pharmaceutical products. Serbian companies export various industrial products and we’ve seen an increase in the number of suppliers in Serbia for Danish companies. ICT is another interesting area for further cooperation. The high technical skills here in Serbia within ICT are beneficial to many Danish companies. We expect to see an increase in sales of services from Serbia to Denmark within ICT. It can either be from Serbian or Danish IT companies here reexporting IT services such as software. • Which sectors in Serbia appeal to Danish investors? - One of the largest Danish investors in Serbia is Carlsberg, which has invested approximately €170 million since the company took over the existing Serbian brewery in 2003. Grundfos opened its greenfield plant in 2013 and has invested approximately €50 million. More investors are expected to come, and among them are likely to be small- and medium-sized companies that need an alternative to the distant Asian markets. Some of Denmark’s core competencies are within the energy and agricultural sectors. We produce and export lots of technology and knowhow for these two sectors. And as you know, the agro sector in Serbia has great potential. We hope and believe that our companies can take part in the development of this sector. The same goes for the energy sector, which is to be transformed greatly,

becoming more green and energyefficient. Danish investment will in future likely be focusing on the energy sector as well as the manufacturing sector. The IT sector will see an increase in investments. In FDI figures, it will not be substantial; such investments are typically smaller if measured in figures, but they create sustainable and well-paid jobs.

More investors are expected to come to Serbia, and among them are likely to be smalland medium-sized companies that need an alternative to the distant Asian markets • Which economic sectors carry the biggest potential for cooperation between our two countries? - It’s hard to be precise or predict the future, of course, but the energy sector seems to be a key sector for future cooperation. The reason is the large and challenging tasks Serbia has in transforming this sector into a much greener and especially much more energy-efficient sector that is sustainable for future economic growth. Denmark has already been through such a transitional period that awaits Serbia in these regards. The entire EU aspect of harmonising legislation and sector regulation is a big task for any country. • How specifically does the Trade Council facilitate cooperation between Danish and Serbian businesses? - The Trade Council in Serbia is often approached by various companies

and business organisations with an interest in the market. The TC advises companies on business opportunities in the Serbian market and in particular sectors. It provides help on financing, exporting, subsidies or any specific challenges there could be in the market. With this information, the companies have an idea of the market sector and any opportunities. • Since 2007, the Danish Trade Council offices in Serbia, Slovenia, Albania and Croatia have been operating in tandem. What effect did this have on the TC’s work overall? - The countries you mention have many market similarities. We know our private companies often organise their sales efforts into regions, and the Trade Council has followed their examples. We believe and see that coordinating our work in the region when helping Danish companies brings benefits to our clients. For example, we often see that a company seeks assistance in one market and then in the neighbouring market. By coordinating and helping each other we learn more about the clients’ needs and end up creating more value for them. We have learned to think more in opportunities not only in our own market, but also in neighbouring markets within the region. That is a strength companies can benefit from. • How important is it for countries in the region to have a joint economic outlook? Is the region sufficiently aware of the importance of such an association and how much the region’s politics affects the Council’s results? - For the region it is less important that we have this regional division. It’s made for the Danish companies’ sake and for us to optimise resources and coordinate approaches to daily work. As such, we do not make use of it in the local approach to various tasks; we try to have a flat organisational structure with as little hierarchy as possible, thereby creating a fast and individual approach to working tasks in the markets. ■

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Jelena Marjanović, Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications

Denmark is Waiting With economic cooperation between Serbia and Denmark “balanced but moderate”, now is a good time for bolder Serbian companies to push their ambitions in a Nordic direction. Likewise, although Danish companies have a presence here, greater stability and reform is needed to encourage others to follow suit US$94.2 million, and we expect it to reach last year’s level (US$137.1 million) by the year’s end. It is worth mentioning that, over the past six years, trading between our two countries more than doubled. Still, this did not improve the export-toimport ratio. Our exports to Denmark are almost five times lower than our imports from, both in 2005 and 2012.


erbian-Danish relations are exercised through bilateral consultations between line ministries, diplomatic channels and various project exchanges. Serbia and Denmark might not have formed mixed intergovernmental bodies, but even without these bodies, cooperation between the two countries is very good, says the Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications, Jelena Marjanović: “Activities for opening up the Danish market to Serbian companies are focused mainly on collating relevant information and analysing the opportunities for our economy. Through the Economic Affairs Department of our embassy in Stockholm, which covers the entire Nordic region, we have had talks with the Association of the Fashion and Textile Industry, the Association for Furniture Dealers and the Association for Investment and Venture Capital Funds, followed by talks with the biggest Danish fresh-produce retail company, Total Produce Nordic AB, and the largest importers of fresh fruits and vegetables.” • How would you rate the overall quality of economic cooperation between the two countries? - Economic cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and Kingdom of Denmark is balanced but moderate. Trading is the first and foremost segment of any economic cooperation, followed by investments, tourism exchange, institutional cooperation etc. During the first eight months of this year, trading between Serbia and Denmark amounted to

We figure SerbianDanish economic cooperation could be bolstered further once Serbia begins its EU accession negotiations

World Markets and Opportunities | denmark

• Which economic branches have the best cooperation? - The most important goods we export to Denmark are rubber footwear, heating system pumps, paper and cardboard, refrigerators, raspberries and metal furniture. In terms of imports, we mostly import machine parts, medication, pump parts, generators, medical enzymes and micro-organic cultures, and electricity from Denmark. The main stakeholders in this trade are private companies, while Serbian companies have the responsibility to invest more effort in order to export to Denmark. Let me illustrate this with an example: there is great interest shown in IT cooperation, and there are several Danish companies in Serbia, which came only recently and have both Serbian and Danish IT experts engaged in producing software, applications, computer games etc. This wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the proactive approach of these companies’ owners and their efforts to win outsourcing projects amid very stiff competition. • What economic branches have the unfulfilled potential for even better cooperation, and on what does the future of this potential depend? - The branches that could have better

cooperation are agriculture, renewable energy resources, the pharmaceutical industry, the metal-processing industry and others. Aside from trade between the two countries, which will probably continue to grow, there is plenty of room for better cooperation in investing. Serbia is absolutely open to Danish investment. • Which are the most important Danish investments in Serbia? - We consider Grundfos an example of a successful FDI in Serbia, worth €50 million. This investment should be considered a role model since the investment funds have been spent on export-orientated production and the creation of 400 new jobs. Grundfos came to Serbia in 2009. The company first operated in a rented hall, but this year they built a new production hall in Indjija. However, Grundfos is not the biggest Danish investment in Serbia – this is Carlsberg, which in 2003 bought the Lav brewery in Čelarevo and invested for approx. €170 million. • Are there any projects in the pipeline? - It is not wise to talk about investments in advance, but we can reveal that representatives from Danish cable, connector and personalised electro-mechanical solutions company Mikkelsen Electronics came to Serbia recently. With a view to relocating their production here, they visited brownfield locations in Kruševac, Rekovac and Čačak, and are planning to see the Niš industrial zone too. If they are happy with what they see, it is only logical to expect them to start operating in Serbia. Of course, we have been anticipating new projects. We figured that Serbi-

an-Danish economic cooperation could be bolstered further once Serbia begins its EU accession negotiations. Danish companies planning to come to Serbia are thinking about concrete business parameters, which can be realised, as well as about the overall image of the country. Serbia has been labelled a ‘transition country’, and this must be changed to ‘a country at the threshold of EU membership’.

trative procedures, combated corruption, enforced the rule of law and court efficiency, and increased transparency, among other things. • What opportunities are out there for Serbian businesses to sell their products and services in Denmark, and what criteria do they need to satisfy in order to do that? - Experts have branded the Danish market as very closed-up and de-

There is great interest in IT cooperation, with several Danish companies in Serbia employing both Serbian and Danish IT experts to produce software, applications and games • Have Danish investors had specific requirements in terms of operating in Serbia? - Not wanting to risk and experiment is a common thread among Danish companies when it comes to ‘small, unknown markets’, which is how they view Serbia. On the other hand, Danish companies take overall competitiveness into account when making business decisions. We cannot compete with bigger or fast-growing markets, but we do have certain advantages over other regional and European countries, such as free-trade agreements with the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Also, we are located along Corridor X, and some companies consider this very important. Additionally, foreign investors, including the Danish, would jump at the opportunity to invest in Serbia if only our business environment changed, if we expedited adminis-

manding, with very rigorous procedures and strict conditions for market players. This is a market that is saturated and has a transection of well-established and elaborate product and service distribution channels. There have been very few Serbian companies trying to sell their products to Denmark, or participating in local fairs, or searching for distributors, representatives and market agents. Serbian businesspeople have told us the main reason they were apprehensive about targeting Denmark as an export market more was inadequate knowledge of the market, the language barrier, high product-quality demands, market costs and similar. Still, there are opportunities in certain sectors that should be used, and these sectors are textiles, furniture, food and IT. It seems to me that Denmark has been waiting for the most ambitious companies from Serbia. ■



Specialists in Brain Diseases Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck develops treatments for the full spectrum of brain diseases. The investment and research it makes today goes into making a better tomorrow for patients and their families


ccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 700 million cases of brain disease are reported every year. These are serious and life-threatening diseases that affect both patients’ and their relatives’ quality of life. As these diseases also involve major socio-economic costs, it is imperative for general society that new and innovative pharmaceuticals are developed. Over the past 50 years, new pharmaceuticals have revolutionised treatment options, but there remains a large unmet need for new and innovative therapeutics. Lundbeck is a global pharmaceutical company that is highly committed to improving the quality of life for people suffering from brain diseases. To this end, Lundbeck is engaged in the research,

Each year, Lundbeck ploughs around 20% of its revenue back into the research and development of new pharmaceuticals to improve treatment for millions of people suffering from brain diseases development, production, marketing and sale of pharmaceuticals across the world. The company’s products are targeted at diseases such as depression and anxiety, psychotic diseases, epilepsy, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Lundbeck is one of Denmark’s most research-intensive enterprises. We employ more than 1,200 highly trained specialists in our research and development units. Each year, Lundbeck ploughs around 20% of its revenue back into the research and development of new pharmaceuticals to improve treatment options for the millions of people around the world suffering from brain diseases. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of people suffering from psychiatric and neurological disorders. We strive to ensure that all of our innovative drugs are available to physicians and patients in Serbia, and we believe that in this way we can contribute to the quality of life of those patients and their families. ■ denmark | World Markets and Opportunities

People and traditions

The Kingdom of Two Anthems Denmark’s strong welfare state and work-life balance has made its citizens among the happiest in the world. The country might have shrunk in size and influence since its time as an imperial power, but it is still a nation of considerable cultural influence on the world stage Over 98% of the country’s population speaks Danish. German is recognised as an official regional language in the Nordschleswig region bordering Germany, where it is spoken by 23,000 people – about 0.4% of Denmark’s population of 5.2 million. Greenlandic, an Inuit language, is spoken by 0.1% of the population. Denmark is an egalitarian society. Interestingly, this is reflected in their language, which employs genderneutral words. ‘Der er et yndigt land’ (There is a lovely land) is Denmark’s civil national anthem. When first published in 1819, the anthem had 12 verses, but today it has been shortened significantly. Now when it is performed or sang, only the first verse is played in its entirety, followed by the last four lines of the last verse. Denmark’s other anthem ‘Kong


enmark is one of the world’s oldest monarchies, with a history that stretches back to the Viking Age around the year 1000. Danish society rests on the foundation of the Danish Constitution of 1849, and the political system has since been characterised by broad solutions to bridge any political divide. Denmark is often cited as one of the world’s best countries to live in. Its strong welfare state ensures economic equality throughout society and the virtual non-existence of corruption, while surveys repeatedly show the Danes to be among the happiest people in the world. So, what characterises the Danes as a people? Many non-Danes living in Denmark say that Danes are open and welcoming. Others call them reserved, especially during the long winter months. For many Danes, the word “hygge” is essential when describing something characteristically Danish. The word is best translated into English as ‘cosiness’ or ‘conviviality’ and reflects the sense of community and security that comes about when Danes spend quality time with the people they care about.

For many Danes, the word “hygge” is essential when describing something characteristically Danish

World Markets and Opportunities | denmark

Christian stod ved højen mast’ (King Christian stood by the lofty mast) has equal status but is used mainly for royal and military occasions, although it is also tradition to sing it immediately after midnight on New Year’s Eve. The song’s theme is the heroics of Danish sailors during the wars against Sweden in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is regarded as one of the oldest national anthems in the world. Most Danes are modest about their individual accomplishments and are more concerned about the group

than their own needs. Maternity and paternity leave provisions are particularly generous in Denmark; men are more actively involved in parenting than in many countries, although the division of domestic chores is similar to other developed countries. The word ‘Denmark’ originated in the Viking age and is carved on the famous Jelling Stone, which dates back to approximately 900 AD. Today, though, Denmark is very different from its past. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, Denmark was a superpower whose influence was as powerful as that of the largest European countries. The current diminished size and influence of Denmark is the result of 400 years of forced relinquishments of land, surrenders and lost battles. For a small country, however, Denmark still punches above its weight in many different areas, including design, architecture, farming, green technology and pharmaceuticals. Many these days think of furniture design and architecture when they think of Danish lifestyle and culture. Yet Denmark is perhaps equally famous for food, films and sports. Copenhagen’s Noma, three-time winner of Restaurant magazine’s Best Restaurant in the World award, has introduced a whole new way of cooking known as New Nordic Cuisine. Filmmakers such as Lars von Trier and Susanne Bier have also won a multitude of international awards, and one of the world’s best female tennis players, Caroline Wozniacki, is Danish. ■ Source:


Carlsberg Srbija Inovations

For Better Beer and a Better World Research, development and innovation are core to the Carlsberg legacy, both globally and in Serbia. Carlsberg Srbija offers its consumers new experiences and ensures its brands remain relevant by maintaining customer loyalty and attracting new customers


arlsberg Srbija is an integral part of the Carlsberg Group, the world’s fourth largest beer producing company. When it came to Serbia it became one of the biggest foreign investors in the Serbian economy, with investments exceeding €170 million. From 2006 onwards the company has maintained a firm second position on the Serbian market, driving its constant growth through innovation and listening to the needs of consumers. Innovations at this company always begin with product innovation, rather than different ways of marketing the same old formulae. Improvements from 2012 have shown that the Serbian market is open to new products and that consumer’s react positively to them. Through an innovation-driven approach, Carlsberg Srbija continues to strengthen its brand portfolio. The ability to respond with agility to changing customer and consumer demands with the goal of providing its consumers with more choices and thus developing the beer market in Serbia is key to managing all the challenges and creating a company capable of meeting and rising above the distinct, constantly evolving needs of the beer industry.

The perfect summer refreshment with a pleasant taste, which is a mixture of beer and fruit juice that falls under the category of Radler, became very popular on the Serbian market. Carlsberg Srbija is achieving great success with LAV Twist. It appeared on the market two years ago, initially as LAV Twist Lemon, but since then the company has introduced more flavours: Grapefruit, Orange and LAV Twist mix with Ginger and Peach, thus offering the widest Radler portfolio on the market. Since April 2013 LAV Twist has been available in disposable glass bottles of 0.25l and 0.4l, as well as in 4x0.4l multi-packs. Another brand that caused a huge rumble on the market is Somersby -

Through an innovation-driven approach, Carlsberg Srbija continues to strengthen its brand portfolio officially the fastest growing brand on the world’s list of top ten ciders in 2012. Somersby is available on the Serbian market in three different flavours – following the introduction of Apple and Pear, the brewery also introduced Somersby Blackberry cider. Beside innovations in beer production and technology, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has long since become something of a buzz word. At Carlsberg it is part of the heritage and legacy and today CSR makes excellent business sense. From its inception Carlsberg Srbija

sought to grow and create value not only for the company, but also for the stakeholders and the communities in which the company operates. This was formalised in a CSR strategy and was demonstrated through many projects. Carlsberg Srbija is a proud sponsor of national and local football clubs. The company’s employees have an annual day dedicated to nature and its cleaning (Working day in nature). Furthermore, Carlsberg Srbija has also started the production and distribution of Super-compost at its brewery in Celarevo, which has significantly reduced the amount of waste disposed of at the landfill. Super-compost is an organic soil enhancer created as a by-product of wastewater treatment. It is a material of decomposed aerobic-anaerobic treatment of waste water, i.e. sludge generated in the brewing process. Its high content of organic and mineral solids, coupled with optimum content of nitrogen, phosphorus and humic acids, make super-compost very suitable for processing and refining all types of soil, especially poor and degraded soils, where it can help repair the structure. Carlsberg Group and Carlsberg Srbija make decisions that have a positive impact on business and the communities in which they operate and the company is always committed to conducting all of its operations in a socially and environmentally responsible way. ■

denmark | World Markets and Opportunities

Economic Cooperation between Serbia and Denmark

Reliable Partners with Long Tradition During the first seven months of 2013, the value of trade between Serbia and Denmark amounted to US$77.4 million, a 5% increase relative to the same period last year, when it stood at US$74 million. Serbian exports to Denmark have gone up by 28%, amounting to US$16 million, while imports remained at last year’s level of US$61.4 million


erbia and Denmark share a long tradition in economic branches such as agriculture, textiles and energy. According to data collated by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce covering the first seven months of this year, Denmark was ranked 34th in the list of countries Serbia exports to and 33rd on the list of the countries Serbia imported from. Serbia and Denmark signed the Agreement on the Succession of Bilateral Contracts in July 2003, which encompasses agreements on economic, industrial and technical cooperation, road transportation, as well as four agreements to consolidate the debts of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), a metrology agreement, a conciliation, arbitration and court proceedings agreement, the Convention on Social Security with accompanying protocol and notes, and the Agreement on Mutual Transfer of Sentenced Persons for the Purpose of Serving Their Prison Sentences. Serbia and Denmark also signed a bilateral agreement on the consolidation of SFRY debt with the Paris Club of Creditors in December 2002. The negotiations on harmonisation of the Double Taxation Agreement took place in Copenhagen in November 2001, and in April 2006 the two countries agreed

During the first seven months of 2013, the value of trade between Serbia and Denmark amounted to US$77.4 million, a 5% increase relative to the same period last year

World Markets and Opportunities | denmark

on and initialled the Double Taxation Agreement. In late 2006, Serbian and Danish Governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding stipulating a grant for the Republic of Serbia be used on implementing a programme called Local Economic Development in the Balkans (LEDIB). In order to implement subcomponent 2.3 of the programme – on better access to affordable credit in the amount of DKK 15 million (around €2 million) – the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the National Bank of Serbia concluded a Finance Agreement on 24 October 24 2008 to enable favourable financing for SMEs and entrepreneurs in the Nišavski Region. Given the National Bank of Serbia’s experience in managing credit lines for SMEs, and its capacity as an agent of the Serbian Government, the national bank has been entrusted with managing, administrating and supervising these funds. The LEDIB funds will be available until the end of 2016, and the funds’ end-users – SMEs and entrepreneurs in the Nišavski Region – will be able to withdraw them via NLB Bank, in dinars, without the applicable foreign currency clause. By the end of 2010, a total of 30 SMEs and entrepreneurs had used LEDIB funds in the amount of RSD 26.9 million. These funds for SMEs and entrepreneurs operating in the Nišavski Re-

gion are supposed to be used towards investments and working capital. Denmark has also expressed interest in commencing negotiations about new social security conventions. During the first seven months of 2013, the value of trade between Serbia and Denmark amounted to US$77.4 million, a 5% increase relative to the same period last year, when it stood at US$74 million. Serbian exports to Denmark have gone up by 28%, amounting to US$16 million, while imports remained at last year’s level of US$61.4 million. By July 2013, Serbia recorded a US$45.4 million deficit in trade with Denmark, which is 7% lower compared with the same period in 2012, when the deficit amounted to US$49 million. The export-to-import ratio declined significantly between 2005 and 2007. From 2009 to 2011, this ratio grew noticeably, only to decline again in 2011 and 2012. The export-to-import ratio recorded a significant jump in the period from 2012 to July 2013. Serbia mostly exports footwear, nonferrous metals, clothing, furniture and furniture parts, and miscellaneous ready-made products to Denmark. In the first seven months of 2013, the following Serbian companies exported the most to Denmark: Gorenje Valjevo, Grundfos Manufacturing Belgrade, Ergomade Niš, Tigar A.D. Pirot, Impol Seval Sevojno, Hemofarm A.D. Vršac, Tetra Pak Production Belgrade,

Leading SITC sectors exporting to Denmark

Leading SITC sectors importing from Denmark Operating machinery and devices Medical and pharmaceutical products

Footwear Nonferrous metals


11% 30%


Benetti Ada, Iris Mega Belgrade and Di Netzwerke Lebane. Serbia mostly imports operative machinery and devices, medical and pharmaceutical products, organic chemical products, general purpose industrial machinery and miscellaneous ready-made products from Denmark. In the first seven months of 2013, the following Serbian companies imported the most from Denmark: Grundfos Manufacturing Belgrade, Phoenix Pharma Belgrade, Sunoko Novi Sad, Magna Farmacija Belgrade, Tetra Pak

By July 2013, Serbia recorded a US$45.4 million deficit in trade with Denmark, 7% lower compared with the same period in 2012

5% 4% 30%

Furniture and furniture parts Miscellaneous finished products, not specified elsewhere Other

13% 14%




Organic chemical products General industrial machinery


Production Belgrade, Farmalogist Belgrade, MTC-SO Sombor, JYSK Belgrade, Resinex Fac Novi Sad and Vega Valjevo. On 15 May 2009, the Serbian and Danish chambers of commerce signed a cooperation agreement in Copenhagen. The Danish Chamber of Commerce is one of the biggest professional business organisations in Denmark, with more than 200 employees, offices in three capital cities and an EU office in Brussels. The Chamber represents 20,000 Danish companies and 100 commercial associations in service sectors such as

Miscellaneous finished products, not specified elsewhere Other

commerce, tourism, business services, IT, social services and transportation. The Chamber closely collaborates with various European organisations, including Eurochambers (European Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and EuroCommerce (which represents retail, wholesale and international trade in Europe). The Chamber also manages the Secretariat of the International Chamber of Commerce (MTK) in Denmark and upholds the interests of its members. Membership of the Chamber of Commerce is not mandatory. ■

Synonymous with Quality Junckers is a Danish manufacturer that has been producing solid wood floors for the past 100 years. Junckers is synonymous with quality due to the company’s use of special wood treatment methods and its dedication to providing good design and quality. Junckers’ solid wood flooring is known for its recognisable Danish design. It resembles hardwood planks and can be used in a wide array of facilities, from commercial and residential to sports, particularly for squash courts. Exclusive distributor for Serbia

| World 34denmark 6,Vojvode Stepe street Markets +381 11 309and 8234Opportunities

Economy of Denmark

Denmark Lives the American Dream The Danish government offsets high social spending with a modern market economy that makes the country a world leader in high-tech agriculture, pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy. Despite a slightly shaky few years post-crash, Denmark’s economy remains resilient and its people among the happiest in the world


n 30 September, Nick Hækkerup, Denmark’s Minister for Trade and European Affairs, spoke at The New School for Public Engagement about why, in his view, Denmark thrives with a combination of high taxes, generous social services and an efficient public sector. According to Bloomberg Businessweek’s Peter Coy, the audience was receptive: The New School, founded in 1919 in New York’s Greenwich Village, is a hotbed of New York liberalism. On the walls of the room where Hækkerup spoke were frescoes by José Clemente Orozco depicting historical figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Vladimir Lenin. Hækkerup took exception to a New York Times story published last May with the online headline “Danes Rethink a Welfare State Ample to a Fault”. He said: “True, we are reforming. But the real story is quite different.” According to Hækkerup, Denmark’s ‘flexicurity’ employment policies encourage employers to hire workers by ensur-

ing that they won’t be penalised if they have to lay them off later. The cost of benefits such as healthcare is borne by the government, and Danes receive training that enhances their employability. “I believe that the American dream comes alive in Denmark,” he added. That’s not to suggest everything’s perfect in Copenhagen. Hækkerup noted that “there may be some truth” to the argument that Denmark isn’t as good at innovation

The Danish economy performs remarkably well in terms of regulatory efficiency, while open-market policies sustain flexibility, competitiveness and large flows of trade and investment

World Markets and Opportunities | denmark

as the US, but he said government procurement policies aim to promote new approaches to problem-solving. This thoroughly modern market economy features a high-tech agricultural sector, state-of-the-art industry with world-leading firms in pharma-

ceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy, and a high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a member of the European Union, and Danish legislation and regulations conform to EU standards on almost all issues. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the Danish economy is characterised by extensive government welfare measures and an equitable distribution of income. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy, and enjoys a comfortable balanceof-payments surplus, although it depends on imports of raw materials for the manufacturing sector. Within the EU, Denmark is among the strongest supporters of trade liberalisation. After a long consumptiondriven upswing, Denmark’s economy started to slow in 2007 with the end of a housing boom. Housing prices dropped markedly in 2008-09 and, following a short respite in 2010, have since continued to decline. The global financial crisis has exacerbated this cyclical slowdown through increased borrowing costs and lower export de-

mand, consumer confidence and investment. The global financial crises cut Denmark’s real GDP in 2008-09. The economy experienced a modest recovery in 2010, with GDP growth of 1.3%, in part due to increased government spending. However, the country experienced a technical recession in late-2010 to early-2011. Historically low levels of unem-

ployment rose sharply with the recession and, based on the national measure, remained at about 6% in 2010-12 – about two-thirds the EU average. An impending decline in the ratio of workers to retirees will be a major long-term issue. Denmark maintained a healthy budget surplus for many years up to 2008, but the budget balance swung into deficit in 2009. Despite the deficit, the new coalition government delivered a modest stimulus to the economy in 2012. Nonetheless, Denmark’s fiscal position remains among the strongest in the EU, with public debt at about 45% of GDP in 2012. Despite previously meeting the criteria to join the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), so far Denmark has decided not to join, although the Danish krone does remain pegged to the euro. Denmark held the EU presidency during the first half of 2012, the priorities of which included promoting a responsible, dynamic, green and safe Europe, while working to steer Europe out of the eurozone economic crisis. Denmark’s economic freedom score is 76.1, making its economy the

9th freest in the 2013 Index. Its overall score is essentially the same as last year, with modest improvements in the management of public spending and freedom from corruption counterbalanced by declines in labour and investment freedoms. Trailing Switzerland, Denmark is ranked 2nd out of 43 countries in the Europe region. The Danish economy performs remarkably well in terms of regulatory efficiency, while open-market policies sustain flexibility, competitiveness and large flows of trade and investment. The transparent and efficient regulatory and legal environment encourages robust entrepreneurial activity. Banking regulations are sensible and lending practices have been relatively prudent. Inflationary pressures are under control. The judicial system provides strong protection for property rights and anti-corruption measures are firmly institutionalised.

Protections for property rights are enforced strongly, with an independent and fair judicial system institutionalised throughout the economy The European sovereign debt turmoil entails elevated risks for Denmark, particularly with regard to the soundness of the financial sector and long-term fiscal sustainability. Banking has been under increasing strain and public spending continues to be over half the size of the economy. The overall tax regime needed to finance the large scope of government remains burdensome and complex, although institutional assets such as

high degrees of business efficiency and regulatory flexibility have counterbalanced some of the shortcomings of heavy social spending. Protections for property rights are enforced strongly, with an independent and fair judicial system institutionalised throughout the economy. Commercial and bankruptcy laws are applied consistently. Intellectual property rights are respected and enforcement is consistent with world standards. Effective anti-corruption measures discourage bribery of public officials and uphold the integrity of government. The top income tax rate is 56% and the top corporate tax rate is 25%. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT) and intrusive measures such as the world’s first tax on fatty foods. The overall tax burden equates to almost 50% of total domestic income. Government spending continues to be more than 55% of GDP. The government has attempted fiscal stimulus, running a small deficit, and public debt is just under 50% of GDP. The regulatory environment remains among the most efficient in the world. Minimum capital requirements for limited-liability companies have been reduced, and starting a business takes fewer procedures than the world averages. Relatively flexible hiring and dismissal regulations sustain an efficient labour market. Monetary stability remains well-established, and the government took small steps in 2012 to cut back on welfare state benefits and costs. ■ Sources: Bloomberg Businessweek, OECD, Index Mundi,

Danfoss d.o.o. Đorđa Stanojevića 14, 11070 Novi Beograd Tel: +381 11 209 8550; Fax: +381 11 209 8551

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culture of denmark

Hamlet in the Land of Design Danish architecture has a long and fine history, with Danish design behind worldfamous buildings found right around the globe. Modern design is part of the Danes’ national identity and daily life, with the country now a world leader in fashion and product design, complementing its ongoing influence in the worlds of film and literature


here are only 5.6 million Danish speakers in the world, yet Denmark has a rich literary heritage with prominent authors such as Hans Christian Andersen, Søren Kierkegaard, Karen Blixen (a.k.a. Isak Dinesen). Today, Denmark is also a European centre of design and fashion. Architecture Danish architecture has a long and fine history, with world famous buildings that can be found right around the globe, from the iconic Jørn Utzondesigned Sydney Opera House to Bjarke Ingels’ 8 House in Copenhagen, which was awarded Housing Building of the Year at the 2011 World Architecture Festival. During the 1990s, Danish architecture focused increasingly on neo-modernism and sustainability, a good example of which is Terminal 3 at Copenhagen Airport. Today, Danish architecture still values these beliefs. Up to half of Danish buildings’ energy consumption is ‘locked’ into their design according to collaborative

research between architects and engineers. The geometric shape of a building and its exposure to daylight are key parameters in reducing energy use. Design

'Spanish Chair' by Børge Mogensen

Modern design is part of the Danes’ national identity and daily life. Many Danish products have become archetypes or icons of 20th-century design. Industrial design, furniture and aesthetic objects have always been among Denmark’s biggest exports. Famous Danish designers include Børge Mogensen, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjærholm, Poul Henningsen and Verner Panton, all of whom are known around the world for their design classics. Finn Juhl is

World Markets and Opportunities | denmark

regarded as the ‘father of Danish design’, finding international fame after designing the Trusteeship Council in the UN building. Fashion The Danish fashion industry is booming like never before. Successful designers, international fashion fairs and two annual fashion weeks have put Copenhagen and Denmark on the fashion map of Europe. Some even speak of Copenhagen as the fifth European fashion enclave. The Copenhagen Fashion Festival occurs biannually, offering the chance to see new collections from the country’s most talented designers. You’ll find Danish labels on high streets all over the world, many

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2013

of which belong to the Danish Fashion Institute (DAFI), a network organisation established by the Danish fashion industry in 2005. With more than 100 member companies, DAFI’s purpose is to facilitate initiatives beneficial to the Danish fashion industry that the companies are unable to implement alone. In 2008, DAFI helped to create a pan-Nordic fashion network, the Nordic Fashion Association, in collaboration with its sister-organisations in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. The Nordic Fashion Association runs the sustainability project NICE (Nordic Initiative, Clean and Ethical), which supports and motivates fashion companies to integrate environmentally sustainable and socially responsible practices into their design and business models. In December 2009, DAFI and the Nordic Fashion Association contributed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15). Gathering 650 fashion industry professionals, experts and NGOs from around the

world, the conference promoted the visions and highlighted the challenges of a sustainable fashion industry. Film Danish cinema is experiencing a boom period of national progress and international rec-

‘Dancer In The Dark’ by Lars von Trier

ognition. This success originated in the 1970s on the back of intensified public efforts to support the industry, resulting in the 1972 Film Act and the establishment of the Danish Film Institute. Gabriel Axel’s film based on the Karen Blixen story ‘Babette’s Feast’ was awarded an Oscar in 1987. In 1988, Bille August also received the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for ‘Pelle The Conqueror’, based on the novel by Martin Andersen Nexø. In 1992, August went on to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes with the Ingmar Bergman biography ‘The Best Intentions’. The most internationally renowned movement in Danish cinema, Dogme 95, was founded

in the 1990s by a group of directors including Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Søren KraghJacobsen and Lone Scherfig, and contributed to the success of Danish film abroad. Vinterberg gained worldwide popularity with movies such as ‘The Celebration’ (a.k.a. ‘Festen’) (1998), ‘The Third Lie’ (2000), ‘It’s All About Love’ (2003), ‘When A Man Comes Home’ (2007), ‘Submarino’ (2010) and ‘The Hunt’ (2012). It is Lars von Trier, however, who is the most prominent figure in Danish film. His first publicly released film was an experimental short called ‘The Orchid Gardener’ (1977) and his first feature film followed seven years later, ‘The Element Of Crime’ (1984). The many prizes, awards and nominations he has won include the Palme d’Or in 2000 for ‘Dancer In The Dark’, the Cannes Grand Prix for 1996’s ‘Breaking The Waves’ and the Prix du Jury for ‘Europa’ in 1991. Literature The first known Danish literature consists of verses in a runic alphabet about kings and warriors, written on stone between the years 200 and 1100 AD. Following the introduction of Christianity to Denmark, the predominant language became Latin, and sometime around the year 1200, Denmark got its first major literary work, ‘Gesta

Danorum’ (The Deeds of the Danes) by Saxo Grammaticus. The book was about the first Danish kings and also contained the story of Prince Amletus, better known as Hamlet, who later served as the model for Shakespeare’s famous play. Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), whose stories had attracted much international attention by the 1840s, wrote a great variety of literature. But today he is known primarily for world-famous fairy tales such as ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘The Little Match Girl’.

Søren Kierkegaard

Denmark’s second great writer, and a contemporary of Andersen’s, was Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), who today is considered one of the 19th century’s greatest philosophers. Among his masterpieces are ‘Either/Or’, ‘Fear And Trembling’ and ‘The Concept Of Anxiety’. Kierkegaard is widely recognised as the father of the philosophical theory of existentialism, which the French writers Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Ca-

mus in particular made famous after World War II. Music Denmark’s most famous composer is Carl Nielsen, who is best known outside Denmark for his six symphonies, but whose melodies for popular songs are cherished among Danes. The Royal Danish Ballet, meanwhile, specialises in the work of choreographer August Bournonville (1805–79), while Hans Abrahamsen, Per Nørgård and Poul Ruders are successful composers of contemporary classical music. Danish interest in classical music is exemplified by the prestigious Copenhagen Opera House. Strategically set on the city’s waterfront, it has presented operas and musicals to full houses since its opening in 2005. Danes have also distinguished themselves in other forms of music, with world famous jazz musicians such as Svend Asmussen, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Niels Lan Doky and Marilyn Mazur. The Copenhagen Jazz Festival has acquired an international reputation. Every summer since 1979, the festival has taken over Copenhagen, making the city home to one of Europe’s most important and high-quality international music events, which focuses on new departures in both Danish and international jazz. ■

denmark | World Markets and Opportunities


ivana španović

■ By Zorica Todorović Mirković


Always the

fighter ■ Foto: redbull

Named the Balkans’ best athlete of 2013, long jumper Ivana Španović capped a year in which she won at the Balkan Indoor Championships, the Balkan Championships and broke the Serbian record with a 6.82-metre jump as she took bronze at the IAAF World Championships. CorD catches up with Španović to find out what drives her to new levels


she talks about her training, her mission in sports, the imporhis has been a year of pride and of dreams coming true tance of education, popularity, friendship with her rivals – and for the Serbian queen of athletics, Ivana Španović, the her future plans. 23-year-old from Novi Sad who demonstrated her extraordinary talent even as a little girl growing up in ■ You have achieved great results in athletics, a sport Serbia Zrenjanin. Over the years athletics has become her life. Only courageous, bold and persistent people know that talent is a gift, hasn’t had much success in for a long time. How did this sudand that without effort, work and desire to succeed, talent alone den series of successful results come about? is not enough. At the beginning of her athletics career, Španović - Success doesn’t come out of blue. At the end of every saw pride and defiance in herself, and when small victories evadseason, we set clear goals and plans for the next year. During ed her, she used her iron-clad will to push herself on. the season we participate in competitions, which help us to Always dedicated to her work, Španović became an idol maintain our form so we can be as ready as possible for the most to new generations at a very young age. It is encouraging to important competitions, both physically and mentally. And this is see successful athletes becoming role models, setting an exwhere my coach Goran Obradović excels. ample of how young people can be responsible, organised and The Balkan Indoor Championships in Istanbul was great. successful. Although the medal she won at I set a new state record and gained trementhe World Championships in Moscow was dous encouragement for the upcoming sumThe most difficult bronze, Španović says, it shines like gold. mer season. However, there is always something to do is She is proud of her achievements and hapthing unplanned you must face and deal with. to remain true to py to have accomplished such a historic Back then it was the problem with my health, feat in the Russian capital – Serbia’s first which forced me to cancel my participation in yourself and your medal in an international athletics competiEuropean Team Championships and the goal when times are the tion under the country’s current name – but Mediterranean Games. I was also very close to rough, to believe in making the decision to drop out of the World all the while she is aware that her athletic what you do and appetite is still growing. Championships in Moscow. Meanwhile, she trys to live her life just Although I did qualify for the World your hard work, like any other student her age – there will be Championships, I did not want to leave for and to turn your plenty more victories and medals in the fuMoscow unprepared. I was thrilled when my dreams into reality doctors gave me the green light to resume ture. In this exclusive interview with CorD, |

110 December 2013 | 75

■ How much are you motivated by the opportunity to achieve good results training. I decided to compete at the in a competition. On the other hand, Balkan Championships in Stara Zagora, rivalry in sports and do you have friends at the Moscow World Championships Bulgaria. There were very few people among the top competitors? there were many girls who were in who believed in me but I showed to them - Rivalry is a staple in any sport. It is the namuch better physical form than I was, and to myself that I’m a fighter. I achieved ture and purpose of competition. I always the second-best result of my see rivalry in a good light, as a career in Bulgaria. challenge and something that It was then that, togethadditionally motives me to er with my coach and offisucceed. I am also glad when cials from the Athletics my rivals succeed because Federation of Serbia, I know how much work I decided to go to the and effort is required to acWorld Championships complish your goals and in Moscow. I will alachieve top results. Their ways have a special successes actually give me place in my heart for the strength and the motimy appearance at the vation to do more and betBalkan Championships ter. We try to help each in Bulgaria. This was other and we have really more than a competition friendly relations. for me. It was my first step towards a medal in ■ Do you socialise with Moscow. The most diffiother competitors at cult thing to do is to retournaments or stay in main true to yourself and your rooms, or spend time At the World Championships there were your goal when times are with your team members? rough, to believe in what When I am competing for girls who were in much better physical form you do and your hard the national team then sothan I was, but my positive thinking, desire work, and to turn your cialising with other team and belief were the ‘emotional wings’ that members and cheering dreams into reality – inhelped me to ‘fly’ much further to a jump that everyone them on is a part of the will remember. game. The atmosphere in the team has a profound ■ Athletics is a sport effect on all of us individually and is a source of adin which you are alone ditional enthusiasm and against everybody. What encouragement. Athletics are your most important is an individual sport but characteristics? cheering is teamwork. - Discipline, hard work Furthermore, when I comand belief. Without this pete at various athlettrinity in place, there can ic meetings, I don’t have be no success – and I am much time to hang out. speaking from experiThese are usually trips ence. I believe that anythat last a day or two and body who is successful at I mostly focus on my perwhat they do shares my formance, while leaving the opinion. This doesn’t apply socialising for later. Once the only to athletes. I believe competition is over, and rethat, in order to achieve gardless of accomplished top results, you need to be results and medals, we can all breathe a but my positive thinking, desire and beready physically and strong mentally. sigh of relief and have a chat. lief that I could succeed were the ‘emoThere are so many pieces to fit into this tional wings’ that helped me to ‘fly’ puzzle in order to show how much you much further, all the way to the medal. ■ In team sports the atmosphere in the are worth. There were times when I was And that’s sports for you. in the top physical form but failed to use stands is very important. Is it the same

76 |

110 December 2013 |

■ Are you ‘addicted’ to sports or do you have time to pursue hobbies?

for athletics?

- When I get to the runway, I try to focus intently on all the steps leading to that perfect jump. Support and advice from my team means a lot at that moment, as does the support I get from the stands. The feeling you get when the audience cheers you on is unbeatable. It holds specific meaning and weight to me. It gives me additional strength, which I feel when I am up in the air. It is the positive energy I feel coming from them in abundance.

- I enjoy reading. In my spare time, I like to relax with a book and good music. I adore animals; the love I have for the animals is very fulfilling and it makes me happy. ■ You are known for having great communication with your fans. Do you find it tiresome sometimes and what is the secret of having a good relationship with your fans?

from EDUCONS University in Sremska Kamenica to enrol at the Faculty of Business Economics. How important is education to a person developing into a successful athlete?

- I think education is an important part in the development of any person, especially athletes. It is a wellknown fact that a top athlete’s career is a short-lived one compared with the rest of their life, so every athlete should think in advance about their career after sports. They should contemplate that before it is too late.

■ Successful female athletes are often stereotyped as butch and not properly groomed. As an attractive woman, what is your reaction to such views?

- I think that every female athlete is focused mainly on her love of sports and desire to achieve top results. Also, being a professional athlete has its advantages and flaws. It is a matter of taste whether you like a woman with a defined muscle tone or not, but the truth is that you don’t achieve top results because of your appearance, but because of the years of hard work and sweat you put into it.

■ Your boyfriend is Vladimir Kumrić, who is also a former athlete and your partner in managing the Women’s Fitness Centre. What is a relationship between two athletes like? - Vladimir is a great support to me in life and somebody who understands me perfectly.

■ Foto: redbull

■ You have received a scholarship

I think that every female athlete is focused mainly on her love of sports and desire to achieve top results. You don’t achieve top results because of your appearance

- I think the secret lies in sincerity. I have always tried to be sincere in approaching them and to relay to them in the best possible way how much their support means to me. The road to success is not linear but a curve with many ups and downs. I have been lucky to have fans who understand that and who have been with me when it mattered. There isn’t a better feeling than when you are able to share your success with the people who have been supporting you. I am hugely grateful to them for the trust and love they have been showering me with all this time. ■ Great athletes have said that the role a champion plays in promoting sports is more important than results…

- I am glad to see that, thanks to my results, many kids have become interested in athletics and started to do it. I am also very happy if I was the one that contributed to the popularity of athletics in Serbia.

■ What are your plans for next season and what are your future ambitions?

- I have two big competitions lined up for next season, both during winter – the Indoor World Championships in Sopot, Poland, and after that I am going to focus on the European Championships in Zurich. I want to stay at the very top in athletics for as long as possible and bring many more medals from important competitions back to Serbia. ■ |

110 December 2013 | 77

culture calendar CONCERTS

Neno Belan & Fiumens Unplugged Sava Centre, 1 December @ 20.00 Neno Belan & Fiumens have proven to be one of the biggest concert attractions in the region over the years. And with this specially prepared unplugged concert, which will feature a variety of musical guests, they should delight audiences

even further. The group will be performing hits in new acoustic arrangements, making the show a must-see for fans. Expect to hear songs such as opener ‘Dani Ljubavi’, on which Belan is accompanied by bassist Olja Dešić. With each successive song the ranks onstage expand as they are joined by the other members of Fiumens, Vedran Krizan and Leo Rumora, as well as various other musical guests such as additional guitarists, percussionists and violinists.

Lena Kovacevic Dom Sindikata, 7 December @ 20.00 Pop singer Lena Kovačević is playing Belgrade to promote her new album ‘Dream’, which is out now on PGP RTS.

Kovačević’s show will be a sophisticated collage of pop and jazz, including arrangements of her most famous songs ‘Nisi me bio

vredan ti’, ‘Tišina’, ‘Da ti kazem šta mi je’, ‘Srce od meda’ and a number of songs from the new album. Lena is also expected to perform songs from her previous album, ‘Dobar dan za pevanje’. This show is the first of many Kovačević has planned across Serbia, the region and abroad.

Neverne Bebe Kombank Arena 28 December @ 20.00

Miroslav Ilic Sava Centre, 10-11 December @ 20.00 Miroslav Ilić has traditionally played a show every year on his birthday, 10 December. However, this year, due to increased demand for tickets, he has added a second show at the Sava Centre on 11 December. The popular singer, famous for his song ‘Devojka iz grada’, will be promoting two new songs ahead of an announcement about his new album, due to be released next year.

Mariza Sava Centre, 12 December @ 20.30 Queen of fado Mariza returns to Belgrade for a concert on 12 December at the Sava Centre. “When I get on stage, I close my eyes, open my heart and sing,” says the Portuguese singer, who has packed out the Sava Centre several times over the years. “I want to try to touch people with my songs. I am grateful that we have the opportunity to perform again in Belgrade.” The show is part of the current ‘Mariza 2013’ world tour, which has brought the singer back to the international scene after taking a temporary break to have a baby. Mariza is currently working on a new album and is scheduled to finish by the end of the year, so there’s a good chance the audience in Belgrade will get to hear some of her new songs.

This long-awaited concert will mark of two decades of the band and is part of the ‘I Forgive – 20 Years with You’ tour. Characterised by top quality musicianship, Neverne Bebe carry the reputation of one of the best live bands in the region, winning cult status in the local rock scene. Over their career, the band have recorded six studio albums and played almost 2,000 shows, including two sold-out Sava Centre gigs in 2007. They have supported the likes of Toto in 2006 at Tašmajdan and Lenny Kravitz at the Kombank Arena in 2008. They have also worked with world-renowned musicians such as Simon Phillips and famous regional artists such as Radomir Mihajlović Točak, Aki Rahimovski, Vanna and Vlatko Stefanovski. Now the band

The Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra Sava Centre, 14 December @ 20.00 This ‘10 years at the Sava Centre’ show celebrates the anniversary of one of Serbia’s most famous jazz bands, a true representative of Belgrade’s musical culture. This year’s traditional New Year’s concert is being held on 14 December at the Sava Centre’s jazz club. The Dixieland Orchestra will also be celebrating its 14th birthday, so expect the presence of a large number of diplomatic guests and eminent musical artists.

returns to the Kombank Arena as headliners. Current album ‘Praštam’ is the region’s best-selling pop-rock release in the last two years, being equally wellreceived by audiences and critics alike, and has laid the foundation for a return of the mainstream to the polarised Serbian music scene. The band has announced that its big birthday concert will be a complex musical and theatrical spectacle with an expanded line-up onstage. Such high production values are unusual for local artists, so this show should cast hits old and new in a new light, with the results being recorded for the band’s first live DVD.


Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ Kolarac, 5 December @ 20.00 A symphony orchestra and mixed choir from the Belgrade Faculty of Music, the Obilić Academic Choir and the Collegium Musicum Choir. Conductor: Bojan Sudjić

The Night of the Ad Eaters Sava Centre 7 December @ 20.30 Fans of compelling advertising and creativity should be sure to check out The Night of the Ad Eaters, an annual touring event that is eagerly awaited every year. Over a single night, fans of all manner of creativity can experience an event that travels to more than 50 countries, taking in more than 150 cities. The Night of the Ad Eaters is the brainchild of Jean Marie Boursicot, who founded an ad archive and became a major collector of advertising from around the world, and whose undiminished passion is 78 |

Roman Rabinovic Rade Šerbedžija behind this year’s ad program. Now visiting the Sava Centre for a 14th consecutive year, The Night of the Ad Eaters draws advertising fans from around the country to see which adverts have conquered the world this year, even offering visitors the chance to vote for the most popular local commercial of the year.

110 December 2013 |

Dom Sindikata, 28 December @ 20.00 To the delight of his fans in Belgrade, actor and singer Rade Šerbedžija will be performing on Saturday 28 December at Dom Sindikata. Additionally, he will be joined by a special guest, celebrated guitarist and composer Vlatko Stefanovski. Šerbedžija and Stefanovski, accompanied by the excellent band of Zagreb musicians West Station, will enchant Belgraders with an evening of music and poetry.

Kolarac, 8 December @ 20.00 Winner of the Rubinstein competition in Tel Aviv, Roman Rabinovič will perform pieces by Ravel, Chopin and Haydn at Kolarac on 8 December.

culture news BALLET

Severna Bajka Madlenianum, 2 December @ 19.30 The ballet ‘Severna Bajka’ (Northern Fairy Tale) is based on the romantic, nostalgic music of one of the 19th century’s greatest composers, Norwegian Edvard Grieg, who also composed the music for Henrik Ibsen’s play ‘Peer Gynt’. The version that is to be performed in Belgrade is part of the so-called Zurich variants,

featuring vocal soloists whose performances have received overwhelming response from audiences. Meanwhile, the dancers will be accompanied by a live symphony orchestra conducted by Stanko Jovanović. The choreography, direction and dramaturgy have been put together by Staša Zurovac.

Sleeping Beauty National Theatre, 4 December @ 19.30 With a storyline enriched by a magical world of beauty, fantasy and dreams, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ is a story people of all ages know and love: a beautiful sleeping princess is woken after 100 years of sleep by a young, charming prince. Experience the splendour of courtly life in a blaze of artistry and choreography, a ballet troupe with many brilliant soloists performing their variations and doubles (pas de deux). The idea of the eternal struggle between good and evil is the central theme in all of Tchaikovsky’s ballets, and can now be experienced in Belgrade through this rich fantasy.

The Nutcracker

South from Sahara

Sava Centre, 22 December @ 20.00

Museum of African Art 1 November-12 December

World ballet centre St. Petersburg’s grand spectacle ‘The Nutcracker’ is to be performed at Belgrade’s Sava Centre on 22 December with soloists Igor Kolb and Olga Esina, the principal dancer of the Mariinsky Ballet and prima ballerina of the Vienna State Ballet respectively, as well as performers from St. Petersburg’s famed Mikhailovsky Theatre. Belgrade has hosted different versions of ‘The Nutcracker’ previously, but not with these virtuoso soloists or performers from two of St. Petersburg’s most famous imperial theatres.


Science Festival various locations, 5-8 December

This year the Seventh International Science Festival – the largest event for the promotion of science and education in South East Europe – will start on Thursday 5 December and last for four days. The festival will be held at five locations in Belgrade city centre, including the former Kluz department store, the Student Cultural Centre, the Gallery of the National Bank of Serbia and a brand new space at the former Eurosalon store at 1 Ulica Kralja Milana. The festival will also feature the ‘scientific festival quarter’. In addition, visitors will be able to visit the Science Centre and the newly opened Museum of Science and Technology at 51 Dobračina.

The Illusionists Kombank Arena 1 December @ 15.00, 19.00 The best-selling magic show on earth finally comes to Serbia. The Illusionists are a collection of some of the world’s best magicians, whose show ‘Witness the Impossible’ is expected leave the Kombank Arena audience mystified and enraptured. These seven amazing illusionists treat their audience to a series of magic tricks and illusions never seen before. Among the amazing mix of strange and incredible optical

The Museum of African Art (MAU) is hostingan exhibition of photography by Marli Šamir called ‘South of the Sahara’ until 12 December. In addition to the photographs, the exhibition also features objects from the museum’s collection to create a clear link to the different themes recorded through the pictures. So, for example, it is possible to see the final form of a mask Šamir photographed during its creation. The photo collection presents a complete thematic unit and provides an impressive picture of one part of West Africa, including its architecture,

traditional way of life, landscape, economy, crafts and art. The subject matter covers an area that extends from below the Sahara Desert to tropical forests, from Senegal to Lake Chad. Šamir’s photos covering the Sahel region are possibly the most important part of the photo archive at the MAU. This is due to how they document changes over time, making them integral to the style and presentation of some of the museum’s objects and fostering a greater understanding of the region. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue that greater explains the world of Sahel and its architecture, people and way of life, and features various artefacts and reproductions among the 43 black and white photographs.

Discover Harvard in Serbia several locations, 12-22 November In November, members of the Harvard Club of Serbia launched the ‘Discover Harvard’ initiative in order to introduce to the Serbian public and prospective students to the opportunities available to study at Harvard University. As part of this initiative, members of this prestigious club held lectures at several local colleges from 12 to 22 November. Lectures were held at the Faculty of Economics on 14 November, the International Academic

Centre on 17 November and the Medical Faculty of the University of Belgrade on 21 November. In addition to these lectures, members of the Harvard Club of Serbia visited the University of Belgrade’s Law Faculty and Faculty of Economics. Speakers included Branka Andjelković, Bogdan Gecić, Milutin Nikolić, Marko Obradović, Ivan Posavec, Dusan Rakitić, Predrag Stojičić and Alexander Drecun, Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Science. Learn more about the Harvard Club of Serbia at

introduce Serbian youth to different ways of thinking, working and creating. This year festival organisers gathered some of the youngest performing troupes from all over the world to help inspire young people by showing them what their international peers are doing and show what can be achieved.

JFK Month American Corner, Dom Omladine 22 November-23 December To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy, the American Corner in Dom Omladine has organised a variety of thematic events running until 23 December. Kicking off this series of events on November 22 was a promotion of the book ‘The JFK Culture’, which includes articles by Professor Dr. John Hellman, Professor Dr. Art Simon, Dr. David Lubin, Dr. Lydia Merenik, Professor Dr. Simone Čupić and Dr.Uros Tomić. The book positions Kennedy in terms of culture and cultural politics, and some of its writers appeared to discuss the book’s themes at length. JFK has been the subject of works of art by the likes of Warhol, Johns, Rauschenberg and Naskovski, and was a writer himself. There

Third LIMIT – Live Art Festival illusions are a tense game of Russian roulette, amazing feats of levitation, mind reading and a daring escape from a tanker full of water. Each performer is a master illusionist in their field, with tricks that have been enjoyed by more than 1 million people worldwide.

Dom Omladine, 21-24 November The third LIMIT international youth theatre festival was launched at Dom Omladinein Belgrade last month. The annual festival is designed for university students, senior high school students and young intellectuals generally. Choosing the best, newest, most unusual representations of a school, style, artistic eye or principle, the LIMIT Festival’s focus is to |

were also the Kennedy administration’s cultural projects, such as the exhibition of the Mona Lisa, the restoration of the White House and the Night for Nobel Prize winners, while JFK himself was a media superstar, with numerous films made about him since his death. All of these and more will be covered over the month. 110 December 2013 | 79

chill out ‘small’ is relative. However, at US$300,000, the Ecosse Titanium Series FE Ti XX motorcycle is probably the most expensive gadget/ motorcycle in the world. This elite piece of engineering is more than just a motorcycle; it is a status symbol and one of the most luxurious ways to ride. This beautiful bike’s aluminium engine produces as amazing 225bhp with a top speed of 400km/h, making it one of the fastest bikes in the world.

World’s Most Expensive Gadget Mostly due to the broadness of the term gadget, it is difficult to make a definitive list of the most expensive gadgets in the world. The internet defines the word ‘gadget’ as “a small mechanical device or tool, especially an ingenious or novel one”, but many people seem not to agree with that definition – especially as the word

Festival of Lights Diwali, or the ‘Festival of Lights’, is a five-day Hindu festival that falls between midOctober and mid-November. This year it was celebrated on 3 November. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the year’s most important festivals, which families celebrate by performing traditional activities together in their homes. During the festival, all celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends. The festival starts with Dhanteras, on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival is called the Naraka Chaturdasi. Amavasya, the third day, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. The fourth day is known as Kartika Shudda Padyami. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya, and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.

Typewriter Art Who would have thought one could make art with a typewriter? Keira Rathbone creates extraordinary pictures using nothing else but a humble vintage typewriter. These images are nothing less than amazing, with no mistaking what they portray. The fact that they are created on a typewriter only makes them even more impressive. The images’ immense level of detail is a result of Rathbone’s planning and use of uneven spacing between characters. The pictures portray famous people, castles and beautiful country houses, among other things. How Rathbone manages to scale shadows and incorporate details smaller than the characters themselves is proof enough of her outlandish talent.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a mirror that makes a person appear happy even when they aren’t. A built-in camera tracks facial features in real time and tweaks the image to turn up the corners of the mouth and create the beginnings of a smile in the eyes. What practical use would such a mirror have? Other Japanese researchers, according to a report on, believe that 80 |

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happy-face mirrors in retail stores would improve shoppers’ dispositions and lead to more sales. Elsewhere in the world of salesmanship, a home-ownership boom in China has led to large attendances at housing fairs, in which builders compete to sell their homes using a series of offbeat schemes to draw attention to their products. Female models dressed in bare-backed evening wear wander through the crowds with sample floor plans and other housing information painted onto their skin.

Workout for Free Metro Tickets A ticket machine in a Moscow metro station offers a free ride in exchange for passengers doing a little physical exercise. The machine, which was installed at the beginning of November as a promotion for next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, will issue a one-way ticket to anyone who does 30 squats in two minutes.

Russia’s RIA Novosti said the miniworkout works out to one squat per ruble for a 30-ruble (€ 0.70) ticket. The report did not say whether the system has a way of verifying if passengers keep their end of the bargain. The machine was installed at the Vystavochnaya station in downtown Moscow. Tickets in the metro system’s 189 other stations still require cash.

Albanians Made ill by Cannabis According to Reuters, approximately 700 people from the Albanian village of Lazarat have visited local hospitals since June after falling ill due to “the effects of planting, harvesting, pressing and packing cannabis”. Symptoms reported include bouts of vomiting, stomach pain, irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure. “Over the last two months, about seven to eight people arrive in the emergency ward each day and many more have come earlier with disorders from hashish,” said doctor Hysni Lluka. The cases have been seen in a hospital near the village of Lazarat, where illegal cannabis cultivation has thrived and growers have become bold enough to shoot at police officers venturing near their fields, Reuters reported. Lazarat is a stronghold of the Democratic Party, which had been in power for eight years before losing the election to the Socialist Party in June.

The ‘Do-everything’ Robot Mako, a new artificial-intelligence robot, is claimed to be able to “do everything” on your computer without you needing to even lift a finger. Created by Michael Ghandour, it has voice recognition and responds to even the slightest command with amazing speed. From creating PowerPoint presentations from scratch to searching on Google and finding out the local weather, Mako appears to have no boundaries.

Gaming Package Holiday It has been described as a “pilgrimage to the birthplace of gaming and visits breathtaking locations that have inspired some of the world’s most famous video games”. The ultimate gaming trip begins in Edinburgh with a visit to ‘Grand Theft Auto’ maker Rockstar North’s studio, followed by a stopover in London to check out Soho’s Loading Bar, which is modelled on gaming cafés in Tokyo. The next leg takes place in Phuket, home of islands that appeared in ‘Tomb Raider: Underworld’, followed by a trip to an e-Sports stadium in Seoul and a visit to Konami HQ in Tokyo. After stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Hampshire, New York, Miami and Texas, customers will return to London for a gamer disco. The ‘Epic Gaming Adventure’ also stops in Havana and Nassau, which featured recently in ‘Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag’. “For gamers, this trip is a backstage pass to some of the most iconic settings in the world’s most famous games – a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Neil Hassall, marketing manager of the trip’s co-organisers STA Travel. When Ghandour says “thank you” after Mako finds flight times for him, its robotic voice responds, “You’re welcome, Sir.” And if you struggle to read long passages on a screen, the robot can do that for you too. When Ghandour highlights a line of text, Mako reads it out word perfectly. It can be used on both Macs and PCs. Ghandour has spent seven years working on artificial intelligence programs such as this, and said: “Mako will revolutionise how we interact with the technological world.” |

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ski talks

Season 2013-2014

Prepare for a Long, Cold

ski season

Even if you decide not to go to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, there are countless other options for showing off your skiing abilities, either at one of Serbia’s mountains, in a neighbouring country or at some of Europe’s most well-known ski resorts. Meteorologists predict this ski season will be relatively cold, with temperatures of 0-5ºC from November to the end of February and plenty of snow. So wrap up and prepare for long, cold season on the slopes of Europe. The ski season begins in November and lasts until the end of March 2014, so you have plenty of time to update your equipment or just add a few details, from goggles and gloves to backpacks and skis. Although some might claim that the best part of the winter break is kicking off your ski boots and heading out for a night of partying, CorD is taking the opportunity to present the latest equipment for the 2013-2014 season so you can party on the slopes themselves. After all, whether you head on a snowbound mountain vacation for skiing, hiking or partying all night long, you will always benefit from some fresh air or a walk through the snow – and the adrenaline of shooting down the mountainside at top speed.

Salomon Enduro XT 800 (2014)

Rossignol Super 7 (2014)




The XT 800 is a metal-reinforced, full-wood-core, semisandwich construction that combines lively, forgiving cap construction on top with grippy vertical sidewalls below. An additional layer of bamboo in the layup is designed to give it durability and resilient flex. A touch of tip rocker absorbs shocks for a smoother ride.

Black Diamond Bandit AvaLung Backpack Price:


With just enough room for the essentials, and the new improved AvaLung breathing system built in, the Bandit gives you an extra margin of safety without slowing you down at all.

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The Super 7 is light, has a tighter turn radius and is offered in lengths that are more manageable for most skiers. It’s part of the highly successful 7 series, which has been drastically revamped with new technologies for 2013-14

Salomon Man's Board Snowboard 2014 Price:


Built with Cross Profile Rocker, Popster and ABC Green Roll construction, the Man’s Board is built to handle the manliest terrain on the mountain.

Head Supershape Team LR Skis + LRX 7.5 AC Bindings – Kid's 2014 Price:

Oakley Splice Goggles Price:


Goggle technology is changing rapidly, and the Oakley Splice Goggles are at the forefront of those advances with the patented O Flow™ arch allowing both better airflow and improved comfort around the nose area.


Designed with durability and ease of use in mind, the Supershape Team LR skis feature a structured surface topsheet and an ERA 2.0 shape design, which will keep your young one skiing hard all day.

Hestra Army Leather Wool Gloves Price:


The Hestra Army is made of durable proofed army leather with external seams for increased comfort and optimal pole grip. The removable wood pile and wool terry cloth lining allow you to choose how warm you wish to be.

Salomon Quest Max 100 Ski Boots 2014 Price:


The Salomon Quest Max 100 Ski Boots are fully loaded with tech features that make them perfect for intermediate and advanced skier.


best choice

recommended by |

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ski talks

Atomic Automatic 2014 Price:


The Atomic Automatic skis are surfy yet stable underfoot for fast paced spines and couloirs, quick turning for tree skiing and silky smooth for landing drops. The unique rocker profile provides float and pop, while still giving you stability and grip in harder snow conditions.

Oakley Airbrake Goggles Price:


With their Switchlock™ interchange system, these Oakley Airbrake Goggles allow you to swap lenses in seconds without fumbling to insert frame pegs into lens slots or worrying about the integrity of your frame

Spacecraft Snowcat Pom Beanie Price:


Bushy pom, awesome Spacecraft logo and supreme versatility.

Dynafit Manaslu Skis – Women's 2014 Price:


Arguably the single most versatile touring ski ever built, the Dynafit Manaslu Women’s Ski is the perfect match for the adventurous female ski tourist who skis it all and loves long days in the backcountry. This ski performs like magic in any type of untracked snow and still holds an edge on steep and icy terrain.

Armada Shifter GORE-TEX® Pro Jacket


best choice

recommended by

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Even beyond the groovy jacket and zipper colors, everything about this jacket was designed with detail and quality so you perpetuate awesome.

Rossignol Diva Magtek Snowboard – Women's 2014 Price:


Magne-Traction gives this board superior grip in any snow condition while still being loose enough to get rad in the park. Pow day or park day, the 2014 Rossignol Diva Magtek Snowboard will perform at it’s best to propel you to the top of the snowboard-charts


best choice

recommended by

Full Tilt B&E Pro Model Ski Boots 2014 Price:


Burton Gore-Tex® Gloves – Kid's Price:

The Full Tilt B&E Pro Model Ski Boot 2014 is light and keeps you close to the snow, giving you unmatched sensitivity on any of your tricks.


Combining professionalgrade dryness with kidfriendly fit and function, the kid’s Burton GORETEX® Glove is as stormproof as it gets.

Lange XT 90 Ski Boots – Women's 2014 Price:


The Lange XT 90 Ski Boots are the first nocompromise highperformance boots that climb. Mono-injected shells and Control Fit are combined with ultradurable grip soles and arches, lightweight components and Power V-Lock shell technology.

Heritage Backpack Price:


If you’re looking for classic Herschel style in a pack that can handle everything from globe-trotting to classskipping, the Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack is for you. |

110 December 2013 | 85


New Year’s Eve Fashion

New Year’s Eve – or Serbia’s case, New Year’s Eves – is around the corner and you’ll be wanting to look your best for the big nights of 31 December, 13 January or both. Everyone wants to be wearing the hottest New Year’s Eve dress so you can look gorgeous among the revelry and stand out in the huge crowd – meaning you have to choose wisely. If you already have plans to hang out in the most popular party places then now’s the time to start making your preparations for this special occasion. Women especially will already be giving plenty of thought to what they’ll be wearing as they party the night away and welcome 2014 in style. Here are a few ideas from CorD…



Hexagon Foil and Snake Chain Necklace Statement aruna-gold-plated snake chain necklace featuring a large hexagon centrepiece set with pavé crystals and foil.

Salvatore Ferragamo Riona Peep-Toe Shoe Boot The perfect addition to printed trousers. Why not team with this season’s grungy separates for a fresh look come cocktail hour? price:

Alexander McQueen Punk Skull Clutch


Alexander McQueen’s classic skull clasp clutch is updated for the new season with an edgy punk skull.

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Diane von Furstenberg Nisha Lace Sheath Dress A sheer illusion yoke crowns a lacy, fitted sheath dress rimmed with a scalloped hemline.



Milly Knit Fit & Flare Dress


€1080 price:

Radiant basket-weave knitting combined with the swingy form of a cutaway-shoulder dress is sure to captivate admirers’ eyes.


Givenchy Judy Suede Court

Givenchy Mini Pandora Box Bag in Metallic

A gold-tone metal rim for added flair combined with a nude suede finish ensures a worthwhile investment piece, perfect for the office and partying the night away alike.

The Mini Pandora Box bag is the ultimate accessory this season, enhancing your luxurious wears with fine Italian craftsmanship and a glossy metallic finish.

Mawi Oval Crystal Spike Ring price:


Plated in luxe rose gold, this ring features an oval crystal stone with spike embellishment. Stack together for maximum impact.



Marco Bicego Goa Strand Diamond Earrings Three flattened strands in 18K yellow gold artfully twisted to form a delightfully feminine hoop earring. Highlighted with hand-fitted diamonds for a glamorous shimmer.

Complete with diamond detailing, this is a luxury ladies watch that exudes the label’s signature sophistication. price:




Snowy sequins and silvery beadwork add a distinct sense of Art Deco glamour to a slinky mini dress destined to impress.

Tadashi Shoji Embellished Metallic Lace Sheath Dress

Omega Constellation Watch


Parker Hayden Embellished Silk Slipdress

Luminous gold sequins and metallic threads highlight the embroidered lace blossoming atop a scalloped sheath. Tonal bands crisscrossing the waist accentuate a feminine silhouette.

€2,145 price:

René Caovilla Chloe Slingback Crafted from luxe suede that has been treated to give it a slight shimmer, the stiletto-heeled style features a Swarovski crystal moon-shape motif that is complemented by a diamanté-encrusted buckle at the ankle. A dazzling shoe that is fit for a red carpet.

€750 |

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A Night of Celebration and Memories

Armani Blouson Leather Jacket

New Year’s Eve is a time when we look at the past year and reflect upon what we have accomplished and what we have learned. It’s also a time to party like there’s no tomorrow! New Year’s Eve is your last chance to dress up and do it big in 2013, so leave the T-shirts and cargo pants at home and break out your finest, grab a bottle of champagne or some other good bottle of wine and raise your glass to say goodbye to 2013 and shout hello to 2014



These chestnut brown calfskin loafers are highlighted by a classic tassel detail and tonal brown wood sole, finished with smooth leather.

Smooth and lustrous lamb leather structures a sleek, lean-tailored jacket fully lined with light padding for enhanced warmth during those cooler nights out on the town.




Tag Heuer Mikrograph Watch Its polished rose gold case, complete with sapphire glass, sits upon a luxe alligator leather strap, making it a worthy addition to your everyday.

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John Lobb Truro Tasselled Loafers

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€ 820


€ 885

Paul Smith Glove

Hugo Boss Suit A finely woven texture defines a slim tie cut from a smart blend of wool and silk.

With an adjustable strap and metal detailing, the soft wool blend and ribbed design on the cuff means your hands will be fully protected from any winter chills.


€ 115

Prada Levitate Wingtip


€ 575

A transparent sole grounds a statement-making wingtip shoe clad in a burnished leather.

Gant Rugger Blazer, Crewneck Sweater, Plaid Shirt & Cargo Pants price:

€ 230

Prada Aviator Sunglasses Polished metallic trim accentuates the retro-cool silhouette of these gradient-lens aviator sunglasses.


€ 128

Armani Jeans Belt A double-sided leather belt, black one side, brown on the other, with two buckle options. With a choice of four styles, this belt is the perfect gift.

Paul & Joe Classic Suit Grey cotton blend suit from from Paul & Joe with a micro-stripe pattern. The jacket features a two button front fastening, pointed lapels, two flap pockets to the front, a welt pocket at the chest, a rear vent, long sleeves with buttoned cuffs and a silk baroque lining. price:

€ 494


€ 110

Canvas Blazer €365 A two-button notch-lapel blazer is cut from soft cotton canvas and styled with a varsity-striped undercollar and a deconstructed silhouette, achieving a casual-yet-modern appearance. Gant Rugger €133 Fine cable knitting distinguishes a preppy, trim-fitting crewneck sweater edged with rib-knit detailing. Madras Plaid Shirt €93 Bright madras plaid shirt woven from cotton casually styled with a spread collar and adjustable button cuffs. Canvas Cargo Pants €130 Sturdy, washed canvas cotton slim-fitting cargo pants cleanly styled with tacked cuffs for the man setting out for a day into the city or an adventure in the woods. ‘Sarto’ Side Zip Boot €260

Polo Ralph Lauren Ribbed Socks

Chelsea Boots Boots by ASOS, 100% real leather upper, Elastic panels, Real leather sole, Heel pull tab and round toe shape.

An embroidered logo details ribbed socks with a color-blocked toe and heel. price:


€ 17

€ 202

Burberry London Woven Silk Tie An oversized check design patterns an Italian-crafted tie. |

110 December 2013 | 89



Learn and Grow The environment in which we work is always changing. Professional relationships are vital and indulgence in previous successes only leads to stagnation


Jelena Otašević Marketing and Communication Division Director at Vojvodjanska Banka

came to the position of Director of Marketing and ment you are able to provide certain information about the inCommunications after 10 successful years of working at stitution you work for, and that you are constantly in contact Wiener Städtische Insurance, where I also led the marketwith a large number of people. I try to get the best from eveing department. I began my career at RTV BK, which at the ry team member, to give them enough space to express their time was the most watched local television station. Since knowledge and talent, and to realise their individual plans – August 2013 I have been applying my rich experiences in marand also to give them full support in carrying out agreed tasks. keting to one of the top 10 banks in the domestic market. Reconciliation of your professional and private family life Even though I only recently became Vojvodjanska Banka’s is a big challenge for every man, and for women it seems even Director of Marketing and Communications, I feel highly fulmore so. Modern societies somehow impose that you need filled by the obligations and opportunities working at the to be multidisciplinary, to have the ability to perform differbank gives me. In this sense, it seems that this change has ent activities at the same time. On the one hand there are the come at the right time for me. John F. Kennedy once said that obligations to care for children and families, and on the othchange is the law of life and those who look only to the past er to be successful at work and constantly in touch with the or the present are certain to miss the future. latest international trends. All of that entails a lot of sacrifice. My new beginning is an additional challenge because of However, I think that everyone must find their balance and a the transition from one system where you have a well-coortempo that suits them and that it is very important to know dinated, stable team, whereas now in front of you are new how to maintain the balance between personal and profespeople, procedures and rules. Working in a bank brings new views and perceptions of the environment and business opportunities in comparison John F. Kennedy once said that change is the with the experience I have had so far, which motilaw of life and those who look only to the past vates me to learn more and to acquire new skills. or the present are certain to miss the future It is very important to gain the confidence of all your associates, to know how to approach people and establish a relationship of mutual respect and appresional. This is possible only if you learn and grow constantciation. I think successful organisations are those that have ly, if you know what your priorities are and set realistic goals. good leadership, clear business objectives, strategies to enAnd that is my message to all: first work on yourself; everyable them to achieve these objectives, a motivating organthing else will fall into place. The rate of change in the enviisational climate and quality interpersonal relationships. ronment in which we live and work is more pronounced than Personally I am proud to be part of the Vojvodjanska Banka ever before. Any kind of ‘indulgence’ in what one has already team because it is an institution with a long tradition and one achieved and learned ultimately leads to stagnation. To proof the most important financial institutions in the country. gress, you have to invest constantly in your education, and To hold a position that combines marketing with public rewhen you do that success is certainly guaranteed. In addition, lations carries additional responsibilities. You have to create a you must learn to accept constructive criticism because we all propaganda message that will convey everything in the right make mistakes sometimes. way, that the bank’s team of professionals are committed to My recommendation for professional literature is always their target audience. This position means that at any moWarren Buffett’s ‘Timeless Principles For The New Economy’. ■ 90 |

110 December 2013 |

special edition

Serbian Medical Care 2013

UNIQA insurance

The Formula for Success

MedUNIQA Mobile Center in Novi Sad


NIQA Serbia belongs toa leading insurance group, Austria’s UNIQA Insurance Group, which operates in 20 markets in Central and Eastern Europe and serves 18.7 million clients. During its seven years in Serbia, UNIQA has invested more than €50 million and today the company operates in 25 branches with 775 employees. UNIQA Serbia has become one of five leading companies in the insurance industry. For the sixth year in a row it registered the highest growth among insurance companies in Serbia. These results, first-class quality, commitment to clients and efficient quick-claims payments have resulted in UNIQA being declared Serbia’s best insurance company in 2012 by World Finance magazine, a fact also confirmed by more than 1.2

UNIQA’s seven successful years in Serbia have been marked by innovation, awards, consistent growth and 1.2 million satisfied insurance clients million satisfied clients. The prerequisites of UNIQA’s business operations are to make the wellbeing of clients our top priority, followed by innovative approaches, the introduction of new communication channels, products and services adjusted to clients’needs, accuracy and

For the sixth year in a row UNIQA has registered the highest growth among insurance companies in Serbia and was named the country’s best insurance company in 2012 speed, consulting and partnership. Besides numerous services and solutions that distinguish it from the competition, UNIQA is the only insurance company with a separate department for cooperation with banks. UNIQA is a strong brand recog-

nised as a leader in innovation. Several exclusive services are available only to UNIQA clients: MeteoUNIQA, a free-of-charge severe-weather warning SMS service; UNIQA web; My service centre, where in UNIQA insurance agents carry a mobile office ‘packed’ in a small suitcase, ready to deliver policies to a client’s address for free; Road assistance, which provides assistance to all HULL insurance clients; MedUNIQA; and the UNIQA contact centre, supporting clients 24 hours a day. UNIQA is also socially responsible. In the last five years, UNIQA has supported numerous humanitarian projects, cooperated on UNICEF’s School Without Violence project, assisted health institutions and taken part in other activities aimed at helping local communities. «


medical care


Unregulated state of the private health sector

A Third of Serbians Treated by Private Doctors

Medical professionals tell CorD that because private healthcare is marginalised, Serbia’s healthcare system is one of Europe’s most expensive yet among its most low-quality

CorD interlocutors agree there must be a way for the private sector to become involved as well. And for as long as that does not happen, a huge


Dr. Draško Karađinović: Since 2000, the state has been preventing the integration of private practice into mandatory health insurance and access to the funds of the Republic Health Insurance Fund (RHIF) in every way imaginable

t seems that private surgeries and hospitals are to be kept out of the state medical insurance system for a long time to come. It also seems that nobody is serious about tackling this issue. The main reasons for this, according to officials, are that there isn’t enough money to fund it and the unregulated nature of the private sector poses a big problem. This means that those patients who pay for mandatory health insurance will be forced to go to the state health sector for the foreseeable future, and Serbia will be the only country in the region to keep private medical facilities away from state healthcare and the health insurance system.



medical care

number of patients will continue to see private doctors and pay for treatment

Sketchy statistics about private practice

from their own pockets. The Health Ministry has withdrawn an ordinance stipulating the possibility of a private doctor’s right to hospitalise patients or

send them on sick leave, as well as prescribe the use of medical aids. Because this is not regulated at the moment, pa-

There is no reliable statistical data about private practice. Estimates suggest there are more than 3,000 private practice doctors, close to 4,000 private practice dentists and 1,300 privately owned pharmacies in Serbia. By considering these numbers, it becomes clear that very few people have never used a private practice. There are dozens of hospitals and hundreds of sophisticated diagnostic devices (from ultrasounds and X-rays to scanners and MRI machines) in the private sector. The huge potential of this equipment could cut the state healthcare sector’s long waiting lists down to size.

tients who have to go on sick leave or be hospitalised must go to a state-run medical facility for a referral or to have their sick leave approved. All of this is probably handled by doctors the patient has never seen before, despite having been treated by private practice doctors up to that point. Even pregnant women, and there are many of those whose pregnancy is overseen by private practice doctors, have to go to state-run community health centres to get a referral for maternity hospital. Dr. Draško Karadjinović of the Doctors Against Corruption Association says that, since 2000, the state has been preventing the integration of private practice into mandatory health insurance and access to the funds of the Republic Health Insurance Fund (RHIF) in every way imaginable. “Serbia is the only state in Europe where insured workers have to pay 12.3% of their gross salaries towards

Specialized Hospital for Internal Medicine Nova Vita Patrijarha Dimitrija Street No. 36, 11090 Belgrade Tel: +381 (0)11 3564 864 +381 (0)11 3564 863

Advantages of private practice - Availability of services - Efficiency and flexibility (private medical practitioners work in the evenings, after patients’ working hours) - Quality (patients can switch doctors if they are not happy with the service) healthcare contributions, and yet they are not eligible for a refund from the state health insurance if they decide to go to a private practice doctor, dentist or privately owned pharmacy,” says Dr. Karadjinović. “What this basically means is that the patient pays twice for the same service. And let’s not forget that the state healthcare system is monopolistic, that it provides low-quality service, that waiting lists are huge and that corruption is flourishing. On the other hand, paying twice for the same service makes the Serbian healthcare sector one of the most expensive in Europe, with total state-healthcare expenditures taking up to 11% of na-



medical care


tional GDP – and yet the quality of service it provides is the lowest.” According to Dr. Karadjinović, private practice is excluded from the mandatory health insurance system because this is the only way for the political parties and state bureaucracy, which have been running the healthcare system since 2000, to preserve their monopoly on annual discretionary funds of almost €2.5 billion. This archaic state of affairs is justified by evasive rhetoric about the concern for public health and solidarity. “To illustrate just how bad this is for each individual patient and the overall health of the nation, let me just say that when considering the relevant health indicators – contained within annual evaluations performed for the EU by Swedish analytics group EHCI – Serbia takes last (34th) place in terms of quality of medical services,” he says. The private sector has been developing on its own, without the state’s help and in spite of legal and administrative hurdles, as well as bureaucratic pressures and corruption. The biggest problem preventing the acceleration of development is the legalised conflict of interest that forbids state doctors from working at a private practice. The systemic consequences of this harmful rule are quite obvious: the productivity of state healthcare is declining while waiting lists for check-ups, scans or medical interventions are becoming longer. The longer patients wait during the day to get treatment, the more in-demand private practice is, and people become more inclined to go to ‘evening clinics’ where they pay in cash. In the state health system, the waiting period for cataract surgery is up to two years, and half of cancer patients fail to receive radiotherapy within the optimal time. Dr. Karadjinović says that systemic laws need to be amended before Serbia can have an EU-compliant healthcare system. He also adds:



medical care

Zorica Marković: The right to medical treatment is a basic human right. In Serbia, this right is sometimes appropriated due to it being tied to unemployment and a lack of money

“Only then, realistically speaking, will patients be able to pick and choose doctors and hospitals. Currently they are forced to have treatment at a certain medical facility. They are referred to hospitals they might not have cho-

Private and state practice equal in Europe

sen. To have their sick leave approved, they go to the chosen – imposed – state doctor. They are harassed by bureaucracy, pushed into queues that form in hospital hallways and are treated in a very hasty and superficial way until they accept the business card given to them by a state doctor who works privately too. It has been estimated that between 30% and 40% of all medical services are provided by private practice at the moment, mainly in outpatient facilities.” A step in the right direction, i.e. towards including private practice into mainstream healthcare, would be for additional voluntary health insurance to take off in a proper way. Right now, private insurers are in a submissive position and discriminated against when compared with the RHIF. “Simply put, the RHIF has the right to turn deficit into public debt, while if private insurers are in debt, they are forced to declare insolvency,” Dr. Karadjinović explains. “Of course, private voluntary insurance cannot function if state doctors are allowed to work at a private practice and can arbitrarily choose what constitutes basic and additional services. The political elite needs to agree among themselves that radical change to this huge state-run healthcare system, which employs hundreds of thousands of people, is necessary. This can be done only if the EU exerts pressure because such core changes are detrimental both to personal interests and the interests of the political parties.”

Belgium has one of the best healthcare systems in Europe. Belgian citizens can receive treatment at both state and private medical facilities, and between 50% and 75% of medical costs are refunded. There is mandatory health insurance, but hospitals and surgeries are mostly owned privately. In Germany, patients can receive treatment in a hospital of their choosing and have their medical costs refunded under the health insurance policy. Most Germans pay state health insurance (13% of their salary) and can pick any hospital for treatment. Their medical costs are fully refunded. The French can also pick and choose where they receive treatment due to the country’s mandatory health insurance, which in most cases fully refunds the cost of check-ups and treatment.

Zorica Marković, editor of the Zdravoskop website, adds her thoughts on the exclusion of private practice from the mandatory health insurance system and why it is bad for patients: “The reason is simple: they are protecting the state’s monopoly in healthcare and health insurance, and someone’s private interests are very cleverly concealed under the existing format,” says Marković. “The healthcare sector is the only sector where there is no freedom of choice and no competition. Then there is this unhealthy bond between the state and private practice, and it just so happens that an ultrasound in a state clinic is broken; so you are referred to a private clinic where, lo and behold, the same doctor awaits you, who, for objective reasons, could not perform a check-up on you in a state health facility. These anomalies continue to thrive under the wing of the state monopoly.” Marković points out that the right to medical treatment is a basic human right, adding that in Serbia this right is sometimes appropriated due to it being tied to unemployment and a lack of money. In actuality, it is a form of discrimination and should be dealt with seriously from both an ethical and legal standpoint, not just from a financial and economic one. She also complains about the state health sector doing absolutely nothing to adjust to patients and that it still holds on to the old philosophy of patients (citizens) being treated like subjects who must wait humbly for their turn (if their turn ever comes around). “Instead of sitting for hours in waiting rooms, we could have been doing something useful, earning some money, reading a nice book, spending time with our nearest and dearest – nobody has the right to take that away from us,” she says. “Private practice is miles ahead of state healthcare in this respect. I am using my money to pay for medical treatment in a facility

that I think would give me the proper service. Let the money, which I pay into mandatory state health insurance, work for me. It is really not that complicated, only good will is required. But, for now, there is no good will.” She thinks that everything would

Aleksandra Dimitrijević Salom: Private pharmacies should be included into the state system and they should be allowed to sell prescription drugs that are paid for by the RHIF. But even this hasn’t been executed properly

be better if private health insurance were allowed to take off. Pharmacies are an integral part of Serbia’s private healthcare system. Unfortunately, CorD’s interlocutors agree, the situation is grim here too. According to the Chairwoman of the

Association of Private Pharmacists of Serbia, Aleksandra Dimitrijević Salom, pharmacists are also unhappy with the way private practice is treated in Serbia because “it does not resemble the situation in developed countries around the world”. One of the ways for private and state pharmacies to be treated equally is to include private pharmacies into the state system and for private pharmacies to be allowed to sell prescription drugs that are paid for by the RHIF. But, as Dimitrijević Salom says, even this hasn’t been done properly: “Some privately owned pharmacies that signed agreements with the RHIF have already been penalised because they don’t sell anti-HIV drugs. Even state pharmacies don’t stock them but they are not penalised. State pharmacies have been put in a privileged position from the getgo. This only demonstrates that there is no equality whatsoever and that these two sectors are not going to be commensurate. However, small progress has been made, although it is still insufficient.” Another major problem is how the state allows people to set up pharmacy chains, so a person who doesn’t have to be a pharmacist by vocation can own between 60 and 100 pharmacies. This is not the case in developed countries, Dimitrijević Salom says. For instance, the biggest pharmacy chains in Germany have six pharmacies at most, whereas in France it is only three. “The authorities have failed to realise that this is a very delicate vocation that affects human lives and health,” says Dimitrijević Salom. “The EU is very strict when it comes to allowing pharmacists to work with prescription drugs. In our country, anything goes. I really cannot understand why the state doesn’t want to regulate this sector and make life easier both for pharmacists and patients.” «


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INTERVIEW Professor Dr. Slavica Djukić Dejanović, Serbian Minister of Health

Health Workers Do an Honourable Job

Every breach of the law and form of corruption should be penalised, says Serbia’s Health Minister, who also wants to see good work praised and given due attention


f you are asking me what we have done in the past 18 months, I would say a lot,” says Serbian Health Minister Professor Dr. Slavica Djukić-Dejanović at the start of her interview with CorD. “But if you are asking me whether I am satisfied, I have to say I am not. We, as a society, have allowed our healthcare system to crumble and now we are paying the price of our own irresponsibility. Every step forward we make, every step towards something better, is small, almost invisible, but every problem is right there, in your face. We simply have to be patient.” ● You say the steps we have made are small but useful for the system. Could you tell us what steps those are? What improvements have been made? - You know, when I was appointed minister I was taken aback by the fact that none of the 531 drugs needed to treat chronic patients were available for one very prozaic reason – they had no price tag. We’ve dealt with that problem. We have initiated a centralised public procurement system. On the one hand, this system is supposed



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to create a simpler supply process for healthcare facilities, as well as saving them money and combating corruption. We were even publicly commended by the relevant international institutions for it. I have also had to deal with the fact that the remodelling of the four most important healthcare institutions in Serbia – the four clinical centres – has been blocked, although the mon-

We are currently working on changing and amending the Healthcare Law, which will abolish second jobs in healthcare. We think that this decision will lead to lower corruption in the healthcare system ey for it was provided back in 2008. This is also something we have reinitiated. The Niš Clinical Centre is already working. We have introduced new laws – the Law on Patient Rights and the Law on Protection of Patients with Mental Disabilities. ● You talk about rights and obligations at a time when people are discussing the usefulness of a flu vac-

cine. Why are people so opposed to immunisation? - The resistance to immunisation is not only present in our country. Between 3% and 5% of Serbia’s population is immunised against flu, and these are mostly chronic patients. It is very important to mention that immunisation and vaccination for the purpose of disease prevention are the biggest accomplishments in medical history. ● In regards to raising awareness, we must underline the importance of prevention. What are your plans to encourage doctors and citizens to concentrate more on prevention? - We as a state have chosen not to sit and wait for severe diseases to prompt our citizens to seek treatment, but have accepted a pro-active role in raising awareness about preventive check-ups. We have introduced a screening programme for the three most widespread types of cancer. In 2014 we plan to reinstate diabetes clinics. We are currently conducting comprehensive research into the health of our population, which will help us realise the severity of the sit-

uation and generate concrete indicators about the future health of our nation. We need to have exact data that will demonstrate to us what we need to do better, and in which areas we have already achieved results. We have also initiated health classes starting with elementary schools. ● Let’s talk about the situation in healthcare facilities. It is a well-known fact that many of these facilities’ problems have been the result of bad management. When are you going to penalise unscrupulous managers? - The Ministry of Health appoints the directors of healthcare facilities founded by the state, and, by default, bears responsibility for managing them. As a minister, I cannot go by media headlines. I have to see concrete work reports, which are compiled by the inspection that is operating under the ministry I head.

● Do you have a plan to compensate for the lack of anesthesiologists, radiologists and cardiac surgeons? - For the first time ever, the Ministry of Health will be devising a personnel plan for the next year by the end of this one. In order to solve the problem of an insufficient number of specialised doctors, we have decided that graduate medical students don’t have to do a two-year mandatory internship. In the time I’ve been the minister, we have approved nearly 1,700 specialisations. And such a vast number of approved specialisations have been unheard of for a very long time.

● A tough crackdown on corruption in healthcare has been in the pipeline for two decades now. Do you have the concrete plan to combat corruption or are we just going to continue only talking about it? - One of the tools for doing In a situation where only €260 that is abolishing second ● One of the things facing per capita is allocated from our jobs. The other tool is havsevere criticism is medical ing centralised public prostaff taking on second jobs national GDP for healthcare, it curements. This is an antiin hospitals. You have an- is quite a challenge to provide corruption measure which, according to experts, should nounced that this will be more efficient and better reduce costs up to 40%. We abolished... quality healthcare have also stepped up coop- We are currently working on changing and amending the Healthcare eration with NGOs that are engaged in anti-corrupLaw, which will abolish second jobs in healthtion activities. One of these organisations is ‘Serbia on the Move’. We should not allow for the devastacare. We think that this decision will lead to lower corruption in the healthcare system, considering tion of the medical profession to continue by highthat healthcare workers were allowed to take up lighting only individual cases. Every breach of the second jobs in facilities where they had already law and every form of corruption should be pebeen working. This doesn’t automatically imply nalised. I also want to see good and honest work that they misused this opportunity. Most of them praised and drawn attention to. are doing an honourable job. Once this stipulation is abolished, health workers will be able to ● How do you react to the frequent and corrobowork up to one third of their working hours in anrated criticism of the capitation formula in primaother facility in accordance with the Labour Law. ry healthcare? - Capitation exists in every single coun-

Savings thanks to centralised procurement ● You have abolished the use of control stickers on medication boxes.

What other cutbacks have you planned? - The Ministry of Health has sent a letter to the Medicine and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia, the Institute for Manufacturing Banknotes and Coins and the Ministry of Health with the aim of assessing the feasibility of further labelling for control stamps. The most significant savings will be achieved though the centralised supply.

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try. Its goal is to provide the best service possible to patients and to have medical workers actually doing their work during working hours. In the beginning we based the capitation formula on the average work performance in healthcare facilities. Medical workers who do have average work performance will receive 100% of their salaries; those whose work is above average will receive higher salaries. The reward system should be different for people working in secondary and tertiary healthcare because we are not all the same and our attitude to work is not the same. That’s why we should differentiate. The percentage of the variable sector is much higher in Montenegro and Slovenia. ● People don’t have full and clear information about organ transplantation. They should be told why, for instance, only livers are taken from a dead patient and not the kidneys too, as this creates grounds for speculation about organ trading. How will you tackle this problem? - We need to increase the number of donors and that could be done by eliminating prejudice. In order for people to have more information on the matter, we need to have a constant and continuous campaign and the media reporting about organ transplants. We are hugely grateful to the families who, at very delicate moments of saying goodbye to their loved ones, have given their consent for organ donation in order to save somebody else’s life. In order to carry out transplantation after a patient has been brain dead, the family of the deceased patient needs to give their consent. A highly specialised team at the transplantation centre, consisting of doctors of various specialties, carries out an assessment of the donor’s organs. Up to 30 people can participate in the transplantation process and this is done only in large clinics. Only the patients who are on the organ transplant lists are operated on for organ donation.



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● When are heart and liver transplants going to take off and when is Serbia going to become a member of Eurotransplant? - In order for Serbia to become a Eurotransplant member, we need to have 10 donors per million inhabitants. In the case of Serbia, that means that we should have at least 70 do-

In the time I’ve been the minister, we have approved nearly 1,700 specialisations. And such a vast number of approved specialisations have been unheard of for a very long time. We have also decided that graduate medical students don’t have to do a two-year mandatory internship nors annually. In the last few years this number was four per million inhabitants, i.e. between 26 and 28 donors annually. Close to 750 patients are waiting for a new kidney and 70 patients for a new liver. We are currently compiling a heart transplant list.

● When is the Ministry finally going to tackle the private practice issue and when can we expect private medical practice to be included in the mainstream healthcare system? - This will happen gradually. We have started with pharmacies first. I think that first we need to include those private medical practitioners who are performing procedures that state-run medical facilities cannot, due to insufficient capacity. I am referring to diagnostic procedures for which there is a waiting list or that can be done in outpatient facilities. ● What kind of effect did the decision about private pharmacies issuing prescription medicine have? - Allowing private pharmacies to issue prescription medication is a validation that we have made a step in the right direction, leading to the equation of private with state-funded medical practice. We have made medicine more accessible for our patients and they can now pick up medication from pharmacies that are the closest and most convenient for them. ● When are the patients going to receive better treatment, and are you optimistic about the future of Serbia’s healthcare system? - To be Health Minister means to be responsible for the health of almost 8 million people living in our country. This is by no means easy. In a situation where only €260 per capita is allocated from our national GDP for healthcare, it is quite a challenge to provide more efficient and better quality healthcare. That’s why it is so important for employers to pay their healthcare contributions regularly. «

New health insurance cards in three to four years

● How accurate was the story about new health insurance cards and

what will happen with this idea eventually? - Thanks to the amendments and changes to the Law on Health Insurance, the deadline for substituting paper health insurance cards with electronic ones has been moved to 2016 or 2017. The laws need to be adhered to, but sometimes life produces circumstances that are more realistic. We are legally bound to introducing new health insurance cards and that is a given. We should not take a step back and say now that we don’t need a new national health insurance document, but we need to have a timeline for its introduction.

Strong and Successful Team Medical professionals tell CorD that because private healthcare is marginalised, Serbia’s healthcare system is one of Europe’s most expensive yet among its most low-quality speedy recovery of post-op patients. The vast experience, the latest equipment and utilisation of the best ophthalmological brands in the world are a guarantee of our success in treating all kinds of ophthalmological problems. Here is some useful advice from Stankov Ophthalmology experts:


he specialised ophthalmological hospital Stankov Ophthalmology was founded in 2000 as a specialised ophthalmological surgery with four employees. Professor Dr. Branko Stankov has been at the helm of this institution since the very beginning. At first the surgery was focused on ophthalmological problems in children. But with patients becoming more interested in general ophthalmological services and additional specialist services, the number of staff grew and new business systems were introduced. Today, Stankov Ophthalmology has a 25-member-strong team who successfully deal with ophthalmological problems such as contactology, strabology, cataract problems, retinal detachment, vitrectomy and many other ophthalmological conditions. The outpatient section of Stankov Ophthalmology is located on Terazije, Belgrade and is a place where children and adult patients can have all kinds of ophthalmological examinations, including examinations of the anterior and posterior of the eye. The stationary part has a modern surgical block and a ward equipped to aid the

FOR PARENTS How to choose first glasses? - They have to be of adequate size, done by an experienced optician who made them exactly according to the ophthalmologist’s prescription. - A good optometrist will adjust the glasses so they comfortably rest on the nose and don’t slide down, while making the glasses cosy enough for little ones to wear.

Stankov Ophthalmology has a 25-member team who successfully deal with ophthalmological problems such as contactology, strabology, cataract problems, retinal detachment, vitrectomy and other conditions FOR EVERYBODY How to spot a problem? - If a child tilts their head frequently. The reason for this could be strabism, as children with strabism move their heads from one side to another in order to avoid double vision. - On field trips or walks, a child cannot recognise the things you are point out to him or bumps into things

frequently. Or while drawing, the child almost touches the paper with his nose. The cause of this problem is probably short-sightedness. - When you approach a child from the side; they can only see you if you approach from the right-hand side and they do not notice when you come from the left-hand side or vice versa. - If a child often complains about headaches, especially after playing with small objects, doing puzzles or looking at fairytale books. The cause of this problem is probably far-sightedness. FOR ADULTS Cataracts - A cataract is an innate or acquired clouding of the lens inside the eye regardless of how it affects your vision. The main symptom of this condition is a gradual loss of sight in the affected eye. According to the latest reports from the World Health Organization (WHO), 48% instances of blindness are due to cataracts, which translates into 18 million people. -A cataract can be easily and accurately diagnosed by a slit lamp. The clouded lens is removed surgically in two ways – the so-called classical method (ECCE) or the ultrasound method (PHACO). - The PHACO method is shorter, as is the healing time, while the likelihood of post-operative astigmatism and postoperative complications is reduced. «


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INTERVIEW Professor Dr. Višeslav Hadži-Tanović, Cardiologist

Private Practice Makes Perfect The pioneering cardiologist is advocating for an expansion of rights and access for private medicine. According to a survey, over 80% of Serbian citizens would use private healthcare services if state-funded health insurance were to cover it. So should medicine and healthcare in Serbia seek a second opinion?

ical practice in Serbia, and its present capacity? - In the period between 1990 and 2013, a total of 4,500 private medical facilities were opened in Serbia. They are registered as independent business entities with the Business


fter being banned by the Communist regime for almost 40 years, private medical practice was reinstated in Serbia in 1989, with the first privately owned clinic being the Dr Hadži-Tanović International Heart Clinic in Belgrade. This is just one of the reasons CorD has decided to interview its founder, renowned cardiologist Professor Dr. Višeslav HadžiTanović, who is also the Chairman of the Association of Private Medical Practitioners of Serbia and has been advocating for private medical practices to be given the same treatment as state-run ones, giving private practice its rightful place in Serbia. ● Could you tell us about the development milestones of private med-



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tion type, these are surgeries, polyclinics, private health centres, clinics, hospitals, diagnostics and clinical centres. Private medical practice in Serbia has the latest diagnostic equipment, namely more than 3,000 ultrasounds, and over 100 scanners and MRI machines.

A large number of private treatments are gynaecological ones. Terminations of pregnancy (curettage) are the most frequent treatments performed, while the number of patients undergoing IVF at private clinics is also on the up Register Agency. Close to 10,000 doctors work temporarily or permanently in these facilities. In terms of organisa-

German healthcare as a role model

There are over 100 private hospitals in Serbia that can take up to 1,000 patients and which perform all kinds of surgeries apart from brain surgery.

We should emulate European healthcare systems such as, for instance, the German one. In Germany there are over 250 health insurance companies, so each German citizen and employer can choose the best insurance policy for themselves. This facilitates the freedom of choice, i.e. German citizens can choose whether to be treated in a private or staterun medical facility. The issue of private practice’s equality is not controversial in the EU since this is engrained in their democratic system. Patients have the right to choose private doctors because they are paying for their medical insurance every month. In order for this happen, all it would take is for the State Healthcare Fund to conclude a contract with the private healthcare sector.

● How much do people in Serbia seek private treatment? - Serbian citizens have recognised the advantages of going to private medical practitioners. Currently, over 40% of patients use private health services, more than 60% of them use diagnostic and specialist services, 65% go to private gynaecologists and 80% use the services of private labs and dentists. In a survey conducted by Radio Television of Serbia, over 80% of surveyed Serbian citizens would use private healthcare services if state-funded health insurance covered it. All sections of society, including pensioners, go to private doctors. ● What are the reasons for deciding to use private health services? - Patients are respected and their rights are upheld, unlike in the statefunded health sector. Patients are also free to choose their own doctors and appointment time. In private healthcare there are no waiting lists and you can be examined immediately. Health services are of high quality and performed at a very professional level. That’s why patients choose to go to private doctors. ● What is so specific about private medical practice in Serbia? - It is specific because it is not performed by family doctors, who unfortunately are not recognised in

Private practice works parallel to state healthcare, and since the authorities are quite discriminatory towards the private sector, it’s not covered by state medical insurance and operates on the free market

Serbia, but by various medical specialists, which provide over 90% of health services in private medical practices. Most of the private medical facilities are gynaecology and internal medicine/cardiology surgeries, followed by eye specialists, psychiatrists and dermatology/venereal disease specialists. In terms of private hospitals, most of them are plastic surgery and ophthalmology hospitals, as well as general surgery and gynaecological hospitals. And the number of ophthalmological surgeries is growing, especially for treatments like the insertion of intraocular lenses and the correction of congenital eyesight anomalies. ● Who should be credited for the rapid development of private healthcare? - The Association of Private Medical Practitioners of Serbia, formerly the Private Medical Chamber of Serbia, should take most of the credit for such a fast development of private medical practice in Serbia. For the past 23 years, the Association has been helping, providing logistics and encouraging doctors to open private medical practices. Since knowledge, expertise and implementation of the latest medical achievements are the main prerequisites for the successful treatment of patients, the Association has been very keen on educating its members, and it holds


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the International Private Medical Practice in Serbia conference every year. The most renowned foreign doctors are usually conference speakers, while conference participants are presented with the latest developments in diagnostics, therapy and pharmacology. ● Do you overlap with the state healthcare system? - Private medical practice works parallel to the state healthcare system. Since the state authorities are quite discriminatory towards the private sector, this sector is not covered by the state medical insurance and it basically operates on a free market. In Serbia there is only one type of medical insurance – the monopolistic state health insurance, which hasn’t changed since its establishment. It has been tweaked on a few occasions but it is still not able to carry out all of its duties. This is in direct violation of the patient’s right to choose medical insurance freely. The money from the State Health Insurance Fund is usually spent imprudently, so patients are not able to enjoy comprehensive, high-quality healthcare. There have been attempts to establish private health insurance but the current legislation hampers this, thus fuelling the monopoly of state health insurance in Serbia. Presently, there are several types of supple-

mentary private health insurance, which have not been able to fulfil their potential due to discriminatory legislation. ● What action should be taken? - We need to reform medical insurance in order to have several kinds

We need to reform medical insurance in order to have several kinds of mandatory health insurance that would allow people in Serbia to pick and choose a set of services that best suit their needs of mandatory health insurance that would allow people in Serbia to pick and choose a set of services that best suit their needs. Passing laws that would stimulate the creation of more

State healthcare is corrupt while private healthcare thrives According to the EU Health Commission, Serbian healthcare is at the very bottom in Europe, while, in terms of corruption, it is at the very top. We are talking about state healthcare. In the last 10 years more than €10 billion ended up in Serbian healthcare. We don’t know how this money was spent but we do know that during this period the Serbian health system has been on a downward spiral and is much worse now than it was 30 years ago. In the same period, private healthcare, which is practically a parallel system to the state one, has been thriving despite operating under the rules of the free market and not being covered by state medical insurance. The private healthcare system in Serbia is the healthiest system in the country, economics-wise. In terms of expertise and the quality of management, our private healthcare is already in the EU.



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private medical insurances would facilitate faster and better development of not only the private medical sector, but the state one too. Because of the present health insurance system and the huge corruption in state healthcare, Serbian citizens and patients are both at a loss. If you choose private

medical services, you have to pay in cash, which actually means that you pay for the same service twice. The state health insurance does not recognise or refund the costs of private medical services the patient had already paid for once before. ● What about patient rights? - Patient rights are severely violated in Serbia since patients are not able to receive medical treatment wherever they want, despite having paid their medical insurance in advance. They are also not able to choose their doctors freely, namely to have private medical treatment covered by state health insurance. For instance, a patient from Niš cannot receive treatment in Belgrade if they want to and a patient from Belgrade cannot be treated in Novi Sad. Recently, a pregnant woman from Pančevo, which is only 12km

because of corruption, bad management, and the lack of quality staff, equipment and medication.

from Belgrade, was returned from a Belgrade maternity hospital and sent to Novi Sad, which is 75 km from Belgrade, because Novi Sad is in the province in Vojvodina, just like Pančevo. Also, excluding private healthcare from the state healthcare system is prejudiced and constitutes a severe breach of Serbian citizens’ human rights to choose their own doctor and hospital because they have paid medical insurance. ● When can we expect reforms? - The Association of Private Medical Practitioners in Serbia has been urging the Serbian government to conduct healthcare reform with a focus on medical insurance reform, which would serve as the basis for a comprehensive reform of the entire healthcare system in Serbia. Considering the basic principles of democracy and respecting human rights in terms of everyone having the right to choose freely for their money, we have suggested that instead of having the monopolistic health insurance, the authorities should allow for the creation of at least three supplementary private health insurances. Unfortunately, over the past 23 years the government did not demonstrate the political will or the knowledge to do that, so the situation hasn’t changed at all. The state healthcare system has been in constant decline

The state healthcare system has been in constant decline because of corruption, bad management, and the lack of quality staff, equipment and medication

● What would happen if private healthcare was covered by state medical insurance? - If private healthcare were covered by state medical insurance, and if the private healthcare system had the same treatment as the state’s, we would have had a competitive market that would contribute to the better and faster development of both systems. This would benefit the patients who, in that case, would have been able to enjoy better healthcare. Only 30% of certain private medical capacities, such as surgeries and diagnostic methods (scanners, MRIs, ultrasounds), are actually utilised. On the other hand, you have these long waiting lists in state healthcare, where some patients have been known to wait for 10 years to be operated on or six months to have a scan or ultrasound examination. The state has been spending taxpayers’ money on purchasing new equipment while the equipment in private healthcare is underused. That’s why it makes perfect economic sense to have private medical treatments covered by the mandatory state health insurance, with the aim of cutting back costs and reducing, or even totally eliminating, waiting lists in this time of economic crisis. «


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