CorD Magazine No.141

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UNICEF Representative in Serbia

Director of the British Council for Serbia and the Western Balkans



JULY ’16 / ISSUE No. 141

H.E. Mr. MEHMET KEMAL BOZAY Ambassador of Turkey to Serbia


interviews opinions news comments events PRICE 300 RSD COMMENT

The Brexit Debate is Far From Over July’s Red Hot Music Suited For The Environmentally Conscious EXIT FESTIVAL



Affirm good neighbourly





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COVER FILIP VUJANOVIĆ, President of Montenegro

Affirm good neighbourly RELATIONS IN THE REGION

The past decade was marked by the strong progress of Montenegro on its path towards the European Union, based on the foreign policy orientation of Montenegro and its commitment to European and Euro-Atlantic integration







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Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro




Clare Sears, Director of the British Council for Serbia and the Western Balkans







Michel Saint-Lot, UNICEF Representative in Serbia 74












Sanyutei Rakumaro, artist



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Books: Exceptional Women of Serbia of the 20th & 21st centuries

Marko Šćepanović, CEO at Ono Bikes



EDITOR: Ana Novčić ART DIRECTOR: Jasmina Laković CONTRIBUTORS: Rob Dugdale, Mirjana Jovanović, Miša Brkić, Radmila Stanković, Steve MacKenzie, Zorica Todorović Mirković, Sonja Ćirić EDITORIAL MANAGER: Neda Lukić PHOTOS: Zoran Petrović

H.E. Mehmet Kemal Bozay, Ambassador of Turkey to Serbia



July 2016


COPY EDITOR: Mark Pullen TRANSLATION: Snežana Bjelotomić, MRP Editorial PROJECT MANAGERS: Biljana Dević, Aleksandra Ebilji, Ljiljana Knežević, Jelena Ranđelović, Nataša trifunović, OFFICE MANAGER: Svetlana Petrović FINANCIAL MANAGER: Dragana Skrobonja EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Maja Vidaković GENERAL MANAGER: Ivan Novčić PRINTING: Rotografika d.o.o. Segedinski put 72, Subotica CorD is published by: alliance international media Makenzijeva 67, 11111 Belgrade 17, PAK 126909, Serbia Phone: +(381 11) 2450 508 Fax: +(381 11) 2450 122 E-mail: ISSN no: 1451-7833 All rights reserved alliance international media 2016

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The Brexit Debate is

Far From Over Britain has voted for Brexit. What comes next is remarkably unclear. Four questions remain: whether to invoke Article 50, what mandate the Leave campaign possesses, what sort of exit deal Parliament will approve and what will happen if there is an early general election DR JAMES STRONG, Fellow in Foreign Policy Analysis and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science


irst, when will the Brexit negotiations begin? David Cammental pillars of the single market. In other words, the price of retaineron broke two promises he made during the referening access to the EU market is likely to be allowing free movement of dum campaign. He resigned as Prime Minister. And he people. There is a fundamental clash between the desire to remake announced that he would not immediately inform the EuBritain as a free-trading nation and the desire to restrict immigration ropean Council that Britain wishes to withdraw from the EU, in line (this is true conceptually as much as in practice). So what sort of deal with Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This is significant. Once a state will the post-leave government pursue? I suspect the answer is that it activates Article 50, it has two years to negotiate its future relawill be unable to negotiate a deal because it will be unable to concede tionship with the remaining 27 member states. After two years its on free movement, leaving Britain outside of the single market by demembership terminates automatically. fault at the end of its two year withdrawal period. Cameron’s successor, presumably Boris Johnson, will have to decide Thirdly, and relatedly, what sort of deal will parliament approve? in October whether or not to invoke Article 50. Early in the campaign, Most MPs favour remaining in the EU, but they will have to sign off on Johnson suggested that Britain might yet be able to wring a better deal any post-Brexit agreement. Will they be willing to do so in principle? (e.g. further restrictions on freedom of movement) out of other EU Probably, given most have more respect for the electorate than is often states if the government already had a mandate to leave. Most EU leadimplied. But, again, what sort of deal will they have a mandate to apers have ruled out this option. But that doesn’t prove? One that retains access to the single marmean they won’t consider now. Remember, most ket at the cost of allowing free movement, or one The Brexit debate didn’t take the prospect of BREXIT entirely serithat cuts off both? The differences are stark, and is far from over, in ously during the previous round of negotiations. the reality is that the leave vote is split between other words: one And even if they did take the prospect seriously, it the two broad approaches. There will have to be a makes no sense from a bargaining perspective to way or another there second referendum, like it or not. admit that you are willing to offer more to a barFourthly, what happens if there is an early will have to be a gaining partner who does something you don’t general election before the two years are up? further vote want. We could yet see a second re-negotiation This is entirely possible, though the Fixed Terms followed by a second referendum in which Prime Parliament Act sets a high bar (assuming the govMinister Johnson successfully campaigns for Remain, having achieved ernment does not lose a confidence vote, which it probably wouldn’t, his primary goal by becoming Prime Minister. two-thirds of MPs have to vote for an early election, which means both Second, what sort of mandate does the leave camp have? Two key Labour and the Conservatives have to be confident they’ll win). It could concerns appear to have driven the leave vote – fear of mass immigrahappen if the Conservative Party splits, which looks like a realistic postion and a desire to repatriate sovereign authority currently pooled sibility. It could also happen if the worst economic predictions of the with other EU states, for example the power to alter employment Remain camp come true. If the hit to business confidence already apregulations or to negotiate new free trade deals. To an extent these parent in the markets continues into a recession, that in turn could unconcerns can both be resolved by leaving the EU. But many of those dermine the government’s position. The prospect of an early election who argue for a leave vote on sovereignty grounds nevertheless still is interesting for this reason: What if the Labour Party campaigns on a want Britain to have the best possible trading relationship with other pro-EU mandate, and wins? Could a new government withdraw the ArEU states, which makes sense since most of our exports go to them. ticle 50 notification before the two year period is up? Article 50 doesn’t They say they would like Britain to stay in the European single marsay, which means presumably the possibility is there. But it would have ket as far as possible. Both Norway and Switzerland are in the single to be negotiated, and Europe may be in no mood for second guessing. market but not the EU, so there is precedent here. The problem is that The Brexit debate is far from over, in other words: one way or anthe rest of the EU sees free movement of people as one of the fundaother there will have to be a further vote. ■

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Affirm good neighbourly


The past decade was marked by the strong progress of Montenegro on its path towards the European Union, based on the foreign policy orientation of Montenegro and its commitment to European and Euro-Atlantic integration


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n this path, Montenegro has opened 22 negotiating chapters and closed two. Relations between Serbia and Montenegro are improving, but there are still open bilateral issues that should be resolved as soon as possible, in order for the two countries to be able to speed up the process of EU accession and contribute to the further stabilisation of relations in the region.




With Serbia we must have closest relations and be an example of intimacy in the international community

I am glad that Belgrade is restoring its shine and I see it as the capital of a neighbouring and close country and wish it full prosperity

I am convinced that the countries of the region are not threatened by political instability. But there are undoubtedly sensitive and open-ended issues that require full commitment

■ Montenegro recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of its declaration of independence. How did you experience this date?

slavia and restored national dignity and pride?

- I absolutely agree with this assessment, and it is the testimony of the experience of Montenegro, which managed to correct the historical injustice of the loss of the state by restoring independence. In the anti-fascist movement Montenegro launched a renewal of its unjustly lost statehood and was given the status of a republic in the former common state, only

- I’ve always had ambiguous feelings about the restoration of Montenegro’s statehood: as the fulfilment of the debt to the past in which Montenegro was an internationally recognised state, and as a chance to promote its best interests for the benefit of all citizens of Montenegro by exercising its full sovereignty within the international community. In Montenegro there is a thousand-year state tradition and respect towards the international recognition of the country since the reign of the last ruler of the Petrović dynasty, Duke and King Nikola. There was also a pragmatic need to promote, through our state, the values of Montenegro in the international community and provide a better quality of life for all of our citizens. When you look at the ten-year balance, you must note the integration success, but also valuable economic achievements. Montenegro is in the process of ratifying its NATO membership, but has also opened 22 chapters on membership negotiations in the EU and has closed two of them before the deadline. There has been growth in gross domestic product of 70 per cent, employment has increased by 9.8%, the average salary is up 70 per cent In Montenegro there is and pensions are 100 per cent higher. a thousand-year state Development in relation to the EU has tradition and respect been increased from 30 to 43 per cent. Of course, we wanted better and hightowards the international er, and we admit that Montenegro has recognition of the its economic and social problems, and country since the reign therefore serious challenges and responsibilities in the future. But it must of the last ruler of the be acknowledged that in the past decPetrović dynasty, Duke ade we secured valuable integration and King Nikola and development success.

■ Do you agree with the evaluation of the Prime Minister of Montenegro – outlined at the celebration of the jubilee – that it was only in 2006 that Montenegro remedied the injustice caused in 1918 when it became part of the Kingdom of Yugo-

to become sovereign and internationally recognised after the May referendum in 2006. This fulfilled the obligation to respect our history, because the loss of the state bore the brunt of great injustice and its restoration brought back national dignity. ■ May saw the signing of the Protocol on the Accession of Montenegro to NATO and so far it has been ratified by Iceland, Slovenia, Hungary and Slovakia. How do you see that process?

- As the finale of the very complex and demanding process of Euro-Atlantic integration, which represents great recognition for Montenegro’s success in attaining NATO standards. In just one month, the Accession Protocol has been ratified J U LY



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by the parliaments of four NATO member states, which also refers to the expectation of good pace of membership ratification. Euro-Atlantic integration is proclaimed as our integration preference in the Constitution of Montenegro and in the Declaration of an independent Republic of Montenegro from 3rd June 2006, and based on the need for permanent security, economic and political benefits and the acceleration of European integration. Of the 28 EU member states, 22 are members of NATO, nine out of every ten EU citizens live in NATO states, so it is natural that membership in NATO means additional encouragement to EU membership. Three of the four countries that have ratified the Protocol of Accession to NATO are EU member states, so it is natural that membership in NATO strongly contributes to the acceleration of European integration. It is well known that NATO brings valuable economic benefits, but it also has a significant political advantage. Therefore, the fast pace of the accession protocols is of particular importance and I am happy that the process started right away and is developing at a good pace.

and a consequence of the geopolitical context. I have already stated that our constitutional preferences are European and Euro-Atlantic integrations. We have always been clear about that to everyone, including our friends from Moscow. We are ties to Russia by more than three centuries of a tradition of state relations. In all of our communications with Russia’s senior officials we have clearly communicated our Euro-Atlantic ambitions and, with their well-known attitude towards NATO enlargement, they’ve always admitted the fact that this is the sovereign right of Montenegro. The existing geopolitical framework and its sensitivity have caused the current attitude of Russia, which I expect to change through a shift in that same framework and new relations between Russia and NATO. I am convinced that we should be extremely patient and that we will be able to preserve the traditional relationship with Russia as well as gaining membership in NATO. ■ You recently spoke in Pod-

■ Will the final word on acces-

sion to the Alliance be given by citizens in a referendum, or will there not be such a vote?

Euro-Atlantic integration is proclaimed as our integration preference in the Constitution of Montenegro and in the Declaration of an independent Republic of Montenegro from 3rd June 2006, and based on the need for permanent security, economic and political benefits and the acceleration of European integration

- Following October’s parliamentary elections we will have a new constituting of the Assembly, which will have the responsibility of determining the model of deciding on membership in NATO. MPs will have the obligation and responsibility to assess whether the decision will be made in the Assembly or rather be left to the citizens in a referendum. I am convinced that they will assess in an extremely careful way what is better for Montenegro and that the decision of the Assembly will be precisely in accordance with the highest interests of the citizens of Montenegro. ■ How do you consider Russia’s opposition to NATO enlargement to your country?

- I see it as an example of relations between Russia and NATO 10 |


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gorica with the President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi. Did you talk about the problems associated with the supposedly controversial issue of border demarcation, which is insisted upon by the opposition in Kosovo?

- Our foreign policy is constantly directed towards the affirmation of good neighbourly relations. We are proud of the fact that we don’t have open issues with any of our neighbours and that there are many possibilities for cooperation with all of our neighbours. In this regard, of course, I am not forgetting the question of Prevlaka, but in this area we have a temporary regime that has worked flawlessly since December 2002, and with willingness to treat it in terms of good neighbourliness, this question does not burden our relations, but rather, on the contrary, it confirms our good neighbourly relations. With Kosovo we affirm good relations in all areas, and the agreement on the border showed that we were able to agree on an important and sensitive issue without international mediation. This agreement was signed in Vienna, in their Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by the Prime Minister and

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Interior of Montenegro. Montenegro has ratified this agreement in the Assembly, and Kosovo will do the same according to the dynamics of their Assembly and their internal relations.

town and do you see it today as part of a foreign country?

- Not only was I born in Belgrade, but I also studied in Belgrade and had the first years of my working life in Belgrade. In my years of study and work, Belgrade, undoubtedly, was a prestigious city in the Western Balkans in many respects, but the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia and the sanctions ■ How would you assess current relations with Serbia? impacted negatively on the capital of Serbia. I am glad that - I experience them as being close, Belgrade is restoring its shine and I meaningful and friendly. I have alsee it as the capital of a neighbourI recently had the most open, ways said and I will repeat - with ing and close country and wish it friendly and constructive Serbia we must have closest relafull prosperity. tions and be an example of intimameeting with Serbian President cy in the international community. ■ It is occasionally stated in MonteNikolić in Sarajevo during the We are tied together by many valnegro that Serbia interferes in the Summit Initiative Brdo Brioni. ues of shared history, many close country’s internal affairs. Are those things in the present and commonWe noted the closeness of our statements justified? alities in many ways in our vision countries and citizens, affirming - It is clear that our two countries for the future. I am convinced that have differences that should be rethe need to respect the mutual respect, non-interference spected and there should be no inin internal affairs, the affirmation similarities and differences terference in internal affairs. I am of closeness and understanding not concerned about occasional of diversity, secure precisely such public exposure of those differenca relationship between these two friendly countries. That is es, because I think that our closeness is constant and that difundoubtedly in the interest of all citizens of both countries, ferences can’t affect that in any way. and whoever is responsible for state policy should bear this in mind. ■ How is your cooperation with Serbian President Tomislav ■ You were born in Belgrade. How often do you visit your home-


- I recently had the most open, friendly and constructive




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meeting with Serbian President Nikolić in Sarajevo during the Summit Initiative Brdo Brioni. We noted the closeness of our countries and citizens, affirming the need to respect the similarities and differences with the necessity of improving cooperation, especially in the economic sphere, and within it the improvement of transport and energy infrastructure. In the field of infrastructure we have always emphasised the importance of the reconstruction of the Belgrade-Bar railway, which should facilitate communication between citizens and ensure better trade and overall economic cooperation.

are brought by the countries of the region?

- Regardless of sensitive issues within the EU, aspirants for membership should direct their own approach dynamics through the maximum commitment and the highest level of cooperation. Our goal should be to achieve the standards of the EU, while the attitude towards enlargement is a matter of EU policy. We should use the accession process for our reform and also take advantage of joint action, particularly in the improvement of transport and energy infrastructure. Through the Brdo Brioni initiative and the Berlin process, we have a clearly designed package of support for infrastructure projects in the Western Balkans, with donations secured and the certainty of tangibility to be confirmed at the upcoming Paris meeting of EU and Western Balkan countries. That is why I am a fan of committing to attaining EU standards without burdening ourselves with its internal relations. ■ Do you believe in assessments claiming that the countries in the region are threatened by political instability?

■ Are you satisfied with the current level of economic cooperation, which is realised within the framework of CEFTA?

I am convinced that the countries of the region are not threatened by political instability. But there are undoubtedly sensitive and open-ended issues that require full commitment, open and constructive dialogue and regional cooperation to consolidate and promote regional stability

Cooperation within CEFTA should be improved significantly; we should take advantage of the chance to better connect, to overcome administrative barriers and to make our trade faster and cheaper. Montenegro chairs CEFTA in its decennial year and we are determined to adopt the Agreement on Trade Facilitation. This would significantly reduce the cost of trade, harmonise our customs, coordinate labour legislation and make border control cheaper and simpler.

■ Given that both Montenegro and Serbia are committed to European integration, are you concerned by the frequent statements of British officials who warn that such an expansion of the EU means the introduction of many problems that 12 |


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- I am convinced that the countries of the region are not threatened by political instability. But there are undoubtedly sensitive and open-ended issues that require full commitment, open and constructive dialogue and regional cooperation to consolidate and promote regional stability. We must look to the future. We must understand that the countries of the region should cooperate with the diversity of our experiences of the past, but with determination to build a stable and prosperous future.

■ Protests among the opposition and disgruntled citizens have been held in Montenegro, while the government was reconstructed and parliamentary elections are planned for October. Do you believe that the process will pass in a democratic atmosphere?

- I am certain that the elections will pass in a democratic atmosphere. Part of the opposition entered the Government with the intention of participating in the preparation of free and fair elections, gaining the possibility to create an environment for credible elections in ministries, state bodies and institutions and local governments. At the same time, they are participating in all government activities, with adequate media coverage and overall promotion of these activities. Thereby conditions are being created for the acceptance of the election results and the formation of a government with full credibility. ■



Always Room For

■ Photo by Zoran Petrović


Between the strong and friendly states of Turkey and Serbia, there is always room to enhance relations in all fields. Even though we do not share a common border, our good neighbourly relations improve every day on the basis of dynamics that bring our two countries closer together

Agreement, Visa Agreement, Agreement on Investments Encouragement and Prevention of Double Taxation, have been concluded between the two countries. We are glad to see that bilateral trade is moving upwards continuously and increases year on year. In 2015, Turkey was the 7th import and 17th export partner of Serbia, with a trade volume of $830 million. And Turkish investors are becoming more and more interested in Serbia every day.


urkey and Serbia have the necessary political will to advance bilateral relations in every field, and the leaders of both countries have declared their sincere intentions to foster relations on many occasions in recent times,” says H.E. Mehmet Kemal Bozay, Ambassador of Turkey, speaking in this exclusive interview for CorD Magazine.

■ Your Excellency, you have assessed relations between Serbia and Turkey as being friendly, noting that we have our best understanding in the economic domain. Are you satisfied with this cooperation and is there room for improvement?

- We believe in the bright future of Serbia, as a prospective member of the EU, and are searching for ways to lift the economic relations, which are far below the potential of the respective nations, to the desired level. From an economic and legal perspective, everything is ready for doing business. Basic bilateral agreements, such as the Free Trade 14 |


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■ As you stated recently, businesspeople from Turkey would rather invest in Serbia than in other countries in the region. What is the attraction? - There has been an increasing interest among Turkish business circles in investing in Serbia. The arrival of Halkbank on the Serbian market was a real game changer in that sense. I am completely confident that Halkbank, one of the top players in the Turkish banking sector, will contribute significantly to not only the banking sector here, but also bilateral economic ties between Turkey and Serbia. With its particular expertise in dealing with SMEs, Halkbank will also give a much needed boost to the Serbian economy in that respect. I cannot possibly say that the current level of trade with, and FDI from, Turkey is satisfactory. I am almost completing my fourth year here and I am an ardent believer in the potential and capacity Serbia has to offer, and am totally convinced that the Turkish economy will benefit greatly from interaction with Serbia. With this understanding, the relevant authorities of both countries, including the Turkish Embassy in Belgrade, encourage Turkish businesspeople and investors to be present in Serbia, since this is the right time to invest here.




We are glad to see that bilateral trade is moving upwards continuously and increases year on year

Turkey is an indispensable actor in global security, with its stable and strong political and economic structure

Turkey is vehemently against any factor that could compromise peace and stability in the region

Serbia has an excellent location to reach out to a large number of countries’ markets, and it has an excellent network of free trade agreements (FTAs) with CEFTA, EFTA, Turkey, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Serbia has also started full membership accession talks with the EU and trade with EU is being made free of customs duties. With that FTA network, Serbia offers market placement to over 1.1 billion people, which is a very good reason to invest in this country, especially for companies which are targeting these markets. It has an encouraging investment regime and a favourable business environment. The forecasts for 2016, 2017 and beyond signal a considerable economic recovery and the government’s commitment to reform is noteworthy and much appreciated. I also would like to underscore that during my conversations with Turkish investors who have been here for quite a deal of time, they again and again stress their satisfaction with the Serbian workforce and their exemplary work ethics, which is an outstanding factor in taking investment decisions.

ists coming from Serbia has approached the 200,000 mark. Turkey offers all sorts of attractions that cater to a wide variety of tastes, ranging from UNESCO World Heritage sites to pristine beaches. Turkish authorities are taking all necessary precautions to ensure that tourists can enjoy these attractions. While there have recently been a number of terrorist attacks in Turkey, it is important to keep things in perspective and note that any country can be a victim of such terror attacks. The recent terror attacks that took place in Paris and Brussels are a testament to this fact. All in all, popular tourist destinations in Turkey are safe and stable.

■ How much progress is being made on the feasibility study for the construction of an airport in Kraljevo, which is a job that, according to the Memorandum of Understanding, should be carried out jointly by Serbia and Turkey? - We are well aware of the importance of the Kraljevo airport project for central and south Serbia. Once fully operational, its surroundings will benefit considerably with the transport opportunities it offers, both to Serbia and even to its neighbouring countries. The agreement on partial reconstruction of the Kraljevo airport was signed in 2012 and after that relevant studies were conducted pretty swiftly and the final stage was approached. However, due to some misunderstandings, a stalemate has been reached. Nevertheless, the Serbian authorities have restated their interest in cooperation in this area. A team from the Turkish Ministry of Transport will soon visit Serbia to conduct some new studies of a technical nature.

■ According to the available data, Turkish citizens also increasingly prefer to come to Belgrade as tourists. The number of Turkish tourists in the Serbian capital has increased by as much as 40 per cent in the last few years. How can you explain this?

- The number of Turkish tourists that are coming to Serbia is increasing every year. The number has tripled in the last three years, from 20 thousand to more than 60 thousand in 2015. This year the expectation is 90 thousand. As a matter of fact, Turkey ranks number two in terms of the number of incoming tourists in Serbia. The shared cultural and historical heritage of the two countries is certainly a factor in making Serbia a popular tourist destination. ■ On the other hand, Turkey is also one of the favourite destina-

tions for tourists from Serbia. Will the upcoming tourist season threaten the complex security situation in the country? The last terrorist attack in Istanbul took place in early June and was the fifth since the beginning of 2016?

- Turkey consistently ranks as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. In 2014, the number of tourists travelling to Turkey surpassed the 40 million mark for the first time. The number of tour-

Serbia offers market placement to over 1.1 billion people, which is a very good reason to invest in this country, especially for companies which are targeting these markets

■ The impression

is that the situation is complicated by the state of the domestic political scene – in external analyses one can see the impression that the current government is moving Turkey further away from the course set by Kemal Ataturk, turning more towards traditionalism and the strengthened role of religion. Is that impression mistaken?

- As a modern, democratic and secular state, Turkey is an indispensable actor in global security, with its stable and strong political and economic structure. With its unique, predominantly Muslim, population, Turkey is a hub of political and economic power in the Eurasian region. On the other hand, politically and economically, Turkey’s deep-rooted and multi-dimensional relations with the West are also of a vital and fundamental character. Having said this, it is also true that since the beginning of the second millennium Turkey has started to play a more active role in its neighbourhood and beyond. This approach primarily stems from the complex risks and threats inherent in today’s international system. We all have to be proactive and constructively approach crises all around the world. This kind of a J U LY



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change in Turkey’s foreign policy understanding should be regarded as a valuable contribution to international efforts aimed at preserving peace and stability. However, circles biased against Turkey may try to deliberately present this phenomenon as a destabilising factor. Such efforts are in vain. In summary, the traditionalism of Turkey and the Turkish people is based on its deep-rooted state tradition and dignity, enriched by genuine and precious cultural and religious values. And universal concepts of democracy, rule of law and respect of human rights are the pillars of the modern Turkey that was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. ■ You recently rejected allegations that

the authoritarian regime of President Erdoğan is being strengthened and claims that media freedom and opposition activities are being suppressed in Turkey?

- As a founding member of the Council of Europe and an EU membership candidate country, Turkey is firmly committed to human rights, the rule of law and democracy. In recent years we have witnessed attempts to impose an unjust and unfounded image on Turkey by some illintended media outlets. Negative propaganda may have a certain impact for some time, but realities cannot be altered with twisted campaigns. Turkey is a vibrant democracy and is continuously striving to raise its standards by all means. Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, set the main course of Turkey almost a century ago, to surpass the contemporary civilisation. This kind of a target is neither dogmatic nor static. Such a formula is, and will continue to be, the guiding principle for us in the future too. The goals declared by our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for 2023 and 2071 are clear confirmation of Turkey’s future path. ■ There are also disagreements with

- In international politics, there are no countries with 100 per cent overlapping views in all fields. First of all, Turkey is vehemently against any factor that could compromise peace and stability in the region. In this regard, we support Serbia’s EU membership bid and the Belgrade-Pristina process, which will be instrumental in ensuring a prosperous Balkans and Europe. We want to focus on mutually benefitting relations, such as economic and financial issues. To this end we have added an economic aspect to the trilateral mechanism. This mechanism is a tool to enhance mainly economic cooperation among Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, with an understanding of confidence building. This is the way forward for all of 141

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■ The Trilateral was not thrilled with the leaders of Republika Srp-

ska, who were also dissatisfied with the “Trilateral”, considering that they feel Turkey clearly favours the Federation, or Bosniaks in the country. How do you respond to such a stance?

- Across the Balkans, due to our common historical heritage, there are people in all countries with special ties to Turkey. This is an historical and sociological fact. We are in favour of viewing this fact as bridges to bolster our bilateral relations with the countries of the region. Positive attitudes and open-mindedness can substantially help to overcome negative perceptions. Constructive engagement can pave the way for long-term solutions. We are aware that it takes time to eliminate historical prejudice. However, there is no alternative to good neighbourly relations in the region. We have recently activated the economic dimension of the trilateral mechanism among Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, in order to create a cooperation environment in order to overcome prejudices. We finally believe that improved economic relations among regional countries will pave the way for better political relations too. The project of opening a joint Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina trade office in Istanbul will be a concrete step in this direction.

The number of Turkish tourists that are coming to Serbia is increasing every year. The number has tripled in the last three years, from 20 thousand to more than 60 thousand in 2015

Serbia at the political level, primarily due to Ankara’s position regarding Kosovo. Do you think there are chances to renew dialogue within the “Trilaterale” (Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina), which was interrupted due to the dissatisfaction of President Nikolić with Turkey’s stance on Kosovo?

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us. Economic cooperation can provide us with a reliable safeguard against destabilising factors.

■ Will the EU-Turkey agreement on resolving the migrant crisis be jeopardised if the agreed visa liberalisation for Turkey is not forthcoming, as announced recently by Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu?

- Turkey is the only EU candidate country whose citizens are denied visa-free entry into the EU. In order to correct this situation, the visa liberalisation process was started in 2014 with the signing of the Readmission Agreement. Out of the 72 benchmarks that were formulated within the framework of the Road Map, Turkey has met all but five. Turkey has enacted significant reforms in areas such as migration management, border security and operational cooperation with Europol. We hope that the remaining issues will swiftly be worked out and that Turkish citizens will be able to enjoy visafree travel to the EU at the earliest opportunity. ■ What do you think about the comments suggesting that Turkey its strengthening its negotiating position with the EU by threatening to direct a large number of refugees towards Europe?

- The accusation that Turkey is using the continuing refugee crisis to bolster its negotiating position against the EU is unfounded. We clearly want burden sharing, as this is not an issue that only concerns Turkey. Turkey currently hosts approximately three million refugees, most of whom are Syrian. Ever since the Syrian regime re-

sorted to using deadly force to suppress peaceful protests in 2011, we have spent more than $10 billion for the various expenses associated with housing these refugees. Most recently, Turkey has amended the labour code to give these people the right to work. In other words, Turkey is doing its utmost to alleviate the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding. We expect our European partners to shoulder a fair share of the burden.

■ Germany’s decision to classify the crimes against Armenians during World War I as genocide was greeted with outrage in Turkey. President Erdoğan responded by accusing Germany of acts of genocide in World War II. What can be expected in further communication between the two countries – an easing of tensions or their escalation?

- Turkey and Germany have extensive ties. Germany is currently the biggest export market of Turkey and it ranks number two in terms of imports. Furthermore, there are over ■ How do you evaluate the situation in three million Turkish people in Germany, Certain circles in Germany the Middle East and are you concerned many of whom have German citizenship. would like to prevent the about information related to new conUnfortunately, certain circles in Germany flicts in Syria? blossoming of this relationship would like to prevent the blossoming of - The situation in the Middle East conthis relationship and they are exploiting and they are exploiting tinues to be dire, with the Syrian Civil unfortunate historical circumstances to unfortunate historical War in its fifth year and with internal drive a wedge between the two counconflicts continuing to rage in Iraq and tries. The venue to discuss the events circumstances to drive Yemen, as well as precarious progress of 1915 is not legislatures, but rather a wedge between the two in Libya. As most of the nearly three academic environments with objective million refugees originate from Syria, historians. Turkey has no qualms about countries the situation there has major reperfacing its past, which is why it has alcussions for Turkey, not to mention the lowed access to its archives to foreign fact that recent rocket strikes from the Syrian side of the border historians. The same cannot be said for the Armenian side. There is have killed more than 20 people in the town of Kilis. no court finding to justify the characterisation of the events as “genoWe hope that a political solution for the conflict is the only cide”. Furthermore, the term “genocide” wasn’t even defined in 1915 solution for the root cause. However, for that to happen the legitiand, hence, any such characterisation would in effect be a retroactive mate representatives of the Syrian people have to come together application of international law. In any event, the bilateral relations and discuss their grievances, in order to come up with a formula between Turkey and Germany are too important to be allowed to be for a democratic Syria. derailed by the distorting of historical facts. ■


Building a Better


On 11th December 2016, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will mark its 70th year of helping to build a better world for every child. UNICEF was created in 1946 in an effort to secure the fate of Europe’s children


n the last seven decades, UNICEF has continued to assist children affected by war and crisis. It has also taken on a much broader and evolving role in international development, working to provide integrated services to children and advocate for the full spectrum of their rights. Interestingly, in August 1947, the Former Yugoslavia was the first country in the world to receive UNICEF’s emergency shipment for children. In 1991, the UNICEF Belgrade Office was established to respond to the emerging Yugoslav crisis, with the aim of reaching war-affected children with supplies and assistance. ■ This year will see UNICEF mark its 70th anniversary. How do you see that jubilee?

- This year’s anniversary provides an opportunity for UNICEF to celebrate its previous achievements, examine its present work, and strengthen the pursuit of a future where every child has a fair chance in life. 18 |


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We cooperate with all countries and governments; build strategic partnerships with the corporate sector and the media; and cooperate with local communities, civil society organisations, and independent institutions, in order to provide systematic support to children.

■ If you were to describe the role of UNICEF today, what would you say?

- In recent years, a renewed emphasis on equity for children has become a cornerstone of the organisation’s programme, policy and advocacy work. In everything UNICEF does, the most vulnerable children and families are given the highest priority. Children in the poorest and most marginalised populations bear a disproportionate burden of disease, undernutrition, illiteracy and exploitation. Progress in nationally averaged indicators of well-being can conceal major and widening inequities for marginalised children, and an equityfocused approach helps simultaneously reduce disparities and accelerate progress towards the newly developed Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, UNICEF’s role is to ensure that children who are still growing up in poverty and isolation, and who are discriminated




In everything UNICEF does, the most vulnerable children and families are given the highest priority

UNICEF works with governments and partners to improve standards, child protection systems, policies and practices

The role of the private sector in sustainable development is becoming an important dimension of our country programmes

against, get a fair chance to be healthy, educated and protected, and to reach their full potential. The world is changing fast, and we are adapting with the times. Innovation lies at the heart of our approaches to improving the lives of children. Actually, the idea of UNICEF itself was an innovation – a global organisation supporting local children with critical services in emergencies. Building on this long history, UNICEF uses innovation to create solutions that strengthen our work.

in privacy and, if needed, prepare and provide age-appropriate food for their children. We have also been providing children with appropriate clothing, while hygiene items are made available to mothers. UNICEF also supports the overall strengthening of the capacities of the social welfare system in Serbia to respond to the protection needs of children and families on the move.

■ What do you see as the most challenging issues that UNICEF is dealing with today?

- Like most things that are worthwhile, adopting equity-focused approaches is challenging. This presents interesting and striking implications for national policies and programmes in many developing countries, and for the work of UN country teams, donors, multilateral agencies and civil society partners. For UNICEF, the equity agenda is pushing us to blend our strengths of data collection and analysis, technical expertise, policy acumen and programming, and apply it more judiciously and effectively to fulfil our mandate and to tangibly improve the lives of children still left behind.

■ The world is faced with the largest refugee crisis of our time. Children suffer a lot on their route from the Middle East to Europe. How is UNICEF handling the crisis so far?

- Hundreds of thousands of refugee and mi■ According to the press reports, This year’s anniversary grant children have made their way to Europe many children come to Europe with no provides an opportunity and many are still on the move right now. The parents or relatives in their company. journey is taking an enormous physical and psyfor UNICEF to celebrate its How worried are you about their fuchosocial toll on children, who are exhausted, ture and do you think they need speprevious achievements, scared and psychologically distressed. Every cial care and attention? examine its present work, - Unaccompanied and separated chilone of these children is in need of protection and is entitled to the rights guaranteed under and strengthen the pursuit dren must be prioritised at every step the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every of the way - they need to be identified of a future where country has a duty to protect them. and interviewed by trained humaniUNICEF works with governments and partevery child has a fair tarian protection professionals in orners to improve standards, child protection der to examine their best interests. chance in life systems, policies and practices. We are all faced Effective guardianship programmes with an unprecedented challenge to provide need to be in place for unaccompanied support, because refugees and migrants want to proceed as rapadolescents while their asylum claims are being processed. idly as possible to their destination. In Serbia, fostering has proven to be a successful approach durHere in Serbia, thanks to generous donations from the Euroing the response to the refugee and migrant crisis – social services pean Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Dehave been providing protection and placement in foster families partment (ECHO) and the Government of Japan, UNICEF has set for unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. This is better for children than placing them in an institution or detention centre. up child-friendly spaces and mother-and-baby corners. In these safe places, children can rest, play and receive psychosocial support from qualified professionals who can best understand and ■ What could you say about your cooperation with the governrespond to their needs, while women can breastfeed their babies ment of Serbia when it comes to dealing with refugees travelling J U LY



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through our country? Are you satisfied with the attention and care provided for child refugees in Serbia?

- It is thanks to the Government of Serbia – which has authorised UNICEF’s presence in refugee centres and in other sites – that we have been able to respond to the refugee/migrant crisis in the country and assist children and families who are most at risk. The Government of Serbia, local authorities and the citizens of Serbia have shown great humanity, and have acted in a responsible manner by providing assistance to the refugees in transit.

■ What is UNICEF’s overall area of work in Serbia? What are the most important programmes UNICEF is implementing?

- This year, UNICEF entered a new five-year programme of cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, which sets out specific areas of work. The programme of cooperation has a strong focus on early childhood development and social inclusion of the most vulnerable/marginalised children, and prevention of violence against and amongst children. Specifically, we work in the areas of health, quality and inclusive education, child protection, monitoring child rights and public advocacy, communication and social mobilisation for child rights.

■ UNICEF is the only UN agency that is funded from voluntary contributions? You engage individuals and business to support your work? What is the situation in Serbia?

- Yes, we are funded from voluntary contributions from governments, government agencies, foundations, the corporate sector and individuals. The role of the private sector in sustainable development is becoming an important dimension of our country programmes. Our partnerships with Telenor, the Electric Power Industry of Serbia and Nordeus represent good models of how the corporate sector can make important contributions to children and families. We also have alliances with private foundations, such as the Novak Djokovic Foundation which is our valuable partner in Serbia.

Ana Ivanović and Aleksandar ‘Saša’ Đorđević are the National Ambassadors for UNICEF in Serbia. They are both excellent advocates for the rights of children, and they selflessly support our work in the country. Novak Đoković has become a global Ambassador for UNICEF and is now promoting the rights of children around the world, whilst also continuing to support UNICEF in Serbia. ■ You come from Haiti, a country that has bitter experience of dealing with conflicts and natural disasters. Does that personal background help you better understand the problems UNICEF is dealing with?

- My experience in emergency response, and more importantly in disaster risk reduction, goes way back. I have supported UNICEF’s response to emergencies in several countries and continents, including after the earthquakes in Colombia and Haiti, tsunami in India, droughts and floods in Sub-Saharan Africa, and armed conflicts in several countries. This diverse emergency experience facilitated the UNICEF in Serbia Country Team response to the 2014 floods and the current refugee and migrant crisis. We have extended our expertise to Serbian institutions with whom we are improving the Standard Operating Procedures in several areas in order to strengthen Serbia’s emergency response system. ■ How do you feel about comments suggesting that UN and its agencies, including UNICEF, have lost their voice and importance in preventing or solving conflicts?

- The United Nations is a platform where the member states interact. It was created for exactly that purpose – to provide a space for all the member states to discuss issues and make deUNICEF’s role is to ensure that cisions. The UN Bureaucracy does not make decisions, but only facilitates the children who are still growing work of member states. Many conflicts can be prevented up in poverty and isolation, and or ended if there is a strong willingwho are discriminated against, ness of all parties involved. The UN and get a fair chance to be healthy, its Secretary-General facilitate peace educated and protected, and to agreement processes, promote and encourage dialogue between parties, reach their full potential but at the end of the day, the decision is taken by the Security Council member states. And even when the UN secures a peace agreement, it is up to the signatories to abide by it. ■ UNICEF has a long tradition of collaboration with celebrities. Several prominent Serbian athletes - Novak Đoković, Saša Đorđević and Ana Ivanović - have been named Ambassadors of UNICEF. How would you estimate their contribution to the mission of the organisation?

- It was UNICEF that established the institution of the Goodwill Ambassador back in 1953. The Ambassadors are well-known personalities willing to do their utmost to mobilise support for children among the general public and within their industry. 20 |


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■ What do you think should be UNICEF’s priorities in the years to come?

- Last year, the nations of the world entered a new phase of development underpinned by the Sustainable Development Goals. Not all of them reference children, but all are relevant to children’s lives and give us an opportunity to advance the rights and wellbeing of every child, especially the most disadvantaged. ■











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“It is true that the past years have been the most difficult ones in the history of our union, but I always remember what my father used to tell me – ‘What does not kill you makes you stronger’, ” - Donald Tusk, EU President

CHINESE PRESIDENT VISITED SERBIA ▶ Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up a three-day state

visit to Serbia on 19th June. During the visit, Xi and his Serbian counterpart, Tomislav Nikolic, inked a joint statement to upgrade their two countries’ relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. On 18th June, the two presidents witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation deals covering industrial capacity, finance, infrastructure, trade, energy, telecommunications, science, technology, local affairs, culture and tourism. The same day, Xi held separate meetings with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic to discuss promotion of bilateral ties in various fields.

ROME ELECTS FIRST FEMALE MAYOR ▶ Rome is to be governed by its first woman mayor as Virginia Raggi, of the Five Star Movement (M5S) scored a dazzling electoral victory with as much as 67 per cent of the vote. “A new era is beginning with us,” said Ms Raggi, who won in the run-off ballot.

ries of on-ground and inflight experiences for their passengers during this summer’s UEFA EURO 2016TM. Passengers travelling with the championship’s Official Airline Partner will be able to watch live matches on-board and in lounges, while some will have the chance to win tickets to the tournament during their flight. International passengers flying on Turkish Airlines’ fleet of widebody aircraft – Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s— will be able to stream matches live onto their screens. Meanwhile, passengers in Turkish Airlines’ lounges across Turkey will also

“We’ll work to bring back legality and transparency to the city’s institutions.” The decisive victory for the 37-yearold lawyer and her anti-corruption platform marks a huge shot in the arm for the anti-establishment party headed by the raucous comic Beppe Grillo who was in Rome at M5S headquarters celebrating with Ms Raggi.


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▶ A survey conducted by the Japanese My Navi Woman news website asked 97 men between the ages of 22 and 39 years of age the question, “Honestly, do you think the women in your workplace are scary?” 34% of respondents said “yes”. The reasons they gave for being afraid of their female work-

mates fell into four distinct categories. a. Conversations: “I’m scared of them because they love gossiping and rumours.” b. Workplace Communication: “My female senior colleague is bossy and annoying.” c. Conspiracies: “Sometimes when women are in a group together, it can be really frightening.” d. Rivalry: “Trying to understand their real intentions is difficult and it’s annoying when they’re involved in faction rivalries.” Thankfully though, according to the survey, the majority of Japanese men aren’t actually afraid of the women they work with.

INDIAN PM MODI JOINS 30,000 PEOPLE IN EXERCISE YOGA ▶ Celebrating the second International Yoga Day, Indian Prime Min-

be able to watch the competition in their pre-flight comfort. “Upgrading our passengers’ experience is at the heart of everything we do at Turkish Airlines,” said Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing Officer

ister Narendra Modi on 21st June urged people to embrace yoga for better physical and mental health as he addressed thousands of Yoga enthusiasts participating in a grand event in Chandigarh. Over 96,000 people had registered themselves to take part in the event. Of this, over 30,000 were picked, including 10,000 each from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana. Shortlisted to perform yoga, began lining up around the spruced up complex around 4 am. There has been a huge turnout despite early thundershowers. Speaking at the event, Modi urged people to make yoga a part of life. “Just as the mobile phone is now a part of your life, make yoga too a part of your life,”


“The chain reaction being celebrated everywhere now by Eurosceptics won’t happen…Britain has just cut its ties with that market. That’ll have consequences, and I don’t believe other countries will be encouraged to follow that dangerous path.” - Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament

CROATIA AND SERBIA SIGN PLEDGE TO COOPERATE ▶ Croatia and Serbia signed a declaration on improving relations on 20th June

aimed at protecting their respective minorities and definitively define their common border. The text is “the first step in the thawing relations between Croatia and Serbia,” Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vučić said. Croation president Kolinda GrabarKitarović said the signing showed “a genuine willingness on both sides to move forward in resolving outstanding issues”. Under the declaration, the two countries committed to actively initiate or accelerate processes aimed at enhancing bilateral protection of minorities - Serbs in Croatia and Croats in Serbia. The text also plans to start negotiations to define the border line between the two countries according to international law and to accelerate the implementation of a 2001 agreeement on life after Yugoslavia. The two countries also commit to exert efforts to search for missing persons from the wars.


▶ Alibaba Group’s goal is to become the equivalent of the world’s fifth-richest country in four years. Founder and chairman Jack Ma laid out the company’s ambitions during its first Investor Day, which took place On 17th June at its headquarters in Hangzhou, China.

In order to do that, Alibaba will have to more than double the $463 billion in gross merchandise value it made last fiscal year. Achieving one trillion dollars in GMV by 2020 would make the Alibaba the equivalent of the world’s fifth-largest country by gross domestic product, Ma claimed, after the United States, China, the European Union, and Japan. Ma told investors that Alibaba’s growth strategy revolves around Aliyun, its cloud computing and big data unit. In fact, Alibaba “is not a retail business, we are a data business,” he said, and everything it does now—including financial services like Alipay and investing in logistics—is to gather yet more data.

Croation president KOLINDA GRABAR-KITAROVIĆ and Serbian Prime minister ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ

FIRST FOOTBALL DICTIONARY IN WORLD ▶ Former basketball player and a suc-

cessful basketball coach Dr. Miroljub Stojković has published the world’s first football dictionary to coincide with the European Football Championship. The book has over 630 pages and contains 65,000 entries arranged in alphabetical order.

The first edition of this unique publication called “English-Serbian Dictionary of Football” was published with support from the Serbian Football Association. It is now available for purchase, and several recognised publishers have already expressed an interest in publishing the dictionary in other languages with English, as football’s official language, being the basis of future editions. “Thanks to this exceptional book we finally have a detailed, long-awaited, encyclopaedic, and perfectly writ-

ten glossary of football terms,” said André Vieli, Editor-in-Chief of UEFA’s publications.

WORLD'S BIGGEST NUCLEAR POWERED ICEBREAKER ▶ Russia held a launching ceremony for its 173-metre-long, 34-metre-wide nuclear-powered icebreaker ‘Arktika’, said to be the world’s biggest and most powerful. According to Russian media, Arktika is the lead ship of the €1.6bln Project 22220, which aims to replace nuclear ships of the previous generation. Russia is the only country in the world to use nuclear-powered icebreakers. It requires a crew of 75 people, and can carry up to 33,000 tonnes - and even has its own helicopter for ice recon-

naissance. The ship will be used to escort Russian tankers carrying oil and gas from the oil fields of the Yamal Peninsula and Gdansk to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region and is due to enter into service in December 2017.




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Riding enables us to discover our surroundings from a new perspective. Whether we’re commuting in the mornings or meeting friends in the evenings, using two wheels changes the way we interact with our environment. Free of fixed departure times and traffic jams, urban mobility finally becomes an experience to enjoy


Lifestyle is no longer judged by shiny bodywork or ■ What are the basic features of the Archont, a bike with big engines. Riding a bike is the very definition of an electric drive, as you call it, and which target group a modern, progressive style. It makes a bold stateof customers did you have in mind when you created it? ment. Nobody switches to riding because they have - The basic features would have to be the large diameter wheels, to. Rather, they do it because they can. paired with unique riding ergonomics, aimed at providing the Ono Bikes is an independent custom e-bike and bicycle manumost pleasant riding experience. Also, the Archont super e-bike facturer, which makes bikes that are not just solid and reliable, has the most exciting performance provided by the powerful mobut outrageously stylish as well. Ono tor, a big battery pack consisting of the bikes are handcrafted, as the team takes latest generation Lithium cells and a cusThe basic features would a particular pleasure in addressing the tom controller that enables connection have to be the large individual needs of their customers, so with a mobile device. the bike they order fits them perfectly. We did not have a specific target diameter wheels, paired This is why each example is unique. group in mind. The design, beautiful as it with unique riding is, only followed the set goal. It was only ergonomics, aimed at when we saw it finalised that we realised ■ For starters, tell us how you came up with the idea of producing an providing the most pleasant the Archont would be best suited for an affluent, environmentally conscious genelectric bicycle in a country where riding experience tlemen, with a keen eye for aesthetics and cycling is not the most loved activthe apparent need to ride with style. ity? - We came upon the idea in the same way all great ideas are born: ■ Your Archont model was presented at the “Pioneers” out of passion. As bicycle enthusiasts, we just wanted to create Festival in Vienna, where, according to all reports, it ata means of individual urban transport capable of taking people tracted the great attention of visitors. What was the reto work in comfort, meaning without breaking a sweat, but also sponse like among potential buyers? without burning fossil fuel along the way.

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- Potential buyers are everywhere, so it was a good thing that a few of them actually decided to visit the Pioneers Festival. More importantly for us, at the present stage, was the fact that potential investors found it quite interesting as well. By finding ourselves in the company of the likes of Hyperloop, Starship Technologies and Icarus, we achieved more than we had hoped for. We picked up a lot of connections and a few promising leads, which also reminds me to thank the Serbian Chamber of Commerce for their love and support. ■ Which markets do you consider as being particularly interesting for the placement of the Archont and which models will you offer the market in the first phase of development of the company? - Although at a first glance Archont might seem to be intended for an American buyer, considering its style and size, it is actually perfectly at home on the streets of any city on the planet – with enough sunny days. At the same time, its stance makes it the perfect product for an early start-up development, because it attracts attention and steers the hype so effortlessly. It comes as an e-bike or a super e-bike, but it is also possible to order a regular bicycle. ■ There are contrasting opinions about your discovery, but all agree that the Archont is equally interesting due to both its technical characteristics and its unique design, which combines to form a retro and modern bike. How did you decide on such a design? - The design is itself timeless, because it was made to be good, rather than beautiful. It follows simple rules of physics and ergonomics.

producing a working prototype and gaining initial traction. Only then can you set the valuation of your company, and the art in it is not to overrate nor underrate it. The key factor of every successful start-up company is the team, and the key values that investors bring, apart from providing cash, are the experience and willingness to become an integral part of the team. Bringing their network along is crucial, in order for the company to gain rapid growth. Without these, money itself doesn’t mean much. Picking the right person as an investor in the early stage is essential. ■ Given that you have been an entrepreneur for many years, with several successful start-ups, what is your

The best timing to allow capital into a start-up company is upon producing a working prototype and gaining initial traction

■ It is particularly interesting that each bike is unique, given that they are all handmade. How will you be able to produce manually and cater for the expected market demand? - Making bicycles by hand adds value to them. Also, we had built our business model with scalability in mind from the very beginning. We are fortunate that we live in Serbia, which is bursting with skilled workers these days. ■ How does Ono Bikes function as a company, from planning to the finished product? - Like clockwork.

■ There are contrasting opinions among successful entrepreneurs about when a start-up company needs to allow the entry of investor angels or venture capitalists. What is your opinion on that? - The best timing to allow capital into a start-up company is upon

general impression of the possibilities and opportunities for start-ups in Serbia? - As the start-up culture and community in Serbia grow and diversify, it is becoming considerably easier to succeed, especially given that – with regard to angel investors – the whole region draws investment funds and VCs into the spotlight. On the other hand, transforming a promising start-up into a successful company requires not only a brilliant idea, but also a team that share the same vision and passion, has enough education, and is willing to persevere and work hard.

■ The Guardian recently published its list of “hot new tech” and included your Archont electric chopper in first place. Has that recognition already generated some more interest in your product on domestic and foreign markets? - It has been an honour to be in the company of such advanced start-ups, even more so when we know who made the selection. It did open doors even wider. ■ J U LY



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The New Law on Investment The Law on Investment, adopted in November 2015, covers both foreign and domestic investors and is both new and representative of best practice. Its objectives are to improve the investment environment and encourage direct investment lish “units for local economic development and support of investments” that provide “expert assistance and support to investors, if requested by the investor.” Municipal and city one-stop-shops are part of the new law: an investor may file documents and collect permits at the unit for local economic development. Another new concept: The Republic, autonomous province, municipality or city may, upon request of investor, establish “project teams,” tailor-made to “provide expert assistance by the rendering of information and data and ensuring efficient granting of permits, needed for efficient and timely realization of investments.” At project team meetings, an investor describes his project and the officials explain what permits are needed and what needs to be submitted to get them. They agree on a timeline. These communications are confidential. Another novelty are “Investment Programs,” drafted and signed by the investor

government, thereby facilitating investments of special importance. The Investment Law does not specify that investment programs be signed between the DAS and investors of special importance, but there is no prohibition to do so, and the statutory duties of the DAS support the case he Law on Investments prethat investment programs should be signed. serves the liberties of foreign Large investments are hard to attract, and investments while safeguarding Serbian law is often not conducive to large standard investment guarantees. private investments, resulting in complicated There is nothing new here compared to the and sometimes circuitous procedures. These repealed Law on Foreign Investment. The Law complications are best resolved by a single all-level project team and then signing an also lists out those well-known investment Investment program. This approach should incentives: state aid, taxes, customs fees, and be applied not only for projects in which the compulsory social insurance payments. Howstate is an equity partner, but also for all ever, if a bilateral or multilateral agreement “investments of special importance”. grants wider guarantees to investors than the The Law on Investments, regrettably, law on Investments, it shall apply. does not define the rules for entering nor the The Law does bring some very good news: typical content of investment agreements all state authorities (except the Competition between the state and investors, although authority) are obliged to resolve all administhis would enhance transparency and equal trative procedures in “realization and mainterights. Such agreements have been signed nance of investments in the shortest possible before by the Government, because time.” Investors can jump the cues! major investors of who make long-term Large investments are hard Some new state bodies to support investments need special guarantees investments are established by the new to attract, and Serbian law is and incentives from the state acting in its law: the Council for Economic Developoften not conducive to large public capacity. Investment agreements ment, the Development Agency of Serbia private investments, resulting should not be reserved only for equity (DAS), Vojvodina Investment Promotion partners of the state. (not new), municipal and city “units for loin complicated and sometimes I praise the introduction of the new cal economic development and support.” circuitous procedures concepts into the Law on Investments, The Council for Economic Develsuch as expedited administrative proceopment is composed of ministers of dures for investors, customized state project economy, finance, labour, the president and the municipality and/or Autonomous teams, investment programs, one-stopof the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and province, which specify which documents shops. I made two draft laws on investments the director of the DAS. This body should need to be submitted to that level of in 2013 and 2015, and it is a pleasure that guarantee steering through all the cumbergovernment, which permits, and when they these ideas (in a diluted form) were introsome red tape. will be issued. The supervision of local and duced into the new Law on Investments. I The DAS, which replaces SIEPA, “cooperProvinces Investment programs is carried hope that the suggestions put forward here ates with all bodies of state to promote ecoout by the DAS. shall be useful as well. I would conclude that nomic development and investments,” and The DAS establishes and manages the Law on Investments is an important step it “assists in the realization of investments.” project teams for supporting “investments towards strengthening rule of law and preThe autonomous province continues to use of special significance.” I would recommend dictability of investments in Serbia. ■ Vojvodina Investment Promotion (VIP). that the DAS project teams be composed The author is a lawyer and former Minister Municipalities and cities are to estabof International Economic Relations of relevant officials from all three levels of


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MIRKO BUTULIJA President of the Auto-moto Association of Serbia (AMSS)

EMIL MAKRA Proprietor of Sole Knitting Business Eurotextil

Contributing to The Better Positioning of Serbia

From Local to European Market




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Contributing to the Better Positioning of Serbia The AMSS is the leading contributing factor to traffic safety in Serbia, and thanks to its many preventative and safety measures, it protects the citizens’ best interests


he AMSS brought an educational tool about road safety through its “Traffic Safety Education contest” held at school, municipal, city and state levels, while focusing on the safety of the youngest drivers. To that end, the AMSS is continuing to network with state institutions which have been giving their full support to the implementation of various projects owing to which the AMSS has managed to raise civic awareness about traffic culture. ■ You said that this year you would continue raising the number of insured persons. Are you happy with your sales growth especially in the pre-summer holiday period? - AMS Osiguranje, Insurance company, has demonstrated that it is one of the leading insurance companies in our country. Many marketing campaigns and events organised with the help of AMS Osiguranje, Insurance company, have contributed to the growth of our sales and the increase of our market share in the best possible way. We have managed to retain our strong market position because we have been constantly improving our services, processes, and the system itself, as well as regularly measuring our performances against established goals. Yes, the number of insured persons usually grows in preholiday seasons but the secret of our success lies in being able to retain our clients because of the quality of our services. ■ What services does the AMSS offer to people in Serbia and abroad, and what 28 |


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advice do you have for those transiting through our country? - We have been continually improving road assistance services for our members, through regular upgrades of our fleet and education of our employees. Apart from our quality, we are also a responsible institution, and we constantly have our members’ best interests at heart. We put their needs above ours, and we provide affordable prices for many AMSS services. The Super Membership Card offers a series of benefits in the country and abroad. The number of the cardholders has been growing on a day-to-day basis because this product is the affordable product in the entire region. At the same time, we are very mindful of maintaining the high quality of offered services. I also have to say that, in order to

The Super Membership Card offers a series of benefits in the country and abroad. The number of the cardholders has been growing on a day-to-day basis provide adequate protection not only to our members but also to all drivers in Serbia and abroad, we have invested a lot of effort into reducing the number of those who provided unauthorised roadside assistance in Serbia, which caused a lot of damage both to ours and foreign members. By deceiving citizens and displaying the AMSS’ and our partners logos, they have been illegally using their vehicles to provide roadside assistance in Srbia, causing a variety of problems, which resulted in a lower quality of services and complaints from many people. And this is inexcusable! With the help of law enforcement, the AMSS has conducted an extensive campaign to remove such vehicles

from Serbian roads in order to protect the people in need of real roadside assistance. ■ The AMSS is a member of Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). What new standards and procedures can we expect in Serbia in the near future? - FIA standards and procedures are the result of the joint effort of all FIA members, which have been actively participating in shaping and implementing them in the countries that have their representatives in this organisation. The extent to which the standards will be implemented in individual countries greatly depends on the level of the given country’s economic development and their ability to adapt. The AMSS also takes on the majority of responsibility for implementation and harmonisation of standards set not only by FIA but also by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP / EuroRAP) of which we are also a member. We have been recognised as the leading factor in the region that, thanks to its active participation in international organisations, possesses capacities to influence a wider implementation of these standards. Our status justifies the trust given to us by the main stakeholders in our society, and with their help and cooperation, we can expect our country to upgrade its position globally in the future. To illustrate this, I would also like to mention that we had the honour of hosting a dinner at the Balkan Prayer Breakfast. This event, called the Southeastern European Gathering, was held in Belgrade last month. Many people from the country and abroad attended this unique gathering, and this is just one of many events that the AMSS has actively participated with the goal of improving Serbia’s position in both regional and international surroundings. ■


From Local to European Market SPR Eurotextil was founded in 1997 as a family-run business that operated on only the small, local market. Today, it employs 30 people and exports to the EU countries


was aware of the fact that our development path had to be based on resourcefulness and the use of both the existing and new know-how. I also knew that I could use my own weaknesses to my advantage to boost our flexibility, communication and direct relationships with potential buyers while reacting swiftly to their demands. One should completely apply himself or herself to accomplishing goals and tasks,” says Emil Makra, the proprietor of the Eurotextil Sole Knitting Business.

The most important thing is that we are constantly changing both the colour range and sizes. By doing so, we are pleasing our existing customers and winning over new ones because we always have something interesting and new to offer. We sell and export our products to the EU market. I cannot single out just one destination because we sell to several countries. Broadly speaking, our most important markets are in north-western Europe. Apart from becoming export oriented, we also have customers here. Every year, we produce a certain quantity of clothes for the domestic market. This is where we started our business, and we shouldn’t neglect it because of the people with whom we have been successfully cooperating for years now. We want to nurture this business relationship despite occasional problems because every good customer has to be given an opportunity to buy domestically manufactured, high quality clothes.

of regulation, acts and laws. I am confident that the administration burden can be simplified in order for the people who really want to work to have more time to dedicate to running their business. Both the state and local authorities have to create a good business environment, which includes ensuring uniform power supply, normal water pressure, functional and available sewage, and the like. ■ This year, Blic daily chose you as one of the top 10 small business owners in 2015 according to criteria such as number of new jobs created, technological innovation, environmental protection and contribution to local community. On which of these criteria did you score the best? - This year I was shortlisted as the small business owner of the year, which is a great honour. I am happy to see that our business results prove that we have chosen the right path.

■ What are your most important products and markets? How can you further advance your The state should reduce levies ■business, - Today, our way of doing business with and in which segments of foreign partners is rather atypical. We get for small businesses and your business do you expect the state ideas, hand drawn sketches, photographs simplify their everyday running to help? and general specifications from our cli- There is plenty of room for advanceof the business ents. Then we produce a sample and keep ment. Our short- and mid-term develperfecting it until our client is happy with opment goals focus on improving our it. Each step after that comes down to just technological process and building our own ■ How many workers do you have and plain robotics and a lot of effort to meet the production facility. what should the state and local commudeadlines. In agreement with our clients and nity do in order to provide more support to I have been constantly applying myself as per their wishes, we can provide the comdevelopment of small businesses? to accomplishing the first goal to the best plete service – from making the prototype - Today, we have around 30 employees – of my abilities. Every year, I buy things I can and producing it to warehouse delivery. from women who work in ready-to-wear to afford for the company – a new machine, a There isn’t one product that we can men who play a smaller part in production of new washing device, programming software single out as the most important, although knitwear. Most of them have been working or similar. I would say that contemporary women’s for us for years. In the next couple of years, we plan knitwear is exceptionally important. This is The state should reduce levies for small to build an adequate production facility not just one product, but rather a range of businesses and simplify their everyday runbecause we are renting the one that we are products that we produce in large quantining of the business. My business is layered currently using. Also, I want to create the ties. These products are in line with trends, – import, export, organisational matters, conditions conducive to further developready to wear and popular with both young ment. I have plenty of ideas and a vision, and and communicating with various instances and older businesswomen. They feel really I do hope that I will have enough strength to including customs, tax authorities and comfortable wearing our clothes. We try to realise them. It is still too early to talk about other state institutions, which are needed make clothes in all sizes while the colours are this but next time we meet, maybe all of it and required for running a company. Often sometimes lively and sometimes subdued. would have materialised. ■ we cannot find our way around in the sea




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“We had good discussions with the caretaker government and the National Bank of Serbia, and a staff-level agreement was reached on policies needed to complete the fourth and fifth reviews under the stand-by arrangement.” ZAJECARSKO BEER

— JAMES ROAF, IMF Mission Chief for Serbia

Supporting Development of Serbian Sport


Fitch Upgrades ProCredit Banks in Serbia and Kosovo Fitch Ratings has upgraded ProCredit Bank ad Beograd’s and ProCredit Bank SH.A. Kosovo’s Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to ‘BB-’ from ‘B+’ and Support Ratings to ‘3’ from ‘4’. It also upgraded PCBS’s Long-Term Local Currency IDR to ‘BB’ from ‘BB-’. The Outlook on the Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs is Stable.

Zajecar brewery in cooperation with the Olympic Committee of Serbia has put on sale a limited edition of Zajecar beer made of 14 specially designed cans that present all the sports in which Serbia will compete this summer at the Olympic Games in Rio.One dinar from the sale of each can of this series will be used to support promising senior Olympians and to purchase equipment for their own sports clubs. At the end of the campaign, clubs will be ranked and three teams that made the best results will be selected, ie. those who have a competitors in the Olympic team of Serbia Rio 2016, and which won the largest number of medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014, as well at the world and European senior championships in the period from 2015 to 2016. “We want to support future Olympians, those who succeed thanks to theirs persistence and enthusiasm, “says Jasmina Trijic, brand manager for Zaječarsko beer.


Air Serbia Launches New York-Belgrade Service Air Serbia launched its inaugural flight to New York JFK on June 23 , giving Serbia its first nonstop link to the United States in more than two decades. The Belgrade-to-New York flight also marks Air Serbia’s first trans-Atlantic route. That in itself is a milestone development for the airline, Serbia’s new national carrier that sprouted from the demise of the old loss-making state-owend JAT Airways. The service to New York puts Air Serbia squarely into the lucrative market for trans-Atlantic flights. The carrier is flying the route with 254-seat Airbus A330 aircraft with 18 lieflat business-class seats and 236 in coach. Air Serbia names the aircraft after legendary Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla “The Air Serbia touching down at John F Kennedy Airport is a vibrant, growing airline, one which represents the very best of modern Serbia,” said James Hogan, CEO of the Etihad Aviation Group. “Our flight schedule has been carefully designed to offer guests convenient connections to New York from across the Balkans, as well as great onward connectivity upon reaching New York to popular cities such as Chicago,” said Dane Kondić, CEO of Air Serbia. HESTEEL SERBIA IRON AND STEEL

Chinese Company is Taking Over Zelezara Smederevo Chinese company Hesteel Serbia Iron and Steelare (HSIS) is officially becoming the owners of the entire property of Zeljezara Smederevo, acquired on the basis of the purchase At the same time, the agency has affirmed PCBS’s Viability Rating at ‘b+’. PCBK’s VR is unaffected by this rating action. The rating actions follow Fitch’s upgrade of the Serbian sovereign rating and revision of the Country Ceiling and Fitch’s reassessment of country risks in Kosovo.

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and sale contract signed on April 18 in Smederevo. The company was officially registered in Serbia on June 14, five days prior to the visit of the Chinese president Xi Jinping and nearly two months after the signing of the agreement with Hesteel. The company’s headquarters are in Belgrade and is registered for the sale of raw iron, steel and ferroalloys. The founder of HSIS with 100% of the capital and the only shareholder is the private company New Silkroad Holding co. Limited, Hong Kong, registered on May 26 this year.



“The IMF said this morning that we have had a plan for fighting the grey economy for years, but very few results, and that this will be an activity that will be a crucial step in solving that problem. Our potential is enormous.”— DUŠAN VUJOVIĆ, Serbian Finance Minister

Lafarge House: Safe, Comfortable and Durable


Lafarge company has presented in Serbia the Lafarge House programme announcing the entry into a new market segment of semi-prefabricated houses. Various types of houses are offered that are adapted to the needs of buyers and construction conditions of the specific location. The offer includes financing and construction of family houses on a “turnkey” basis, which includes obtaining all necessary construction permits. Thanks to a special technology, which allows precision in construction and controlled quality in factory conditions, you can get a new house constructed within 28 days after obtaining the necessary permits. “By entering the market of semi-prefabricated houses, we wanted to provide Serbian citizens with the opportunity to quickly, efficiently and affordably get a house that links modern design with the tradition of Beocin cement factory and Lafarge company,” said Dimitrije Knjeginjić, Director of Lafarge Serbia.



Here are a few tips to help your business grow:

1. M ake sure your website is super Google friendly. 2. Know, know, know about Cash Flow. 3. Constantly educate yourself. 4. Define your niche market community and dare to be different. 5. Hire right. 6. Program profitability into your business. 7. Remember your mobile customers. 8. Overcome Fear. 9. Become an expert in your specialised niche/community. 10. Planning and strategising.


LAV Awarded Its Loyal Consumers

Apart from the new taste, originating from 4 gifts of nature, LAV has prepared a special surprise for its loyal consumers. In June (18th, 19th and 25th), LAV organised free trips for their loyal fans on which they were able to taste the new LAV beer directly from the production LAV also awarded its fastest fans with free trips specially created for all true lovers of beer. The trips included visit to the brewery of Carlsberg Serbia in Čelarevo where they found out, straight from the lion’s mouth, how four gifts of nature – barley, hops, water and yeast – transform into the new LAV beer and how is beer bottled and stored. After that, the fans were taken to the Beer Museum where they were able to taste fresh beer and learn from the experts how to properly pour and serve it. The best visitors were also awarded with a beer draughting certificate. In the Museum, the guest have also learned about the history of one of the most notable Serbian families of the 19th and 20th century – the family of Lazar Dunđerski, the founder of the Čelarevo brewery.

DID YOU KNOW Serbia once had a French queen. Helen of Anjou was the wife of King Stefan Uroš in whose honour he planted lilacs all along the valley of Ibar

Placements & postings


New director of EPS distribution The Executive Board of Elektroprivreda Serbia has appointed Bojana Atlagića as acting director of distribution system operator company EPS Distribution (EPS Distribucija). The outgoing director of EPS Distribution, Bogdan Laban, has been elected mayor of Subotica. Atlagić has worked at the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) since 2000, and previously served, as of 2012, as director of the branch Elektrodistribucija Novi Sad. He graduated from the Technical Faculty of Mihajlo Pupin University in Novi Sad and has also completed his master’s studies. As of 1st July 2015, with the entry into force of status changes, the envisaged Programme for the Reorganisation of EPS, five former companies for electricity distribution operate as unique distribution system operator EPS Distribution.

MIHAILO JANKOVIĆ New director at Nectar Group

Mihailo Janković has been appointed Director of Nectar Group, a domestic producer of juices and processor of fruits and vegetables which owns companies Nectar, Heba and Fruktal. Janković has amassed more than 15 years of professional experience in key management positions in renowned multinational and local companies, such as British American Tobacco, the Coca-Cola Company, Knjaz Miloš and Impact consulting. According to a Nectar Group press release, Janković will use his extensive professional experience to contribute to further strengthening the leadership position and expanding the operations of Nectar group, which has grown from a local family business into a leading regional company in Southeast Europe, with an annual turnover of over 115 million euros and exports to 50 countries around the world.


New CEO/CFO at Victoria Group The Supervisory Board of Victoria Group has appointed Vladimir Čupić as the new chief executive and financial officer of the company. Čupić joins the company from Atlantic Group, from the position of director of the representative office in Serbia. He previously gained extensive experience in the banking sector at AIK Banka and Hypo Alpe Adria Bank, which he led for 12 years as CEO. As an expert in finance and corporate restructuring and governance, he was also engaged in the Privatisation Agency of the Republic of Serbia in the position of Director at the Ministry of the Economy and in the position of advisor to the Minister of the Economy and privatisation and audit-consulting firm Deloitte & Touche. With his experience in corporate finance, strategic and operational management, risk management and corporate affairs, Čupić will, as the new financial and executive director of Victoria Group work on further advancing financial operations and achieving the strategic goals of the company. J U LY



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Hacker Takes $50mln Worth of Ether, A Rival to Bitcoin Exploiting a programming vulnerability, a hacker in week from June 13 appears to have stolen more than $50 million worth of Ether, a cyber currency that is an alternative to Bitcoin. The vulnerability lies within the software of a private fund, or “decentralised autonomous organisation” (DAO), made up of a pool of investors whose money is stored in a blockchain, the foundation of digital currencies


The victims are investors in a strange fund called the DAO, or Decentralised Autonomous Organization, who poured more than $150 million of a bitcoin-style currency called Ether into the project. Code was supposed to eliminate the need to trust humans. But humans, it turns out, are tough to take out of the equation. The people who created the DAO saw it as a decentralised investment fund. Instead of leaving decisions to a few partners, anyone who invested would have a say in which companies to fund. The more you contributed, the more weight your vote carried. And the distributed structure meant no one could run off with the money. That was the plan, anyway. The DAO is built on Ethereum, a system designed for building decentralised applications. Its creators hoped to prove you can build a more democratic financial institution, one without centralised control or human fallibility. Instead, the DAO led to a heist that raises philosophical questions about 32 |


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the viability of such systems. Code was supposed to eliminate the need to trust humans. But humans, it turns out, are tough to take out of the equation. A NEVER-ENDING ATM DAO developers and Ethereum enthusiasts are trying to figure out how they might reverse the theft. The good news is that time is on their side. The thief transferred the stolen funds into a clone of the DAO that likely includes code that, as in the original system, delays payouts for a few weeks. Stephan Tual, the COO of, the company that built the DAO, says the thief probably never expected to be able to spend the ether. Each unit of ether is unique and traceable. If the hacker tries to sell any of the stolen ether in a cryptocurrency market, the system will flag it. “It’s like stealing the Mona Lisa,” he says. “Great, congratulations, but what do you do with it? You can’t sell it, it’s too big to be sold.” The DAO is a piece of software known as a “smart contract”–essentially an agreement that enforces itself

via code rather than courts. But like all software, smart contracts do exactly what their makers program them to do—and sometimes those programs have unintended consequences. It’s not clear yet exactly how the hack worked, says Andrew Miller, a PhD student at the University of Maryland who studies smart contracts and helped audit Ethereum’s code last year. But he says the attacker probably exploited a programming mistake that’s exceedingly common in smart contracts. Let’s say you have $50 in the bank and you want to withdraw that from an ATM. You insert your card, punch in your PIN number and then request that $50. Before the machine spits out the cash it will check your balance. Once it spits out the cash, it will debit $50 from that balance. Then the machine asks you if you’d like to process another transaction. You tap “yes” and try to take $50 again. But the ATM sees that your balance is now $0 and refuses. It asks you again if you want to process another transaction, so this time you say “no.” Your session ends.

Now imagine that the ATM didn’t record your new balance until you ended the session. You could keep requesting $50 again and again until you finally told the machine you didn’t want to process any more transactions—or the machine ran out of money. The DAO hacker was probably able to run a transaction that automatically repeated itself over and over again before the system checked the balance, Miller says. That would allow anyone to

transactions. The project has also called attention to some of the biggest technical challenges. “This is a rite of passage for the project,” he says. The Ethereum team is now debating how, and whether, to refund the stolen funds. Ethereum works much like Bitcoin does: the system records each transaction in a global ledger that resides on every Ethereum user’s computer. The Ethereum team could release

But others think that reversing the transactions could have a damaging effect on people’s perceptions of ether an cryptocurrencies in general. Alex Van de Sande, a user experience designer who has contributed to several Ethereum-related projects, and who put money into the DAO, says he believes other ways exist to retrieve the missing funds. Because the thief transferred the pilfered ether into a clone of the DAO, de Sande points out, it may well have

pull far more money out of the fund than they put in. The programming language that Ethereum developers use to write smart contracts, Solidity, makes it really easy to make this sort of mistake, says Emin Gun Sirer, a Cornell University computer scientist who co-authored a paper earlier this year pointing out a number of potential pitfalls in the DAO’s design. Others have previously spotted places in the DAO code that would have made such a theft possible. Sirer says the DAO developers have tried to be vigilant about preventing such flaws, but because it’s such an easy mistake to make, it’s not surprising that instances of the bug escaped notice.

the exact same security vulnerability the original. Developers could just The DAO is built on Ethereum, as steal the ether back. a system designed for building The idea behind Ethereum, much like Bitcoin, was to create a decentralised applications. system that facilitated Its creators hoped to prove you computer transactions using the immutable can build a more democratic rules of mathematics. The code would eliminate the need to trust financial institution, one anyone. If people can simply reverse without centralised control or transactions they didn’t mean to make, it proves that people, not human fallibility mathematics are really in charge of the system, de Sande says. If the a new version of the software that code did something people didn’t mean tweaks this ledger to essentially reit to do, then people will have to live the verse all of the DAO heist transactions. consequences. If enough people installed this version, The fact that a fork is being discussed at all proves that despite the it would be like the hack never hapEthereum team’s best efforts, machines pened. That’s exactly what many people will always be subject to the messy poliALL TOO HUMAN in the community, including Ethereum As bad as the bug was, Sirer still creator Vitalik Buterin and the tics of the human world. But that also team would like to see happen. might end up saving the project. The thinks that both the DAO and Ethereum are worthwhile experiments. The DAO heist has divided people and exposed helped raise awareness of the idea of ‘NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THIS FAIL.’ the inevitability of human weakness. smart contracts, which Sirer thinks “Fourteen per cent of all ether is in But it’s also bringing people together to will eventually become extremely the DAO,” Tual says. “No one wants to fix things. Humanity is making that posimportant to how the world conducts see this fail.” sible, not mathematics. ■ J U LY



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RESPECT “The agreement deals with essential, serious, strategic issues for Serbia and Croatia. We should try to talk more with each other, show greater respect for each other.” — ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ, Serbian Prime minister


Banks Write Off €760mln Due to Swiss Franc Conversion

Total loans to the resident sector at the end of April amounted to €15.7 billion, showing a drop on a monthly and yearly level, by 0.3 and 7.8%, marking ten months of decline in such loans in a row at the yearly level, sharply influenced by the conversion of loans in Swiss Francs, Croatian National Bank (HNB) data shows. According to HNB data, during the procedure of conversion and partial write off of resident loans index in the Swiss Franc, from the end of November 2015 to the end of April 2016, banks have written off a total of €760 million. As a result, housing loans, whose share in total loans to residents is 45%, were lower in April on a monthly level by 1.1% or €78.6 million, while at the yearly level they fell 14.9% or €1.23 billion, to €7.01 billion.


Mitsubishi Hitachi Interested in €1bln Kosovo TPP Project Japan’s thermal power generation systems provider Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems has shown interest in taking part in the planned construction of a €1.0 billion coal-fired thermal power plant in Kosovo, the country’s economic development ministry said. At a meeting with company representatives in charge for Europe, economic development minister Blerand Stavileci presented the country’s current and future projects in the energy sector. “TPP Kosova e Re is the most attractive project for the company, which has shown interest in participating in its construction phase,” the statement read.

The tender for selecting a builder of Kosova e Re is set to be launched in July, whereas the construction works are expected to start next spring.

Source: seenews

Albania registered a slight decline in foreign direct investment in 2015 but continued remaining the second largest FDI recipient among five EU aspirant SEE economies for the sixth year in a row, according to a report by UNCTAD, the United Nations body responsible for international trade. At $1 billion in 2015, Albania registered a 10 per cent decline in FDI inflows compared to 2014, but was the second largest recipient after Serbia which led FDI attraction with $2.3 billion in 2015. Albania’s FDI hit a historic high of $1.26 billion in 2013 just before the slump in oil and mineral prices in mid-2014 severely affecting the country’s key oil and mining industries. FDI inflows in Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro ranged from $174 million to $699 million in 2015.

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The municipality of Bogdanci, in Macedonia’s south, has issued an open bid for the sale of land in the Gorni Cair industrial zone, close to the border with Greece. The zone is meant for light industry, such as food processing. Primarily, the zone is planned for agricultural product wholesalers. Lots sized one and 1,47 hectares are offered for an initial price of €1.00 per square meter. Bids can be put forth until 25 July and the electronic auction is planned for 29 July.


Region’s Second Largest FDI Recipient


Bogdanci Offers 2 Industrial Lots for Sale



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The most successful businesses are the ones that work the hardest to please their employees, and it's up to managers to make sure they're giving their staffs what they want to the best of their abilities. Here are 10 things that could keep them happy.

1. Employees want purpose. 2. Employees want goals. 3. Employees want responsibilities. 4. Employees want autonomy. 5. Employees want flexibility. 6. Employees want attention. 7. Employees want opportunities for innovation. 8. Employees want open-mindedness. 9. Employees want transparency. 10. Employees want compensation.



“The signature showed a genuine willingness on both sides to move forward in resolving outstanding issues.” — KOLINDA GRABAR-

In Hollywood flick The Terminal, actor Tom Hanks, 55, who plays a man trapped in an airport, speaks Bulgarian

KITAROVIĆ, Croation President



Car Sales Grew by 6.9% in 2016

High Demand for Office Space

Cars sales grew by 6.9 per cent in Romania in five months to 46,222 units while the national production dropped by 6.9 per cent compared with the same period of 2015 according to the Producers and Importers of Automobile Association (APIA). According to APIA, the motor vehicles, which represent 77.6 per cent from the sales registered in the first five months of 2016 (35,889 units) registering a raise of 0.9 per cent and the commercial vehicles (goods and persons) by 34.3 per cent.

In this context, APIA underlines that the imports of used cars raised with 25.1 per cent, which made the ratio between the used motor vehicles and new ones to be in growth, respectively four used motor vehicles to one.

Last year’s increased demand for office space in Bulgaria has been carried over into the first half of 2016, setting the stage for active and dynamic trading in the next 12 to 18 months, according to Bulgarian Properties real estate agency.


Italy's Pyrox to invest €150 mln in Biomass CHP Plants Italian developer and operator of power plants based on biomass gasification, Pyrox, plans to invest €150 million in combined heat and power (CHP) plants using wood biomass


Sicta Group Inaugurates €4 mln Expansion The Sicta group, a supplier for the automotive industry, opened a €4 million office and warehouse building at its Felsőzsolca facility. Another €12 mln will be invested in the facility in the upcoming four yearsand 50 additional employees will be recruited by the end of the year. An investor-friendly policy and tax environment, a highly educated labor force, and government support programs attracted the Sicta group to Hungary in the mid-2000s. Felsőzsolca offers businesses a fair economic environment to develop through partnerships with local educational institutions as well as government support, said National Economy Minister Mihály Varga, according to MTI. in Bosnia, the country’s Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) announced. Pyrox will develop CHP plants in 40 underdeveloped municipalities in Bosnia’s two entities - the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation, with access to wood waste. Each plant will employ 25 workers, as the participating municipality is set to earn one million euro in revenue annually from the sale of electricity and heat. In addition to company funds, Pyrox’s investment will be backed Italy’s UniCredit Bank and the Investment Fund of Ireland, while the involved municipalities are expected to contribute 10-15% of own funds.

Newly opened companies were usually looking for office space of about 200 to 300 square meters but demand for offices of 700-800 sq.m. was not an exception. “The tenants are mostly companies active in outsourcing, financial intermediation services, information technologies. Often, these companies do not serve the Bulgarian market and have their customers abroad,” the Sofia-based real estate agency said. Occupancy rates of 90% to 95% have been registered for offices in good locations which also feature good functional distribution of areas. The monthly rental rates for offices in class A buildings vary from €10 to €13 per sq.m., according to Bulgarian Properties.


Russians Build Aqua Park in Montenegro A 13-million-euro water park opens in the Montenegrin resort of Budva, which the Russian company behind the project claims is one of the largest on the Adriatic coast. The Aqua park on the Toplis hill near Budva is the work of the Podgorica-based company Aquaterra solutions, founded with Russian capital, which has leased the 42,000-square-metre site from the state for 30 years. Authorities in Budva say the lease cost about €17 million. The company says the amusement park can hold 6,000 visitors and has 53 different attractions. It has also promised to employ 140 people.




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“Russia must now completely fulfil the Minsk agreement on ending the conflict...This is the only way to lift the economic sanctions. On the Minsk agreement, the EU is united, and so is the G7.”— JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, President of European commission


Battery Storage for Wind Power Energy

Offshore Scotland, the Norwegian energy provider Statoil will launch Batwind, a new battery storage solution for offshore wind energy. The new concept will be piloted in the world’s first floating wind farm, the Hywind pilot park off the coast of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Ba-

twind will be developed in co-operation with Scottish universities and suppliers, under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Edinburgh on 18 March between Statoil, the Scottish Government, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Scottish Enterprise. Battery storage has the potential to mitigate intermittency and optimise output. This can improve efficiency and lower costs for offshore wind. The pilot in Scotland will provide a technological and commercial foundation for the implementation of Batwind in full-scale offshore wind farms.



Uniqlo Targets Global Market Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo has leveraged its prowess in mass production to build a fashion empire filled with shelves upon shelves of affordable, good quality items like down jackets, underwear and T-shirts.

TADASHI YANAI, Founder and CEO, Uniqlo

Iran Reached a Deal to Buy 100 Boeing Airliners Iran has reached a deal to buy 100 planes from U.S. planemaker Boeing and the two sides are awaiting approval by U.S. Treasury authorities, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation said in remarks published by state media. So far, Boeing has only been granted permission to present its products to IranAir and a handful of other airlines as it tries to catch up with Europe’s Airbus, which won a provisional deal earlier this year for 118 BOEING PLANT IN SOUTH CAROLINA jets worth $27 billion. Reuters reported on June 6 that Iran was edging toward a historic agreement to buy jetliners from Boeing for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and that a deal for more than 100 aircraft could be reached fairly soon.

Now the 17-nation, 1,734-store retailer is on a quest to beat Western giants like Gap, H&M and Zara to become the world’s biggest apparel maker. Analysts say Uniqlo’s challenge is to carve out a brand identity of its own, going beyond its formula of delivering no-nonsense quality at good prices. The company has strengthened its brand, signing on tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori. Interbrand ranks Uniqlo as Japan’s most valuable retail brand, and eighth among Japan’s global brands, including Toyota, Sony and Nintendo. The company’s founder and chief, Tadashi Yanai, is Japan’s richest man, according to Forbes magazine.


Rio State Declares Financial Emergency Rio de Janeiro’s governor declared a state of financial emergency requesting federal funds to help fulfill obligations for public services during the Olympics. Emergency measures are needed to avoid “a total collapse in public security, health, education, transport and environmental management,” a decree in the state’s Official Gazette said. The state’s revenue, largely tied to the petroleum industry, slumped in the last two years as global oil prices collapsed. The announcement followed visit to Rio by Brazil’s Interim President Michel Temer, who said the federal government would ensure all obligations are met for a successful Games. Rio is expecting about 500,000 foreign visitors during the Olympics, which has coincided with Brazil’s worst recession since the 1930s and a political crisis that last month led to the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff.

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Over $15bln Worth of Deals Signed at SPIEF 2016 Within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2016) 332 formal agreement for around 1 trillion rubles ($15.44 bln) were signed. “The total number of 332 formal agreements have been signed, that we can counts and that are not commercial classified information, for around 1 trillion rubles ($15.44 bln). This includes only officially registered agreements,” said Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the Russian President.

COOPERATION “Overcoming barriers could be achieved if countries cooperate with each other. Cooperation can be built within the framework of flexible structures that will encourage a variety of technical decisions.” UKRAINE

— VLADIMIR PUTIN, President of Russia


Odessa Portside Plant Sets For Auction The auction of Ukraine’s state fertiliser group Odessa Portside Plant is set for July 26, the country’s state property fund announced. The auction, the first major privatisation since a 2014 is seen by Ukraine’s allies as a test of its ability to attract vital foreign investment and improve transparency in line with a $17.5 billion aid programme from the International Monetary Fund. Applications for the auction should be submitted by July 18, 2016. The reserve price is 13.175 billion hryvnias ($527.84 million). The IMF and EBRD have said that the reserve

National Bank to Acquire Turkey’s Finansbank The Qatar National Bank has completed the acquisition of Turkey’s Finansbank, the Gulf’s largest lender announce. The transaction is the latest for the Qatari lender, which is now the largest bank in the Middle East and Africa by assets,

price is too high and that could deter reputable foreign investors from bidding. However, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman ruled out making any change to the price. SPAIN

Online Gambling Market Soars Following Legalisation


Raiffeisen Aims to Sell Polbank Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) aims to sell its Polish unit Polbank to a bank listed in Poland.. Poland’s financial regulator has given RBI until the end of 2016 to sell Polbank, which the Austrian bank plans to first strip of its Swiss franc-denominated loans. Warsaw wants to force banks to convert their Swiss franc-denominated mortgages into zlotys at a collective cost of up to 60 billion zlotys ($15.1 billion). This threat and a banking tax hampered a previous RBI effort to sell Polbank. “The remainder (minus the portfolio of franc-denominated loans) will be sold to a listed bank in Poland. That is the goal,” RBI’s Chief Financial Officer Martin Gruell told an annual shareholder meeting, without naming potential buyers.

Spain’s online gambling market grew by almost one third in the first quarter of 2016, following last summer’s legalisation for online slots play. Gross gaming revenue in the same period totaled €102.3m, up nearly 8per cent from the previous quarter, and up a staggering 32.1% from the same period last year. Sports betting continued to dominate, capturing 50% of all online turnover and 57.3% of all revenue.

having brought Societe Generale’s Egyptian business for $2 billion in 2013, and a 23.5 per cent stake in pan-African lender Ecobank International in 2014, as noted by Reuters. Finansbank is the fifth-largest privately-owned bank by assets in Turkey. With a nationwide distribution network of over 620 branches and more than 12,000 employees, it has more than 5.3 million active customers, according to the QNB statement.


Revlon Buys Elizabeth Arden for $870m Revlon, the makeup company controlled by billionaire Ron Perelman, will buy Elizabeth Arden Inc. for $14 a share, adding celebrity fragrances and other products to its cosmetics lineup. The transaction values Elizabeth Arden at about $870 million, New York-based Revlon said in a statement. The deal marks a turnabout for investors, who had been speculating earlier this year that Revlon might be an acquisition target -- rather than a buyer. Perelman’s investment firm, MacAndrews & Forbes, announced in January that it would explore strategic alternatives for Revlon. That sent the shares surging as shareholders wagered that a buyout of the company was in the offing.




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The 7th Diplomatic Golf Tournament, organised by the German Embassy and the Belgrade Golf Centre, received plenty of attention from representatives of the diplomatic corps and the international business community. Many members showcased their golfing talent at this mini-tournament that included a young guest from Russia – Ivan Lashchuk, who won the trophy. Mile Dragić won first place among the representatives of the Golf Centre, while local golfer from Belgrade, Miloš Krdžić, came second and Mladen Đurović finished third. Slobodan Lainović from Novi Sad had the best gross score. Branislav Jergović recorded the longest drive, while Karl Heinz Schmitz won the nearest to the pin prize. Among the ladies, Patrizia Schmitz came first, Biljana Dedijer was second and Lina Dedijer finished third. In the senior competition, Karl Heinz Schmitz had the best Stableford net result, followed by Joachim Hans Fries from the German Embassy and Ambassador Axel Dittmann. The overall winner was Stefan Kuhn from Germany.




The fundraising event “Draw a smile” for children, was organised at the Children’s Shelter by the Slovenian Business Club, with the aim of spending some time with needy children and raising funds in order to help the Shelter. The opening address was given by Danijela Fišakov, president of the Slovenian Business Club, while member of the Belgrade City Council, Dragomir Petronijević, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the City Belgrade for the donations made. Danijela Stajković, manager of the Children’s Shelter, also expressed thanked for the donations provided. Following the opening ceremony and official statements, a short, interesting programme for children ensued.




The Office of the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in Serbia has donated electronic equipment worth over €30,000 to Serbia’s Supreme Court of Cassation. The formal presenting of the donation was attended by the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Dragomir Milojević, H.E. Turkish Ambassador Mehmet Kemal Bozay and the coordinator of TIKA Serbia, Mehmet Bayrak. Expressing his thanks for this donation, Milojević explained that TIKA has cooperated with Serbian institutions since 2009 and that to date this has primarily been implemented in the areas of agriculture, health and education. Ambassador Bozay thanked the president of the court for enabling the possibility of the two countries also cooperating in the field of justice, because, as he said, “there are very intense links between the two countries, but the possibilities of focusing more on the area of justice is of great importance”. 38 |


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H. E. AXEL DITTMANN, German Ambassador



Thanks to the support of more than 20,000 individuals both from the country and abroad, 80 companies and 35 organisations, the Ana & Vlade Divac Foundation was able to help 130,000 people in 2015, through humanitarian and development projects worth a total $2.2 million. The housing needs of more than 600 people were taken care of – refugees from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo – through the construction of prefabricated houses or apartments for social housing, as well as for people from the areas hit by flooding in 2014. Thanks to the support of the Foundation, 306 families launched, developed or renewed their own businesses or farm production activities. “Without the support of partners and donors we would not be able to do all those beautiful things and help people to rehouse, to start businesses, to take care of schools, to help young people change something in their communities, but also to show solidarity for people who are fleeing from war,” said Ana Divac, President of the Foundation’s Management Board.




The Belgrade Museum of African Art hosted this year’s Afro festival, the most important annual event which this institution organises in cooperation with the embassies of African countries. From 3rd to 5th June, the garden of the Museum of African Art in the Senjak area JOSÉ JOÃO MANUEL, H.E. MOHAMED BOUGAMRA, hosted gatherings of numerous artists, experts in the H.E. H.E. TAJOURI SH. TAJOURI, PAUL-EMILE TSHINGA AHUKA, field of African Studies, as well as lovers and connois- CHIJIOKE MCHARDY ANI, MOUSSA CAMARA, MIRKO MILJUŠ, HIND ZAIMI and museum director MARIJA ALEKSIĆ seurs of the culture and arts of the African continent. “For almost four full decades this unique institution has provided a significant contribution to the promotion and fostering of cultural relations and promoting the principles of multiculturalism and cultural diversity, representing Belgrade in the best possible light,” said Dr Marija Aleksić, Director of the Museum of African Art. On behalf of the Group of African Ambassadors in Serbia, visitors were addressed by H.E. Libyan Ambassador Tajouri Sh. Tajouri, who highlighted the many decades of Serbian-African friendship and gave a particular mention to the importance of the Museum in continuously improving that friendship.




The Association of Sommeliers of Serbia (SERSA) organised at Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel in early June the first General Assembly of the International Association of Sommeliers to be held outside France, with the presence of many representatives of global associations of sommeliers. Numerous wine experts had the opportunity to sample the wines of Serbian wineries on home soil, alongside other Serbian specialities and the country’s traditional hospitality. In the first place, Tamjanika and Prokupac shone in all their glory, as did wines from popular international varieties. This gathering provided a good opportunity to introduce the world to Serbian wineries and wine at its best.




To mark the upcoming brief summer break, the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK) brought together its members, partners and friends at the Vizantija raft-restaurant. More than 200 guests enjoyed live music, cocktails, a rich selection of food and the view of Kalemegdan Fortress. President of AHK Serbia, Ronald Seeliger, welcomed the guests present, thanked the members for their support and announced a call for partnerships and sponsorship of the upcoming AHK Oktoberfest event. This was followed by a small prize giveaway contest which was organised once again by the Chamber this year: accommodation for two adults and two children at Germany’s Europa Park, a gift from the German Tourist Organisation (DZT), which was won by Goga Vučković (Hemofarm Foundation), while the DAF Centre for the German Language donated two vouchers for German language courses to winners Nenad Ćirić (Construction Company Građevinar) and Maja Vidaković (CorD publisher alliance international media).


To mark World Environment Day, the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, the Embassy of the Republic of France and the UN Development Programme in Serbia organised a joint press conference on the premises of the French Embassy in Belgrade. The press conference contributed to highlighting the importance of joint action aimed at mobilising Serbia in the fight against climate change. BORKA JEREMIĆ (left), STANA BOŽOVIĆ, H.E. Ambassador Speakers at the press conference included CHRISTINE MORO and H.E. Ambassador ABDELLAH ZEGOUR H.E. French Ambassador Christine Moro, State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Stana Božović, H.E. Moroccan Ambassador Abdellah Zegour, and Borka Jeremić, appearing on behalf of Irena Vojáčková Sollorano, Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme in Serbia. As a tangible step in support of government efforts to implement climate policy, a new joint project of the UNDP and the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection was announced: “Climate Smart Urban Development”. J U LY



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The Italian embassy in Belgrade has hosted the “EU Open Doors Day” in which the visitors – mainly students from several Serbian cities – were able to pose questions about the European Union. H.E. Italian Ambassador Giuseppe Manzo said that the protagonists of the event, which was organised in cooperation with the EU Delegation and the EU Info Centre, were precisely “the youth, who represent the future of Europe”. Visitors were able to tour the premises of the Embassy, where EU information points and a stand of the Italian Cultural Institute had been arranged specifically for this event. In the courtyard of the embassy were displayed several models of the legendary Vespa motor scooter and an exhibition dedicated to the cult “Alan Ford” comic book. Those in attendance were also welcomed by the First Secretary of Embassy, Alessandro Neto, who expressed his satisfaction that the parH.E. Ambassador GIUSEPPE MANZO (left), H.E. ticipants had the opportunity to close- Ambassador MICHAEL DAVENPORT and Mr. DAVIDE SCALMANI ly familiarise themselves with the Union.




The National Theatre in Belgrade provided the venue for the presentation of an evening of Indonesian Culture, which was organised by this country’s embassy. Under the title “Colours of Indonesia”, those in attendance were presented with the characteristics of traditional art, accompanied by a story about the experience of travelling through regions of diverse and rich culture, which was presented with the characters of the Semar and Sri Devi puppet theatre, as performed by Ana Popović. Also performing were two music groups and two dance groups – Gamelan and Anklung; and Bidadari Citra Nusantara, which operate under the auspices of the Embassy.





Under the organisation of the Serbian Association of Managers (SAM), the garden of Belgrade’s Poslanik Club hosted the traditional June gathering of managers, which brought together over 200 of the most respected managers and businessmen, high officials of state institutions, representatives of the diplomatic corps, international institutions and many media representatives. In addition to the themes traditional to these gatherings, this year’s additional theme of the June meeting was the tenth anniversary of the existence JELENA BULATOVIĆ (left), SAM executive of SAM and the start of commemoradirector,KORI UDOVIČKI, Minister of Local-Self Government and MILAN PETROVIĆ, SAM president tions marking this anniversary. 40 |




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The prestigious Superbrand Serbia 2015/2016 Awards have been presented to the best Serbian companies. Among the major winners were Imlek, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Air Serbia, but also the women’s national basketball team, in recognition of its outstanding results in sport, and the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, which was awarded for its innovation. The criteria for gaining the status of “Superbrand Serbia” are based on recognisability and reputation, long-term consistency and reliability, as well as corporate social responsibility. The “Superbrand” awards were presented to the most successful companies in 34 categories, among which are Knjaz Miloš, Hleb i Kifle, Apatin Brewery, Imlek, Bambi, BAT, Tetrapak, Tigar Corporation, Elixir Zorka, Airport City, Energoprojekt, Lilly drogerije, Mona, Forma Ideale, Gorenje, Nikola Tesla Airport; Telekom Serbia et al.






Representatives of the Hellenic Business Association of Serbia have met with the President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Marko Čadež. The meeting saw it pointed out that there is ample scope for more intensive economic cooperation between Greece and Serbia in many sectors, as well as that Greek companies already doing business in Serbia are interested in expanding their business, but also that there are those who want to start doing business in Serbia. In the second half of the year there is a planned series of activities aimed at improving economic cooperation between Serbia and Greece, including sector-based bilateral meetings between Serbian and Greek companies, meetings in Greece, participation in forums and other activities.



The UAE Embassy in Serbia has been supervising the distribution of aid in cities inhabited by Muslims in Serbia since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. On this occasion, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Belgrade distributed dates and meals for Iftar in collaboration with the Khalifa Bin Zayed AL Nahyan Foundation and the UAE Red Crescent, and in coordination with the Serbian Islamic Community in the cities of Belgrade, Novi Sad and Novi Pazar. Acting Charge d’affaires of the UAE Embassy in Belgrade, Ibrahim Al Darmaki, visited Novi Sad and was briefed about the organisation of projects including Iftar meals and the distribution process of dates provided by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KF) to Muslims and the underprivileged.


H.E. Mr. Hendrik Van Den Dool,Ambassador of Netherlands and his delegation visited the Zaječar brewery operating within the Dutch company Heineken. The reason for his visit was to become acquainted with the work and the technological processes of the brewery, as well as hold interviews with company representatives about further cooperation and on-going investments. Mr.Dol expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation with this company, and said he is proud of the business and achievements of Heineken in Serbia and the Zaječar brewery in terms of achieving high technological and ecological standards in production. On this occasion, he thanked the company for its continuous investments in improving operations, security, quality and the life of people in the community in which it operates.





H.E. Swiss Ambassador Jean-Daniel Ruch, prior to his departure for Israel, hosted the performance “Love”, performed by visual artist Marta Jovanović in the garden of the Swiss ambassadorial residence in Senjak. The performance “Love” sends a message of peace which is in the essence of the political and historical aspect, as well as the personal love story of the artist, who survives from love to hate and from passion to pain. Through performances, drawings or photography, she calls for a questioning of the dictates of a particular culture, rejecting the classical vision of beauty and turning towards a more democratic knowledge of beauty and sexual identity, freed of all constraints.





Belgrade’s Dom Omladine Youth Centre hosted a press conference on the occasion of the event Orange Week – Dutch Week in Belgrade, which is organised between 27th June and 2nd July by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. H.E. Netherlands Ambassador Hendrik van den Dool noted that the reason for organising the Orange Week was the end of the Dutch presidency of the European Union. During the week-long event Belgraders will be able to familiarise themselves with various aspects of Dutch society and culture. “You will have the opportunity to try Dutch food, watch Dutch films, win a bike with Dutch characteristics, enjoy the rhythms of DJ Marko V and more,” said Ambassador van den Dool. J U LY



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music and on stage, with a special focus on the interaction of his music with other artistic expressions. His interests and experiences include both video art and dance. He has held concerts in international museums and galleries and has also played with contemporary artists, as well as at international festivals. Ola is the artistic director of SIGNAL – the festival of avant-garde music and other forms of expression, which was founded in

Slovak concert 1 – Kolarac – 20.00

On the occasion of taking over the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Belgrade is organising a concert of famous Slovak jazz singer Adriena Bartoševa. During her career, Adriena, who is partially of Serbian origin, has sung and performed with prominent musicians and groups from Europe and the United States. She is also a composer of film music and music for theatre plays. This concert is the first in a series of events to be organised by the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Belgrade during the next six months, which will see Slovak culture and art presented.

Alessandro Ola 1 – IIC Belgrado – tba The Italian Cultural Institute in Belgrade is hosting Italian artist Alessandro Ola from 22nd June to 1st July 2016. A composer, pianist and performer, after studying piano, composition and electronic music, Ola left behind the academic approach to music and started moving towards a more artistic path involving experimentation, improvisation and electronics, both in composing

Exit 2016 6-11 – Novi Sad Fortress

EXIT is an award winning summer music festival that was officially declared the ‘Best Major European festival’ at the 2013 EU Festival Awards. It is held annually at Novi Sad’s Petrovaradin Fortress – considered by many as one of the best festival venues on the world.

2007. From 2001 to 2005, Ola organised the MicroOnde annual festival of improvisation and musical exploration in Cagliari, which included workshops and performances. He has lived and worked in Bolzano, Rome and Venice (1979-1996) and currently resides in Cagliari, where he founded the TiConZero, a centre dedicated to musical and theatrical research. Ola will perform at IIC Belgrado on Friday 1st July.

Damien Jurado 6 – Belgrade Youth Centre – 21:00 Damien Jurado is returning to Belgrade after two years. This musician, poet and painter from Seattle is coming to Serbia to promote his

More than 2.7 million people from over 60 countries around the world have visited the festival to date. Throughout the years, EXIT has gained international media attention, with CNN even including EXIT on its list of the world’s nine best festivals, while The Guardian declared EXIT the best festival in the world in 2006 and the best tourist destination in 2008. For this year’s EXIT programme, please visit to abandon civilisation in order to discover universal truths. Like any great work of art, “Visions Of Us On The Land” is a story about love and death, the journey into the subconscious; a sound map without accurately traced locations, roads and landmarks, which with each new hearing reveals new aspects.

Aero Rock Festival new album “Visions Of Us On The Land”, which completes his “Maraqopa” trilogy. This latest album was created in collaboration with producer and multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift, with whom Damien created the albums “Maraqopa” (2012) and “Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son” (2014), which completes the story of an outsider who was forced

22-24 – Kraljevo Serbia and Kraljevo finally gained the kind of rock spectacle that had long been awaited! The Aero Rock Festival, will delight visitors from 22nd to 24th July at the “Brege” sport airport in Kraljevo. On the first day of the festival, 22nd July, there will be performers such as Vila Filozofina,

Orange Week 1, 2 – various locations On the occasion of the end of its EU Council presidency, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is organising “Orange Week” – a Dutch week in Belgrade from 27th June to 2nd July 2016. Orange Week is created to show you what the Netherlands is all about. The Netherlands has a centuries-old tradition of doing business globally. Dutch society is based on building bridges, seeking consensus and ensuring alignment between the political, business and social arenas. An orange tram will be circulating Belgrade for a whole month in order to promote the Orange Week. Orange Week will start with Applied Nostalgia, a photography exhibition of a Serbian and a Dutch photographer, to be exhibited at Mikser House. Marko Rupena has photographed places and situations in Amsterdam which remind him of Belgrade,

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while Ilvy Njiokiktjien photographed parts of Belgrade that resemble the Dutch capital. This project is an initiative of the Serbian Government’s Office for European Integration and aims to enhance cultural cooperation and promote the presiding country, as well as to promote and support Serbia on its path to becoming a full member of the EU. Orange Week continues with a Deli Monday at Culture Centre Grad, where Embassy staff will prepare food for guests and there will also be a delicious orange surprise. During the week-long event, Dutch movies will be screened at the Belgrade Youth Centre.

Orange Week will be more than just fun. Namely, the initiative is implemented by the Netherlands of the Dutch association and Orange Funds will be utilised in Belgrade for the third time. This initiative strives to highlight the importance of voluntary work and active citizen participation in developing the community in which they live. The staff of the Embassy will again support a local initiative. Orange Week will culminate on Saturday 2nd July, when the Bridge on Ada and the city’s Albania Palace will be lit up in orange. Visitors on that day will be able to participate in several large events in Belgrade.

At 5pm a mass Orange Bike Ride will set off from Republic Square. By organising this bike ride, the Embassy hopes to draw attention to the rights and responsibilities of cyclists, in order to promote the bicycle as a healthy, economical and environmentally-friendly mode of transport. Dress code: orange! Under the Film Street programme, starting at 8.30pm next to the Music Pavilion in Kalemegdan, a Dutch film, The Admiral (2015), directed by Roel Reine, will be screened. Orange Finish brings the week to a close with a grand party at the Belgrade Fortress (courts of Basketball Club Partizan) and if you dress in orange you have secured yourself free entrance to the Orange party until 11pm. DJs from Serbia and The Netherlands will be there to entertain you. Entrance to most of these events is free of charge.

and pioneering bands in the region. Apart from the competition between up-and-coming bands from the region of the former Yugoslavia, the festival programme also includes performances of established acts. For programme details, please visit


Cossack State Ensemble “Free Steppes” Artan Lili, Osvajači and S.A.R.S. On the second day, the festival will host IrieFM, Kolja i grobovlasnici, as well as legendary Serbian rock groups Atomsko Sklonište, YU Group and Riblja Čorba. For the third day, organisers are preparing an air show, where air clubs from Serbia and the region will provide an opportunity to fly planes. In addition, organisers will allow visitors to descend by parachute and partake in paragliding. Fans of planes will also be able to enjoy the competition of model plane makers. Bands will perform non-stop from noon on the first day of the festival to 2am on the second day, thus entertaining visitors whatever time they come to “Brege” airport.

14 – Sava Centre – 20:30 The “Free Steppes” ensemble was founded in 2005 following a decision of the City of Stavropol in Russia. Established as a professional Cossack Dance and Song Ensemble, the “Free steppes” name reflects the essence of the Cossacks and their

50th Gitarijada 26-30 – Zaječar

The 50th annual Gitarijada guitar festival will be held in Zaječar from 26th to 30th July. This event traditionally promises a good combination of positive vibrations and the best rock music. It runs for five days on five stages, with a number of additional events and bonus programme surprises. Held since 1966, Gitarijada is one of the longest-running festivals in Serbia and Southeast Europe and the largest festival of young

centuries-old desire to be independent and free. The Cossack-warrior and his horse, as his faithful comrade, were masters of the vast steppes. The repertoire of the ensemble includes vocal and choreographic compositions, joyful songs, dance songs, war songs and many other themed songs. There are also dances that reflect the culture of the inhabitants of Terek, Kubanj, Don and Zaporozhye. The creativity of the Ensemble presents a harmonious blend of genres – choral singing, folk dancing and music. Almost every song is accompanied with scene elements, usually dance, but also choral singing. The viewer can at times wonder which performers are singing and which are dancing. Additional vividness to the ensemble is brought with handmade costumes that reflect the way of life of the Cossacks. The ensemble has won numerous awards and prizes at national and international festivals and competitions, but it continues to constantly

“The Two Gentlemen of Verona” 28 June - National Theatre - 19.30 The famous Globe Theatre from London will perform Shakespeare’s play, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, directed by Nick Bagnall on the Main Stage of the National Theatre on 28th June. This time around, Globe Theatre is performing one of their latest productions. Begnall, true to his innovative direction, offers a rather anarchic version of Shakespeare’s

early work from 1951, with an emphasis on music.

25th BELEF Throughout June and July – various locations The Belgrade Summer Festival, BELEF, will be held from 19th June to 30th July. This year’s BELEF comprises major musical programmes, theatrical performances and exhibitions. The 25th BELEF was opened in mid-June by Zemlja Gruva and Spanish band Los Mambo Jambo.

The Belgrade Summer Festival is an event that aims to present superior artistic accomplishments in the fields of theatrical, musical and visual arts, as well as other artistic disciplines, entertaining Belgraders and their guests. For the festival programme please visit

improve its professional skills, thanks to director and artistic manager of Vasiliy Berchenko, who is also an Honorary artist of Stavropol.

and on a number of websites... He has won two awards for innovation in photography (2006 and 2007), and in 2015 the Jewish Museum in Berlin presented his ten works from the series “Portraits of the hand”.


Exhibition: Tranquilo throughout July – Instituto Cervantes – 10:00-22:00

The Tranquilo exhibition includes thirty blackand-white images that can be divided into two groups. The first is documentary photography, showing the hidden corners of Palma de Mallorca and in which the artist utilises panoramic formats to move the viewer into the world of imagination. The second type represents more mysterious photographs, which feed the soul and make specific audiences pause and ponder life. Igor Mandić in his photos not only depicts Palma de Mallorca, but also manages to take the viewer deep into the incredible beauty of photographs. His photographs have been published in numerous national and international journals and magazines (Elle, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, among others), and are used in advertising campaigns, by fashion agencies

João Garcia 1-9 - Institut Français After completing his journalism studies in Portugal and graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Spain, Garcia’s experience as a photographer, designer and cameraman led him to work with several artists and institutions in Portugal and abroad (Spain, Chile etc.). João has resided in France since 2006. He continues to cooperate with artists and institutions in many countries (France, Japan, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Algeria, Serbia ...), while his work is directed through the Antichambre graphic design studio. He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of La Rochelle.

Garcia has held several solo exhibitions since 1999 - Centro Cultural de Belém - Lisbon, Centro Português de Fotografia - Porto; Machikaneyama Museum - Osaka, Dejima Museum - Nagasaki, Centre Culturel Tjibaou - Noumea; Carré Amelot - La Rochelle... Photography is the tool he uses to experiment with the power of the image in order to examine the strange beauty of everyday life.




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Projects based on mutual understanding and those that bring people together are the best way to strengthen cultural ties between any country and the UK, says Clare Sears, Director of the British Council for Serbia and the Western Balkans


ince its founding in 1934, the British Council has operated under the same mission: to enhance the reputation of the United Kingdom in the world. Today, the British Council works in over 100 countries worldwide, including the office in Serbia that has promoted cultural and educational relations for decades and is running various programmes in the arts, education, governance and English language. On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the British Council in Serbia, in September 2015, Clare Sears was appointed Director for Serbia and the Western Balkans. At the very beginning of this interview, Ms Sears says that people from the United Kingdom and Serbia, as well as those from other Western Balkan countries, could learn a lot from each other. There are several strategic priorities that the British Council works on in Serbia and the region. First, the British Council supports reforms in Serbia in different areas. As we hear from our interlocutor, this support ranges from reforming Serbia’s Judical System, working on cultural policy, improving educational programmes, capacity building etc. In addition, the emphasis is placed on supporting young entrepreneurs and creative entrepreneurship, as well as digital arts, film and music. The British Council’s educational work in Serbia is well established. However, educational reforms represent a necessity throughout the region. 44 |


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- Teachers have to adopt a 21st century skill set, while we also strongly encourage entrepreneurial learning. The British Council coordinates the project “Education for Employment”, with the goal of enabling the exchange of experience in solving the problems of unemployment, development of entrepreneurship, innovations, poverty reduction and economic development. The project supports reforms in the Republic of Serbia in Human Resources Development, with the focus on education and employment policies, cooperation between sectors by offering UK experience and support, as well as finding out how entrepreneurial learning is implemented in UK schools. Vocational education is another important issue that brings together business and education.


Shakespeare connects countries globally and his legacy is even more popular outside of the UK. This year, the British Council marks the 400th anniversary of this writer’s death with a global programme of events and activities – Shakespeare Lives. A conference led by Dr. Ewan Fernie, Profes-


In 2014, research by IpsosMori for the British Council demonstrated that the person young people overseas identified more than anyone else with contemporary British culture was William Shakespeare. A YouGov survey commissioned in 2015 by the British Council shows that Shakespeare’s international popularity is very high. Shakespeare is widely known, liked, understood, and thought of as relevant today. Some 78 per cent of those questioned around the world had experienced Shakespeare’s work. The research shows that Shakespeare is now more popular in many other countries than he is in the UK.

sor and Chair of Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Institute, was the first in a series of events organised in Serbia and it was a great success. Most recently, the international competition “Share Shakespeare” took place, engaging creative practitioners from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Ukraine and the UK. “We received 44 proposals and the judging panel had a very difficult task. The awarded project was a video game concept “A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Replayed” by Agoul, a gaming start-up from Novi Sad. We looked for an idea that synthesises Shakespeare’s ideas and is aimed at a younger audience,” explains Sears, adding that there will be many smaller events and activities until the end of the year.

young people. The New Technologies in Education conference attracted the attention of educators. Through this event we wanted to help pre-school institutions, schools, universities and other institutions involved in education to become more innovative, modernise the learning process and exploit all the possibilities provided by new technologies. Equally as important as embracing new technologies is motivating people in the Western Balkans, especially the youth, to participate in cultural activities. Mutual cooperation, again, is the key for cultural relations. The British Council implements the programme “Moving Museums”, dedicated to exploring how best to create a dialogue between young people (aged


Following great successes in Tel Aviv and Istanbul, the project “Mix the City” comes to the Balkans. Sears is very excited about this project, which the British Council is organising together with the EXIT Festival, and describes it as very vibrant, colourful, energetic, bright…Truly, this initiative seems inspiring, as “Mix the City – the Balkans” invites the world to an interactive music video platform where anyone with a computer or a mobile device can create their own music video mix of the Balkans and instantly share it with friends on social media. The special guest star is Ghostpoet, a UK-based recording artist. On a journey through Banja Luka, Belgrade, Budva, Novi Sad, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skoplje and Tirana, 12 musicians from the region will create a unique musical experience and their work will be featured on the platform. Once “Mix the City – the Balkans” is launched, audiences across the world will be able to easily explore and experience the sights and sounds of the Balkans at their fingertips. The project will be available at from July 2016. “I expect that more than a million people will remix the sounds of the Balkans. It will be even bigger success than Tel Aviv!” says Sears.


This project, like many others that the British Council initiates, is based on mutual understanding. According to Sears, the key is in joint conversations between the UK and other cultures. Projects that bring people together are the best way to strengthen cultural ties between any country and the UK. In the contemporary world, digital technology fosters communication and enables the kind of joint conversations that Sears mentions. - Understanding the audience and its needs is crucial. We have always emphasised conversation and only the means have been changed: now the conversation happens in the world of social media. Youth has been important for the British Council and, thus, we have English-leaning apps, various online materials, offering the possibility of distance learning and, of course, we are present on social media. Digital technology is not only important for


"Invitation to join the Mix the City project was a bit of a surprise and a dare. I found a challenge in a fact that you only get about 2 bars, (like less than 5 seconds) to create a fragment of a song to be. Since I was the first to record I felt like a blindfolded painter, being asked to cast a first stroke… So I did just that. Closed my eyes and made a small stroke in the colour of Serbian bagpipes. No idea whats gonna come out of it, but it will be fun for sure." - said Slobodan Trkulja.

18-24) and their museums. The project in the Western Balkans assists museums in achieving better communication with younger audiences and actively involving them in their programmes. In that regard, seminars and study visits are organised and an online platform is also established as a way of enabling knowledge sharing between local institutions and those in the region. During their official visit to Serbia, the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Matica Srpska Gallery, as one of the museums included in the project. Finally, the exhibition “Belgrade to Bowie” gained a lot of attention. Clare Sears says she was struck by how much people in Serbia mourned the famous singer. An extensive exhibition of photographs by world-renowned music photographer Brian Rasic, who was Bowie’s official photographer for more than two decades, captured some of the most iconic images on and off stage. Of course, Sears visited this exhibition, just like she visits numerous cultural events in the city. - I like the fact that Belgrade is passionate about culture. The scene is very diverse and people visit cultural events a lot. I am still expoloring the Serbian cultural scene, she says. Several cultural events impressed her in particular: the Pupin exhibition, Mikser Festival, the exhibition of Nadežda Petrović in the Gallery of the Central Military Club and the Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection in Novi Sad. She also admires great fashion by young designers in the Fashion district. In her free time, Sears likes to take her chidren to Ada Ciganlija. “I would like to visit as much of Serbia as I can,” concludes Sears at the end of our conversation. ■ J U LY



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FACES & PLACES 27.05.2016

National Day of Azerbaijan Celebrated

H.E. ELDAR HASANOV (right) and embassy staff


Azerbaijani Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Eldar Hasanov, and the Azerbaijani Embassy marked the National Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan at Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. This day is traditionally celebrated in memory of 28th June 1918, the date when the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-1920) was established as the first secular parliamentary and democratic republic in the east, and throughout the Muslim world. Alongside numerous members of the diplomatic corps, the reception was attended by members of the Serbian-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce, the Culture Centre of Azerbaijan and the Serbian-Azerbaijani Friendship Society, representatives of the Christian and Muslim communities, officials from the Serbian state and representatives of the political, cultural and public life of Serbia. Guests of the reception were also able to enjoy performances of traditional Azerbaijani dance. 02.06.2016


Gala Evening of the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce

Day of Serbian Diplomacy Marked

The reputation and foreign policy position of Serbia are currently at a high level, perhaps the highest since the beginning of the Yugoslav crisis, said First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, speaking at a ceremony marking the Day of Serbian diplomacy, held in the National Assembly of Serbia. The ceremony commemorating the Day of Serbian diplomacy was attended by representatives of the Serbian government, parliament and state bodies, religious communities and senior representatives of the diplomatic corps, as well as a large number of diplomats and public figures. The Government of Serbia established the Day of Serbian diplomacy, which is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of the princely office of Foreign Affairs of the Principality of Serbia, established on 29th May 1839.

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The French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce brought together 200 officials from the French-Serbian business environment, representatives of embassies and European institutions, at the Atlantis Event Centre in Belgrade. Opening speeches saw participants addressed by Dragoljub Damljanović (Schneider Electric), President of the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and H.E. French Ambassador Christine Moro, who pointed out that bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries is developing well, as evidenced by new French companies entering the Serbian market. “Ahead of us we have a number of important meetings: the first is a conference dedicated to the Western Balkans (Paris, 4th July), under the auspices of which will be held business meetings between Business France and the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, as well as the second Serbia Day event in Paris (15th September),” announced Ambassador Moro. The Gala evening saw the awarding of the Grand Prix prize of Nedeljnik (Weekly) magazine, with company Atalian Global Services-Mopex Belgrade the winner in the category of Innovation for the project i-Report, a web application to monitor service quality. Company Coface was this year’s winner in the category of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Mrs. CHRISTINE MORO SANJA IVANIĆ, Director General the French-Serbian Chamber H.E. CHRISTINE MORO (left), (left), SANJA IVANIĆ, Director General of theofFrench-Serbian Chamber of of Commerce and BERTRAND MAXEL, LE BÉLIER Commerce and BERTRAND MAXEL, GMGM le Bélier


Italian National Holiday Marked

H.E. AMBASSADOR GIUSEPPE MANZO hands over the keys to vehicles to members of the Children's Day-care Shelter in Belgrade


The Italian Embassy in Belgrade held an official reception to mark the National Holiday and the 70th birthday of the Republic of Italy. H.E. Ambassador Giuseppe Manzo used this opportunity to present to the Vice-Rector of Belgrade University and the president of the Association of Italian and Serbian scientists and researchers, Ivanka Popović, with the decoration of the Order of Stars of Italy for her outstanding contribution to the development of academic relations in the field of science and research, while the Day-care Shelter for Children in Belgrade, in a show of solidarity, was handed over keys to a Mitsubishi Pajero SUV. The gathering also marked the 90th anniversary of the construction of the Italian embassy in Belgrade. The reception was attended by Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojković, Minister of State Administration and Local Self-Government Kori Udovički, ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of the political and public life of Serbia.


Malaysian Charity Bazaar The Malaysian Embassy in Belgrade has hosted a charity bazaar, with the money raised at the event donated to the most vulnerable schools in Serbia, while part of the income generated was intended for the residents of flood-effected areas. The Embassy’s garden was filled with people who toured colourful stalls and thereby familiarised themselves not only with the culture of Malaysia, but also India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan etc. The greatest interest was drawn by the authentic and varied food from these countries. A fashion show was also organised, while dancers took turns performing on stage. “This is a programme of public diplomacy. We want to be closer to the people, because it is very important to understand people. We have organised this event for the third consecutive year and we are seeking to promote education and integration. Serbia is a multicultural country, just like Malaysia, and education is very important for the future,” said Nik Ady Arman, Chargé d’Affaires at the Malaysian Embassy.


Chargé d'Affaires Mr. NIK ADY ARMAN


250 Years Since The Adoption Of The First Act On Freedom Of Expression



The Embassy of Sweden has dedicated this year’s celebration of the National Day of Sweden to commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Parliament of Sweden’s adoption of the first act of freedom of expression in the world. Stressing the importance of freedom of expression, H.E. Swedish Ambassador Christer Asp said that freedom of expression, as well as many other civil liberties, are part of every modern and democratic society... He added that “by constantly creating conditions for the opening of new chapters, Serbia is demonstrating its determination to continue negotiations towards full membership in the European Union”. “Democracy and human rights, including freedom of speech, are areas where Sweden invests the most. Serbia is still a long way from Sweden ... but the Press Freedom Index, which is compiled by Reporters Without Borders, shows that Serbia has improved its position by eight places compared to 2015,” said Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić. J U LY



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FACES & PLACES 09.06.2016

Russia Day Marked


On the occasion of Russia Day, the national holiday of the Russian Federation, the Embassy hosted a formal reception that was attended by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić, Prime Minister designate Aleksandar Vučić, Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej, numerous ministers in the caretaker government and members of the diplomatic corps, political party leaders and numerous MPs, public figures and others. The official reception marked the 25th anniversary of the formation of the modern Russia state and 1,154 years of the existence of the Russian nation. H.E. Russian Ambassador Alexander Chepurin said that Serbia is an important and reliable strategic partner of Russia in the Balkans and throughout Europe as a whole. “We highly value the sincere sentiment of the Serbian leadership and the Serbian people for further improving cooperation with Russia in all directions,” said Ambassador Chepurin.




Summer Cocktail Party at the German Embassy German Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Axel Dittmann hosted the traditional summer cocktail party at his residence, which was attended by almost all members of the Serbian technical government and many diplomatic, political, cultural and public figures from Serbia. In his welcome address, Ambassador Dittmann said: “Here, today, we are not going to talk about politics, coalitions and the new government. The only strategic decision that you will have to make is whether you’ll go for sausages or chicken, wine or beer….” The guests had a very pleasant evening in the garden of the Ambassador’s residence, listening to music and being entertained in the pleasant ambiance.



Queen’s Official Birthday Party The official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II was commemorated with a reception at the British Ambassadorial residence in Belgrade. The hosts of the reception, which also marked the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, were H.E. British Ambassador Denis Keefe and his wife Kate. Instead of giving a regular address, Ambassador Keefe toasted British Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić The reception was attended by ministers of the technical Serbian government, leaders of political parties and media representatives, as well as figures from cultural and public life.

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H.E. JULIA FEENEY, Australian Ambassador, and H.E. DENIS KEEFE



International Conference: “Future of Europe at Risk?”


An international conference entitled “Future of Europe at Risk?” has been organised by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Centre for Foreign Policy in Serbia and held at the city’s Metropol Palace Hotel. The main topics of the conference included the rise of nationalism in Europe, EU internal and external relations and impacts of a rapidly changing Europe for the Western Balkans. All of these issues were debated during three panel discussions by Aleksandra Joksimović, Heinz Albert Huthmacher, Ambassador Axel Dittmann, Ambassador Christine Moro, Józef Pinior, Peter Friedrich, Ivo Visković, Amer Kapetanović, Dejan Jović, Francisco de Borja Lasheras, Dušan Reljić, Hedvig Morvai and many others.


Night of American Fashion Under the auspices of the traditional Belgrade Fashion Nights event, in cooperation with the Embassy of the United States, the Night of American Fashion has been held and included the latest models of currently the leading creator of the new generation, Laquan Smith, who justified his status as one of the most successful American creators of the younger generation. Just some of the most famous women in the world who wear his designs are Rhyanna, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani, Nicole Scherzinger, Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Lady Gaga et al. In the beautiful garden of the U.S. ambassadorial residence of Ambassador Kyle Scott, the models of Laquan Smith and a relaxed atmosphere were enjoyed by all those present, including members of the diplomatic corps, friends and other guests.

Mrs. and H.E. Ambassador SCOTT



Order of Academic Palms in the Rank of Knight Awarded


The Embassy of France hosted an award ceremony for the Order of Academic Palms in the rank of knight, which H.E. Ambassador Christine Moro handed over to this year’s winners: Pavle Kovačević, a surgeon at the Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases of Vojvodina and a professor at the University of Novi Sad, and Bratislava Krstić, director of the Pirot Gymnasium Secondary School. The Order of Academic Palms is presented on behalf of the French Ministry of Education to outstanding individuals who have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the spread of knowledge and strengthening ties that unite our two countries. The founder of this decoration was Napoleon Bonaparte, who established it as recognition for eminent members of the University of Paris. J U LY



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FACES & PLACES 27.06.2016


Croatian Statehood Day and Croatian Armed Forces Day Commemorated Mrs. and H.E. Dutch Ambassador HENDRIK VAN DEN DOOL (l/r), and Mrs. and H.E. Ambassador GORDAN MARKOTIĆ (MIDDLE)

H.E. GORDAN MARKOTIĆ (left) Mrs. MARKOTIĆ and members of staff of the Croatian Embassy

The Croatian Embassy in Serbia has celebrated Croatian Statehood Day and Croatian Armed Forces Day at Belgrade’s Crown Plaza Hotel. The reception was hosted by H.E. Croatian Ambassador Gordan Markotić, while embassy staff ensured that – with specialities of this country, Dalmatian music and girls dressed in national costumes – this evening was a pleasant experience for the large number of guests in attendance from political, public and cultural life, as well as the highest representatives of the diplomatic corps. In his opening address, Ambassador Markotić said that the Declaration on improving relations and resolving open issues signed by Croatian President Kolinda GrabarKitarović and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić was a major and proper step towards improving relations and furthering reconciliation.

Aleksandar Vučić at AmCham Business Luncheon A permanent and open dialogue between the economy and the government with the aim of continuing with reforms is important for the further improvement of the business climate – this was the main joint message of the new Prime Minister elect of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and representatives of the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia (AmCham), from a Prime minister, MR. ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ business luncheon organised by AmCham. AmCham members expect the new government to continue with its good examples of cooperation between the state and the economy, with the aim of ensuring the greater predictability of the legislative process and the broader involvement of the business community in creating regulations through mandatory public hearings, said AmCham executive director Vera Nikolić Dimić. “I am certain that our goal is the same – for Serbia to continue to be attractive to foreign investors and to encourage present investors to continue to invest and thereby for s all together to impact on economic growth and improved living standards,” said Zoran Petrović, Chairman of the AmCham Board. “The government and industry must work in harmony to the maximum possible extent,” added Petrović. Serbian Prime Minister elect Aleksandar Vučić stressed that the fight against the grey economy must be strengthened dramatically: “serious steps have been taken in this direction, and a working group has even been formed with the Director of the Police at its helm. Moreover, additional tax reform is also essential, which will include items highlighted by AmCham,” said Vučić.


Slovenian Statehood Day Celebrated The Slovenian Embassy in Belgrade held a formal reception at the Ušće Business Centre to commemorate the country’s national day, marking the 25th anniversary of its independence, as well as Slovenian Armed Forces Day. H.E. Slovenian Ambassador Vladimir Gasparić thanked Serbia for its warm and friendly hospitality and presented letters of gratitude to three, as he noted, great friends of Slovenia: Rajko Marić, Saša Verbić and Miodrag Kostić, president of MK Group. The reception was attended, alongside representatives of the diplomatic corps, by Serbian National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojković, Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff Ljubiša Diković, Serbian Defence Minister Zoran Đorđević, as well as other guests from public and social life.

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Ms. VERA NIKOLIĆ DIMIĆ, Executive Director, AmCham H.E. AMBASSADOR GASPARIČ and his wife, MAJDA ZORKO, welcome H.E. U.S. Ambassador KYLE SCOTT

Mr. ZORAN PETROVIĆ, President, AmCham


The India Business Forum Launched The first India Business


Forum was launched by the Embassy of India in Belgrade, the birth place of Non Aligned Movement. The aim of the forum is to take the India-Serbia bilateral trade and investment portfolio to the next levelin view of the rapid economic developments in both the countries. The necessary legal framework has been put inplace by both the governments in the form of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA), Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC), Trade Agreement (MFN status) etc. Other enabling agreements are Air Services Agreement, Agreement on Cooperation in S&T, in Agriculture & Allied Sectors, and in Tourism.


Transport & Logistics

Serbia 2016


Streamlining Customs Procedures




ollowing the adoption of the Customs Law, whose implementation began in May 2010, and its accompanying bylaws, a framework was created for the Customs Administration to start applying a series of new customs procedures collectively known as “streamlined customs procedures”. This new way

The EU accession process has lead to the harmonisation of laws regulating various areas including customs operations and international goods exchange. This process coincides with demands from companies to bring order to the business environment and make this environment more efficient and less formal as much as possible - all the while eliminating the strict and formal procedures associated with the cross-border movement of goods or subjecting these goods to relevant custom clearance procedures prerequisite, known conditions have been met which enable full adherence to regulation, significantly shorter deadlines and shifting from regular to subsequent control of custom clearance process. The streamlined customs procedure implies that the simplified export/import clearance process is exe-

THE MAIN ADVANTAGE OF THE AUTHORISED ECONOMIC OPERATOR SYSTEM ARE THE STREAMLINED CUSTOMS PROCEDURES, WHICH ENTAIL LESS CONTROL, FEWER DOCUMENTS, CUSTOM CLEARANCE PRIORITY, CHOOSING THE LOCATION OF CUSTOMS SUPERVISION AND BETTER POSITIONING ON THE MARKET FOR COMPANIES of operating enables companies to go through a simplified and expedited processes, which, combined, facilitate a far more efficient and economical implementation of custom clearance procedures relating to import and export of goods. This in turn results in lower costs and more rapid execution of customs processes. Of course, before this is done, the customs authority needs to examine whether certain



cuted based on an invoice alone and on either consignee or consignor’s premises. This procedure is also known as in-house custom clearance. The streamlined customs clearance based on an invoice is carried out in the following way – the customs official agrees for a trade or any official document submitted together with the customs clearance request to replace the customs declaration (usually,

this document is an invoice, hence the procedure’s name). The law stipulates that the trade or any official document has to contain the information that properly identifies the goods in question. The declarant is also obligated to submit additional documents before the deadline set by the customs authorities. A custom official will approve the entire procedure for those companies which regularly declare the same type of goods to be custom cleared via the streamlined process, providing that the goods in question are simple, similar and easily recognisable and, as such, easy to inspect at the border customs office. Also, the goods in question should be such that they do not require additional documents to be submitted. In other situations, the procedure can be approved only if other required conditions have been met. In addition to the information required by law, the invoice, which is used as a streamlined customs declaration for the purpose of identifying the goods, has to contain specific information needed to identify the goods and

all the facts required for the procedure to be executed. Furthermore, the invoice has to contain a special note that reads “Streamlined Customs Declaration� with an approval number. Apart from the generally prescribed conditions relating to regular customs procedures, in order for the declarants to have this approval, several further conditions must be met. They need to demonstrate economic justification of such operations; have regularly paid customs fees and have no outstanding custom clearance liabilities; they have not filed for bankruptcy or liquidation and, in the last two

IN ORDER FOR COMPANIES TO BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR THIS STREAMLINED CUSTOMS PROCEDURE, THEY NEED TO MEET ALL PERTINENT LEGAL CRITERIA years, they have not committed serious or repeated infringement of customs regulation; possess a valid guarantee for payment of custom clearance liabilities, and have delegated one or more responsible persons who will execute the simplified customs procedure based on an invoice; make sure that the invoice, as a streamlined customs declaration, contains all the required information in order for this customs procedure to be executed; have the ability to electronically file the documents with the customs administration and that the documents accompanying the streamlined customs procedure are

clear enough to facilitate efficient control. After a detailed check, providing that all conditions have been met, the customs authority issues an approval which enables the company to implement the simplified customs procedure based on an e-filed invoice and, if needed, subsequent inspection of the goods by the border customs official. This allows for a quick completion of the custom clearance procedure on condition that a supplementary declaration has been filed within the deadline stated in the approval. A total of 266 companies in Serbia have been using this simplified procedure. On the other hand, and with the goal of simplifying custom clearance in import and export (in-house custom clearance), the customs authority can allow a company to receive or deliver the goods submitted for clearance procedure in their own premises or in other approved location without showing these goods and transit documents to customs officials but only bookkeeping documents. This practice eliminates the costs of transporting the goods to customs facilities. The declarant is required to submit a supplementary declaration in this case too. In order for companies to become eligible for this streamlined customs procedure, they need to meet all pertinent legal criteria. These include having headquarters on the customs territory of the Republic of Serbia, having economic justification for the customs to issue the approval, being able to e-file customs documents, have e-bookkeeping of the goods, strictly adhering to regulation in terms of the hired freight company, having internal instruc-

tions clearly defining the place where a truck (or other transport means) will be positioned to load the goods that are submitted for streamlined customs clearance procedure, having a status of authorised exporter and other relevant conditions. The customs authority will check in detail whether the above conditions have been met prior to issuing an approval.

custom clearance only in export, some only in import, while some have been issued with approvals for both). On 1st September, 2014, the Republic of Serbia Customs Administration started implementing the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) system. By doing so, the Administration is now fully compliant with the EU laws and standards and furthermore has created an environment conducive to partnership between the public and private sector. So far, several companies have applied for the AEO status and the first company to be granted one was Hemofarm (the AEO certificate was officially handed to the company representatives on 22nd April, 2015). Following Hemofarm, another seven companies have been granted AEO status. There are several AEO statuses like AEOC (for customs simplification) which enables streamlined custom

ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2014, THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION STARTED IMPLEMENTING THE AUTHORISED ECONOMIC OPERATOR (AEO) SYSTEM. BY DOING SO, THE ADMINISTRATION IS NOW FULLY COMPLIANT WITH THE EU LAWS AND STANDARDS Thanks to this customs procedure, the goods are directly transported from and to a consignor or consignee’s premises. This simplified procedure was devised in order for companies that strictly adhere to the customs regulation to be able to do their business more efficiently, to achieve a quicker turnaround (thus reducing costs) and to become more competitive on the Serbian and the EU market. A total of 90 Serbian companies have earned this right and have been implementing the streamlined customs procedure under the conditions stipulated in 142 issued approvals (some of them have approvals for streamlined



clearance procedures, AEO-M (for security and safety) which is granted to companies that adhere to security and safety standards and AEO-P (the most important AEO for customs simplification) which is a combination of the aforementioned two AEOs (all-in-one). The conditions for granting the AEO status are adhering to custom clearance procedures, having an acceptable sales management system and, if need be, transport documentation in place which allows for proper customs control, proven financial solvency and, if required, relevant security and safety standards in place. Only a company that has passed rigorous inspection

of all its business segments and has adopted strict European standards thus being able to guarantee safe production, storage, distribution and shipping of goods can be granted the AEO status. Apart from several domestic companies, the following foreign companies operating in Serbia also apply streamlined customs procedures – Coca-Cola, Philip Morris Operations, DRÄXLMAIER Automotive, C&A, JUB and others. The companies to which the Customs Administration has granted AEO status are considered stable longterm partners in the Republic of Serbia’s foreign trade activities. Such a status entails simplified custom clearance procedures and faster process of bringing the product to market, which increases the product’s competitiveness and results in more efficient business operations. The main advantage of the Authorised Economic Operator system are the streamlined customs procedures, which entail less control, fewer documents, custom clearance priority, choosing the location of customs supervision and better positioning on the market for companies. With its numerous activities geared towards the business community and its development, the Serbian Customs Administration wants to become even closer to the business sector. This is a trait that all modern customs administrations have, in addition to insisting on strict adherence to regulations, detailed customs supervision and control while taking into account the interests and development of the Serbian economy. To that end, the Administration has implemented concrete measures in order to enable companies to operate in an easier and faster manner. In the interest of improving its relations with the business community, as one of the most important partners, the Customs Administration continues to issue approvals for streamlined customs procedures to companies that operate in a conscientious manner and in line with the law thus enabling them to operate more efficiently and economically. ■


Year of Big Investments

cargo-partner will have finished extending its main facility near the Vienna Airport, Austria, by the summer of 2017. In order to satisfy the growing demand of their clients, the company is equipping a logistics centre made from sustainable wood with 25,000 pallet spaces


e use wood as our main construction material. Wood enables us to constantly control, monitor and maintain temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius, and humidity of 70 per cent. It is very affordable and it emits very little carbondioxide,” says Mirko Ilić, CEO of cargo-partner Serbia. “Environmentally friendly architecture starts with choosing proper construction materials which are conducive to the efficient manipulation of large quantities of goods while providing the best possible environmental protection.” • Is this the only investment by cargo-partner at the moment? - Absolutely not. In the near future, we plan to offer similarly high standards in Serbia, Slovenia and Slovakia. In Serbia, we have already met all the necessary technical prerequisites while in Slovenia, we are in the last stage of negotiations about the building land. I cannot disclose more details at this stage. As far as Slovakia goes, the warehouse in Dunajska Streda, which spans 7,200 square metres and

is 17.5 metres high, will have become operational by the end of summer. • cargo-partner was founded 33 years ago while your branch office in Serbia has been operational for 12 years. What drew so many clients to you? - cargo-partner is a medium-sized, privately owned international company, specialising in transport and logistics services, particularly

parency in the flow of goods throughout supply chain. Our organisational structure, innovative software, the expertise of our employees, high standards of our services, and exceptional efficiency are all results of our corporate policy. cargo-partner can always provide tailor-made solutions, adapted to each individual client. In Serbia in 2014, we opened our warehouse that spans 8,000 square metres, has 20,000 pallet spaces and 18 reloading bays, including ones

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE, INNOVATIVE SOFTWARE, EXPERTISE OF OUR EMPLOYEES, THE HIGH STANDARDS OF OUR SERVICES AND EXCEPTIONAL EFFICIENCY ARE ALL RESULTS OF OUR CORPORATE POLICY. CARGO-PARTNER CAN ALWAYS PROVIDE TAILOR-MADE SOLUTIONS, ADAPTED TO EACH INDIVIDUAL CLIENT air and sea freight services. Even the most demanding clients have put their trust in us because of our quality storage and proper management of complex freight operations via different transport routes. We have developed the WMS, i.e., an integrated Log Space and the S.P.O.T. system, which ensures complete trans-

for oversized loads. Then, we have a registered public customs warehouse, which covers 2,200 square metres, has a racking system and a blocked zone for storing oversized loads. The cargo-partner company, however, is not stopping at this – concludes Ilić in the end. ■




25 Years of Doing Business in Serbia DHL monitors the needs of the market and its clients, helping them to be successful DARKO BABIĆ, DIRECTOR AT DHL INTERNATIONAL BELGRADE


of services, thereby entering into cooperation with the customer in segments in which it previously wasn’t active, such as sales, marketing, purchasing, research & development, and production. It is not uncommon for logistics companies to even

pacted on the technology, procedures and standards of the sector during this quarter of a century? - The situation is actually reversed – it is technology that has caused huge changes in our industry, as well as in everyday life. Technological development is inevitable and that is something we have to accept. Whoever understands that best and applies it the fastest, will be more successful. In all of this, however, the most important are is oversight, continuous monitoring and improvement of processes, and, in addition to that, the nurturing of human resources and talents, who must be motivated to work and become successful.


• How much do standardisation and new technologies now play a role in the operations of companies dealing in transport and logistics? - The digital world prevails everywhere, including in logistics companies, and the digital community provides its members with a faster flow of information and faster access to new solutions. In our company that is also a response to innovation, which we develop at our two innovative centres, where solutions are continuously improved and greater efficiency is secured. Risks are hidden in a failure to grasp the importance of the digital world, but problems are possible

HL began its operations in Serbia in 1991, operating as a domestic company with 100 per cent foreign capital. Darko Babić, director of DHL International, has been with the company for all of these 25 years, spending 23 of them at its helm. What started with an air express courier service for the transport of documents and samples, today represents a worldwide leader in transportation and logistics. • You are considered as being one of the top experts in the transport and logistics sector in the region. In short, how would you define the current market trends in this area?

- New trends in the region are the same as in our country, and develop increasingly with the arrival of global clients. The greatest focus is placed on the “value chain”, related operations that provide added value and increase the profitability and competitive advantages of companies. That is when, for example, a company in our field offers a wider range



do HR tasks for their clients. Those are current trends which rely on the client's needs, while the limits of their expansion are almost non-existent. • You have behind you more than 25 years of experience in the field of transport and logistics. What are the most significant changes that have im-

for those who are not willing to pay the cost of implementing new technological solutions. • The economic reform process is underway in Serbia. What changes would you suggested when it comes to the transport sector, and technology and its role in economic development? - The only advice, suggestion or request is to continue with the construction of basic infrastructure! In the future we must invest a lot more in this, because without infrastructure there is absolutely no development of any industrial branches. By this I mean primarily road infrastructure, but also in telecommunications and the education system. Reform in education must start immediately, because the first results cannot be shown in such a short time.

The greatest competitive advantage and most important resource of DHL are employees. Moreover, an uncompromising customer orientation ensures that all employees are trained, motivated and emotionally connected, so that we provide a consistently outstanding quality of service, which leads to the satisfaction of our clients and profitable networks. In practice we have proven that our four pillars – Motivated employees, Exceptional quality of service, Loyal customers and Profitable networks, in cooperation with “Certified International Specialists” training programme and corporate culture – provide top results.

and offer logistics solutions, especially in exports, and we currently service 12,000 SMEs, of which 3,000 are active in import and export each month. We support the Serbian Chamber of Commerce’s workshops for SMEs and female entrepreneurs, in order to familiarise them and simplify global trade conditions for interested companies. • What new services will DHL offer its clients in the coming period? - DHL has published a strategy for 2020, as well as the global reports “Global E-tailing

• DHL operates in 220 countries worldwide and employs more than 340,000 people, making it a world leader. What are the communication priorities in such a large system? - Internal communication is of the greatest importance to the success of our business. This is equally important between different divisions as well as within them. The whole system has several large units and if communication within them was not perfect that would certainly be reflected in the results. Thus the biggest challenge at the level of the entire corporation is precisely this internal communication and the ability to define a network of activities, functions, divisions and regions in which everything will work flawlessly. • DHL International Serbia is recognised for its high operating standards, efficient op-

DHL IS SPECIALISED IN TRANSPORT SOLUTIONS FOR ECOMMERCE, ONLINE SHOPS AND COMPANIES THAT SELL PRODUCTS VIA THE INTERNET, AND IT HAS INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS THAT DEAL EXCLUSIVELY IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF SHIPMENTS SOLD VIA THE INTERNET erations and excellent financial results. What provides the basis for these results? - Although we, as a country, are far from the most successful countries in the world, we have proven that, through togetherness, in such a country we can become the most successful DHL in Europe. We insist on the corporate values that our people live. We have twice (2012 and 2014) been declared the best employer in Serbia in the category of small and mediumsized enterprises, while we have additionally been declared the Preferred supplier and Preferred investment, so we will continue working to strengthen these positions in the future.

• The portfolio of DHL Serbia includes a large number of foreign investors, local and regional companies and institutions. What forms the basis of your long-term cooperation? - In Serbia operate 57 of DHL’s global clients, who use services provided by all modes of transport – plane, truck, ship and rail. They are divided into four sectors: automotive, pharmaceutical and medical, ITC and engineering and manufacturing. In addition, more than 150 foreign companies that operate in Serbia are our regular clients. For us at DHL Serbia, small and mediumsized companies and entrepreneurs are important. We go out of our way to meet their needs

2025”, “Internet of Things in Logistics” and “Fair and Responsible Logistics”, exploring opportunities and the implementation of specific trends in logistics. The Strategy to 2020 envisages a thirty per cent reduction in the emissions produced during transportation. The new Go Green service is planned for next year in Serbia and implies the introduction of electric courier vehicles. For private individuals, entrepreneurs and SMEs, we are preparing innovations in the method of paying for services via mobile phones. mDHL will ease and simplify the use of our services. For next year we are planning to launch the On Demand delivery service in Serbia, which will offer DHL customers the possibility to request a delivery of international shipments to a location that is convenient for them. This type of shipment delivery provides a new level of comfort and ease of use to our clients. By the end of the year we will increase the capacity of our plane to 18 tonnes by introducing a Boeing 737 cargo flight every day. ■



THE PORT OF SENTA PORT OF SENTA JSC SENTA is the only international port on the Tisza River in Serbia. The port was founded in 1973, originally as the Potisje Senta Port, and was dealing with construction materials trade. Today, the Port of Senta is a contemporary logistics centre spanning over 20 hectares of land.

This cargo handing and transport centre integrates river, rail, and road transport in a functional multimodal transport. The Port has indoor storage stretching over 18,000 m2 (including public customs clearance warehouse) and is equipped with all the necessary port equipment: two transfer points for river vessels with carrying capacity of up to 1,800-tonne (on a vertical quay), slide for bulk cargo (3,000-tonne daily capacity), a 25-tonne universal bridge crane (with a grabber, hook and spreader), a truck weighbridge with 60-tonne capacity, petrol station with a 300,000-litre capacity, device for transshipment of LPG (with 1,000m3 storage capacity), trucks, excavators, front loaders and forklifts. A customs office and 10 freight-forwarding companies are located in the Port's area. The Port has very experienced workers who can respond to all requirements of its users 7/24. The Port's business results and the quality of its services have been improving year-on-year. In 2015, the Port of Senta handled in total 453,775 tonnes of cargo, of which 154,700 tonnes handled on water (a 32% increase comparing 2014). The Port has been in private hands since 2004 and is a member of the LION GROUP, which owns 10 other companies. Owing to its strategic position primarily and by constantly improving its operations, the Port can now further utilise its capacities and increase the number of its clients. Domestic export and import companies, cargo handling agents, shippers as well as foreign partners have placed their trust in us.

MSC doo

Makenzijeva 24 11000 Beograd Tel: +381 11 77 00 513 Mail:




From Experience and Knowledge to Complete Service Logistics is a complex science and comprises a multitude of operations that make up a transport process ZORAN STANKOVIĆ, DIRECTOR OF LOGISTICS



ogistics Transport Consulting Stankovic d.o.o offers complete service – from planning freight routes and freight modes to securing storage and the required documents for the process. The company’s many satisfied clients are a testament to its success. • When it comes to transport, you are one of the companies that deal with oversized loads both in Europe and Asia. What kind of oversized loads do you usually ship and, considering the complexity of such transport, do you charge special prices for it?

mon feature of all these loads is that when they are loaded onto a vehicle they exceed the maximum permitted dimensions and weight, as stipulated by law, and they cannot be divided up into smaller loads. The transport of oversized loads depends very much on the business needs and activities in certain business segments. Consequently, we usually transport construction and agricultural machines as well as various production machines, parts of building structures, reservoirs and other loads both whole and in part.




The price of transporting oversized loads is determined according to dimensions, weight and mileage. The difference between transporting an oversized load and a standard load is that it is very difficult

to find loads for return transport because these are special vehicles that cannot transport all types of loads, so our price also needs to include the return mileage of an empty vehicle. Furthermore, special licenses need to be obtained for transporting oversized loads and, in some cases, we need to have technical and police escorts, which can drastically augment transport costs. Finally, the dimensions, weight and purpose of such cargo affect the complexity of transport and determine the vehicle’s exploitation parameters, which can be bigger than in standard transport. Also, costs like wear and tear and fuel consumption are higher than in standard transport. • LTC Stankovic has years of experience, including consulting services. Can you tell us something about these services, and what are the most common requirements of your clients? - LTC Stankovic has been providing consulting services in the traffic and transport segments for 15 years now. I am the third generation of traffic experts in my family and, by utilising the accumulated experience of my predecessors, I founded a company which, at this moment, provides services to almost 100 transport companies in Serbia with over 1,000 transport units all together. Our company employs traffic engineers who are knowledgeable about Serbian and

European traffic and transport laws and can provide accurate and timely information to all clients, as well as solutions for their transport requirements. Our cooperation with the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure and other state bodies, in addition to our cooperation with the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, make our services highly reliable. I am especially proud of our collaboration with the Faculty. Together, we have organised educational trips for graduate students who can then also intern at our company. A number of them are interning at our company as we speak.

JUST BY APPLYING NEW TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS TECHNOLOGIES AND HAVING PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT, ONE CAN GAIN A SIGNIFICANT MARKET ADVANTAGE. SPEED, RELIABILITY AND SAFETY ARE AN IMPERATIVE FOR ANY COMPANY STRIVING TO SURVIVE ON THE MARKET • What is the business environment for transport and logistics companies like? - The environment has improved a lot in the last few years. Higher numbers of logistics centres and significantly improved infrastructure have both created new opportunities for the development of transport economy. There are many freight companies operating in Serbia and the region. What are the global trends in this sector considering a very tough competition? The competition undoubtedly contributes to a higher quality of services provided by transport and logistics companies. Just by applying new transport and logistics technologies and having professional management, one can gain a significant market advantage. Speed, reliability and safety are an imperative for any company

striving to survive on the market. Considering its geographic location and regional leadership in transport and logistics, Serbia has become the biggest freight hub in South East Europe, which creates a lot of opportunities for progress and development for many companies. • To what extent does the excessive customs bureaucracy affect business efficiency for transport companies in Serbia and the region? - The time spent on dealing with customs clearance formalities poses a big problem for both Serbian and regional transport companies. This makes us inferior to other transport companies in Europe. Demurrage costs are very difficult to compensate, and they are usually borne by transport companies. This, in turn, slows down

covering the costs of investing in the transport means, which can slow a company’s growth. Implementing the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) has somewhat simplified the procedures and reduced the time we used to waste on customs formalities. There is more work to be done on facilitating better access to the European freight market, which would make us more competitive, both in price and quality. • What do you think of the cooperation among transport companies in the region? - Cooperation among regional transport companies is good, but it usually boils down to individual relations between business partners or friends. I think that more should be done on institutional networking. Regional chambers of commerce and associations of logistics and freight companies should work more on finding common interests. Of course, they also need to be more vocal and transparent in their line of work in order for all logistics or transport companies to find their interest. • What are the biggest obstacles to faster development and bigger profit of transport companies? - The standard problems in the transport economy include unfair competition, problems with collecting receivables, and lack of drivers. Still, I believe that we will soon see progress in every segment of our business. ■ Phone: +381 (0)11 30 98 290 /291/273/274 E-mail:



INTERVIEW: Miloš Vojinović and Momir Mitrović, Co-Owners of Mobile Solutions

MILOŠ VOJINOVIĆ, Co-Owner of Mobile Solutions

Mobile Solutions d.o.o. is a Belgrade-based company which, according to several marketing surveys, has been recognised as the leading fleet management service provider in Serbia and the region in the past few years. The company is also the recipient of the prestigious Brand Leader Award for developing IT solutions for transport and logistics. The award was presented to them at the conference Transport and Logistics in Southeast Europe and the Danube Region – TIL 2016


obile Solutions co-owners Miloš Vojinović and Momir Mitrović are very upbeat and open in discussing the situation in transport and logistics, the target market for their IT solutions, and the company’s development plans. “We started developing our vehicle tracking system in 2005 as a part of a geoinformatics research project in the MapSoft company,” says Miloš Vojinović, co-owner of Mobile Solutions. “After spending three years in development, we founded a new company – Mobile Solutions – in 2008 which is completely committed to developing solutions for optimisation in the transport

on the development of technical solutions adapted to the specific needs of our users,” Mr. Vojinović adds. • Software solutions companies have to follow technological development trends in the world carefully and in their immediate environment on a regular basis. To what extent does Mobile Solutions rely on European standards in its business operations?

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGES IS THAT WE CAN INTEGRATE OUR SOLUTIONS WITH THE BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS OF OUR USERS and logistics segment. The development team from MapSoft and Mobile Solutions is comprised of renowned experts, PhD holders and experienced engineers. The key people in our team have over 25 years of experience in developing geoinformatics software solutions, and 10 years of experience in developing location-based services (LBS). The company's strategy is based



- In our everyday lives, we are already used to the fact that technology is changing at tremendous speed. The period in which new models emerge – from consumer goods to cars – has been shortened several times compared to the last few decades. Changes in software development are even more rapid. To us, engaged in this business, this sometimes brings a lot of happiness and satisfaction, because we are

MOMIR MITROVIĆ, Co-Owner of Mobile Solutions

Photo: Blic

Leading Provider of Fleet Management Services

able to find certain business solutions in a very easy and efficient way. Sometimes, it causes much frustration because we constantly have to be ready to learn new things. Today, the industry, led by technologically strong corporations, set most standards. This is especially true of the IT sector because, apart from industrial standards, we also apply ISO standards. In our line of work it is important to monitor carefully automobile industry standards too because the equipment we use is incorporated in the users’ vehicles. In that respect, it is crucial to follow the standards in the EU. • Mr. Mitrović, what do you think of the regional market in terms of the interest shown for adopting different software solutions? - One of the most important features of modern IT solutions is that they are very open. This enables a simple integration between different business processes in supply chain management. Our solutions are primarily geared towards fleet management and vehicle tracking, and they are easily integrated with warehouse management systems (WMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and customer relationship management (CRM). Developed companies in the region follow these IT trends, and they implement even the most complex IT solutions relatively fast.

• What is the difference in the efficiency of the companies that use your services and others which rely on out-dated business models? - Based on our long experience in this business, we came to realise that for us the most desirable user is the one who clearly knows the cost of the particular business processes that they wish to make more affordable, faster or more optimised. It is easy to work with such users because planning is effortless with them, and soon after the implementation of our solutions, they can see and measure the effects of our systems. The users for which the organisational level doesn’t generate clear parameters through which they can monitor the realisation of all business stages are not that easily convinced that they need our solutions, and it is not that easy to prove to them how efficient our solutions are. Luckily, both user groups really want to cut down on their business costs and are motivated to use our solutions. • How does a company that uses your transport tracking and monitoring systems benefit from them? - The current market situation is such that competition is huge while profit margins very thin, so both user groups are struggling to reduce their costs to a minimum. Users see our systems as a way to make

mentioning that our systems improve work safety, as well as contribute to reduction of CO2 emission, which can be measured. • You cover almost the entire region. What do you think is the biggest obstacle in achieving faster and more efficient transport of goods, something about which both national and international transport providers are complaining? - When you are traveling to or from Serbia, you feel uneasy when you see lines and lines of trucks patiently waiting to cross the border. A lot of time, fuel and working hours are wasted, and it is the consumers that pay the ultimate price – that means us, the people who are buying the goods that are transported. Similar borders exist in our line of work too albeit they are not clearly visible. Serbia and its neighbouring countries are still not EU members, and they have more expensive telecommunication services. State borders are also telecommuni-

BASED ON OUR LONG EXPERIENCE IN THIS BUSINESS, WE CAME TO REALISE THAT FOR US THE MOST DESIRABLE USER IS THE ONE WHO CLEARLY KNOWS THE COST OF THE PARTICULAR BUSINESS PROCESSES THAT THEY WISH TO MAKE MORE AFFORDABLE, FASTER OR MORE OPTIMISED quick and tangible savings from reducing transport costs. This is the first benefit that they see. We have also noticed a very interesting trend in the last year or so. When we carefully analysed user requirements, we noticed that speed is the most important thing to them, even more than cost optimisation. Based on discussions with our users, we came to realise that the competition has got so tough that getting to the consumers first, even at the cost of applying solutions that cost more than the optimum ones, is the most important. The main reason being that if they don’t get to the consumer fast enough, the competition will get there first, offering the same or a similar product or service. Apart from these benefits, our users are given solutions that bring order into their companies in terms of knowing exactly who and in which way a business procedure is carried out relating to transport of goods or services. Lastly, it is worth

cation borders, and here we pay more for such services compared to the people in the EU. The same applies to the quality and speed of telecommunication services. Our telecommunication pathways are slower and of poorer quality than in the EU. Luckily, the situation has been changing for better lately, and there are initiatives for the pricing policy and conditions to comply with the EU regulation. • You have quite a few companies in your portfolio including some of the biggest companies in Serbia. How compatible are your standards and procedures with the standards applied in these mostly foreign companies? - One of the most important comparative advantages is that we can integrate our solutions with the business information systems of our users. Last autumn, at the annual conference of the Serbian Logistics Association, we presented several such

scenarios that we implemented in large international and national companies. An example of this is our integration with the system developed by Timocom, considered to be the largest freight exchange platform in Europe. This is a representative example that ties in several topics that we have been talking about today. On the one hand, we have the global and European freight leader (Timocom) and, on the other, there are numerous small, medium and large European enterprises that use Timocom’s services. Also, there are hundreds of companies like Mobile Solutions that provide services to

these companies. These services are often quite unique and can be provided only by local companies. In such situation, Timocom sets standards to which every single company that wants to integrate its solutions has to adhere. Thanks to the technology that we use and the open architecture of our system, we have managed to complete this integration in a couple of weeks. Timocom has confirmed that 177 European companies (including Mobile Solutions) integrated their vehicle tracking systems with theirs. • What technological and other projects are you going to implement in order to maintain your current market position? - The first thing that comes to my mind is development. Constantly perfecting ourselves and listening intently to our users’ needs are the key elements of our business policy. Hard work and dedication helped us to win the trust of our users. Today, our MobTrack:24 system is successfully used in over 200 companies with some of these companies representing the biggest brands in the country and the region, as well as in several companies that are considered global leaders in their respective segments. ■




Focus on The Most Modern Infrastructure And Expertise NELT is present on the markets of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Angola, Zambia and Mozambique, while its logistics is based on modern technologies IVAN MILIĆEVIĆ, NELT, LSP SALES AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGER


ith more than 1,100 employees, 125,000m2 of certified storage capacities, 360 vehicles in different temperature regimes, with over 9,000 haulage transports per year, networked in the latest WMS technology and with a turnover of 700 million in sales per year, NELT occupies a high position in the world when it comes to logistics processes in the field of consumer goods.

• What are the specifics of managing logistics processes in the field of consumer goods? - Viewed professionally, all the specifics of these logistics processes are based on the distribution requirement that 100% of the recommended portfolio is available 100% of the time in 100% of facilities with 100% quality preserved. Impacting in particular on the complexity of logistics processes are

- The logistics profession recognises different models of relations between service providers and clients (2PL, 3PL, 4PL). Nelt, as a provider of logistics services, operates under the model of Logistics Service Provider (LSP), which means that, depending on the needs of the client, it can provide individual service transportation, warehousing and customs brokerage, but can also be an integrator of complex supply chains, consultant in logistics processes or service “in house” logistics at locations where clients perform manufacturing processes. Our expertise is best illustrated by our clients, or rather the industry from which they come. We have a broad portfolio of services for the pharmaceutical industry, through FMCG to the hi-tech equipment industry and packaging industry. Additional services of packing, bundling and assembling mass quantities are a special benefit that we offer our FMCG clients.

THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT IN SERBIA IMPOSES THE TOPICS OF TRADE LIBERALISATION AND FACTORS THAT ANNUL ITS POSITIVE EFFECTS, INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES AND THE UNFAVOURABLE MODEL OF PARTICIPATION FOR DIFFERENT MODES OF TRANSPORT IN WHICH THE FOCUS CONTINUES TO BE ON ROAD TRANSPORT, WHILE RAIL AND WATER CAPACITIES ARE NOT GIVEN SUFFICIENT ATTENTION the additional requirements specific to consumer goods, such as the application of the required standards, respect for different temperature regimes in storage and delivery, best-by dates. • There are ever more frequent requests for offers of integrated logistics solutions, which means it is no longer sufficient to offer only freight forwarding and goods transport services. What does your offer include in total? What are the basic and additional services you offer clients from the FMCG sector?



• In which way is the business of your company organised, in terms of markets, distribution networks, storage capacities, delivery dates, the number of transport vehicles etc.? - NELT’s key logistic determinants are its presence on the markets of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Angola, Zambia and Mozambique, as well as cooperation with international logistics providers. Moreover, there is also our storage capacity of 125,000m2 in different temperature regimes, with customs and non-tariff status. Our warehouses are certified for food and medicine. They are

managed by the latest WMS technology, where the use of state of art technology, such as “Pick to voice” in commissioning achieves an accuracy of 99.99%. In addition to this, NELT also owns a shipping fleet of over 360 vehicles in different temperature regimes, which are monitored in real time via the most modern TMS. More than 9,000 haulage transports are realised annually in international transport for APS clients. NELT APS is also characterised by the direct presence of customs offices at locations in headquarters in Dobanovci and Subotica, business operations harmonised with ISO iHACCP standards, industrial sidings at locations in Subotica and Dobanovci, with more than 1,100 employees who represent the backbone of the supply chain. • What would you single out as the benefits of engaging companies specialised in logistics support, or outsourcing to complete professional teams for the shipping and distribution of goods? - In short, we offer partners our absolute focus on their logistical needs; we make available the most modern infrastructure and expertise in which we invest continuously; we guarantee stability as a business system with a turnover of 700 million euros. So, we offer synergies with a successful and sustainable system that has been recognised as a partner by global leaders from various industries. • What are the biggest challenges to logistics operations on our market? - If we need to point out the specifics brought by Serbia as a business environment, the topics that impose themselves as a focus are trade liberalisation and factors that annul its positive effects, infrastructure issues and the unfavourable model of participation for different modes of transport in which the focus continues to be on road transport, while rail and water capacities are not given sufficient attention. ■




Logistics And Freight Forwarding - Inseparable Parts of a Modern Economy Standard Logistic organises rail transport with all kinds of goods and transport modes, with more than 600 rail tankers available that can be offered to clients at any moment, while all operations are implemented by a team of highly professional people who view logistics as a branch of science


tandard Logistic owes its success and good operations to the modern way of doing business in the transport of oil, petroleum products and petrochemical products, which represent the backbone of the company's activities. • Standard Logistic is a corporation, networked in a system of corporate and private transporters with a wide range of

stantly. A fascinating aspect of our business is the knowledge that each product or commodity in this world must be transported from one place to another. Logistics and freight forwarding is an inseparable part of a modern economy, and we dare to say that the most important aspect of our business is in dealing with oil, petroleum derivatives and petrochemical products, which also represent our core business.

FOR OUR CLIENTS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT IS USUALLY DELIVERY ON TIME AND AS WELL AS TIME FOR THE RAPID TRANSIT OF GOODS, AND IT IS IN PRECISELY THIS FIELD THAT STANDARD LOGISTIC HAS AN IMPACT FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, THROUGH OPTIONS FOR THE PROVISION OF WAGONS AT THE LOADING SITE PRIOR TO PRICE CHANGES IN THE MARKET, DELIVERING PRODUCTS TO THEIR FINAL DESTINATION WITH ALREADY WELL-ESTABLISHED TRACKS services. What you mention as the most important services that you offer the markets of Serbia and the region? - Standard Logistic d.o.o. (Ltd.) is a company engaged in the organisation of rail transport, with all kinds of goods and modes of transport. Our main commitment is to transporting goods via train in our wagons. Standard Logistic Ltd. owns a “wagon pool” of over 600 rail tank cars that is expanding con-



• In addition to that, you also specialise in logistics services, particularly in the petrochemical industry. What are all the kinds of logistics solutions that you offer? - One of the reasons for our business success, and therefore the success of our clients, is the quality of the logistics solutions we provide. Our great advantage in this business is that we consider logistics flows not only as one of the branches of business, but

rather our company approaches logistics as a branch of science, perhaps because most of our employees have graduated with Masters and titles of transport engineer and others. For our clients the most important aspect is usually delivery on time and as well as time for the rapid transit of goods, and it is in precisely this field that Standard Logistic has an impact from the very beginning, through options for the provision of wagons at the loading site prior to price changes in the market, delivering products to their final destination with already well-established tracks. Standard Logistic possesses over 600 rail tankers that can be offered to clients at any moment, “Long-term” contracts with major European operators, terminals for transshipment of goods at the Ukrainian - Hungary border, thus providing a direct connection from the vehicle loading area via the city’s major road transport routes by the closest roads, with the maximum optimisation of transportation costs. • You have over 600 rail wagons in the region to transport derivatives. To what extent do administrative procedures impact on your operations? - Standard Logistic, as the organiser of rail transport and provider of complete logistics services, does not encounter limitations when it comes to administrative procedures, but that does not mean that other participants in the entire supply chain do not have problems when it comes to administrative procedures.■




Agroport Logistics Centre According to The Turnkey System

In Bačka Palanka agribusiness companies can now resolve everything from storage to transport


wo member companies of Victoria Group – Victoria Logistic and the Port of Bačka Palanka – have prepared a new service in a joint offer: the AgroPort logistics centre. This is a complete package of services that now includes in one place, in Bačka Palanka, warehousing, packaging and port services for commercial goods and chemical fertiliser. The AgroPort logistics centre is designed to improve the operations of partners, but also all agribusiness companies whose operational priorities are quality, safety and efficiency. The AgroPort logistics centre has a storage capacity of 55 thousand tonnes for mercantile goods. Grain storage in a 25-tonne silo ensures the daily capacity to receive 1,500 tonnes. Users can also take advantage of quality grain treatment services in the form of cleaning, drying and fumigation, followed by separation of grain by quality, ensuring the quantitative and qualitative safety of grains, monitoring the temperature of grain 24/7 and sampling automatic vacuum probe. The daily drying capacity totals 600-700 tonnes, while the daily capacity of shipping is 2,000 tonnes. One of the most important advantages is certainly its location at a distance of just five kilo-

metres from the Port of Bačka Palanka. The warehouse in the port has a floor capacity of 30 thousand tonnes of grain and provides security in every respect, while on a daily basis it can receive three thousand tonnes and disptach two thousand. The Port of Bačka Palanka has the possibility of receiv-

ing grain from two barges simultaneously as well as loading two barges simultaneously, it has two available weighbridges and automatic filling of the warehouse using transport conveyor belts. There is also complete infrastructure for the storage and conditional packaging of chemical fertiliser, while the AgroPort centre also ensures the complete procurement of the required packaging. The storage capacity of fertiliser is 50 thousand tonnes for bulk commodities, 30 thousand tonnes of finished palletised product in open runways and five thousand tonnes of finished palletised product in an enclosed area. When it comes to packing, the daily capacity totals 450 tonnes, and it is possible to be done in PE sacks of 1 to 50 kilos and in BIG BAG sacks. After packing, customers can take advantage of the dispatch of chemical fertilisers up to a daily capacity of two thousand tonnes. AgroPort logistics centre offers organised transportation to final destination addresses, as well as additional quality control services for chemical fertilisers and the possibility of checking


Victoria Logistic deals with the organisation of primary agricultural production, trade, transport and storage of agricultural commodities and distribution of input materials. Investments in the company’s infrastructure and processing technology have resulted in enviable storage capacities and logistical strength that enables the manipulation of several kinds of goods at the same time and a daily reception capacity of 10,000 tonnes for the peak season purchase of grains and oilseeds. The Port of Bačka Palanka has an exceptional strategic position thanks to its links with Pan-European Corridor 7 (river-canal system Rhine-Main-Danube) that connect it with the countries from the North to the Black Sea. In the immediate vicinity is the motorway and the main Novi Sad-Osijek road, while the railway line is just five kilometres away.

all samples of mercantile goods in SP Laboratory, which is also a member of Victoria Group. This package of services and system works on the turnkey principle that company Victoria Logistic will to promote during July among all its partners and potential customers. The AgroPort logistics centre in Bačka Palanka is based on the concept of offering in one place, under the shortest possible deadlines, the highest quality service with complete oversight of all processes, thereby saving its customers time and reducing their costs. ■




July’s Red


From 7th to 10th July the EXIT festival ignites the European music scene, in the presence of over 200,000 visitors and the more than 700,000 music lovers who follow the festival via social networks. The most popular music festival in the region, and one of the most respected in the world, it has recorded steady growth in the number of visitors from all continents, as confirmed by the words of the editor of The Economist, who concluded that “if Serbia spent its entire budget on PR it would not manage to do what’s been done for its promotion by Novak Đoković and EXIT”


XIT Festival was launched in the year 2000 in the University Park in Novi Sad, with the aim of fighting for freedom and democracy in Serbia. Just a year later it had grown to the level at which is now recognised around the world – as an international music festival at the Petrovaradin Fortress, which this year records its 16th edition.

■ It is said that all great things start with a first step. What have been the most important steps in the previous years of the festival? - Apart from the actual establishing of the festival, one of the most important steps was moving to Petrovaradin Fortress in 2001. The duration of the festival was reduced in 2003 from J U LY



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nine days to four days, which proved to be the optimal measure, while in 2004 we introduced the concept of headliners, i.e., musical carriers of the evenings for each day of the festival. EXIT 2007 was voted the Best European Festival at the British Festival Awards, while in 2013 it received the title of Best European Festival at the European Festival Awards, an event which is practically the Oscars for festivals. A major step was taken in 2014, when the concept of EXIT Adventure with the Sea Dance

can survive without support, be that in our country or in any other European country, where each country helps the festivals it deems to be of national importance. As for Serbia and the EXIT festival, the situation is even more dramatic, because entrance tickets for our festival cost €50, while for other European festivals they cost €300, and we all know that for every dinar invested Serbia receives several dozen times more back. According to independent research, Exit has to date invested over €150 million in the Serbian tourism industry, through the visits of foreign tourists, and it is estimated that it will invest the same again over the next 10 years.

■ After receiving the most significant official foreign awards, EXIT is now one of the best music festicals, if not the most respected music festival in the world. Is it now easier for you to organise, or are you only now under pressure to do something special every year, in order to maintain your position among great global competition? - I would say that it is more accurate to say that it is one of the most prestigious music festivals in the world. There are several legendary music festivals, including EXIT, which together hold the world throne. It is certain that this The publicist of famous Festival and the continuation of fun on distinctive brand of the festival conLondon daily The Economist the seashore was introduced. EXIT Adtributes to the daily functioning of said: “if Serbia spent its Exit in several ways – from making venture represents a unique project on it easier to entice the most attraca global scale, a big summer of festivals, entire budget on PR it would with two festivals in two countries, at not manage to do what’s been tive musical artists in the world, two top locations – Petrovaradin Forto animating sponsors, attracting done for its promotion by audiences from around the world, tress and Jaz Beach – and visitors fond Novak Đoković and EXIT” and the like. However, the compethis more than interesting. tition among festivals is extremely ■ Looking from the outside, EXIT has gone through difstrong, and every year there are more and more players on the scene, so it is necessary each year to be innovative and appealferent stages of the relationship with the state, from lack of recognition, lack of support and a lack of uning to the public and to tastes that are changing constantly. derstanding for the importance of the festival – to full ■ Since 2015 you have added to the EXIT Festival at support and understanding of the importance of the Petrovaradin Fortress the location of Montenegro’s festival for Vojvodina and the whole of Serbia. How famous Jaz Beach, so last year’s EXIT was officially have you experienced this amplitude? attended by over 300,000 people. How would you - All those changes have been very dramatic for me, because evaluate this step of expanding the festival and do you at one point, for political reasons, I even ended up in jail. The intend to continue in this direction in other countries situations were stressful in both a personal and a business as well? sense, because the survival of the festival from year to year - The organisation of our sister festival on the coast as a continucertainly depended on the support of the state. No festival 72 |


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ation of Exit is certainly one of the most significant steps forward, and the concept of the EXIT Adventure – as one summer of festivals in two countries – is a unique concept worldwide. Two locations where the festival takes place, at the magical Petrovaradin Fortress and the beautiful Jaz Beach, which has been named one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, form part of a very attractive and fantastic package. The EXIT Adventure concept has proven to be very good, and we have received calls from the region, and even from other continents, to implement something like that in their countries too.

the Facebook network we have 18 profile pages and over 510,000 followers. When you add up all the networks on which we operate – Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Youtube, Soundcloud and many others – we come to a figure of more than 26 profiles (for example, as of a month ago we are also present on Snapchat). Via these networks we are followed by over 700,000 people, the total number of views of our content is more than 30 million,

■ According to current figures, how many visitors do you expect this year? - We expect this to be the most visited Exit festival so far and, there is a possibility that all the tickets for the festival will be sold out, or that we will fill the capacity of the fortress with 50,000 visitors daily, or 200,000 over all four days, which is how long the festival lasts.

■ Everyone agrees that most visitors from abroad change their opinion about Serbia for the better, as they do when watching Đoković. How present is this promotional aspect in your strategy when you are preparing the festival? - The publicist of famous London daily The Economist said: “if SerThe total number of views of while the number of references to Exit bia spent its entire budget on PR our content is more than 30 Festival on social networks is measured in it would not manage to do what’s million, while the number of the tens of millions. been done for its promotion by Novak Đoković and EXIT”. references to Exit Festival on He ranked this type of promosocial networks is measured in ■ How many professionals and voltion in the category of priceless. unteers are responsible for the sucthe tens of millions EXIT definitely represents one cess of this year’s festival? of this country’s most important - One characteristic is that our organisabrands and if the economic contribution to date amounts to tion grows between August and July from a few dozen permaover €150 million, then it is certain that the promotion Serbia nent employees at a few thousand people in the organisation, received thanks to Exit is even bigger, and that is also one of the and that’s an organisational expansion that doesn’t exist in any main reasons why the state supports this festival. The assesssimilar business. During the festival, EXIT engages over 4,000 people and around 400 volunteers. ment of CNN is that the value of the promotion Exit brings to Serbia is just over $80 million annually. ■ What will mark EXIT 2016, in terms of participants, attractions, visitors etc.? ■ We assume that your strongest promotional tools - This Exit will definitely be marked by the unprecedented exare social networks. Do you have any statistics on the amount of content on social networks related to EXIT? citement and interest that reigns prior to the festival, while we - We are very active on social networks and communication are expecting probably the largest number of visits in the hiswith fans of the festival throughout the year is today based tory of the festival – the main reason for which is an excellent primarily on online communication. Just as an example, on programme with over 500 artists on more than 20 stages. ■ J U LY



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Wisdom is Required


With the introduction of the traditional rakugo theatre and an exhibition of dolls, pieces of Japan have been brought to Belgrade. Culture has been proven as the most certain way for countries and peoples to come together, regardless of how far apart they are geographically. That was also the case this June, thanks to the guest appearance in Belgrade of the Japanese rakugo theatre and the exhibition “Dolls of Japan”, organised by the Embassy of Japan in Serbia


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akugo theatre is introduced to Belgraders and CorD magazine’s readers by artist Sanyutei Rakumaro, who is very dedicated to spreading this form of Japanese art worldwide. What’s rakugo? It is best illustrated by saying that rakugo resembles a sitcom in which one person plays all the roles, although the show is not a series of jokes, rather a single story. Rakugo is a traditional Japanese art of comedic stories in which rakugo is the storyteller, dressed in traditional Japanese costume, sitting in front of the audience and telling a story through dialogue, adapting voices and mimicking the way characters in the story speak.

Sanyutei Rakumaro presented rakugo theatre to the Belbe predictable. Within this outcome is the biggest comic part of grade public at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts and the Faculty of the story. A rakugo artist must be able to apply the information Philology. He was dressed in a Japanese kimono, spoke without gained from the reaction of the audience, and must adjust his moving from the cushions where he was sitting in a traditional interpretation to their mood. The atmosphere and success of way, and as for equipment he only had a fan and a scarf. That’s the performance depends on this skill of his. enough in terms of props for this play, he explained, because Experts consider that the specificity of rakugo perforfans and scarves can be converted into many other things and, mances is in their adaptability to the situation and the space. above all, because the story is the basic element of the show. However, regardless of this universality, the public has never With the example of a dozen short stories, Rakumaro ranked rakugo as a high art, nor has the state considered that evoked the humour and character of rakugo art. Judging by the those who preserve and relay this traditional art should be reapplause and laughter during his narration, the audience most warded. enjoyed the story about fears, which Rakumaro said are among the most popular. In that story, a group of friends talk about their fears: one is so terrified of snakes that he thinks every stick os a snake, while another is afraid of horses, especially their big heads, a third fears spiders, a fourth is scared of ants because he has the impression that they gossip about him... Only one of them said nothing. They asked him if he is not afraid of anything. He said – no, I’m not afraid of anything, and began ridiculing them. A snake can be cooked and eaten, the horse too, and you can use ants instead of pepper – he said. His friends did not like his criticism. And, not believing his claim that he is really not afraid of anything, they insisted that he admit his fear. And he said – Manjū (rice cake). Everyone wondered how anyone could be afraid of Manjū, as Manjū is a wonderful cake. However, he claimed this is not true. When he fell asleep, his friends came up with a way of teasing him. They broke up a pile of Manjū cake and placed it beside his bed, with the intent of frightening him. And so it was: he was afraid, and his friends left the room, pleased that he had managed to take their revenge. However, ■ What did the roots of rakugo they soon heard munching. They returned Rakugo began in the Edo theatre look like? and they had a lot to see: their friend was period, meaning between enjoying eating the cakes. They realised - Rakugo began in the Edo period, 1603 and 1867, although they had been deceived, and asked – tell us meaning between 1603 and 1867, what you are really afraid of? He answered although it is believed to have been it is believed to have been them: of good tea. started much earlier by Buddhist started much earlier by The appearance of the rakugo artist in monks, with the intention of paroBuddhist monks, with the front of the audience is announced by the dying allegorical stories and makmusic of a band. The artist pays homage ing their sermons interesting. The intention of parodying to the audience, and sits on a pillow. On rakugo tradition was begun by peoallegorical stories and stage there is no set design. A rakugo story ple who entertained passers-by on making their sermons always implies dialogue between two or the street or restaurant guests by interesting more persons, which is determined by the spontaneously starting to tell funny change of tone of voice, facial expressions stories in order to attract the attenand gestures, and mild changes in the angle of the head. The tion of all others. Over time, these people became professionals story has three parts: makura – an introduction, hondai – the and an entrance fee was paid to listen to their stories, and then main part of the story, and Ochi – the outcome, the end of the they transferred their skills to others. Thus rakugo has been story, which must surprise the audience and therefore cannot passed down from generation to generation to this day. J U LY



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■ Where is rakugo performed in Japan? - It can be any place where you can place your pillow and where there are people who want to listen to you. Generally, rakugo is now performed in the theatre. In rakugo theatre numerous artists perform: when one has told his story, the next performs. Every performance is announced by a musical arrangement and each artist has their own music that is performed live as they recount their story. Rakugo theatre has no programme, because

It can also be learned by woman, but given that rakugo stories are based on the male principle, it is difficult for them to imitate the masculine tone of voice. A man can easily imitate a woman. As far as I know, among all rakugo artists less than ten per cent are women.

■ How are rakugo stories learned? - They are learned through listening. During learning, the master tells the story to the pupil three times. The student is not allowed to write anything down; they must just listen. In this way we learn about the specific type of conversing, how to create characters, how to use language, and to reveal the essence of the story. Precise rules exist. One of the basic ones concerns the way the dialogue is conducted, how the artist – meaning one man – presents two characters talking, such that while speaking they turn their face to the right side to represent one character, and then turn to the left in order to represent the other character. All of this is learned merely by listening to how the master speaks. So, you only have three chances to notice, understand and remember everything. The fourth time the story is told to the master by the student. The master points out their mistakes and that’s all. He then moves on to the next story, and the next...

■ What are their themes and characters? - Every rakugo story is special. They mention the same names, typically Japanese, with each name determining the character It takes 15 years to become a of the man and not referring to a specific each master looks at the audience when coming on the rakugo master. When someone figure. We do not denounce anyone, rather we just talk about some funny life phenomstage and then decides which first decides they want to deal ena. The most common theme of the story story to tell them. The people with rakugo, they must choose is knowledge; they give lessons about how who greet the audience at the to live - for example, there are plenty of entrance can be seen by evea master. As you learn, you stories about the way to discover wealth in ryone, so if you notice that, live with the master and with poverty, or how a person behaves in certain for example, someone has a other students situations, towards other generations ... crutch, then they notify the Rakugo stories teach their audience about masters how that night no that which is not taught in school. one should tell any story about diseases. Each story lasts about twenty minutes, but it all depends on the audience. ■ Are these stories written down or can they be devised by the artist? ■ How does one become a rakugo master? - Rakugo stories are learned and transmitted from generation - It takes 15 years to become a rakugo master. When someone to generation. There is no writer of rakugo stories. This is a folk first decides they want to deal with rakugo, they must choose art. The artist changes them as they tell them, and thus over a master. As you learn, you live with the master and with other the eons they have modernised. There are a few stories that students. For the first few years you mainly observe the daily are not Japanese, but which have been adapted to our culture. life of the master and the students who came before you, durThere are some stories that have been taken from Buddhist ing that time you do not learn rakugo, but rather playing musimonks and then adapted to the new era. My show 90 per cent cal instruments. Everyone must know how to play the drums, consists of what I have learned, while the rest is adjusted to while they can choose other instruments. After that you learn those who are listening to me. rakugo. In Japan, rakugo is taught in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. 76 |


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■ What attracted you to the rakugo theatre? Is this a call that is inherited? - No, in my family no one has ever learned rakugo. I am the first and only. I heard a recording from a collection of rakugo stories and immediately felt that I would do that in life. From an early age I was attracted to the tradition. And here, now, during my stay in Belgrade, I prefer the old part of the city to the new part. My parents were against my decision to study rakugo, they even threw me out of the house because of it, so it was not hard to have for me to move in with the master. Once upon a time learning began in childhood, but now it only starts after students have finished their college studies. This means that you become a master of rakugo when you turn 40 years old. Wisdom is needed for rakugo. ■ Given the popularity of film and television, is rakugo still popular in Japan today? - Until World War II rakugo was not known. It was only performed for a narrow circle of people in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. However, when television appeared, and when rakugo masters began to participate in television broadcasting programmes and thus became recognisable to a wide audience, so the popularity of rakugo began to spread. In these programmes they did not tell rakugo, as rakugo is rarely performed in front of cameras, but the very fact that they are rakugo masters help to ensure that people became interested in rakugo. I don’t know is rakugo theatre influenced contemporary Japanese theatre, though it probably did in some way, but I know that kabuki theatre impacted on the rakugo way of thinking and some principles of performance. ■ Thanks to you, rakugo theatre is now performed in China, India and Russia. What kind of reception did you receive? - The most memorable reception was in India, where I performed rakugo before Japanese language students. They reacted better than Japanese students, probably as they are good students.

■ Belgrade and Tokyo are in different parts of the world and we have different cultures, customs and habits. In your opinion, are those differences felt in daily contact? - What is certainly different in our two cities is that in Tokyo people hurry a lot, while in Belgrade they walk slowly. The walking speed differs. On the escalator in Tokyo everyone stands to one side so that those who are in a rush can hurry by unhindered. Generally, whenever I come to another city I always consider what is good in that city and what I could apply and improve in Tokyo. After a visit to Belgrade, I know that this is the content of life. You have a richer life here. You socialise more and spend more time together. And that is very positive. ■ Do you think Western stand-up comedians have been inspired by rakugo performances? - I don’t know. But if rakugo was their source that is an honour for me! ■


PUPPETS FROM POWDERED SEASHELLS A travelling exhibition of the Japanese Foundation “Dolls of Japan” is appearing in the Belgrade Museum of Applied Arts until 4th July.


ilica Cukić, curator of the exhibition, recalls that “Japan cherishes the unique culture of puppets and has a long tradition of their production. Each doll has its own meaning and purpose, which is deeply connected with everyday life. This centuries’ old valuing of dolls has resulted in the conviction that they are not just toys, but also works of art worthy of admiration.” The exhibition features fifty dolls, with the aim of presenting to the public the variety and diversity of their types in the Japanese tradition. For example: Hina dolls talk about the Day of Little Girls on 3rd March, when for thousands of years families have presented their set of Hina dolls, praying for the good fortune of their daughter; Gogac dolls, miniature representations of warriors in costumes and armour, which families with male children present on the Day of Boys on 5th May. Also exhibited are dolls representing the best known scenes from the No, Bunraku and Kabuki theatres – all traditional Japanese theatre forms. There are also dolls of Kyoto, city of great traditions, and its speciality consists of sophisticated shapes and luxurious embroidery on costumes. There are also Ojama dolls, which present the fashion styles of Japanese women, especially their hairstyles and costumes. Kimekomi wooden dolls that wear kimono, derived from the kimekomi technique, when pasting coloured dolls draped in fabric. Hakata dolls date from the eponymous work area of Kyushu, made of clay, and are known for their particularly rich colours. Ichimatsu dolls realistically present Japanese children, while there are Kokeshi wooden dolls and many others. Cukić points out that all of these dolls are characterised by expressive colours that evoke the grandeur of ancient bones, but also the serenity of their faces, which is achieved through careful application of powder from seashells covering the doll’s face. “In Japan dolls are highly prized forms of artistic crafts. Exhibitions of dolls represent the kind of competition where craftsmen demonstrate the finest production techniques using old tried and tested methods. Thus, apart from the beauty of traditional puppets, this exhibition also shows the skill of their masters.”




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Great Pride of a





The women who have marked the history of Serbia in the last 100 years represent the great pride of a small nation, althought attitudes towards them have often been a major embarrassment for this small nation. Many of them were educated out in the world, only to return to little Serbia and saty here for the benefit of their people, while some of them were more recognised elsewhere in the world than in little Serbia


and proven benefactor of European and Serbian culture, who personally parhe recently published book entitled Extraordinary Women of Serbia of the 20th and 21st centuries, released in Serbian and ticipated in its creation and facilitated its implementation. Her commitment English, offers readers a collection of 100 biographies of selected and material participation resulted in the bilding of the first private opera exceptional Serbian women of the last century and the present and theatre house in Southeast Europe: Madlenianum in Zemun. While her one. The short, informative texts, like mini essays, are arranged investment in the purchase of artworks led to the opening of a respectable chronologically in nine sections: Science, Medicine, Architecture; Theamuseum of fine arts in Belgrade’s Knez Mihailova Street, and, thanks to her tre and Film; Music and Dance; Fine Arts; Literature; Sport; (Multi) media; scholarships and aid, many talented young artists have been able to secure Politics and Society; Charity. They represent the works and importance of education elsewhere in the world. One of the most successful of these stuwomen in the modern Serbian history of the past dents is baritone Željko Lučić, now a champion of hundred years. the New York Metropolitan Opera,. All of these women who This list of exceptional personalities was The monograph Extraordinary Women of Ser– due to their scientific, comprised by authoresses Neda Todorović – a bia of the 20th and 21st centuries is an attempt to draw attention to the heroines who have devoted professor at the Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciwartime, artistic or ence – and Radmila Stanković, NIN journalist and themselves to Serbia, many of whom have been forsporting merits – found CorD contributor. (The book’s photo editor is art gotten, while some are little known or completely historian Goranka Matić, while the publisher is unknown. Common to all of these outstanding themselves in this book, Zepter Book World). women, who have struggled with the traditions paid for their choice. The authors consulted with several dozen and prejudices of their environment and continue eminent experts from academia and public life do so today, is that they spoke foreign languages This is also a thread that to historians, culture experts, professors of women’s and were intellectuals, European women. They connects them studies, journalists, historians of art and literawent out into the world to be educated, to creture, film/theatre directors, sociologists etc. They ate there, to celebrate, but they returned to their also reviewed all available literature. They were country in order to build it up, raise it and help it, also led by the initiative of women from the Serbian diaspora to establish without asking the price. These are personalities whose lives and works are such a list and such a selection (in chronological order). so significant that each of them is worthy of a special book of their own. Writing this monograph was initiated by Madeleine Zepter, a famous Times were tough in Serbia at the beginning of the last century, particu78 |


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larly for learned women, particularly those well-schooled, highly educated ed by Serbia, are also a pledge for a future in which the successes of women women who wanted to show, change or move something. It was even harder in all fields will be spoken about with more attention and respect. to be the first - the first female doctor, the first female architect, the first feOne of the reviewers of this book, Ratko Božović Ph.D., says that in male philosopher, the first film actress, the first female academic etc. searching for the character and peculiarities of the famous women of our All of these women who – due to their scientific, wartime, artistic or recent history, “the authors of this work carried out the selection of a hunsporting merits – found themselves in this book, paid for their choice. This dred personalities who, through their works and deeds, changed both is also a thread that connects them, even more so because they rose even themselves and the world around them. The biographies of those they sehigher. lected serve as authentic testimony about the other side of our social and Placed together in such a way, these exceptional women who have cultural images; that side which most often remained in the shadows, even marked the history of Serbia in the 20th century represent the great pride being lost to oblivion. In the zeal of women, despite the circumstances, was of a small nation, although attitudes towards them have often been a mapresent noble and selfless sacrifice as an authentic commitment to the dejor embarrassment for this small nation. Fortunately, thanks to the court of fence of all values, and especially the value of dignified existence. They did history, they have received their rightful place, and it was up to us to also everything in their power to make the reality better than it was. They did acknowledge their achievements in this way; to show how many of them this with their free convictions and their view of the world. It has already were educated in the outside world only to rebeen observed that many of them did not have role turn to little Serbia and remain there for the good models of their own, but they themselves became It is good that today’s role models for future generations. Our historiof their people; to show how some of them were more recognised elsewhere in the world than in social and individual identity is inconceivable heroines and exceptional cal, little Serbia. without the revealing of their significant contribuwomen are no longer tion to both social and cultural changes. Therefore, It is good that today one of our 100, worldmore than anything else, this carefully composed renowned scientist from the field of biomedical warriors, but rather the work, shows the extent to which it is unacceptable engineering, Gordana Vunjak Novaković, says likes of the country’s only that there is aggressive rigidity in the accustomed that she never felt that she was hampered in her in the conservative way of thinking about career due to being a woman. This means that the world-renowned fashion “order” the absolute rule of male stereotypes in the evalucircumstances and conditions changed for the designer, Roksanda Ilinčić ation of what has been created and what is being better; that it is today far easier and nicer to be created”. a successful and recognised woman than it was Because of everything said, Božović believes just a century ago. that this book is a work that imposes itself as a necessity for the re-evaluaAt the beginning of this book is the biography of Milunka Savić, a female tion of male stereotypes and existing prejudices. At the same time, it is also a warrior with the most medals in the history of Serbia. She is celebrated for book of answers which shows convincingly how the culture of remembrance her enormous courage during several wars. There are other female fighters is achieved; and how the presence of famous women in history, society and who were anti-fascists, such as Saša Božović; there are women who were national heroes, such as Sonja Marinković; politicians like Latinka Perović or culture is defended. Vesna Pešić; scientists like physicist and mathematician Mileva Einstein and The special value of this book lies in the success of its authors to bring linguist Milka Ivić; or doctors like Nada Basara; members of the Serbian Astogether the comprehensive deeds and importance of women in modern Sersociation of Science and the Arts, such as a neuro-psychiatrist Dušica Lečić bian history of the past hundred years – considers Jelena Đorđević, a profesToševski; artists from all areas, from painter Nadežda Petrović, actress Žanka sor and sociologist from the Faculty of Political Sciences. It shows that our memory of them can be extended in all directions – from the arts to poliStokić, opera diva Radmila Bakočević, world-renowned performance artist Marina Abramović, to costume designer Angelina Atlagić and composer tics, from charity work to warfare, from crafts to philosophy. In her review, Isidora Žebeljan; writers, from Isidora Sekulić and Desanka Maksimović to Đorđević proves that this book is not feminist, but rather humanist - critiGordana Ćirjanić and Biljana Srbljanović; athletes and sporting competitors, cism of prejudice and oblivion is implicit, unobtrusive, but the goal is set in from chess player Milunka Lazarević, tennis coach Jelena Genčić and fencer the right place. At the same time, this presentation of the lives and works Vera Jeftimijades, via athlete Vera Nikolić and sharpshooter Jasna Šekarić, to of women in Serbia, of differing origins and destinies, is devoid of an ideolong-jumper Ivana Spanović et al. logical burden, presenting equally their works and roles in the periods of the It is good that today’s heroines and exceptional women are no longer monarchy, socialism and the present. In this way, this monograph is a kind warriors, but rather the likes of the country’s only world-renowned fashion of commentary on character, politics and culture in a region that’s prone to designer, Roksanda Ilinčić. All of these women, all 100 who are now celebratconsigning to oblivion and favouring discontinuity. ■







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TORCH FESTIVAL OF THE YI ETHNIC PEOPLE ▶ The Torch Festival falls between the 24th day and the 26th day of the sixth lunar month. It is a shared traditional festival of the Yi, Naxi, and Bai peoples in southwestern China. It is an influential event to the Yi, such as is the Spring Festival for the Han people. For three days, men and women, young and old, carry flaming torches and engage in a variety of activities. The Festival also presents a good opportunity for young men and women to meet their prospective spouses. Men and women in pairs form rows facing one another on a patch of grass. The men play three-stringed instruments while the women kick and clap to the tempo.



in Hungary for the nation’s first ever national grave-digging competition to promote the occupation. Participants competed in 18 twoperson teams to dig graves 65cm wide, 2.3 metres long and 1.7metres deep, using tools such as shovels,


LIVING WITH A BEAR FOR 23 YEARS ▶ Svetlana and her husband Yuriy

Panteleenko from Russia proudly call themselves the parents of Stepan, a 23-year old cute, cuddly and welcoming bear. The couple adopted the animal when it was only three months old. Stepan was found in the woods by local hunters, after his mother abandoned him. As soon as Svetlana and

rakes, axes and pickaxes. Each pair of contestants was judged not only on how quickly they were able to dig their graves, but also on the style of the mounds surrounding the completed graves. The event was organised to draw young people to the profession of grave-digging, as organiser Iren Kari said, it was difficult to replace retiring employees. The fastest team completed the task in just over a half an hour. The winning teams earned the chance to participate in regional contest in Slovakia in November.

Yuriy Panateleenko saw the fluffy wild animal, which was also quite wounded, they knew they were going to take care of him for as long as they can. Twenty-three years later, everything’s the same, except for Stepan’s weight, which is now over 150 kg. His diet includes approximately 25 kg of fish, eggs and various vegetables. For snack he has a bowl of porridge and his favourite dessert is condensed milk. Stepan also likes spending the afternoons indoors. He drinks tea with Svetlana and watches TV before sleep.


IL PALIO DI SIENA ▶ Il Palio di Siena is Italy’s best known horse race, held twice each year on 2nd July and 16th August in the city’s main piazza. Ten horses and their colourfully clad riders represent ten of Siena’s 17 districts, but before the race – which is just three brutal laps – there is a lengthy ceremony and procession celebrating Siena’s medieval past. At around 7pm the race starts, three times around the dirt covered Piazza del Campo. Riders not only use their whips on their own mounts, but also on other horses. In consequence, taken together with bareback seating, a slippery track surface that slopes in places, a tight circuit and testosterone overload, there are many accidents to both riders and horses. The winner of the race gets a hand-painted silk banner (a palio), and the crowd goes wild – particularly citizens of the winning district, but rival punch-ups are not uncommon.

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CROATIAN ARTIST CREATES ART USING KITCHEN SALT ▶ Croatian artist Dino Tomić usually works with conventional materials like pencils and paper, but his latest project has him spreading kitchen salt on a black background to create insanely detailed portraits and Indian mandalas. The Norway-based salt wizard, who works as an art teacher and tattoo artist, starts off with a large black canvas and uses a plastic bottle or a paper cone to painstakingly squeeze out the grainy mineral until he completes his mindblowing masterpieces. Beleive it or not, Tomic just recently started working with salt, as a way of keeping busy while relaxing his wrist, which had started to hurt from too much hand-drawing.

millionaire after a £1.151.496 million (€1,460,000) Lotto jackpot triumph. Incredibly, Margaret Fry is also enjoying her second big lottery win after scooping £20,000 on the Lotto Millionaire raffle in 2015. “As a family we’ve always played the game but never really believed we would win a substantial amount, this shows it could be anyone - it’s truly lifechanging,” said Margaret. Peter and Mary, who are retired, have six grandchildren and five greatgrandchildren, with another on the way.


SCOTLAND’S “LUCKIEST” LOTTERY FAMILY ▶ Peter Fry, 90, and wife Mary, 86,

along with their three daughters, Margaret, 64, Janet, 59, and Isobel, 57, play Lotto as a syndicate, putting on five lines twice a week. The win comes six years after Peter’s cousin Annette Brown, 82, became the UK’s 2,500th National Lottery CHINA

THE MAN WITH 400 PAIRS OF SHOES ▶ If you think it is only women who can have a fetish

for shoes, take a quick look into the Aladdin’s cave that belongs to Xu Bo, and it will set you rethinking. The cave is his Beijing home’s 12 square-metre living room in which reside 400 pairs of sports shoes, about 150 of them bought solely as collectors’ items. Most are NBA limited editions and the brands he covets most are Air Jordan, Nike, Adidas and Reebok. One of the reasons to he started collecting them was that at the time many shoes were unavailable in China, he says, and a lot of those weren’t affordable to him in his student days. His enthusiasm for shoes became professional when he landed a job as a journalist with the Chinese edition of the magazine Sports Illustrated, and he began writing a column devoted to footwear.





▶ Tim Cranmore — a British recorder maker — was out at a pub with some friends. They wagered that he couldn’t possibly make a working recorder out of a carrot. He accepted the challenge. And that’s when he cooked up the idea for the London Vegetable Orchestra. The ensemble now features not just carrot recorders, but also zucchini trumpets, butternut trombones, pumpkin drums and, occasionally, aubergine castanets. “It’s a bizarre gig,” says lead butternut trombonist Faye Treacy. “Most people don’t believe that this is actually something I do.”

▶ A big baby bottle may make for a big

baby, a new study has found. Pediatricians asked parents of new babies fed only infant formula to show them their baby bottles. Some bottles hold 60 mililitres; others hold 3.25 decilitres or more. After controlling for other factors that influence weight gain, the researchers found that using a large bottle when the baby was two months old was associated with a more rapid increase in weight gain by the time the babies were six months old compared to those who used smaller bottles. While babies should gain weight, rapid weight gain in infants is a predictor of later obesity. Using a smaller bottle could be an easy step to take to help ward off excess weight gain.




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Hot, Long, Summer always comes with a relaxed and laid-back vibe. When the temperatures start to rise – men and women everywhere start dressing like they’re off to the beach

Summer Days

The temptation to dress in shorts and t-shirts with flip-flops is strong. That’s is cool for casual days at the beach or in your back yard – but what about when you go out to meet people? Ladies and gentlemen – the rise in temperature is no excuse to let down your sartorial standards! Instead of using the summer heat as an excuse to relax your dress code – see it as an opportunity to incorporate colour, new fabrics and styles into your wardrobe. Not easy, but will pay back! PRICE:


Longchamp Le Pliage Cosmetic Case This cosmetic case is ideal for fitting in your everyday essentials and popping into your handbag for on-the-go.

Gucci Carolina Espadrille Wedge Sandals


Horsebit detailing to the toe strap is a subtle nod to the house’s signature flair, whilst a metallic finish makes them ideal for transitioning from day to evening. PRICE: €437

Stella McCartney Cat Eye Sunglasses Lend a touch of designer appeal to everyday looks with these Stella McCartney sunglasses. Equipped with 100% UV protection, the cat eye silhouette features thin frames and a laser engraved logo on the arm. A stylish and ractical addition to any accessories collection. PRICE: €200

Gucci Linea A Large Top Handle Bag Highlighted by smooth leather trims and finished with a handy detachable shoulder strap, this roomy design is perfectly poised for everyday style. PRICE: €1,287

€ 420

Dove Dress This elevated shirtdress features a rounded neck, slim silhouette and a shirttail hem.

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Scarf Print Flare Maxi Dress A graphic mix of dots, diamonds and dashes brightens a flowy, stretchy maxi dress with a high, pleated neckline and cutaway shoulders. PRICE: €143

You May Also Like..

Miranda Dress Helen Kaminski Raffia Hat Rollable and packable raffia sun hat is hand-crocheted, with an inner neoprene band for comfort. PRICE: €267

Casually graceful, this summer dress features a tonal geometric print against a sheer backdrop. Great with heels or sandals. PRICE: €240


€71 PRICE:


Paloma Barcelo Rachelle Leather Sandals Crafted form pure leather, they boasts a twin buckle upper, while the woven raffia outsole makes these the perfect pairing to floaty summer dresses and shorts. PRICE: €255

‘Chloe’ Wrap Bikini Top Print Underwire Bikini Top


€35 PRICE:

Salvatore Ferragamo Silk Scarf


Adorned with a tropical floral print in colour-popping pinks, this Salvatore Ferragamo scarf will add a statement touch to every ensemble. Crafted from luxurious silk with rolled edges, the vibrant design is perfect for your summer wardrobe. PRICE: €297

Chloé Logo Bar Bracelet

Tankini Top & Hipster Bikini Bottom

Crafted with a luxe leather strap, it features a polished gold-tone bar at the centre and is complemented with embossed logo detailing. PRICE: €54

Print Bikini Top & Foldover Bikini Bottom





Sleeveless A-Dress This dress features a windowpaneprinted fabric that has the perfect amount of texture. With contrasting yoke for a better, more tailored fit and pockets. PRICE: €125

Stretch Bracelet Cotton Canvas Tote





Straw Panama Hat



Off-the-Shoulder Dress

Canvas Floppy Hat





This dress is crafted in one of our favourite summer fabrics (chambray!) with an elastic neckline and boxier short sleeves, meaning you have room to move. Plus, you can wear it on the shoulder to switch things up.

Motorola Bracelet Smart Watch

Timberland Sneaker J U LY



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Givenchy Denim Bermuda Short

Dsqouared2 Classic Belt Green leather classic belt from Dsquared2 featuring a front embossed logo stamp and an adjustable fit. PRICE: €210

Navy blue cotton denim bermuda shorts from Givenchy featuring a button & zip fastening, belt loops and two inset pockets to the sides. PRICE: €775

Etro Panama Hat Pink and green paper-cotton blend and calf leather panama hat. PRICE: €230



Alexander McQueen 'De Manta' Backpack Navy blue cotton 'De Manta' backpack from Alexander McQueen featuring a top handle, a drawstring fastening, a skull print and shoulder straps.

Tom Ford Sunglasses Brown and nude acetate round frame sunglasses from Tom Ford featuring tortoiseshell detailing and gold plated hardware. This item is unisex. PRICE: €333

Valentino Floral Print Shirt Red silk floral print shirt from Valentino featuring a notched collar, a front button fastening and short sleeves. PRICE: €755

Thom Browne Round Frame Sunglasses Black matte round frame sunglasses from Thom Browne featuring dark tinted lenses and gold-tone hardware. PRICE: €880 PRICE:


Short-Sleeve Shirt Give your standard stripes and solids a day off and incorporate this polka-dot pattern into your rotation.

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Dolce & Gabbana Classic Sneakers Green calf leather classic sneakers from Dolce & Gabbana. PRICE: €480

You May Also Like..

Mykita 'Mallory' Sunglasses


€30 PRICE:

Orange sunglasses from Mykita featuring round frames, tinted lenses and a colour block design. PRICE: €500


Pure Cotton Light Weight Shirt

Wood Wood Bucket Hat

Pure Cotton Shirt


€33 PRICE:

Corn embroidered logo bucket hat from Wood Wood. PRICE: €45




Polo Ralph Lauren Poplin Shirt Tailored for a sleek slim fit, this essential shirt from Ralph Lauren is made from lightweight poplin that is perfect for spring.

Pure Cotton Shorts Pure Cotton Slim Fit Beach Shorts





Kenzo 'Mini Tiger' watch

Brunello Cucinelli Collar Striped T-shirt Grey cotton insert collar striped T-shirt from Brunello Cucinelli. PRICE: €340

Blue stainless steel 'Mini Tiger' watch from Kenzo featuring a tang buckle fastening, silver-tone hardware and a leather band. PRICE: €175

Miansai Leather Wrap Bracelet

Pure Cotton Slim Fit Polo Shirt





Brim Trilby Hat PRICE:

Quick Dry Swim Shorts

Hogan 'Olympia X' Sneakers Red leather 'Olympia X' sneakers from Hogan featuring a round toe, a lace fastening and side embossed logo stamp. PRICE: €310




Layered Sole Flip-Flops J U LY


Fit Short Length Swim Shorts 141

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Investing in Personal Education KSENIJA LUBARDA Director of Sales and Marketing, Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel


nly a few years later, as I was about to receive my college diploma, I started contemplating the idea of what it would actually be like working in a hotel. And I guess that was it. The decision I made was based on intuition rather than merit, and even today that very intuition is an important part in my decision-making process. My major was International Management at the European University in Belgrade, but as I got acquainted with the whole “working in a hotel” experience, I decided to further improve my knowledge on this subject. The result of it was a Ph.D. thesis (International Management in Hotel Industry and Technology Transfer as Hotel Companies Growth and Development Strategy). In terms of work, I started as a volunteer (as one must) at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Belgrade, where I spent the following eight years. During this time, I had the chance to meet many experts and develop interests in various fields of hospitality and hotel business. In the beginning of 2014 a new opportunity arose with the open86 |


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If you were to ask me what I thought of hotels 15 years ago, I’d have said: “a place to sleep”

ing of Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel, Belgrade. As a part of the Carlson Rezidor group, one of the fastest growing hospitality companies, the Radisson Blu brand features more than 380 unique hotels in the world’s most desirable destinations. Their overall approach, which is considered to be somewhat informal, creative and empowering (‘Yes I Can!”) was the thing that bought me instantly. Working in a pre-opening office is a

If you’re asking me what would be the magic formula for success I’d always say investing in personal education, surrounding yourself with the right kind of people, extensive travel, and having fun during the professional journey specific process for each hotelier that connects you to the hotel on a completely different level. When you see it growing from day one, there are emotions attached. Another perk of being in the hotel since the beginning is having the possibility to set up your own team of people who share

the same enthusiasm. The biggest challenge was to make a ‘funky’ hotel and preserve the original story of an Old Mill building, and I believe we succeeded. Aside from the cultural heritage preserved in the hotel, we try to be a part of Belgrade’s present and future art scene. The result of it is the “Radisson Blu Artist Residency” program in collaboration with our recognised performance artist Marta Jovanović. Not only that, we have been hosting various events on hotel’s piazza, for example Radisson Blu beach club which is open for the public during the summer season. Over the last two years, I had the opportunity to travel a lot, in order to collect useful information and experience from different markets and other Radisson Blu family members. All this resulted with the recognition in MICE industry for Southeast Europe, as I became a member of Conventa hall of fame. If you’re asking me what would be the magic formula for success I’d always say investing in personal education, surrounding yourself with the right kind of people, extensive travel, and having fun during the professional journey. 

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