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Painter, Serbian and French Academic





Ambassador of the Netherlands to Serbia

Diplomat, last foreign minister of Yugoslavia



APRIL ’17 / ISSUE No. 150


interviews opinions news comments events PRICE 300 RSD






Jubilee 30th Belgrade Marathon

Become a Master of Charity!

For 11 consecutive years, CorD magazine has organised its humanitarian race under the auspices of the Belgrade Marathon, under the heading of the “CorD Charity Masters”, in which it is more important to be a humanitarian than a winner! This year’s “CorD Charity Masters” race will be held alongside the 30th Belgrade Marathon on 22nd April 2017. We invite you to join us and to run (or walk, if you prefer!) at least five kilometres to raise money for a charitable organisation of your choice.

During the past 10 years, participants in the CorD Charity Masters race have collected in excess of €140,000, which has been donated to more than 55 different institutions and individuals who badly needed these funds. • Where do I register to participate in the “CORD CHARITY MASTERS” race? - Visit the website and click on the “CorD Charity Masters” icon to receive a registration form that you should fill in and send. You can also sign up via the email address or by faxing your completed registration form to (+381) 11 2 450 122. The deadline for registrations expires on 20th April. • How do I raise money? - Every participant should secure a sponsor who will donate at least 400 dinars for

every kilometre run during the race. The most common sponsors are the companies whose employees participate by running, walking or strolling to raise money that they will donate to the cause of their choosing, either via CorD or by themselves.

• Where does the “CORD CHARITY MASTERS” race start? - Participants gather for the race on 22nd April, from 9.30am, beside Pioneer Park, on the corner of Kneza Miloša Street and Kralja Aleksandra Boulevard.

• Will participants in the “CORD CHARITY MASTERS” run together with other participants in the Belgrade Marathon? - Yes. Members of the CorD Charity Masters team will start the race at the same time as other participants in the jubilee 30th Belgrade Marathon.




Europe—Looking Back, LOOKING FORWARD




In several European cities, scores of civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks. The refugee and migrant flows that began in 2015 have slowed. There’s also a great amount of unfinished business—in Ukraine, with Russia, in the Western Balkans, and in the EU itself





Vladimir Veličković, Painter, Serbian and French Academic


Vera Nikolić Dimić, Executive Director of AmCham

H.E. Hendrik Gerrit Cornelis van den Dool, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Serbia


Transport: One belt, One Road


DANISH START-UPS SNOWBALL EFFECT Niels Thimmer, CEO and co-founder at Opinodo



Dejan Nikolić, Director of the Belgrade Marathon


Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google





Budimir Lončar, Diplomat, Last Foreign Minister of Yougoslavia




SPRING IS IN THE AIR! Fashion, Training Gear & Apparel







April 2017


EDITOR: Ana Novčić ART DIRECTOR: Jasmina Laković CONTRIBUTORS: Rob Dugdale, Maja Vukadinović, Mirjana Jovanović, Miša Brkić, Radmila Stanković, Steve MacKenzie, Zorica Todorović Mirković, Sonja Ćirić EDITORIAL MANAGER: Neda Lukić PHOTOS: Zoran Petrović COPY EDITOR: Mark Pullen TRANSLATION AND EDITING Halifax Translation Services PROJECT MANAGERS: Biljana Dević, Aleksandra Ebilji, Nataša Trifunović, Miloš Tešić, Vesna Vukajlović, Nevena Đurković, 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 2017

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Europe—Looking Back, Looking Forward In several European cities, scores of civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks. The refugee and migrant flows that began in 2015 have slowed. There’s also a great amount of unfinished business—in Ukraine, with Russia, in the Western Balkans, and in the EU itself JUDY DEMPSEY


ll the above have not only tested the EU’s ability to act states seem not to take the ridiculously called European External strategically. They have also shown how the EU as a Action Service (EEAS), headed by Federica Mogherini, seriously. bloc was and continues to be incapable and unwilling If big and small EU member states really wanted to give the to grasp what has changed over the past five years. EEAS teeth, then the service should have been involved from For want of a better term, this self-denial could lead the EU to the start in the Minsk II agreement, which the French, German, terminal decline unless there is a fundamentally different way Russian, and Ukrainian leaders negotiated in February 2015 to of using the EU. reach a ceasefire and some kind of political solution in eastern Several factors are at play across Europe. The first is the Ukraine. The EEAS has been all but absent from that negotiating bloc’s fragmentation. The decision by the British in June 2016 to table. Instead, the burden has fallen to Merkel to keep what is leave the EU is having a deep and complex psychological effect left of the Minsk accord on track. on all member states. If there is one issue that has shattered EuUkraine’s future matters to the stability of Europe and, parrope’s self-confidence, it is Brexit. When the British voted to quit ticularly, to the country’s immediate EU neighbors. Yet over the Europe’s post–World War II architecture, they were rejecting a past five years, the Visegrád countries—the Czech Republic, continent that put an end to centuries of war and conflict, epitoHungary, Poland, and Slovakia—have been singularly disapmized by the Franco-German rivalry. The EU’s institutions and pointing in forging regional foreign, security, and defense polimember states are now squabbling about the terms of Britain’s cies but highly critical of Brussels. This is a great shame. The departure, instead of limiting the fallout by growing Euroskepticism of the leaders of a making the EU accessible and coherent. quartet that longed to return to Europe after Chancellor Angela Another phenomenon is the shocking 1989 has deprived the EU of ideas, energy, Merkel should be weakness of the Franco-German relationship. and optimism, in contrast to the hundreds Chancellor Angela Merkel should be proud of of thousands of their compatriots who work proud of Germany’s Germany’s economic and political strength. in other EU countries. economic and But it’s a double-edged sword. Germany’s Finally, there is the United States. A political strength. But couple of myths need to be debunked about qualities are shackled by France’s weaknesses. France’s political and economic systems the administration of former U.S. president it’s a double-edged are locked in the past; the country’s selfBarack Obama. He was interested in neither sword. Germany’s confidence has been replaced by pessimism. the EU nor NATO. His main interlocutor in France has been unable to play any major role qualities are shackled Europe was Merkel. His defense secretaries in Europe over the past several years. were just as critical of Europeans’ free-ridby France’s This disparity has prevented Berlin and ing—taking the U.S. security guarantee for weaknesses Paris from working together to push the EU granted—as is the current administration of forward. And this vacuum has been exploitPresident Donald Trump. But at least Obama, ed by populist, anti-immigration, and Euroskeptic movements. unlike Trump, didn’t wish the EU’s demise. Even if Merkel is Europe’s undisputed leader, she knows Berlin For all that, there is a warning for EU leaders. The transatlancannot go it alone. But her allies, mostly in the Nordic and Baltic tic relationship is no longer a given. Trump has served Europe countries but also in Madrid and Lisbon, have never used that notice. In practice, this means that Europe cannot go it alone, support to create a strong pro-EU caucus. even though this is precisely what Russian President Vladimir This has led to the increasing renationalization of European Putin would relish. The transatlantic relationship has to be reforeign policy. There’s little need to mention defense or security, built. EU leaders—and there is a dearth of them—have to grasp because they have yet to gain any serious traction in the EU inthe need for Europe to define its interests, and not in a halfstitutions and most member states. As for the conduct of forbaked way. Without defining those interests, there can be no eign policy, the big member states in particular have their own strategic outlook or ambition. ■ envoys for Russia, the Caucasus, the Middle East, and the UnitThe author is nonresident Senior Fellow, ed States, to name just a few parts of the world. The member Carnegie Europe, Editor in chief, Strategic Europe 8 |





Consistent to One’s



I am neither capable of being a Frenchman nor would I want to be one. I am deeply rooted as a Yugoslav and I will remain that way until the end of my life. I also have deep roots as a Belgrader, which implies that I am also a Serb. When someone asks me how I feel in terms of whom I belong to, I always give the same answer: I’m a Yugoslav painter who lives and works in France, whether someone likes that or not!


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ladimir Veličković has long been recognised, loved and respected as one of Europe’s greatest painters. He has a global reputation as a visual artist, with his exhibitions having marked a number of galleries around the world. He is part of both the French and Serbian artistic elite. Everything in his career began in 1965, when the then French Culture Minister, Andre Malraux, opened the Paris Biennale and carefully examined the works of the representatives of the then Yugoslavia - Vladimir Veličković, Žika Turinski and Janez Boljka. Representing the former Yugoslavia, Belgrade architect Veličković won first prize at the Paris Biennale. Following such recognition, everything started to unfold as

anyone would wish: “Maybe some magical force intervened there “Of course, for as long as I can and while I can still use this little and spared me from possible scratches”. head and while I’m on my feet, it will be like that and no other way. To this day, that recognition has remained the most precious What has been is the base of what is now and what will be tomorrow. It is important to have an overview of what you’ve done - not a award that Veličković (81) received in France, but he is also complete one, because that’s impossible, but those important, crucial particularly proud of being decorated with the French Legion moments need to be present in your mind as a kind of reinforcement of Honour. After a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art for building that which I’m doing now, and preparing reinforcement (Bobur then still didn’t exist), it was finally clear to his father, for the future.” Dušan, that he has the son who is an architect with a degree, but Veličković has achieved that which he most wanted: to paint that painting is Vlada’s real choice. The smile on his father’s face and be a painter, only that. Everything else that it might have been suggested that he was satisfied that his doubt had dissipated. possible for him to achieve is not worth mentioning. It would be to It should be noted that his mother, Lenka, a Belgrader whose the detriment of the time needed for painting, and there was never company many have vied for, supported unconditionally from the outset (as opposed to his sceptical father) Vlada’s interest and desire that he finally achieved – to be a painter. Upon her retirement, she devoted herself to arranging her son’s biographical and bibliographical material, cataloguing and archiving everything he had done, so he today has a professionally compiled archive. “She did that passionately, lovingly, day and night, with unbelievable energy. And I thank her for that. I inherited my working habits from her, which my father was also embellished with, and I have kept those working habits to this day, along with respect for specific ethical and moral behaviour”. We should not forget that Veličković has shared his life for more than five decades with his wife Maristella, a translator and highly educated woman with whom he has two sons, Vuk and Marko. The two of them have their own artistic careers and both are successful. A Serbian and French academic, formerly a respected professor of the most prestigious academy of fine arts at France’s Ecole Nationale Superieure enough of that – time always I feel sick after every sold des Beaux Arts in Paris, he is the founder of the eluded him. How would he depainting, and that’s not an fine his success in France today Vladimir Veličković Foundation, which has for empty phrase, but rather it – through the number of sold seven years granted an annual award for the best always seem to me that I paintings, the number of places sketch of an artist aged under 40 (with money and museums containing his coming from Veličković’s national pension), of won’t be able to do the next paintings, good reviews or the which he says: one as well as the one I’ve financial status afforded him by “I have huge and unexpected satisfaction due sold. But in time everything selling his paintings? to this award, considering that each year there are comes into place “First, what is success? There between 100-140 candidates, which is a fantastic is no concept more relative than statistic for such a relatively small environment. success. What kind of definition might serve for us to explain it? Many Drawing is at least guaranteed a future here, and when we know parameters are necessary in order to build some kind of platform that sketching is the foundations of all areas of fine art, even those that would receive all those pebbles that fit into the mosaic of your abstract, conceptual and minimalist kinds. And I know that for these work. Exhibitions and museums, sold paintings and monographs, children, in the absence of any market, especially one orientated it is all necessary, even essential, in order to create a summary that towards young people, that money means something and that they would allow you to draw a line and determine what has been achieved. use it wisely. Without cooperation with the Haos Gallery, the functioning of this foundation of mine would be much more difficult, if Work and commitment to work are certainly very important, but not impossible”. consistency is also important; to be uncompromising, stubborn, not This artist works ceaselessly and is constantly taking on new to withdraw and not to take into account so-called trends (if you are challenges and new exhibitions. Do you ever look back at what has in any of the trends, even better) or the taste of the audience. It is passed and, in your head, just for yourself, summarise your career? important to pay attention to that which is written and said about APRIL



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your work, but that should all be strained through a very fine sieve, and ambition of a minister; to maximally activate all disciplines, and because it’s not all just for systematic rejection. You must defend there are a lot – publishing, music, theatre, film, visual arts etc.; for your stance, what is today called your project, your script. Your script there not to be only exhibitions, but also to build new institutions is very important and must be recognisable at first glance, but it is of culture, whilst not forgetting to reconstruct existing museums. necessary to develop and en“The focus of a minister rich it if possible. of culture, in France and in “And sold paintings? That Serbia, should be directed is a necessary evil, but if it was towards increasing the budget not for those sold paintings for culture; for the always everything would be more insufficient percentage to rise complicated. I get I feel sick at least one per cent – and in after every sold painting, and our country it’s currently less that’s not an empty phrase, but than one per cent; to engage rather it always seem to me that all the forces that will promote French culture beyond I won’t be able to do the next France. I say this primarily one as well as the one I’ve sold. due to the fact that French But in time everything comes cultural policy is more ready into place. There also remains to receive – which makes the the fact that I have never been French cultural scene, especonfronted with the problem of cially the Parisian one, so rich having to do some other supand attractive – than to export port job on the side. And while their culture and art. I am you’re asking what success is, I would say that success is also thinking of the presence undoubtedly doing a job that on the world stage of French no one needs but me and a artists and those who live and very small number of people, work in France, like I do. My while for me that represents presence on the world stage my entire life.” is the result of personal initiatives, which fortunately exist. I When Veličković arrived found it a lot easier and more in Paris, France’s then culture effective to head out into the minister was the famous André world from France than would Malraux, who CorD’s interlocutor describes as being “a boulhave been the case from here, der of a man and an authority, from Serbia. an excellent writer, the author “We have many young talented artists, but how can they of the Imaginary Museum, a be provided with the possibilfighter in the Spanish civil war... ity of exporting themselves? Everyone else, except Jack Lang, The state, the Ministry of Culdid not hold a candle to him”. ture and the Minister himself, He doesn’t know current Culture Minister Audry Azoulay should be engaged in this effort, The problem today is not so much in personally, but from a distance money. The problem is in initiative and the for that to be a priority for them. he considers her charming and Once upon a time, and this is desire to do something in that field. And beautiful, though it seems to something I constantly repeat, until this problem is approached him that lately ministers have during the time of such a stupid only held that position briefly, ambitiously and constructively, our art will and unjustifiably critical Titoist which could reflect their inabilregime, there was a Commission be doomed to remain behind the curve. ity to perform the job. Through for International Cultural RelaAnd – in terms of its quality and creativity tions, which really worked a lot his life and work in France, – it doesn’t deserve that on the promotion of our culture Velickovic illustrates for us and art. Just to mention the nuhow significant it is who the merous exhibitions that toured the whole world, we were present culture minister is in that country, and also explains what good and on all continents. The problem today is not so much in money. The bad culture ministers do in any country: problem is in initiative and the desire to do something in that field. “Much of what is happening in culture depends on the engagement 12 |



And until this problem is approached ambitiously and construcand frequent visits to the widow of Petar Dobrović, who extracted tively, our art will be doomed to remain behind the curve. And – in him from the blocks of Petar’s ‘sketches and encouraged him in terms of its quality and creativity – it doesn’t deserve that. We were his early drawing and painting. handicapped, and we still are, with closed museums, but I hope their Veličković has long since been resident in France for more years opening as soon as possible than he ever lived in his native will see the relaunch from a Belgrade. But what makes him standstill of new, much needed a Frenchman and what has remained of his characteristics as and much desired activity in a Belgrader? the field of art exchange. That’s “Oh God! Well, I am neither because we have a lot to show capable of being a Frenchman and to be shown. Generations nor would I want to be one. I have been sacrificed. Now we am deeply rooted as a Yugoslav must try to save what can be and I will remain that way saved before it’s too late. until the end of my life. I also “And the minister of culture have deep roots as a Belgrader, is the key to the problem. He is which implies that I am also a responsible, with his attitude Serb. When someone asks me and his authority, to ensure how I feel in terms of whom that culture is appreciated and I belong to, I always give the has its priority status restored, same answer: I’m a Yugoslav which is still not the case today.” painter who lives and works Vladimir spent his childhood and adolescence in Belin France, whether someone grade, where he had a wide likes that or not! circle of friends. He played Vladimir is among those football with a rag-ball, ran the painters with a lively interested 100-metre sprint for Red Star, in everything happening around walked on the concourse... A them in the field of fine arts, gramophone was a rarity, ralike a good connoisseur of art dio slightly less. They went to history. It is enough to know Kolarac – the Belgrade Philharnaturally, though he is rarely monic, Žika Zdravković, Oskar asked if there is a painting he Danon, Zdenko Marasović, has seen somewhere that he jazz, Vojkan Simić, Mladen wanted and couldn’t afford. Guteša, Mile Pavlović - Slina “There was so much desired. I’m afraid of being boring and Duško Gojković; Nada in that choice. However, if I need Knežević was like Ella Fitzgerald, while Jimmy Stanić was to answer this question, incomplete nonetheless, I’ll say: just almost better than Sinatra and VELIČKOVIĆ: Raven a small piece of Grünewald’s Dean Martin. Oscar Peterson, Crucifixion detail from the Louis Armstrong, the Modern I am neither capable of being a Frenchman Isenheim Altarpiece in Colmar, Jazz Quartet, and many more nor would I want to be one. I am deeply France, followed by the Pietà … they all came to Belgrade, as did Yves Montand and Gérard rooted as a Yugoslav and I will remain that of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and, from the Louvre, Mantegna’s Philipe in Sid with the French way until the end of my life. I also have Lamentation of Christ (Brera). comedy, Vivien Leigh and Laudeep roots as a Belgrader, which implies rence Olivier. The list is long, It would be a very long list, but that I am also a Serb the memories are clear, and let’s stop at these.” there was plenty to remember. Asked about the power of They read, went down to the River Sava, to the Cinematheque, the painting market, the extent to which the market determines Eisenstein... and Waterfront Balls. Belgrade theatre, opera, ballet the price of the painter and, in short, the state of the painted art – all were fantastic at the time. markets in France and Europe today, CorD’s interviewee responds: Exhibitions also started: the unforgettable sculptures and “The market is a very important factor, in my opinion too drawings of Henry Moore in Cvijeta Zuzorić, Delacroix (who important. It has transferred to itself the role of undisputed Vladimir doesn’t particularly like) at the Ethnographic Museum, arbiter and what is happening today in this area is a disastrous APRIL



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distorted picture of that which has true value and that which has that is a novelty initiated via the auction houses (Shanghai, Hong Kong), absolutely no value. With various promotional operations, or which fiercely, and in my opinion undeservedly, raise their prices. marketing, certain authors are succeeding, sometimes deservedly, America jealously protects its artists with incredibly high prices - a in becoming prelisted in the sense of market value, with which Warhol silkscreen can reach a price of a whopping 108 million dollars! some speculate and manipuThat’s more expensive than a late. That is for those artists Rembrandt! The same goes for themselves, because it implies Jean-Michel Basquiat. It’s all a surplus production and, of kind of competition, I presume course, falling quality. All this among collectors, according to is happening within a circle the system, ‘if you have one, I of a certain number of rich want one too’. Japan also has people, assisted by advisors, its stars. I will mention Takashi and via institutions that carry Murakami and his studio factory, with more than 100 people their name - François Pinault and Palazzo Grassi and realising his creations. That’s Punta della Dogana in Venice; real manufacturing!” Bernard Arnault and Vuitton When it comes to politics, Foundation in Paris; as well as this painter has always shown a certain number of powerful an equal interest in what is happening in France and in Serbia. galleries led by Larry Gagosian, with an entire network Today he says that he follows of galleries spread around the everything that happens, but world. Here we also shouldn’t nothing more than that: overlook auction houses that “Although certain phenomena that belong to the have their own systems for yellow press can interest you cutting and raising prices. The because they are not worthy aforementioned Pinault also of normal political activity, owns Christie’s auction house. and if politics and politicians “It is in their hands and they were miraculously replaced determine what and who is by an efficient administration, important in this very colourful world of creation. We are and an even more efficient witnessing a situation in which economy, where would the price is a measure of quality, end be for us? As things are which, however, is very often now, we will continue to allow not the case. these politics and politicians to “For example, if François poison our lives, without any Pinault visits your studio kind of chance of freeing us of and buys one or more of our problems, wars, hunger, your paintings, your status idleness (all in the name of changes instantly. The value of democracy!). The more time “The market is a very important factor, what you are doing increases passes, the less optimistic I am, in my opinion too important. It has fivefold, if not tenfold. I will and I’m angry at myself because neither praise nor condemn transferred to itself the role of undisputed of that... and powerless. such a system. It has been In his studio, in a street arbiter and what is happening today in this operating like that for a long named after Vladimir Ilyich area is a disastrous distorted picture of time. That’s the way it is and Lenin in a former factory block that which has true value and that which no other way. I wouldn’t like in Paris, Vladimir works every to predict how long it will day, all day. And it is there that has absolutely no value last, though I fear it could be he is at his happiest. He doesn’t a long time.” have a pen or a brush in his hand every day, and doesn’t stick to Having had exhibitions around the world on all continents, Leonardo’s No day without a line, but it’s important for him to be Veličković explains how the painted art markets function in China, in his studio. With nobody to do accompanying technical jobs for America and Japan: him, he does everything himself “while I last and while I’m working, there are no breaks”. ■ “In China there are large scale promotions of Chinese artists and 14 |



Appreciating THE EU




The Netherlands was one of the founding members of what is now the European Union, 60 years ago this month. It has brought us prosperity and peace. As a small country with an open economy, the Netherlands understands like no other the interdependence of us and our neighbours, as well as the benefits that cooperation can bring


ollowing exciting parliamentary elections that resulted in victory for pro-European parties and were welcomed with great relief and encouragement in Brussels and other EU member states, H.E. Dutch Ambassador Hendrik Gerrit Cornelis van den Dool says in this interview for CorD magazine that it is important to discuss publicly all challenges facing the EU. He also insists that this controversy within the EU, which includes calls for reorganisation within the Union and calls to stop the enlargement process, should not be a cause of concern for Serbia and the countries of the region.

■ Your Excellency, following the victory of the party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Dutch parliamentary elections, do you believe his wish for the Netherlands to “stop the domino effect of populism” in the European Union will be realised? - It is obvious that across Europe we’re seeing traditional parties being challenged by new movements, and the relationship of Member States with the European Union becoming a topic discussed in campaigns. This is understandable, given the changes brought about by globalisation and international political developments that impact on Europe. This includes the migrant crisis 16 |



that has also affected Serbia. It is good that these topics are being discussed in an open public debate. This is exactly what European values are about: open societies, democratic processes and freedom of expression. It is too soon to predict the precise direction of the new government, as a coalition will first have to be formed. Regardless of the composition of the new government and the outcome of the elections, stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans will remain crucial for the EU. The Netherlands, as an open economy, will also continue to benefit from improvements in the investment climate in Serbia, which are a result of reforms undertaken in the framework of EU integration.

■ Media reported that the election results sparked “relief in Brussels”. To what extent can the election results in the Netherlands actually influence the outcomes of the presidential election in France and parliamentary elections in Germany? - Countries across Europe face similar challenges, and with elections coming up in several countries there is a certain similarity in the public debates and in the solutions offered by various parties. Countries in the European Union are diverse, and the context in France and Germany dif-




Regardless of the composition of the new government and the outcome of the elections, stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans will remain crucial for the EU

Both in the Netherlands and in Serbia it is important for European integration to make a difference in people’s everyday lives, and to bring tangible benefits

The EU has experienced setbacks and even crises, but each time we have overcome those and have become more resilient in the process

fers from the situation in the Netherlands, if only because of the different electoral systems. The results of the elections in one country will therefore not necessarily be replicated in another. What is important, however, is that as European Union members we find joint solutions to those common challenges that we face. ■ The Dutch people have historically been among the first to express reservations about the direction taken by the EU – in a 2005 referendum they rejected a proposal for institutional reform, and in 2016 they rejected Ukraine’s inclusion in the free trade zone. How will PM Rutte now relate to those previously expressed views of citizens regarding essential reforms within the EU, in order to respond to new challenges and the needs of citizens? - Both in the Netherlands and in Serbia it is important for European integration to make a difference in people’s everyday lives, and to bring tangible benefits. If those benefits do not materialise, or if the integration process loses touch with citizens, it will not work. It is therefore important to take the outcomes of referenda and general elections seriously, and to address the real concerns of citizens. The task for the next government is to do precisely that, in close coordination with our European partners.

■ As an expert on European integration, what do you think of the chances of the countries of the Western Balkans, primarily Serbia and Montenegro, to which you are ambassador, continuing the accession process and one day becoming EU members? - The European Council reaffirmed its unequivocal support for the European prospects of the Western Balkans. Countries in the region have made progress in their EU-orientated reforms. There are concerns, as reflected in the Commission’s most recent country report, about, for instance, media freedom and the rule of law. We will continue to support reforms, particularly in these areas, which revolve around fundamental European values. It was encouraging to hear the declaration from leaders of the Western Balkan countries at the regional summit reiterating their full commitment to the EU accession perspective. This political will is indispensable for countries to continue on their European path.

■ How would you comment on the increasingly frequent warnings of analysts that new tensions threaten the Western Balkans, citing the examples of Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, but also the crisis in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina? - Instability in the region is a great concern – for the Western Balkans, but also for us. EU integration has provided a common aspiration for Western Balkan countries, and a model to bridge differences and leave the past behind. From the start, European integration has been motivated by the strong conviction that a repeat of the horrors of WWII can only be avoided

Countries in the Western Balkans have different challenges and interests, but a shared interest in regional stability and a shared European perspective. The dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina is key to the normalisation of relations

■ Sceptics predict that the EU will collapse before any of the region’s countries reach the threshold for joining. What do you say to that? - I would dare to disagree. The EU has experienced setbacks and even crises, but each time we have overcome those and have become more resilient in the process. There is no blueprint for this unprecedented integration model. EU countries may have their differences, but the European mechanism allows us to reconcile those differences.

by working together. Countries in the Western Balkans have different challenges and interests, but a shared interest in regional stability and a shared European perspective. The dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina is key to the normalisation of relations, and the Netherlands encourages both parties to remain constructively engaged and to implement commitments accepted in the framework of the dialogue.

■ How do you interpret the call of German Chancellor Angela Merkel for U.S. President Donald Trump to be more concerned about the Balkans? - The United States has been a firm supporter of the European perspective of the Western Balkans. This leads to stability in the region, as well as on the broader European continent, which is also in the interest of the United States. Changes in the administration in Washington will not change this. APRIL



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■ Recent weeks have been marked by mounting tension between the Netherlands and Turkey, culminating in a ban on Turkish officials entering the Netherlands and harsh words directed against the Netherlands from Ankara. What kind of dynamics of relations between the two countries should be expected in the coming months? - The Netherlands and Turkey have had a good relationship for 400 years. We do not wish to jeopardise this relationship. Within this context, we will continue to strive for dialogue and acceptable solutions.

■ Turkey is a key partner for the EU in terms overcoming or lessening the impact of the migrant crisis. Do you fear that the coming spring and disagreements between the EU and Turkey could lead to a new wave of refugees heading towards European countries? - The influx of migrants has affected the EU, Serbia and Turkey alike. It is in the interest of both the EU and its partners to cooperate on this issue. We need to take a comprehensive approach, involving support to countries of origin, destination, and those in between. We can only reap the potential benefits of migration with an approach that involves burden sharing, solidarity, and a long-term perspective. Serbia in particular deserves praise for its humanitarian assistance, in line with international agreements.

servants and representatives of the judiciary and is supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands? - The Matra Rule of Law Training Programme is a two-year (2017 – 2018) programme designed to strengthen institutional capacity in the field of the Rule of Law within governmental organisations in the Western Balkans, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. To this end, seven training programmes are offered per year, each introducing the participants to Dutch best practices in a wide range of rule of law themes: Integrity of Civil Servants, Administration of Justice, Public Procurement, Human Rights and Minorities, Decentralisation and Citizen Participation, Freedom of the Media, Public Finance Management, Detention and Alternative Sanctions. Through interactive sessions combining theory, practical skills and study visits, policy advisors, members of the judiciary and other civil servants working in the government and justice sectors acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to drive reforms in their home countries. In addition, by taking part in the training programme, participants become part of a large transnational network of alumni, lecturers and relevant government departments in the Netherlands and in the target countries. This network offers a platform for learning, exchange and collaboration. The Matra Rule of Law Training programme is designed and delivered by the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, Leiden Law School, and The Hague Academy for Local Governance, and is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

■ Is there room to strengthen economic cooperation between Dutch and Serbian business leaders and, if so, in which areas? - As Serbia progresses on the EU integration ■ You began your career as a journalpath, it is coming more under the spotlight of The Netherlands attaches ist. And when you arrived in Serbia you Dutch businesses and economic stakeholders. As far as the Dutch are concerned, this noticed a lack of pluralism and different great importance to media is probably more important than Serbia’s opinions in the media, as well as insuffreedom and freedom of ficient levels of independent investigative position in the World Bank’s Doing Business expression, and therefore our journalism, growing tabloidisation and rankings. The Embassy works continuously Embassy will continue media leaks. Do you still have that kind on strengthening economic ties between of impression today? our two countries, and I am pleased to anmonitoring the media nounce BalkanDay, which will take place landscape in Serbia. Focus on - Unfortunately, the media situation did not in The Hague this June. This event, which improve since my previous statements on this the media situation through will be organised by the Dutch Ministry of issue and freedom of expression remains a cause Chapter 23 of the acquis Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Enterprise of concern. The self-regulatory Press Council has Agency, has the aim of jointly promoting the remains of utmost importance registered an increasing number of violations of countries of the Western Balkans among our the Journalistic Code of Ethics. According to the business community. We expect and hope that some local stakeholders, European Commission’s 2016 Country Report, which offers a relatively positive such as the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, will take part in assessment of Serbia’s overall progress on the EU track, freedom of expression this event and help us to additionally highlight the Serbian economy. I am stands out as one of the few areas where no progress has been made. very positive about this event and see it as one of the channels to further The Netherlands attaches great importance to media freedom and improve our economic relations. freedom of expression, and therefore our Embassy will continue monitoring the media landscape in Serbia. Focus on the media situation through Chapter 23 of the acquis remains of utmost importance. We hope that the ■ On the Embassy’s website you have announced the start of The new Media Strategy will reflect the Chapter 23 Action Plan, which contains Matra Rule of Law Training programme. Could you tell us something about this two-year programme, which is intended for civil the EU’s requirements for free media. ■ 18 |






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“If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the world can walk safely on the streets. Europe will be damaged by this. We, as Turkey, call on Europe to respect human rights and democracy.” - Recep Erdogan, Turkish President

ROMANIAN ROYAL FAMILY’S 20 YEARS OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENTS ▶ Crown Princess Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania,

hosted at Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest a ceremony followed by dinner to celebrate two decades of the Royal Family’s public engagements, in the country and abroad, with the support of the Government, on behalf of Romania. Prince Radu and Princess Marie were in attendance. In the last twenty years, royal cooperation has continued with ten different governments of Romania. Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, as well as the members of the government and the highest officials, attended the event, in addition to President Emil Constantinescu and Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea (both in office, in 1997). Over 10,000 public engagements inside the country and 31 official visits abroad were undertaken by King Michael, Queen Anne and, nowadays, Crown Princess Margareta, Prince Radu and other members of the Royal Family.

BRITAIN FORMALLY LEAVES EU ▶ Using Article 50 of the Treaty on

European Union, the British Government began formal withdrawal from the European Union on 29th March. Negotiations with the EU will begin in early May.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker again voiced fears that Britain will divide the European Union’s 27 remaining members by making different promises to each country during its Brexit negotiations.


The British Government announced that it will inform Brussels on 29th March that it is invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union in order to begin withdrawing from the bloc, in a process that will take two years. Even after leaving the EU, a huge number of open issues will remain with the UK, such as free trade, immigration and the right of EU citizens to live and work in Britain. On the other side, the EU says Britain can’t have full access to the single market if it doesn’t accept the free movement of its people, which is one of the bloc’s key principles. 20 |



has been banned from entering Ukraine to take part in the contest after it emerged she had previously performed in Crimea. Former Russian X Factor competitor Julia Samoilova had been due to represent the country at the contest in Kiev in May with her ballad Flame Is Burning. However Ukraine’s SBU security service has now slapped a ban on her on account of what it calls her ‘illegal’ visit to the territory, which

was annexed by Moscow in 2014. According to the BBC, over 140 other Russian artists have also been blacklisted in the wake of the annexation and the subsequent fighting in the east of the country. European Broadcasting Union reps confirmed the news, saying they were ‘deeply disappointed’ by the ruling.

BRAZIL'S ROTTEN MEAT SCANDAL ▶ Brazil, the world’s biggest beef and poultry exporter, has been hit allega-

tions of corrupt practices in its meat industry. Police have halted exports by 21 meat processers suspected of bribing inspectors to issue them bogus health certificates for rotten meat. One of the most eye-popping allegations came in a press conference by police investigators who said some meat processing plants had been using “carcinogenic products”. Police also released a summary of a conversation between an investigator and the plant’s owner in which the latter showed “no surprise” at the labels being switched on an entire

GLOBAL TEACHER PRIZE WINNER 2017 ▶ The Global Teacher Prize is a $1 million award presented annually to an

exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession. In one of the world’s most remote regions, surrounded by snow and ice, Maggie McDonnell is changing the lives of her students and transforming her community. The winner of the Global Teacher Prize Winner 2017 lives and works in Salluit, an Inuit village deep in the Canadian Arctic. The village is so remote that it’s accessible only by air. Just 1,300 people live in the community – the second northernmost Inuit settlement in Canada. “As the school day end at 3pm, your day never ends. The school doors may close – but the relationship with your students is continuous as you share the community with them,” says Maggie The Global Teacher Prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Emir of Dubai.


“My demand that Turkey should stop Nazi comparisons remains in force, with no ifs or buts. Unfortunately, we have observed that these comparisons have not stopped, and we will not tolerate that every taboo is broken.”- Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

EUROPEAN UNION 60TH ANNIVERSARY ▶ Proclaiming “Europe is our common future,” 27 leaders of the Euro-

pean Union signed a statement on March 25 in Rome declaring their commitment to integrating the Continent even as a series of crises has weakened the efforts and Britain prepares to leave the bloc. The statement, known as the Rome Declaration and signed on the anniversary of the day the bloc’s foundations were laid 60 years ago, underscored the aspirations of a “unique union with common institutions and strong values, a community of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.” The ceremony took place in the same room where the Treaty of Rome was signed on 25th March 1957, by six European countries. “Today in Rome we are renewing the unique alliance of free nations that was initiated 60 years ago by our great predecessors,” said EU President Donald Tusk. All 27 European Union Member States have signed the Declaration of Rome, while admitting that the Union had made mistakes in the past and it was their duty to deliver a more social Europe to its citizens. countries in the South American Mercosur bloc, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

shipment of pork, or the reprocessing of months-old meat for use in other food products. Another shocking allegation is that chicken was mixed with cardboard, as one employee appeared to say in another intercepted phone call. European countries are wary about opening up the EU meat market to


The nominations can be made by former winners of the Peace Prize, heads of state, members of national assemblies and international courts in The Hague and university professors among others. The Nobel Committee

▶ The Norwegian Nobel Committee

announced that it had received 318 nominations for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. That’s down from 376 last year, which set a record, but it remains the next-highest number of candidates in the history of the prize.

never identifies nominees but those forwarding the nominations can identify who they’d like to see win. The committee did note that the 318 nominations submitted this year include 215 individuals and 103 organizations. The Peace Prize winner will be announced in October and receive the prize on December 10, the anniversary of prize benefactor Alfred Nobel’s death.

MIDDLE EASTERN MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART ▶ This year Christie is celebrating 11th

anniversary in Dubai, which reflects how young the market is in the Middle East. Since then the market has

grown exponentially. This upturn has been fuelled by a growing appreciation and understanding of Middle Eastern artists and their markets. The most common focus is on the adaptation of traditional motifs and ideas. Many Middle Eastern artists also grapple with notions of identity, as well as with the cultural and political events that change the way people think and live. There is also a new appreciation for female artists — previously overlooked in what has traditionally been a male-dominated world.

MAHMOUD SAÏD: Bergère à Alamein

Traditionally, the key centres for Modern art have been Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Mahmoud Saïd (1897-1964) is renowned as the father of Modern painting in Egypt. His oil paintings employ Western techniques to depict scenes of contemporary life that reference the country’s long history. The son of an Egyptian prime minister, he left a career in law to study painting in Florence.




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The Obstacles On


After almost four years of development, the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 has gradually and steadily brought change to peoples and countries along the ancient trade route. With more than 100 participants and advocates so far, including countries and international organisations, the initiative has now become a road to a happier life, their dreams and regional prosperity for local people along the route

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Economic development in the Eurasian continent’s landlocked s a master plan to integrate 65 countries from East Asia states in the continent has fallen behind, thanks to their lack of ocean to Western Europe, China’s Belt and Road Initiative is access as well as the lingering impact of political barriers put up in poised to improve the living standards of 4.4 billion the Soviet era. To accelerate their economic growth, railways would people, more than half of the world’s total population. be the most efficient means to strengthen their trade with the rest The rail links between China and Europe may be too of the world. Based on those states’ limited to significantly change its limited financial capacity, prices are a geostrategic circumstances. Several factors limit just how crucial factor in their ability to invest The latest rail link between Beijing effective these railways can be in rail transport, and the China Railway and London joins 38 lines already conin achieving Beijing’s goals. The Rolling Stock Corp (CRRC) is seen as necting about 30 cities in China and Eudozens of existing rail links are not an affordable source, evidenced in the rope. The expansion of rail links reflects CRRC’s rapidly expanding business in several motivations on China’s part. actually inter-connected at the East European and Central Asian states. First, China is actively promoting inmoment. The rail systems in In other words, the rail links also credustrialisation in China’s poorer inland Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus use ate demand for Chinese rail industry. provinces, both to balance development a wide gauge of 1.52 metres, while Although the OBOR initiative has a and to avoid rising costs in the coastal maritime component as well, China’s areas, thus keeping Chinese products the Chinese and European systems sea lines of communication (SLOCs) competitive in the global market. In use a standard are vulnerable to external threats contrast to coastal locations, however, gauge of 1.435 metres until the People’s Liberation Army sea transport is more expensive and Navy (PLAN) is able to provide sea time-consuming for exporting goods control — a condition that may not be realised in the near future. In produced in inland China. Thus, rail links across the Eurasian continent the meantime, railways provide an alternative route for trade. Despite become a reasonable means of connecting with European markets. Those the lower capacity and higher costs of rail lines in comparison with rail links also serve as part of the “One Belt, One Road (OBOR)” initiative sea transport, several technological advances, such as more powerto form economic corridors in Central Asia or even to East Europe.




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need maintaining thousands of kilometres of tracks means rail will always be much more costly than sea transport, which only requires a few facilities along long routes. Unless transporting food or some time-sensitive merchandise, the faster speed of rail shipping may not matter much. As more and more developing countries join in the globalisation of manufacturing, China’s inland provinces will face more serious competition than their coastal counterparts did in the 1990s and 2000s. Whether newly built Chinese industries in the inland provinces are competitive enough to absorb the additional costs of rail transport will be critical to determining their fate. Rail shipping also may not necessarily be more reliable than sea transport in the event of a crisis. Unlike the high seas, rail lines are located in foreign sovereign terrains beyond Beijing’s jurisdiction, and the risk of disruption is also considerable. If any political turmoil occurs in a country along the rail routes (a not-improbable scenario in Central Asia), or even if a country simply sees souring relations with China, the rail links could be affected or cut. In the end, rail lines beyond China’s borders may not be more reliable than SLOCs. Apart from politics, such transcontinental rail links are operated by different companies in various countries, which all have unique regulations, policies and priorities. In other words, local rail operators may not have consensus on how to handle international trains. Domestic trains may be given higher priority over increases travel time and encourages the Apart from politics, such international ones in terms of use of freight in standard containers, rather transcontinental rail links are deploying locomotives, using than bulky cargo such as crops. operated by different companies lines, or otherwise sharing local Spain and a few countries have invented changeable bogies and wheels for trains in various countries, which all have rail resources. Currently, Beijing can coordinate with those foreign running on different gauges, especially unique regulations, policies and operators for the small number transferring between the standard and priorities. In other words, local of services involved, but operawide gauges. However, such expensive rail operators may not have tional conflicts may appear with designs are mainly reserved for passenger additional services, particularly trains and remain impractical for numerconsensus on how to handle if facilities and capacity are not ous freight trains. Technically, the rail lines international trains simultaneously improved. in the former Soviet republics could be China’s rail links to European transformed into a dual gauge system but destinations are indeed unprecedented, and countries along the lines that would mean higher costs both in the initial modifications and in will benefit from better connectivity. China can then follow the trend, the ensuing maintenance. Beijing may not be willing to shoulder the building up economic corridors like OBOR along the rail lines, and expense. Furthermore, the wide gauge system was designed by the thereby secure wider influence in the region. However, these transSoviets to deny a potential foreign invasion, which remains a significontinental rail links cannot totally compensate for China’s geographic cant strategic concern. Therefore the governments who use the wide handicaps, due to both technical constraints and sovereign control. gauge may not want to abandon this arrangement, as the standard The author is a research fellow in the Military Studies Program gauge tracks connect not only to China but also to Western Europe. of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang The gauge issue is not the only hurdle to Beijing’s strategy. AlTechnological University. ■ though the efficiency of rail systems is improving, the unavoidable ful locomotives, central traffic controls, and auto signaling systems, have improved the efficiency of rail transport. With increased, more efficient rail links to Europe, Beijing’s economic vulnerability to a naval blockade during wartime or a crisis would decrease. However, several factors limit just how effective these railways can be in achieving Beijing’s goals. The dozens of existing rail links are not actually inter-connected at the moment. The rail systems in Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus use a wide gauge of 1.52 metres, a Soviet legacy, while the Chinese and European systems use a standard gauge of 1.435 metres. That means that rail cargo has to be transferred between trains whenever crossing between the two regions of gauges, which occurs at least twice during the journey. Transferring cargo

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Danish Start-Ups


Once upon a time, someone had a good idea and started working hard on it from their home, dorm or garage... Now they’re worth millions or billions of dollars. However, this is not a fairytale, nor is it a one-time wonder either. It's the story of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Disney, HP and many other 6to 9-figure businesses… Start-ups are changing the global economy and entire industries. No wonder there’s great potential for growth when more and more Nordic start-ups are getting interested in Serbia


n 2016, Niels Thimmer co-founded Opinodo with Niels Klintø. They believed room existed for a new start-up based on a simple idea: to help owners monetise their websites through surveys, helping companies and organisations learn more about their users, as well as helping everyday people shape different products and services by sharing their opinions, while getting some extra cash for doing so. They started to work on their idea and the start-up was profitable in less than a year. But, in order for them to grow it even more, the time had come for the next phase. And that is where Serbia had an important role to play. With costly living standards and almost no available experts to hire, it’s tough to run a start-up in Denmark. Most entrepreneurs have to take on different investments in exchange for equity, in order to grow their start-up and compete with other companies in hiring talent. Opinodo’s founders wanted to choose a different path, so they started researching the best countries in Europe to grow their business. That’s how they found Serbia, hired a local COO, Miloš Belčević, as well as different content writers and a social media manager. Now they are hiring developers to help build up their product, which is used in more than 40 countries around the globe, from Serbia, which, according to Niels Thimmer, has a lot of potential for start-ups. 26 |



■ What are some of the main challenges you deal with when it comes to building up a successful start-up? - Building any company is a bit like a hurdle race; there are obstacles that can make you fall and you need to maintain a high speed. Building a company also affects you on both a professional and a personal level. Reaching the targets on time is so important, which is why I personally need to be very efficient with time. There are always risks of burning a company though the ‘Superman Syndrome’, which is when you feel that you can do everything yourself better than others. Trusting the team around you is the key to not falling or ending up in last place. ■ How did you come up with the idea for Opinodo? Was it more of an ‘aha’ moment for you, or did you maybe have previous knowledge based on experiences from the industry or research? - The idea was born from my time in the media industry in Denmark. In the news stories we used tons of surveys for stories - and I could see that surveys were of extremely high value for companies and organisations to get into the media. When I started to recruit a market research panel myself, comprising visitors to sites I owned myself, I was contacted by other media companies that wanted to do the same and recruit their

users. Later, my partner, Niels Klintø, joined the team and we started to build an online platform to make it easy for publishers – from news sites to blogs to lead generation agencies – to better monetise their properties. That is the product I wished I’d had when I started out.

At some point it is natural for any start-up to seek funding. My point is that you first do this when you have exhausted all other growth methods. That will also show investors that you are dedicated and can make huge financial sacrifices, and therefore you’re worth an investment at a high valuation.

■ During Opinodo’s beginnings, you So I took the map of Europe had a choice to take on investments ■ What made you choose Serbia as the and an Excel sheet. I ran and/or loans. How did you decide place to build your company? Was it through all the statistics – the pros and cons of those; what do based on research, the experiences of from salary levels, to amounts some other start-ups or businesses you think about venture capital in general, and could it be relevant in you know, or something else? of highly educated people, some future phases? - The job market in Denmark is pretty overyouth unemployment heated, with salaries rising to ridiculous - Generally things move faster if you are not rates ... and a lot of other amounts for even mediocre employees. bootstrapped and you do take in external parameters. The clear winner So I took a map of Europe and an Excel money. We chose not to take VC money, because we had luck in making money and was Belgrade, as the best city sheet. I ran through all the statistics – from salary levels, amounts of highly educated sustaining solid growth without external in Europe - at least for a people, youth unemployment rates, EU capital. I also think the downside of VC Danish start-up company membership or not (and here I would money is that you suddenly board a train to relocate to say that EU membership is a minus), over which you don’t have total control. direct flights from Copenhagen and a lot You have to burn the money, hire massive of other parameters. The clear winner was Belgrade, as the best city amounts of people and invest in all kinds of marketing, sometimes in Europe – at least for a Danish start-up company to relocate to. It without being 100% sure if it will work. We don’t always hear the beat popular start-up relocation cities like Lisbon, Barcelona, Berlin stories about instances where VC money sent over a cliff a company and the capitals of the Baltic states. that would otherwise have been successful with an organic approach.




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I think Serbia and Belgrade have the fundamentals to create an awesome ecosystem for building the innovative companies of the future. If we can do our part to make that happen faster, by attracting companies, capital and capabilities to Belgrade, that would just be great.

■ What are some of the main advantages of building your startup in Serbia, and what are some of the biggest challenges? - I think that the greatest advantage is the easy access to high quality employees, who are highly motivated to build things. Secondly, the salary levels for entry positions are lower, meaning that we can do more for less. It is also an advantage – in a strange way – that the start-up ecosystem in Serbia is relatively small. There is huge growth potential waiting to be released. ■ What about building your start-up in Denmark or another Nordic country? - Some of the most innovative companies in the world come out of the Nordics, like Skype, Spotify, Zendesk, to name a few. The Nordics, seen as one country, have more billion-dollar exits per capita than any other country in the world. And Denmark ranks number one in the world as the best country to start a company, according to Forbes. But I guess that part of the Nordic way is to be agile and to identify new opportunities. I think Serbia and Belgrade have the fundamentals to create an awesome ecosystem for building the innovative companies of the future. If we can do our part to make that happen faster, by attracting companies, capital and capabilities to Belgrade, that would just be great.

I think Serbia and Belgrade have the fundamentals to create an awesome ecosystem for building the innovative companies of the future. If we can do our part to make that happen faster, by attracting companies, capital and capabilities to Belgrade, that would just be great

■ When it comes to businesses moving their operations to Serbia, sometimes people can also be sceptical – because it can be seen as simply outsourcing for cheaper labour. What do you think about this; and what’s the main difference between what you and other startups are doing compared to traditional outsourcing? - I’ve actually heard this statement during job interviews in Serbia, when some candidates say that they feel like second tier employees in their current job. It is also hard not to compare salaries with, for instance, the salary level of employees in the U.S. or Northern Europe. Some Serbs even get tasks at work that it wouldn’t normally make sense to do manually – just because the salary level makes it possible. This is most often how outsourcing is, and that’s something I really hate. It has a sense of A and B teams, which is a gigantic source of wasted human potential. I can see that it is indeed possible to build ‘A’ team start-ups in Belgrade. The salary level in Serbia is, of course, a huge 28 |



sales point right now when it comes to attracting international interest, but although salaries are currently at the lower end in Serbia, one must remember that nobody would enter Serbia if the quality of employees and potential founders weren’t as high as it is. Therefore I think Serbs should demand not to be viewed as less important labour that can be made to do less important work. Changing this is also a matter of changing the mind-set in Serbia, and I think start-ups are the perfect tool for this transformation. When the mindset changes, salaries will go up in Serbia – and that will happen quite fast. As a Scandinavian, the most jaw-dropping con is the ‘politburo style’ bureaucracy, with stamps, signatures and everything in physical paper. At Opinodo we don’t have one single piece of paper. Everything, from invoices to contracts, is electronic. ■ You may have started a snowball effect when it comes to Danish—or even Nordic—start-ups being interested in Serbia. Was it just word of mouth; how did start-ups like Bownty get interested? - I like to share good experiences, so it was through word of mouth that these companies got interested. I have been quite frank about the pros and cons of Serbia as a country for doing business. As a Scandinavian, the most jaw-dropping con is the ‘politburo style’ bureaucracy, with stamps, signatures and everything in physical paper. At Opinodo we don’t have a single piece of paper. Everything, from invoices to contracts, is electronic. But one of the huge advantages of Serbs is the inspiring creativity they apply to navigate these government obstructions without directly breaking the law. When I speak about the good parts, which heavily outweigh the bad parts, people are like “let’s get on the next plane to Belgrade”.

■ How do you see the Copenhagen startup scene? Are there more differences or similarities between the Belgrade and Copenhagen start-up scenes, and

what would they be? - The start-up scene in Copenhagen vs. Belgrade is in two different places with quite a few similarities, even though the populations of the cities are more or less the same. The Copenhagen scene has matured significantly over the last five years, powered by an increased interest among young people in founding companies, on the one side, and vast amounts of capital, attracted by a series of success exits, on the other. I think growth will continue in Copenhagen, at least as long as interests rates are so low that so many investors are seeking alternative asset classes with growth potential, like start-ups. Belgrade has some successes, like Nordeus, Frame and others, but the potential is much greater. ■




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Ten Legends And A


The Belgrade Marathon – in its thirtieth year, is the most important traditional sporting event in Belgrade and Serbia, which has long since outgrown the boundaries of a mere sporting competition and become a promotional sporting and tourism event that leaves an increasingly deeper mark on the life of the capital, including in economic terms can now reduce the two laps of New Belgrade’s boulevards to one lap. The measurements for the full and half marathon have been confirmed and the necessary certificates have been obtained. The marathon route is 42,195 metres long, while the half-marathon route is precisely 21,097.5 metres.


peaking openly about the problems and turning points faced by the Belgrade Marathon, the constant growth trend in all respects, as well as plans to mark the 30th birthday, is the director of the Belgrade Marathon, Dejan Nikolić.

■ You accepted the call to organise this event in 1990, from its third edition, and this 22nd April will see the staging of the 30th Belgrade Marathon. You have announced significant changes. Could you tell us more? - The most significant and most visible change will certainly be the new route of the marathon. We’ve been thinking about that for a long time, and that thinking led, on the one hand, to consideration for the need to avoid two laps of New Belgrade, which marathon runners were running, and, on the other hand, a desire for the route to include Ada Bridge, as Belgrade’s latest symbol and attraction. This will contribute to better presenting both the marathon and Belgrade. Runners don’t like going down the same streets twice and, thanks to Ada Bridge, which was completed long after the existing route was devised, we 30 |



■ We have discovered that you’ve given up on the idea of the route leading to the finish line traversing the old part of Belgrade? - Perhaps due to the need for the best possible functioning of public transport during the marathon, we accepted the recommendation to give up on that for now and for participants to run from the New Belgrade side across Ada Bridge to the other side of the Sava, and then to use the existing traffic junction slip roads to return to the New Belgrade side and, as has been the case to date, arrive in the old part of Belgrade by crossing Branko’s Bridge. We haven’t changed the areas of the start and finish lines – in front of the National Assembly and on Terazije Square – because few cities have their start and finish lines in the very heart of the city centre. This was also suggested by Fred Lebow, founder of the New York City Marathon and the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), who joined us in setting the route, in 1990, which lasted from the third to the 29th Belgrade Marathon.

■ The new route means an extra uphill section (Ada Bridge) in what is already a hilly course. To what extent is the difference in elevation between the two banks of the Sava a handicap for the Belgrade Marathon? - The Belgrade Marathon must be Belgrade, and not just New Belgrade. However, the difference in elevation that must be overcome by its participants is not the reason why the Belgrade Marathon’s record times (2:10.54 for men and

2:29.44 for women) are not competitive with the world’s fastest marathons. - A month before the 30th marathon, we had more than 5,500 registered The altitude of New Belgrade is 74 metres above sea-level, while the finish runners from 65 countries. Thus, the record for the number of countries line on Terazije Square is at 117 metres, so the difference in elevation is 43 where our runners comes from has been broken, and we have no doubt metres. That’s a lot greater than the variations in elevation when it comes to that the number of participants will be close to the projected aim of 8,000 London, Berlin, Chicago and Rotterdam, but a participants, which is an increase of about lot less than is the case with many other mara30 per cent compared to last year. This is an Under the auspices of the thons. The same kind of difference in elevation encouraging statistic, and in recent years we project “Legends back in is overcome by participants in the New York have steadily increasing growth rates - 15 per Belgrade”, the guests of the cent, 18, then 25 and 33 per cent in the last two City Marathon at the very start, with the rise along the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge, not to years. We will have around the same amount jubilee 30th Belgrade mention the marathon in hilly San Francisco... again this year, if we also count the 400 or so Marathon will be the The quality of record times also depends on participants in the half-marathon event. We greatest legends of weather conditions: in the previous two years have worked on this all these years and we athletics: Bob Beamon, Carl will continue to work, primarily on raising the the Belgrade Marathon has been held under drastically different conditions, the first durquality of the event, more intensively promoting Lewis, Lasse Virén, Sergey ing cold weather and heavy rain, then at an Bubka, Merlene Ottey, Rosa the marathon abroad, in cooperation with the extremely high temperature of 28 degrees. If tourist organisations of Belgrade and Serbia, as Mota, Michael Paul, Kevin on 22nd April for the 30th Belgrade Marathon well as with tour operators from abroad that Young, Galina Chistyakov we have an average between these two temspecialise in catering for the running populaperatures, we will be satisfied. tion. Last year we presented at the Belgrade and Javier Sotomayor ■ Until recently, Belgrade didn’t have Marathon at marathon fairs in Chicago, New the other element that defines “major” marathons, and that is York, Ljubljana and Athens. This year we will renew these visits, while we mass participation. Last year you had a record 6,000 participants, will probably include in the itinerary a marathon in China, a country that and for this year you plan new increases. How did you arrive at has between 30 and 35 million runners who increasingly travel to other that number? marathons around the world. In four years, the Prague Marathon succeeded




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in increasing the number of participants from China from a few dozen to more than a thousand, which is an important figure in a race that has a total of 12,000 participants, particularly given that they were accompanied in Prague by around 2,000 followers. We are favoured by the fact that Serbia is the only European country which has a visa-free regime with China, and that direct flights between Belgrade and Beijing will be established as of next year...

■ Back in 1990 you brought Bob Beamon to Belgrade, who was then the long jump world record holder, as the first promoter of


the Belgrade Marathon. Year after year, the Belgrade Marathon took turns in welcoming greats of world athletics who contributed to the promotion of Belgrade and the Belgrade Marathon, while this year you have a new and unusual concept. How did you come up with the “Legends Back in Belgrade” project? - We devised that together with the leaders of Belgrade. We wanted to offer Belgraders and all participants something unusual, worthy of the anniversary. We have been working on that for a long time. We first made a list of two, but when the first positive responses began to arrive we realised that we can make an even longer list with great certainty that they will come to Belgrade. That is also the real thing: to gather in Belgrade people who have extended the boundaries of sport – not just by setting world records, many of which still stand today, but by achieving unprecedented sporting feats. They are Bob Beamon, Carl Lewis, Lasse Virén, Sergey Bubka, Merlene Ottey, Rosa Mota, Michael Paul, Kevin Young, Galina Chistyakov and Javier

Sotomayor. The last four are still world record holders. Virén is the only 10,000m runner to have set a world record at the Olympic Games and is the only athlete to have set the world record during a race in which he fell on the course...

■ Have they all confirmed their arrival? - They all accepted the invitation and are all currently coordinating their obligations, because many of them are members of international athletic and sporting organisations, such as Sergey Bubka, while others are engaged in humanitarian work, and I must say that they gladly accepted calls to participate in some of our charitable programmes. We invited them to come with a loved one and have set up an interesting programme for their stay, including visits to Belgrade’s cultural and historic sights, a day trip outside of Belgrade, holding public lessons in athletics for children that adults will also be able to attend, and everything will be recorded for a documentary that will contribute to better and further promotion of our marathon, our city and our country.

■ Company Belgrade Marathon Ltd. Is the organiser of the event of the same name, but it is not the only one. Who are all of your partners? - The patron of the Belgrade Marathon is the Belgrade City Assembly, and it is our most important natural partner – given that we use Belgrade’s squares, boulevards and streets, and that it would be impossible to stage such an event successfully without all of the city’s secretariat, businesses and services. We have their full support, while Mayor Siniša Mali also provides us with racing support. He will be the first mayor to run the half-marathon. Important roles are also played by numerous volunteers, but also our business partners and sponsors. I will mention that there probably wouldn’t even be a Belgrade Marathon today if during 1994, in the midst of sanctions against our country and our sport, and with inflation galloping, company Soko Štark and its director, Mr Vojislav Đorđević, hadn’t agreed a ten-year sponsorship contract with us, which was as rare in Serbia then as it is now. Also playing an important role in that period was JAT, while today we rely on the company ‘Idea’, which contacted us three years ago to explain that it wanted to be our sponsor, and now we’ve started the second three-year contract; Uniqa, which insures all participants, prize money and bonuses for domestic and foreign record breakers; Coca-Cola, as the title sponsor of the Fun Run; ASICS; MediGroup, which take care of the health of all participants; Air Serbia, which offers a special marathon tariff for runners from abroad, then the Hemofarm Foundation, Carlsberg Erdinger, technology partner, Nectar – Frutabel, and new partners Intersport and Zlatiborac... ■

Humanitarian programmes unimaginable without CorD magazine

Humanitarian programmes represent a significant segment of the Belgrade Marathon. - They cannot be imagined without CorD magazine, with which we have collaborated for eleven years, making it our longest standing partner in this area, which is very important for us. CorD promotes the idea of giving and donating through the activation of a large number of participants, primarily representatives of the diplomatic corps and business. This is an excellent programme and I’m glad our cooperation continues – says the director of the Belgrade Marathon.

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Publisher’s Right Requires Recognition Of Their Own Content Newspaper and magazine publishers slam European Parliament report for dismissing proposal for a Publisher’s Right and prioritising litigation over licensing and cooperation tives in proposing the neighbouring right. Europe’s leading Newspaper and Magazine Publishers’ Associations EMMA, ENPA, EPC and NME said: “Mrs Comodini has bypassed the fundamental issue that the Commission addressed in their proposal that the law should recognise that publishers own the content they publish and make available. She fails to address the problem, which her own group identified in their position paper, namely, the relationship between publishers and news aggregators and search engines. A legal standing through a neighbouring right is more straightfor-


ecosystem can be sustainable and work for everyone: the content creators, the distributors and the consumers.”

ast month European Parliament’s Rapporteur Therese Comodini CaBACKGROUND: chia reported on the EU copyright • European newspaper and magazine reform package recommends rejecpublishers produce thousands of articles tion of the proposal for a Publisher’s Right daily which are copied, recycled and marketed illegally by third parties within just a that would go some way to address the major challenges faced by publishers striving to few seconds. finance an independent press and profes• 47% of readers who read publishers’ sional journalism in the face of wide-spread content do not click on the links they find on theft of their digital content and diversion search or social media back to the publishers’ own sites. They stay there and read only of revenue-earning potential. the headlines and snippets: it A Publisher’s Right is a very simple and is then the aggregator (who merely copstraightforward way to provide press publishers with important legal recognition ies), and not the publisher (who bears that they own the content they publish, the costs), who connects with the A Publisher’s Right is a very making it clear to those who want to rereaders and monetises the content by simple and straightforward way means of advertising revenues. use their content they need permission. This would incentivise discussions about • 85c of every euro spent on digital to provide press publishers with licensing or other commercial deals as advertising goes to content distributors important legal recognition well as providing for an enforcement such as Google and Facebook. that they own the content they tool against unlicensed use of valuable Press publishers have long underpublish, making it clear to those lined the importance of being able to online content. It would recognise press publishers large and small as rightholdwho want to reuse their content get a return on their investment in proers in EU copyright law alongside other fessional journalism, in particular, in they need permission neighbouring rightholders in the media the context of third parties’ commercial use of their products, in order to and creative industries. This is what publishers need to provide legal certainty for all ward than her construct which incentivises continue their important role of providing parties involved, making it clear that publishlitigation over negotiation.” information, entertainment and opinion in ers’ content cannot be copied or reused for The publishers continued: “We now call our democratic society. commercial benefit without their permission. on MEPs, when they come to vote on the What remains certain is that the Publisher’s Right will have no impact on the The Comodini report instead calls for Commission’s proposal, to agree on the freedom of the internet, in particular, on rightholders to be given a “presumption of importance of a legal standing for press linking. All regular copyright exceptions, representation” rather than a neighbouring publishers, in the form of a Publisher’s such as those relating to quoting, illustraright. Perversely this will encourage litigaRight- a straightforward right that would tion instead of incentivising licensing and tion, research and private copying, etc. will help us bring those who wish to use our innovative ways of making content available still apply. Consumers can continue to link, content commercially to the table to negotiate with us for licences so that the digital which was one of the Commission’s objecshare and comment on press publications. ■ 34 |








OLIVERA ZULOVIĆ, manager for affluent and private banking clients, Societe Generale


High Standards For Demanding Clients

We Bring Innovation To The Market


STEVAN JOVIĆEVIĆ, general manager, Tahograf BG d.o.o


Modern Solutions For Transport Industry Operations

Ready For New Challenges


ZORAN SIMIĆ, general manager at IMMO CLEAN Belgrade

TAMARA MILOVANOVIĆ, General Manager, VELUX Srbija d.o.o.

Cleanliness Before All

From The Attic - New View


MISCHA JOVANOVIĆ, CEO, Aquawell Group AG Switzerland


New Niche Player

We Are Ready To Compete


DR IGOR RISTIĆ, Center for Dental Aesthetics and Implantology

Digital Technology In The Service Of Dental Treatment




High Standards For Demanding Clients In Societe Generale’s Affluent Banking Department, we follow the needs of two segments: Avantage clients and Private Banking clients. The first business model is designed for clients who want professional support in planning their personal finances, and the second includes investment support and advice users who have high expectations of our offer and products that support their lifestyle, but also of the professional support that they receive from their bankers. Societe Generale is a financial institution that can offer them this with added value – they can dispose of the first online branch where they can carry out the most demanding banking services without going to the bank, gold cards and various privileged services. Our solutions give them security in planning their personal finances, whether they invest in real


of a specific group of clients at the end of last year. Using the recognised knowhow of SGPB, Societe Generale Serbia strengthened its team and offer, so as to provide access for our clients to services and advice of an exceptionally high quality. In this way we have made it possible for clients to access a wider range of products, especially solutions that relate to planning real estate and advising on domestic and foreign investment.

n the private banking sector the French group Societe Generale is taking a leading position not only in its home country but generally in Europe. The prestigious magazine Global Finance has declared Societe Generale the best in private banking for 2017 in France, Monaco and for business people in western Europe. Olivera Zulović, manager of Societe Generale’s Department ■ What differentiates your bank from the for Affluent and Private Banking has been competition in this segment? speaking to Cord about the readiness of It is important to save our clients’ the Serbian market for expanding private According to our clients’ needs time, which is why they use the online banking and the needs of local clients for branch to communicate with the bank we have formed a set of investment banking services. even after working hours and during conveniences that business the weekend. In the online branch they people and clients in this ■ What services does your bank offer can make a request for an overdraft or affluent clients? credit, while the products intended for segment demand of us – a In affluent banking in Societe team of experts together with them also have exclusive conditions. Generale we follow the needs of two In our daily work we have noticed that products, projects and segments: Avantage clients and Private clients best of all like the National solutions that are very Banking clients who are connected in Bank’s median rate in foreign exchange several aspects. We are very proud to business. Societe Generale has credwell received ibility on international markets and be at the service of all. Avantage is a estate, plan their children’s education or huge experience, and the support of the business model intended for clients who are opt for saving or insurance. group’s experts through investment advice seeking professional support in planning in Private Banking is also made available to their personal finances and Private Banking ■ Are all the solutions that you offer on Avantage clients. includes support and investment services. mature markets available to these clients? Societe Generale has credibility on international markets and huge experience, and With the support and expertise of ■ What are the specific characteristics of the support of the group’s experts through Societe Generale Private Banking (SGPB), this market sub-segment? investment advice in Private Banking is also Societe Generale expanded its private Clients who use Private Banking services and Avantage clients are bank service made available to Avantage clients. ■ banking offer for managing the estates 36 |





We Bring Innovation To The Market This is a very competitive industry, and we want to keep our leading position. Volvo has been a leader in the development and application of unique technologies for decades, often not only in Europe but also worldwide


ver the past nineteen years that we have been doing business in Serbia, we have learnt to see every challenge as a chance for development, says Dragana Krstić, CEO of Volvo doo Novi Banovci. ■ What are your business goals for this year? - In 2017 we hope to increase our market share and build our network of satisfied clients. We want to be the most successful truck producer in the region, to maintain our position as market leader and to be the first choice for transport companies. These are our main goals. They reflect the continuity of our ambition to be a leader and to keep aiming higher. This is a very competitive industry and we want to keep our leading position, constantly looking for the best solutions for buyers who put their trust in us not only by buying our vehicles and services but by being our long-term partners. ■ What sets Volvo Trucks apart on the Serbian market? - This is really a question for our clients, who have worked both with us and with our competition for the past nineteen

years. In my opinion, and I believe that we have proven it, the key is in our partner relationships with buyers and in offering complete transport solutions for the entire life cycle of our vehicles. Volvo has been a leader in the development and application of unique technologies for decades. One of the more recent innovations is the dual-clutch transmission, the first of its kind in serially produced heavy-duty vehicles in Europe and in the world. On the Serbian market Volvo is unique as the only company that offers the most powerful truck on the planet, with a 750 hp engine. A few of these vehicles are already part of the fleets of some Serbian hauliers. For our continued success we can thank the

We are here for our clients at any time, always interested in reliable and long-term cooperation, which often becomes a partnership with mutual satisfaction quality of our products, professional provision of services and relentless work on the development of our products and our staff. ■ In which economic sectors in Serbia are Volvo Trucks most prevalent? - In long-haul transport, tractor units and FH solo trucks for international transport are in greatest demand. The FH truck family is the backbone of Volvo’s sales in the whole of Europe. We offer a wide range of these vehicles, which can be configured to

the buyer’s exact requirements. Another popular truck family are FM medium-duty trucks, FMX trucks in particular. These are bought by building and construction companies, companies doing road maintenance and bulk goods transport. ■ How do you keep your buyers up to date with innovations in your new models? - Every business including the transport industry goes through changes that take some adjusting to. We have chosen a more ambitious road – to bring innovations to the market. Among the latest ones in our Volvo trucks are I-Shift with crawler gears and Volvo Dynamic steering. We have always communicated directly with our clients. Every event has practical and theoretical components. To constantly improve and progress, we need feedback from our clients. This is why we often practice truck driving in real conditions and this is what attracts a great number of clients. Direct contact is our feature ‒ we are here to listen to need of our clients and find the best solutions together. In addition, by publishing our corporate publication Volvo Novosti twice a year, we inform our clients and educate them about new technologies. Of course, essential to our promotion are visits to our factory and the Demo Centre in Sweden, where clients can get acquainted with our production processes, logistics, attention to the quality of vehicles and our care for environmental protection on the spot, at the assembly lines. ■ APRIL



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Modern Solutions For Transport Industry Operations The use of modern technology enables operators to properly record working hours, regularly maintain records on vehicle fleet usage and fuel consumption, as well as planning operational costs using automated processes ern technology that automates processes, enables transport companies to raise the efficiency of their work, reduce administrative procedures and act preventatively. ■ Which of the market’s stakeholders recognised the use of tachographs as a means of contributing to increasing the efficiency of operations? - Those are mainly responsible transport operators who are aware of their important social and environmental impact, not disrespecting road safety, while seeking


■ To what extent has the Law on Drivers Working Hours in Road Transport and Tachographs proved functional in terms of improving traffic safety and regulating this important area? - The Law on the working hours of vehicle crews engaged in road transport and tachographs has already an important positive impact on road safety, especially on motorways, since regular roadside checks have been enforced by traffic police officers from the beginning of its implementation. Since it aligned previously divergent rules for national and international operations, the enforcement became easier and uniform. The implementation of a risk assessment system will proportionally increase the supervision of transport operators of high and critical risk level, whose reckless drivers commit or repeat serious infringements or perform manipulations.

ahograf BG is a representative of German manufacturer Continental and its VDO member for Serbia and Montenegro. The company’s key clients are workshops for tachographs and transporters seeking effective solutions that will improve their business process. Those transport operators The Law on Drivers Working Hours who are aware of their in Road Transport and Tachographs, adopted at the end of 2015, brought important social and modern solutions in the regulating of environmental impact are working times for professional drivers, increasingly seeking options devices for recording working time, that will improve road safety, and innovated working conditions for tachograph workshop. These legal profitability and sustainability ■ How much can the solutions you changes, introduced as part of the offer be adapted to the needs of indiin their everyday operations process of harmonising domestic legisvidual users? - Since transport operators have differlation with the European legal frameto improve their image and achieve profitwork in this area, are primarily important ent requests regarding vehicle and driver for hauliers dealing in international data transfer, updating intervals, analysis ability and sustainability in their everyday transport, as well as for Serbia’s EU accesand monitoring, the use of modern inforoperations. They range from large logission process. Consistent application of this tics operators and international freight mation technology becomes a must. With law should contribute to enhancing road transport operators to small national/ a need to reduce time delays arising, we safety and better regulate the functioning local distributors, as well as internarecognised the importance of remote data of the transport industry. downloading – for which we offered the tional passenger carriers. Tachograph With the introduction of analogue and DLD device, which is proven to save time workshops and technicians also play an digital tachographs, it is possible to raise and money, to transport operators. Modern important role in an efficient tachograph the efficiency of the work of professional technology offers numerous options and system, implementation by disseminating drivers and reduce hauliers’ costs. Proper customisations. Likewise, the VDO counter best practises to commercial vehicle ownrecording of working hours, coupled with function can be activated on each digital ers and valuable experience on the proven regular record keeping and the use of modtachograph of the latest generation. ■ benefits of tachographs. 38 |




Ready For New Challenges Groundstaff work and handling aircraft at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is carried out, alongside Air Serbia staff and the airport operator, by private company SKY Partner


couple of years ago a private company engaged in providing aircraft ground handling services began operating in Serbia for the first time, at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. This company is included in all operations related to the arrival and departure of planes from the airport, but also in-flight assistance. Then there is aircraft operations, passenger boarding and disembarking, cargo loading and unloading – an entire range of elements linked to a flight itself. There is marshalling, aircraft push-back, aircraft balancing during loading, supplying drinking water, cleaning of toilets and plane interiors; everything that could be described as being “behind the scenes”. At the tender launched in 2015, the winner, alongside Air Serbia, was SKY Partner, which received a contract to perform these services at this airport for the next five years. With the State having limited the number of such operators to three, alongside the airport operator and Air Serbia, the third and only private company engaged in these operations is SKY Partner. ■ Last year was a record year both in terms of the number of flights and the number of passengers passing through Nikola Tesla Airport. What is the limit of

your operational capacities? - Nikola Tesla Airport undeniably continued to record growth in numbers of passengers and we all witnessed that. Growth is also being recorded in terms of airlines, domestic tourism and companies like ours - providers of services for passengers in a key segment of air transport – serving planes. Considering that we are a company with a plan and a very clear vision, we plan all business decisions, processes and capacities in advance and scale ourselves according to the market and goals for the future. Thus, I would not talk about

All forms of development and investments at Nikola Tesla Airport suit company SKY Partner, and we also have plans for expansion and growth limits, but rather the pace of growth. The pace of our growth is stable and controlled, and we invest in it, in terms of both human and technical capacities. ■ To what extent have Sky Partner’s standards and procedures been changed or amended in the previous period, related to increasing the security of passengers and aircraft? - This is indeed a key issue. Like in other segments of our operations, we don’t leave anything to chance. The aeronautical authorities of our country and the countries in which we operate have

strict rules that we, of course, respect. However, our company rules and the standards of our partner companies still represent an additional level of security, whether that relates to new threats or regular operational challenges. In our business there is no such thing as “extraordinary” or “unplanned”, as we really take care of everything. ■ Negotiations are underway on the issuance of a concession for Nikola Tesla Airport, while the process could be implemented by the end of 2017. From your perspective, how do you see this move of the Government? - As a company that operates at Nikola Tesla Airport, we support every direction of its development. That goes for investments to date in expanding the capacity of the airport itself, as well as the announced strategic decision of the Government of Serbia to seek partners in order to develop our largest airport more rapidly and with greater agility and certainty. We don’t deal in politics, don’t have favourites and always want to emphasise that a successful concession will primarily bring benefits for passengers and airlines. Provided it is implemented successfully, we could have new contents and greater comfort, and Belgrade can quickly move towards earning the title of being a genuine hub of passenger and cargo aviation. As the handler at Nikola Tesla Airport, we will be ready to respond to the challenges of its growth, which – as businesspeople and primarily as patriots – we honestly support. ■ APRIL



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SUPPORT “The Albania-Serbia Chamber of Commerce and Industry gives significant support to the entrepreneurs of Serbia and Albania in maximising their potential and connecting with potential partners.”— MARKO ČADEŽ, President of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia



Logistics Intermodal Terminal Opened In Belgrade

NELT, the regional leader in the area of distribution, logistics and trade marketing, opened the first private railway logistics terminal in its Central Distribution Centre in Dobanovci and thus completed the logistics services portfolio.

Celebrating 20 Years



The NELT intermodal terminal represents an upgrade to existing integrated logistics system and is open for all import, transit and export operations participants in the market. It is available to shipping companies, railway operators, forwarding agents, as well as manufacturers, brand owners and other distributors. “Intermodal transportation is a synonym for economic, efficient and environmentally sustainable global transport of all types of goods. We in Nelt strive to have our operations recognised by these attributes.Regular weekly railway both import and export transportation of containers between the Port of Rijeka and Nelt Dobanovci is the first service offered to the market. Reduction of the greenhouse gas effect and lower usage of the road infrastructure are significant for the community and the country itself,” said Ivan Milićević, Operations and Development Manager in NELT LSP. The new NELT terminal connects all European ports and land terminals. E-75 and E-70 motorways intersect six kilometres away from the terminal, while the distance to Nikola Tesla Airport is only ten kilometres.

UniCredit and Universities Foundation is opening, for the 4th consecutive year, their International Internship Programme (IIP), in which 25 students from Europe, including those from Serbia, will have the opportunity to spend three months as interns in member banks of UniCredit Group in Austria, BosniaHerzegovina, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia and Serbia. The internship will be held in the period from June to August 2017. On this occasion, for selected students UniCredit and the Universities Foundation will cover the travel costs, costs of visa issuance and other expenses amounting to up to €1,000. In addition to this, participants will be provided with a monthly allowance in the amount of €700. Students of different educational backgrounds, enrolled in at least the second year of studies, can apply for IIP in banks within the UniCredit Group. It is essential that applicants are citizens of one of the countries where UniCredit operates, among them Serbia. Applications can be made exclusively through the site


New Commercial Starring Oscar Winner Morgan Freeman Turkish Airlines, the winner of the “Best Airline in Europe” award for the last six years given by the most respected global airline passenger survey organisation, Skytrax, launched its new commercial starring Oscar winner Morgan Freeman. Commenting on the deal made with actor, director, voice actor and pilot Morgan Freeman, M. Ilker Ayci, CEO of Turkish Airlines said; “We not only fly to more countries than any other airline in the world, but also invest in the passenger experience at every destination we reach. In line with our global growth strategy, we will continue at full speed to launch new flight destinations. We are committed to innovation and we always aim for the best. Our new ad campaign with Morgan Freeman has already been a smash hit. We value our deal with Freeman for his contribution to our global image and brand awareness.” Morgan Freeman said, “As a licensed pilot, I have a special interest in flying, and I know Turkish Airlines is consistently awarded for its unique offer and innovative services that continue to score resounding successes.” The ad campaign with Morgan Freeman will be broadcast in every destination Turkish Airlines fly to worldwide.

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The British International School (BIS) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this school year. BIS prides itself on the quality of teaching that takes place in the school. Following the British curriculum, students from 4 to 18 years old can learn to the best of their ability. Whether they are learning their first few words, or taking A Levels to get into university our highly-qualified teachers focus on the needs of each student. With formal, externally marked examinations at the end of Primary (Year 6), in Year 9, and the IGCSEs and A Levels our results demonstrate that our students are capable of achieving high scores as the best in the UK. We are proud to say that all students leaving BIS enter universities of their choice. However, at BIS, we also focus on other areas of student’s development. From taking them to museums when they are five through to taking them mountaineering when they are 18, there are many opportunities for students to take part in other non-curriculum events both during and after school hours. With regular visitors from embassies to our weekly assemblies, students at BIS get a feel of the world beyond. Students themselves regularly take part in assemblies, thus developing their own self-esteem and abilities to perform within and to a group. There is also an optional week-long annual study tour that all students can take part in, and many other educational day trips. Charity work, such as World Water Day and Football Shirt Friday, and educational events, such as the World Education Games or Global Running Day, enable students to enjoy and develop their teambuilding and competitiveness, ready for the challenges of life. With a family-feel to the school, students are more than welcoming to new students. Come along and see why so many students from all over the world enjoy the education on offer at BIS. TRADE

Number Of Turkish Firms In Serbia Triples In Two Years

The number of Turkish companies operating in Serbia more than tripled in the last two years thanks to the efforts of business groups in both countries, said Aleksandar Međedović, head of the Foreign Economic Relations Board’s (DEİK) Turkey-Serbia Business Council. “Turkish firms have significantly boosted investments in Serbia in recent times. Improving trade relations between the countries is also reflected in bilateraltradevolumes,withbothexportsandimports increasing substantially in the last 10 years,” said Međedović. Exports to Serbia rose from $278 million in 2006 to $582 million last year, while the same period saw imports up from $49 million to $288 million, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).

DECISION “The decision of Moody’s to upgrade Serbia’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings to Ba3 from B1 is a good sign to investors and will allow the country to borrow and refinance debt more cheaply.”— DUŠAN VUJOVIĆ, Serbian Finance Minister

Placements & postings


New CEO at NIS JSC Novi Sad

The Board of Directors of NIS JSC Novi Sad has appointed Kirill Tyurdenev (40) as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. He previously held the position of First Deputy CEO for Refining and Sales activities. Kirill Tyurdenev graduated with honours from Moscow State Institute of International Relations with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and an MA in International Law. He holds an LL.M from Manchester University and completed executive education programmes at INSEAD and the London Business School. From 2000 to 2004 Tyurdenev worked for A.T. Kearney and Unilever, then in 2004 he joined McKinsey & Co. From 2007 to 2012 he worked for Sibur Mineral Fertilisers as Deputy CEO responsible for Strategy and Corporate Development. In 2012 Tyurdenev took on the position of Executive Vice President and Board member in Sistema investment holding, before later becoming President and Chairman of the Board at United Petrochemical Company within Sistema holding. Before joining NIS, he held the position of Chairman of the Board at Ufaorgsintez. Tyurdenev joined NIS JSC Novi Sad in April 2016, initially serving as First Deputy CEO for Refining and Sales activities, before being appointed as the company’s CEO on 22nd March 2017. Kirill Kravchenko will continue to execute his functions as Deputy CEO of Gazprom Neft responsible for international asset management.


Predrag Mihajlović graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Novi Sad, before completing his post-graduate studies at Grenoble Ecole de Management, France, where he earned the title of Doctor of Business Administration. His areas of expertise are operational and strategic planning, process optimisation, cost reduction and improving productivity. During 2016 he served as director of the corporate banking sector at VTB Bank JSC, and from 2014 to 2016 he held the post of director for consulting operations at Baker Tilly Western Balkans. From 2010 to 2013 Mihajlović was CEO of Credy Bank, and from 2003 until year’s end 2008 he worked at Komercijalna Banka JSC Belgrade, initially as a special advisor to the President of the Bank, then as Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, responsible for four sectors: corporate banking, retail banking, marketing and the development of new products and investment banking. From 1995 to 2003 he worked at Vojvođanska Banka JSC Novi Sad, and prior to that he started his career in banking at AY Bank Ltd. London, as a dealer in the foreign currency exchange market. Mr Mihajlović spent two terms as Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce and two terms as Chairman of the NALED Board of Directors. A member of the Italian Business Club, amongst others, he is fluent in English.

Ser Gilles

Cafe, Restaurant & Event Centre Crnotravska 4, Belgrade, Serbia 011 36 70 733, 069 36 70 733 APRIL



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Cleanliness Before All Immo Clean was awarded by the OSCE two years ago for taking care of employment, but also for the numerous services it provides on the Serbian market tial areas, based on the 24/7 principle. What does your offer include in total? - Since Immo Clean was founded as an enterprise, in 2009, we have offered services for the regular maintenance of hygiene in office and residential space. This is our basic and strategic activity. In addition to regular services, we also offer specialised cleaning: so-called construction cleaning after building and renovation works, general cleaning, post-fire cleaning, cleaning of warehousing, storage and basement space etc. The equipment we use is highly professional, while the cleaning materials that we use have the necessary certificates.

training in order to be ready to carry out their job. We try to work constantly on their improvement and, particularly when purchasing some new equipment, it is mandatory for us to organise training in the use of the new equipment.

■ You also have a company in Austria. What differences are there between lean, tidy and regularly mainthe functioning of the Serbian and tained offices or residential Austrian parts of the company? areas are vital for health, but - Immo Clean was founded because our also for focused conducting of founder, who has lived and worked in jobs. Seven years ago, in cooperation Austria for decades, decided, in addiwith Austrian company Immo Baution to the very successful company finanz, Immo Clean appeared on the in Vienna - Immo Baufinanz, to expand Serbian market and transferred part of operations to Serbia. The parent the work, experience and knowhow of this Austrian company. Immo Clean performs services company in Vienna deals primarily with the adaptation and reconstrucCleaning and maintaining hygiene using the latest equipment tion of housing, with cleaning being in commercial, residential, industrial, in the field, so the company a support activity, while for us it is hotel and other spaces has gained organises mandatory training the main business. a new dimension. That’s because, Immo Baufinanz has a large numalongside basic work in this field, for all those working on the ber of workers and a large number other maintenance jobs have quickly machines, handling devices or of subcontractors that it hires, been instigated, such as care for using special materials while with us business is still done gardens and green spaces, cleanfor cleaning on a much smaller scale. However, ing aircraft, janitor repairs, cleaning both here and there we strive for machinery, technical maintenance of quality to be in the first place. The We strive to achieve world standards lighting, winter service operations etc. Belgrade company is trying to attain and to constantly be up-to-date. The best illustration of their success is the standards of the Austrian firm, and the award they received from the OSCE to copy and bring to the Serbian market ■ Your offer also includes repair, astwo years ago, which related both to everything that is good and tested. sembly and disassembly services, their care of employment and the ever There is no great philosophy – at both care for home gardens and yards, longer list of services they provide. the Serbian and Austrian companies we winter service jobs etc. How do you fight, with the best possible services, secure the skilled workers required ■ Immo Clean offers its clients to get satisfied clients and to increase for all these jobs? complete cleaning and maintenance their number from year to year. ■ - All employees undergo professional services for commercial and residen-


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cargo-partner d.o.o.

UgrinovaÄ?ka 205, SRB-11272 Beograd - Dobanovci Tel: + 381 11 3121 910, Fax: + 381 11 3121 474, APRIL



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TENSIONS “The only way to act against tensions is through increased cooperation and joint projects leading to no one being interested in endangering what has been achieved. That is also the principle on which the EU was established.” — JOHANNES HAHN, European Enlargement Commissioner



Agrokor Works On New Business Model Croatian food group Agrokor, which is struggling to resolve major debt problems, said on Sunday it was working on a new business model aimed at protecting employees, suppliers and other partners. Agrokor, the biggest Croatian private company and the biggest food producer and retailer in the Balkans, came under pressure from investors and the Zagreb government to clear up its debt problems, which could destabilise the local economy. “Management, together with key investors, works on a new business model which will protect interests of all the stakeholders, primarily taking care about employees, suppliers and partners ... The chosen model will be presented soon,” Agrokor said in a statement.

Transport Minister Proposed to End Sofia Airport Concession Bulgarian transport minister Hristo Alexiev has proposed that the Council of Ministers stop the concession of Sofia Airport. The Minister reached this decision on the basis of an expert analysis which points out that in the situation of the current concession state interests are not protected.


Completed Talks On The Sale Of A 30% Stake in Luka Bar Montenegro’s privatisation agency said it successfully completed talks on the sale of a 30% stake in port operator Luka Bar and 51% in rail cargo operator Montecargo to Polish company OT Logistics. The sale price of the stake in Luka Bar was set at €8.52 million, 20% higher than initially offered by OT Logistics, as the buyer agreed to invest €14 million in the port for a period of three years, the privatisation agency said in a statement. OT Logistics will also pay an annual concession fee of €500,000 to the Montenegrin government for the operation of Bar port, plus an additional payment depending on the port’s revenue. OT Logistics also committed to increase the minimum monthly wage of employees of Luka Bar and Montecargo to €140 and €150, respectively, from €90, in the next three years.


ArcelorMittal Zenica Completes €12.4 mln Investment Cycle Bosnian steel mill ArcelorMittal Zenica said on Tuesday it has officially inaugurated three new investment projects worth a combined €12.4 million. The investments in the projects - two focused on improving the company’s environmental performance and a third designed to modernise the production of one of the plant’s key products - bring total investments in ArcelorMittal Zenica to more than €160 million, including €50 million targeted specifically for environmental improvements, the company said. Following the inauguration of the projects, ArcelorMittal Zenica has become the first steel plant in the world to have industrial-scale hybrid filtration technology installed in its sinter plant, the company noted. A total of €3 million has been invested in the new technology, which has cut dust emissions significantly, to Source: SeeNews well below the EU limit of 20 mg/Nm3. 


Alexiev reckons that it is not appropriate to continue with the concession under the current circumstances. Another of Alexiev’s arguments is that Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ’s) problems cannot be solved at the expense of Sofia Airport – a condition under the current concession. He explained that too much importance is being attributed to one criterion when evaluating the offers – the one-off concession remuneration of 55%. The reason is that the second Borisov cabinet decided that the revenues from the concession must be used to pay off BDZ’s debts. This is why the candidates must depose in advance a large part of the sum.


Gas Market Not Ready For Full Deregulation Romania’s gas market is not ready for a sudden price liberalisation planned for April, as the final price for households could jump, the Federation of Associations of Energy Utility Companies, ACUE, said to Although it fully supports the liberalization of the gas market, ACUE thinks the process should be carried out gradually. The Romanian natural gas market has been gradually liberalised from 2001 to July 1st 2007, when it was fully opened for all customers who are now able to choose their own supplier.

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Also, from 2007 to 2015, the market has been liberalised for non-household customers but the process has been postponed several times for households consumers. One of the main reasons why ACUE is in favour of postponing this change in the gas market is that it will lead to a price increase for households and for heating energy producers which are currently benefiting from a purchase price of gas set by the government. The natural gas price on the regulated market currently is €13 per MWh. Deregulation will result in an immediate increase of the cost for the free market


From The Attic - New View The highest quality and most complete range of skylight roof windows on the market ensures that VELUX enjoys a leadership position in the world


long with light and fresh air, innovative roof window skylights provide peace, security and comfort to a space. Alongside that, VELUX windows come with triple glazing and energy-saving thermal technology, while the outer mesh protects the glass from overheating

- In this anniversary year, we are presenting the most complete and highest quality assortment to date. These are products that confirm VELUX’s leadership position on the global and local markets. First of all, there is economical triple glazing which – with the thermal technology that is unique to VELUX products – provides customers with significant energy savings, peace and tranquillity in their converted loft space or attic. Roof windows with such an energy performance previously implied a premium price, but we are now making that technology accessible to the masses.

- After the crisis period that caused stagnation in the housing construction sector, we are entering a more favourable period for the entire construction industry. We are recording growth on all markets, thanks to a constant presence on the ground and good collaborators who recognise VELUX as the right partner to promote their business. Installing VELUX products in a building has become a kind of code of quality and a signal to future buyers that the investor thinks about quality and durability, and the comfort of those who will live in the attic or converted loft space.

■ VELUX also specialises in the distribution and installation of dif■ VELUX is synonymous with imports ferent windows and equipment in and sales of skylight roof windows. roof structures. What share of sales What do you offer today and how do relates to these products? you meet the needs of an increas- VELUX is not just skylight roof winingly demanding market? dows – it‘s an entire system, a set of - For 20 years we have had the honour products that have their own function and opportunity to carry out noble and individually and that, when installed inspiring activities – bringing daylight together, provide comfort, safety and and fresh air into people’s lives. Prodpeaceful dreams for users. Products for the installation of roof windows ucts and technology change, but what VELUX’s thermal and hydro provide cosiness and insulation, as well will always remain a primary human insulation series of roof as an extended guarantee on VELUX need is sufficient amounts of daylight roof windows. Our thermal and hydro and fresh air in the rooms where we window skylights has already insulation series has already become a live. The market is increasingly turning become a standard on the standard on the market, given that it towards energy efficiency and products market, as it is cost effective is cost effective and has an extended that offer high quality solutions at a and has an extended warranty warranty of 10 years. Products for heat fair price, and I am glad that VELUX is protection and light control really profully able to respond to these requests. of 10 years. We like to say that we offer all users of vide users with comfort. I would our products a better and more comticularly emphasise the exterior mesh that protects the glass from overheating ■ You cover the markets of Serbia, Monfortable living and working environment. and thus protects the room from excessive tenegro and Macedonia. How do you asheat. Those who have this mesh on their sess current regional trends in the sector ■ You are constantly in the process of inVELUX window often point out that it is a of constructing residential and commernovating. What innovative solutions can real saviour from the great summer heat. ■ your customers count on today? cial premises? APRIL



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New Niche Player Aquawell Group AG starts selling its products on the Serbian market as of April. The company sees its SAINT JOHN’S Mineral Water brand as the Evian of the Balkans, while it also expects its Kids and Baby water to become favourites on the market


he newcomer on the Serbian bottled water market, Aquawell Group AG Switzerland, believes it has a lot to offer consumers of still and sparkling water. ■ Your products have not previously been present on the Serbian market and the markets of the region. What are your top products and which of them do you plan to launch on local markets during the course of this year? - We will start selling our products in Serbia and the region in April. As it is still unclear which of our products will have success and which will be the most in-demand, we will launch all the products we have from the beginning. We can say now that bottles of 0.5L and 1.5L, as well as Kids and Baby water, will be the favourites on the market. The international market shows that the tendency is on nonsparkling, still water, but as the Serbian market is a very specific we hope that the sparkling water segment will be significantly higher in Serbia than it is on the international market. ■ The majority of your products go to retail shops, supermarkets and HoReCa facilities. What benefits do companies receive from cooperating with Aquawell? - Our buyers – from supermarkets, all shops and the HoReCa sector – will have a great advantage with our products, as our brand 46 |



and water quality belongs to the premium segment. Also, our advantage is that the price of our products is not premium, but rather is in the range of the average price of mineral water in Serbia and elsewhere in the world. When it comes to shops, we give them support in marketing, sales and customer service, and when it comes to HoReCa we will have affordable prices in the next two years and support for sales in hotels, restaurants and cafés. Another advantage is that we will have very attractive incentives for our HoReCa buyers.

SAINT JOHN’S has an exceptionally good balance between minerals, so that the human body can absorb all substances to use it optimally. As such, it is an ideal companion for day and night, and for all stages of life ■ How much of your production will be sold via export; where will you be exporting to and how much will be sold on the Serbian market? - At the moment we are unable to value the percentage of the domestic market, but Serbia is clearly our focus in 2017. Our advantages are our international certifica-

tions and permits that give us the opportunity to sell our products in the EU, Russia and also the U.S. ■ How do you see the Serbian market? - The Serbian market has around seven million potential consumers. If we believe the results of the survey of Euro Monitor, bottled water consumption in Serbia decreased from 2010 to 2015. This should cause our concern, but we also see a huge opportunity to play on the market as a new niche player. Total consumption of bottled water in Serbia stands at approximately 450 million litres per year. The interesting thing is that four domestic players share 80 per cent of the market. We have the opportunity to follow those four players in the next two years, and to position ourselves with our products. ■ What standards do you apply when it comes to preserving the quality of the water that you deliver to customers? - We have all necessary certifications, like HACCP, ISO standard, and we test our water in our own laboratory several times a day. In 2012, SAINT JOHN’S received official authorisation from the European Union. One of the leading institutions in the world, SGS Fresenius International, accompanied us throughout the approval process. Our mineral water is naturally filtered and is not subjected to chemical or mechanical treatment. SAINT JOHN’S has an exceptionally good balance between minerals, so that the human body can absorb all substances to use it optimally. If we have to compare our water with another international water brand, we can state clearly that SAINT JOHN’S Mineral Water is the Evian of the Balkans. ■


We Are Ready To Compete Until now ENEL PS has been focused on the Serbian market, but now it is expanding its operation across the region with the ambition of becoming a player on the European market same physical infrastructure and the need for it to exist and work reliably. For example, in the pharmaceutical industry it is necessary to have conditions that ensure a continuous power supply because of technological processes that have to be running all the time. There are similar processes in other industries where production lines largely depend on the stability of the power supply.


he company ENEL PS today employs over 100 staff and operates according to the highest technical standards, with topquality knowledge and the references needed to participate on the European market. This has generated both regional and European ambitions. ■ Who are your top clients in Serbia and in the region? - We cover the markets of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, with plans to expand to the market of South East Europe. All our clients have a common need for business continuity, regardless of their field of operation. Our clients are banks, public companies, state institutions, companies in telecommunications, industry, the power industry and transport, and we provide them with entire Data Centres or separate power systems (aggregate or UPS), air conditioning etc. We have a strong presence in Data Centres but we are not limited to them. Companies of different profiles have the

to needs. If we consider all this in the spirit of reducing power consumption of business systems, we can see that this is a very important segment that enables us to monitor consumption, but also to correct the reduction of consumption, which is the goal.

■ Can domestic engineering companies only be partners of bigger international companies or can they also become leaders on the regional ■ Why is energy efficiency so impormarket? tant for Data Centres? - Today the company ENEL PS employs - As digitalisation advances the power over 100 staff and its capital is locally consumption in a Data Centre inowned. The company is managed by a creases. There are over 3 million data professional management and engicentres across the world today, whose neers make up 30% of the staff. Until energy consumption per square metre now we have been mostly focused is 200 times greater than the conon the domestic market, but we have sumption of their office buildings. In expanded our business in the region the future this trend is expected to and are beginning to get through to the European market. Our company Our clients are banks, operates according the highest public companies, state technical standards, with topinstitutions, companies in quality knowledge and the refertelecommunications, industry, ences needed to participate on the European market. the power industry and We have completed projects in transport, and what they all Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenehave in common is the need gro and in Russia, where we have installed equipment. Going beyond for business continuity 24/7 the borders of Serbia is very important to us and this is our main goal grow due to the networking of other in the near future. We believe that we devices, such as the IoT (Internet of have the knowledge and methodology Things), so it is very important to take that we can offer users in the region energy efficiency into account. very successfully. Business operations definitely expect We have been selling one of our devices a Data Centre to ensure availability in Turkey with great success, almost the 365/24, additional availability, resistance same as on the domestic market, which is to malfunction and crashing, possibility a good result that we will follow up on. ■ of easy growth – expansion according APRIL



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“I do not like Brexit because I would like to be in the same boat as the British. The day will come when the British will re-enter the boat, I hope.” — JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, President of the European Commission



Boeing's First Overseas Factory To Be Built In China

Intel buying Israel's Mobileye For $15 billion

U.S. chipmaker Intel is taking a huge bet on driverless cars with its announced $15.3billion buyout of specialist Mobileye. Intel will pay $63.54 per share in cash for the Israeli business, which develops systems for “autonomous driving”. Mobileye and Intel are already working

Boeing and Chinese aviation manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd.(COMAC) started to build a Boeing 737 completion centre in eastern China’s Zhoushan city at the end of last month, scheduled to make its first delivery in 2018. This is Boeing’s first overseas facility as part of its 737 production system, and designed to deliver 100 Boeing 737 planes a year. In the joint-venture completion center, Boeing’s 737 aircraft will be installed with flight entertainment systems and seats. The plant in Zhoushan, 287 km southeast of Shanghai, also provides services such as coating, repair and maintenance of Boeing aircraft. Boeing and COMAC signed an agreement in October 2016 to set up the Zhoushan plant, which will consist of two parts: the 737 completion centre, a joint venture of Boeing and COMAC, and the 737 delivery centre, owned by Boeing.


Sberbank Confirms Hiring Podesta Group For Lobbying Sberbank confirmed that it hired the consultancy services of Tony Podesta, the elder brother of John Podesta, who chaired Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, to lobby for its interests in the United States.. “The New York office of Sberbank CIB indeed hired the Podesta Group. The engagement of external consultants is part of standard practises for us,” Sberbank said. According to The Daily Caller, Podesta was proactively lobbying for the cancellation of a range of anti-Russian sanctions in the banking sector. In particular, he represented the interests of Sberbank and was paid $170,000 Source: TASS for his efforts.


together, along with German carmaker BMW, to put 40 test vehicles on the road in the second half of this year. Intel expects the driverless market to be worth as much as $70bln by 2030.



Russia, Turkey Create Joint Investment Fund The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Turkish Wealth Fund (TWF) have signed a memorandum establishing the Russia-Turkey Investment Fund, in a bid to further increase bilateral economic ties and boost the investment flow. The parties will work together to identify attractive investment projects that could strengthen bilateral economic ties and increase investment flows between Russia and Turkey. The respective agreement was signed last month in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the latter’s visit to Moscow. According to the agreement, the RDIF and the TWF will invest up to $500 million each in the Russia-Turkey Investment Fund. INDIA

Tatas, VW Tie Up For Eco Segment Models In a bid to boost its struggling passenger vehicle business, Indian Tata Motors has struck an alliance with Volkswagen to jointly develop a new range of products. These models will hit the road in 2019. Currently, Tata Motors’ alliance with Volkswagen is for passenger vehicles but it could be broadened to include commercial vehicles. The alliance comes as Tata Motors tries to reverse its fortunes in the domestic business by reducing the number of car platforms from six to two, streamlining the organisational structure and adapting to market trends quickly. Teaming up with Tata Motors will help Volkswagen to improve its presence in India and other fast-growing automobile markets. The alliance will be led by Volkswagen’s Skoda unit and it will develop vehicle concepts in the economy segment. This indicates that Skoda will look at the lower end of the market, targeting mass customers.

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Before you start shopping for business premises, you need to have a clear picture of what you must have, what you’d like to have, what you absolutely won’t tolerate and how much you can pay. Be systematic and realistic as you consider the following 10 location points. 1. Style of operation 2. Demographics (the demographic profile you have of your target market) 3. Foot traffic 4. Accessibility and parking 5. Competition (are competing companies located nearby?) 6. Proximity to other businesses and services 7. Image and history of the site ( ask about previous tenants) 8. Ordinances (find out if any restrictions could affect your business in any way) 9. The building’s infrastructure 10. Utilities and other costs


Digital Technology In The Service Of Dental Treatment Could you imagine your life without a computer or smart phone? Could you now imagine using the mobile phone you had 10 years ago? Did you know that the highest valued start-up projects today are companies in bioscience and tissue regeneration? Had digitisation also changed dentistry?


entistry has experienced unimaginable progress over the past ten years, more than during the preceding fifty. 3D printers, intraoral scanners, 3D analysis, digital treatment planning and computer designed crowns are slowly becoming integral parts of daily dental practise, assuming a leading over classical dental doctrine. Dealing with the needs of complex and highly demanding patients, whose rehabilitation was previously impossible to implement, is today achieved easily thanks to the significant progress achieved in regeneration processes, in both hard (bone) and soft (mucosal) tissue. Particular progress has also been achieved in planning and carrying out dental treatment using digital technology, which has resulted in a significant advancement in dental implants. It is well-known that an implant is the best replacement for a missing tooth. The success of a dental implant procedure was previously considered as the implanted false tooth being in the bone, while today a rehabilitation implant is only acceptable if the implant and the surrounding tissue look exactly the same, identical to the natural tooth. New clinical experience has shown that, by applying innovative technological achievements, an implant can be successfully installed immediately,

straight after tooth extraction. Moreover, an implant embedded in such a way can also immediately take a temporary crown – to be replaced later with a definitive one. In this way, the functional and aesthetic harmony of the mouth and, the social components of the patient, are not impaired at any time. When it comes to the rehabilitation of patients who lack multiple teeth, as well as those with no teeth at all, it is crucial to be highly precise when placing implants, both in relation to the surrounding anatomi-

Thanks to digital technology, it is today possible to plan in virtual the precise desired position of a crown, and thus the position of the implant, then to use a 3D-printer to make components for surgical guidance, which enable us to fit the implant in a predefined place

cal structures, as well as in relation to the definitive prosthetic added. This is called prosthetic guided implantology. Thanks to digital technology, it is today possible to plan in virtual the precise desired position of a crown, and thus the position of the implant, then to use a 3Dprinter to make components for surgical guidance, which enable us to fit the implant in a predefined place. This enables us not only to achieve reliable, predictable and safe tissue rehabilitation, but also superior aesthetic results. â– *The noted dental procedures can be performed as described at the Center for Dental Aesthetics and Implantology in Belgrade




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The Best Is Yet To Come I am one of those people who believe that together we can make our country a better place for all of us living here, both individuals and corporations. The truth is that corporations are made of individuals, us. I see the role of the American Chamber of Commerce, mine and that of my team, exactly like that – to point out the things that are important for better business but also for the social environment

VERA NIKOLIĆ DIMIĆ Executive Director of AmCham


ome will say that this is not an easy or small task, especially in Serbia, but I was never a fan of easy tasks. This is a work in progress, in which we all take part and where we are the drivers of change. When I think about myself I would say that I like challenges and dynamics. The American Chamber of Commerce is truly a dynamic world, so I can honestly say that we are a perfect match. We have up to 100 events a year. Some of them are really big, many are small ones dealing with specific topics such as, for example, the introduction of innovative drugs into the healthcare system, or a lecture given by a renowned professor, cooperation with local startups, or promotion of outstanding persons. Through all these events we strive to promote the work as well as the needs of over 200 members, the biggest American, international and national companies. We work on improving the business environment for our companies, so that they in return can give more to our community. How did I end up here and how did everything begin? Let’s see - chaotic 1990s, finished Valjevo high school, beautiful memories from this city, thinking about further education that led to a very practical choice at the 50 |



time. Since I was one of the best students at the Faculty of Law, on the day I graduated in 2003 with average grade 10.00 I started working in up-and-coming law office Karanovic & Nikolic after sending them my CV. Then suddenly in August 2004 I was informed that I was granted a full scholarship by the Chevening Fund of the UK Government for master studies at Cambridge University. The scholarship was intended for the development of global leaders. This was the only foreign university I ever applied for, and it was at the suggestion of the Karađorđević Dynasty Fund, my scholarship provider at the time.

My experience in LLM studies at Cambridge, where I specialised in 4 legal areas, was incredibly important for me and it was a great privilege to live and learn in a place like that, that exudes such academic spirit and inspiration. Cambridge is certainly a place that changes you. I am a perfectionist by nature, but I believe that this experience has given me a new, more strategic,

perspective on the world, so now I am very much interested in the big picture. After returning from the UK and working for a short time in the CMS office, I spent 9 great years in telecommunications working on a better regulatory framework in this field. Working with advanced technologies is very interesting because there is never a dull moment. Technologies are ever changing and you see the future happening before your eyes. Finally, I received AmCham’s offer at the beginning of my maternity leave at the end of 2015, while I was thinking that it might be time to accept a completely different offer from UAE company Etisalat, one of the biggest telecommunication companies in the Middle East. I decided then that we had to change our country first, in many areas, and that the position of AmCham executive director in Serbia actually fits my needs perfectly. Also, I have always intended to stay permanently in my country. And here I am. And we are all here on a joint mission. Among many areas in which we are active through our committees, the focus of AmCham this year is how to improve the relation between science and business and thus promote investment in research and development and outstanding individuals in Serbia, and improve the efficiency of the state in general. My former boss used to say, and I am going to quote him here because I believe in optimism as a way of life and persistency as a trait: “The best is yet to come”. 






With more than 3.5 billion search quires every day, as well as more than 1.17 billion different people who use Google to search at least once a month, the world’s biggest search engine provides more than 2.3 million answers every second. Each of these answers should be fast, relevant and useful, while the ways we ask questions has changed continuously – as we moved from desktop to mobile, and as we move from typing to voice search. That’s why Google is evolving continuously in line with the new ways we search for information, as well as shaping that knowledge APRIL



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his September will see celebrate its 20th birthday. It was in 1996 that its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, met at Stanford and came up with the concept for a search engine that they wanted to name BackRub. A year later, in 1997, the search engine received the domain and name that we use today, with Milton Sirotta coming up with the name Google, derived from a googol – the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. At the age of twenty, the world’s biggest search engine is massive: it has more than 60 trillion indexed web pages, more than two billion lines of code for its internet services and over two trillion

now voice command searches, and they are definitely here to stay. In order to help shed some light on the different challenges and trends of such a huge topic (or rather, topics), I had the honour of talking with Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes, who was a keynote speaker at this year’s DIDS conference in Belgrade. Gary works hard to improve the search experience by helping webmasters build better websites, crunching the big (big, big) data that Google possess to create a more meaningful picture that site owners can act upon.

■ What are some of the challenges of global and local search experience – ranking sites in different countries and different languages? - The challenge of ranking locally is pretty much the same as ranking globally, but at a smaller scale: competition in most topics is fierce and competitors are many, so content creators will have to work hard to create the best possible content and also to raise awareness of their content. The one thing that’s different is that you’re targeting local users and you only want to earn their trust, not the whole world’s. Besides the traditional techniques to achieve this, businesses have a couple extra options, namely using a local TLD – like .rs in Serbia’s case – which will help a bit with ranking locally and also with earning users’ trust, and to write in a language that users understand.

■ What’s your first memory of the internet and is it sometimes surprising how fast everything has changed? - My first memory of the internet is the noise that dial-up modems used to make! After a few days of trying to connect to the internet, I learned searches annually. When you add to the Sometimes it took most of the beeps and whistles the modem made equation Gmail, Google Maps, Google minutes to load CNN, for while negotiating the connections, and based Assistant, Android, self-driving cars example. Nowadays if on those sounds I could tell when something and many other projects, it’s safe to was going wrong. It was fascinating and utterly say that Google has shaped the internet a website loads in more slow, sometimes taking minutes to connect to and the world in which we live. than just a couple of the internet, and then the connection speeds With such a huge impact come a lot seconds, users get were also ridiculous. Sometimes it took minutes of responsibilities and also challenges. frustrated. I think that’s to load CNN, for example. Nowadays if a website The days of dial-up modems may seem loads in more than just a couple of seconds, users like ancient history today, but the one of the biggest internet and the ways we search and changes that happened get frustrated. I think that’s one of the biggest changes that happened. interact with our devices may change I find it fascinating that an algorithm that was drastically again in just a few years. created almost two decades ago is still an integral and important With Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, who could even part of a system that’s serving billions of queries. dare to guess how the situation will look in future? As of today, 25% of Google search results contain knowledge graph answers or ■ In what direction do you think the internet and searches a box. This feature was launched just five years ago, in an effort to will advance? Are voice searches, machine learning and enhance search results with semantic-search information gathered artificial intelligence already more of a reality and trend from different sources. Desktop is slowly becoming a thing of the than the (distant) future? And what could come next? past, with mobile searches having officially overtaken desktop - I will leave long term predictions to Nostradamus, but voice searches, now accounting for more than 50% of total Google search is here to stay and it shows a growing trend. People searches worldwide. Moreover, some 20% of mobile searches are

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talk to their devices more readily and ask well phrased questions instead of just keywords. To understand these questions, machine learning (ML) is of course very helpful; ML is great at finding patterns, often much better than humans, but it’s still just a tool that’s used to perform specific tasks. We’re still far from something that could do everything humans do. ■ Panda, Penguin... what is your favourite algorithm or signal? - My favourite algorithm, which we still use after 18 years, is of course PageRank. I find it fascinating that an algorithm that was created almost two decades ago is still an integral and important part of a system that’s serving billions of queries. ■ What are some of the main areas of focus in improving the search and browsing experience when it comes to website owners and webmasters? Should they, for instance, focus on AMP , https/https2, all of it, or something else? - I would rather not pinpoint one thing that content creators should focus on in order to improve their users’ experience. There are many things that are important for both Google and users, for the latter sometimes subconsciously. For example, AMP is important for us because it’s incredibly fast, and speed is important for users. Data security is also extremely important for them, but users don’t necessarily look for the green padlock in browsers, they just subconsciously need it. And so security is important for Google. In my opinion, content creators and website owners should pick one thing that they think is important for their users and implement that. They know better what is important and what they have resources for. We can give them guidance on what things can be improved, but ultimately it’s up to them to make a final decision. ■ It is interesting that the percentage of humans vs. bots when it comes to the internet is somewhere around 30 to 70. Are all those bots a problem for Google and its users, and is it realistic that our search experience could be influenced by that type of AI (and how do we prevent it)? - We are working hard to not let bots interfere with our systems.

- It’s extremely hard to find the right balance between transparency and not exposing our systems to abuse, but we’re working hard to push the limits towards being more transparent. We believe that website owners can create better websites for both users and search engines the more transparent we are. For example, a couple of years ago we announced that mobile friendliness will become a ranking signal and we communicated every detail of this change.

■ Besides your work at Google, you are famous for trolling people a bit on Twitter. Do you have any favourite anecdotes or Twitter situations?

It’s extremely hard to find the right balance between transparency and not exposing our systems to abuse, but we’re working hard to push the limits towards being more transparent. We believe that website owners can create better websites for both users and search engines the more transparent we are

■ With billions of users worldwide, as well as over three billion daily search queries, Google has a lot of responsibility. How difficult is it to find a balance between being transparent, which is very important, and not compromising your own operations?

- I don’t really have anecdotes from my Twitter endeavours, at least not ones that I recall, but recently I started tweeting short “Did You Know?” tweets, which are nuggets of information about search that are bouncing around inside my head. They’re typically unrelated to anything that happened that day; they’re pretty random, but people seem to love them.

■ Virtual reality is a major trend, but also a new field. Can you imagine the virtual reality search experience of the future and is that something Google would find interesting to work on? - This is a super interesting question, but unfortunately I have no clue how Virtual Reality (VR) will shape search. Obviously we have many extremely smart people working on our search experience and I’m sure they’re going to come up with something amazing! ■ APRIL



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Apocalyptica 4 - Hala Sportova - 21:00 Apocalyptica celebrates the 20th anniversary of the release of the Apocalyptica album “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos”, featuring Metallica’s greatest hits! Traditionally favoured by our public, these Finnish rockers have included Belgrade in their European tour, so on 4th April 2017 at Belgrade Hala Sportova (Hall of Sports) we will have the

Terry Riley: Simone’s Lullaby from The Heaven Ladder Book 7 Wim Mertens: Circular Breathing Anton Batagov: Waltz & E-minor Gavin Bryars: Ramble on Cortona (premiere performance in Serbia) Meredith Monk: Elis Island Nico Muhly: Drones & piano I–V Philip Glass: Dreaming Awake (premiere performance in Serbia) / Etudes No. 20, 2, 10 / Four movements for two pianos (premiere performance in Serbia)

opportunity to hear live renditions of the hits celebrated by Apocalyptica, which provided it with millions of sold album copies and sell-out world tours. It is no coincidence that Apocalyptica has scheduled its tour in the same year that Metallica is promoting its new album, while the occasion of the twenty anniversary sees Apocalyptica rerelease the album “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos” on two vinyl records featuring previously unreleased instrumentals “Battery”, “Nothing Else Matters” and “Seek & Destroy”.

Mister Dollar

Concert in honour of Philip Glass’s 80th birthday 5 - Kolarac - 20:00 This concert, under the title Dreaming Awake, is held in honour of the eightieth birthday of

American composer Philip Glass. Performers: Branka Parlić, Nada Kolundžija and Nataša Penezić – piano Guests: Ljubičica and Katarina Radovanović Jeremić - piano Programme: Philip Glass: Metamorphosis No.1

International Spring Festival 9 – Museum of Yugoslav History – 11-17:00 The International Women’s Club, IWC, invites you to experience the colours, sounds and flowers of the World. Enjoy music, dances and cuisine from around the world.


Victor Victoria 12 – Terazije Theatre – 20:00

Mamma Mia!

Dreaming Awake

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6 – Terazije Theatre – 20:00


13 – Terazije Theatre – 20:00

Chicago 28 – Terazije Theatre – 20:00

Divna & Melodi 20 – Sava Centre -20:00 Sacred music interpreter Divna Ljubojević and her “Melodi” vocal ensemble will hold a concert at Belgrade’s Sava Centre on 20th April at 8pm. “I’m really looking forward to the concert! This year it will actually be an Easter concert for the first time, as it will be held during the Octave of Easter - the week after Easter Sunday. This will significantly enrich the repertoire! The working title is ‘The Easter concert’,” says Divna. Divna held an extremely successful concert at the Sava Centre last April, with which she celebrated 25 years of working with “Melodi” and at which she

Discussion: “Meeting with photographer Rubén Salgado” 8 - Instituto Cervantes - 17:30 Rubén Salgado Escudero is a Spanish photographer who was born in Madrid and spent his teen years in the United States, where he went on to graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia. He then relocated to Berlin and began working in the field of 3D animation for the video game industry. Ten years later he resigned definitively and moved to Myanmar to pursue his passion for photography. Since then he has been working constantly on various photography projects throughout Asia, Africa and South America. Thanks to his photographs being published in the prestigious National Geographic magazine, he became a member of the world renowned association “The Photo Society”. Alongside National Geographic, his images have been published by other media (TIME, The New York Times, Al Jazeera America, Die Zeit, Spiegel, The Wall Street Journal, El Pais, Semanal etc.). His works have been exhibited on numerous occasions around the world. His photo series “Solar portraits in Myanmar", which the Serbian public will be able to see this April in the gallery of the Cervantes Institute, won the prestigious Sony World Photography Award in London. Rubén Salgado Escudero gladly shares his knowledge and experience in the field of photography, be that with fellow

photographers, up-and-coming young novices or amateur photo enthusiasts. He has participated as a lecturer in numerous workshops in New York, Tokyo and Rangoon. He gave a lecture in Beijing as part of the famous TEDx Talk series, while his experiences have also been heard by those who attended his lectures at New York’s Sony Gallery and Temple University in Tokyo. The Belgrade public will have the opportunity to talk with Ruben on Saturday 8th April in the Ceremony Hall of the Cervantes Institute. On that occasion, this Spanish photographer will talk with all interested parties about, among other things, how he decided to venture into the world of photography, what the pros and cons of the photographer’s calling are, and what attracted him to the world of reportage photography. (17:30) meeting with photographer Rubén Salgado (19:00) Opening Ceremony

Discussion: Santiago Roncagliolo 20 – Instituto Cervantes – 19:00 Santiago Roncagliolo (born Lima, 1975) is the youngest author to receive the Alfaguara Novel Prize (2006) and the prestigious Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2011) in London. His previous novel, Shame (2004), attracted the attention of critics and audiences throughout the Hispanic world, before being translated into many languages and made into a film. Apart from this, he has also published the novels The Alligator Prince (2002), Memoirs of a Lady (2009), The Uruguayan lover (2012) and Oscar and His Women (2013) and the collection of short stories Growing Up Is A Sad Business (2003). As a screenwriter, playwright, author of children’s books and journalist, he collaborates with various media companies in Latin America, as well as Spanish daily newspaper El Pais. volim) last year, Divna has once again made a breakthrough in her career by releasing the classic “Go down to the river” (Siđi do reke) as a new single and video. Divna decided, again with the help of producer and arranger Voja Aralica, to do her own cover version of this pop classic of Belgrade group U škripcu, out of “pure love for that song and the memories of the days it marked”. promoted the CD “Anthology - the most beautiful sacred music of the Orthodox East”. Her anthology was PGP RTS’s best-selling album in 2016. On the eve of her latest encounter with the Belgrade audience, Divna notes: “The joy of performing erases the difficulties that are unavoidable when preparing a concert in a hall of this kind! And the audience is exceptional!” After releasing her own version of the Bajaga & Instruktori hit “Since I love you” (Od kada tebe

Vlatko Stefanovski & the Big Band Orchestra of the Slovenian Armed Forces 21 – Sava Centre – 20:30 Legendary guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski will hold a concert at the Sava Centre with the Big Band Orchestra of the Slovenian Army on 21st April at 8.30pm.

“I’m certain you’ll be impressed by my new musical adventure, and the rich sound of this exceptional Big Band”, says Stefanovski. For the Sava Centre, Stefanovski and the Big Band Orchestra of the Slovene Army are preparing a repertoire that consists of some of his own compositions, but also very well-known funk, jazz and soul numbers, as well as traditional music tracks that have been arranged specifically for such a composition. There will also be some new arrangements and songs that they have not

previously performed together. “So, this is not about marching and parade music, but rather more serious arrangements of jazz standards and, of course, arrangements inspired by traditional music,” explains Stefanovski. It was two years ago when the conductor of the Big Band Orchestra of the Slovenian Army, Rudolf Gas, invited Stefanovski to be a guest performer at their concert at Congress Square in Ljubljana. Stefanovski admits that he was initially somewhat sceptical, not knowing how and what that orchestra performs, but that after the first joint rehearsal he was left “completely fascinated by the sound and professionalism of the orchestra”. Their excellent Ljubljana concert was also marked by last year’s CD and DVD “The Big Band Orchestra of the Slovenian Army feat. Vlatko Stefanovski”, released by CPC Ljubljana and featuring performances of the compositions “Gypsy Song”, “Jovano Jovanke”, “Stratus” etc. “This is not a classic military orchestra, but rather a Big Band that sounds like every great jazz big band. All members are exceptional musicians, and most of them are jazz musicians. Their appearance is also very attractive, as they perform

30 - Youth Centre – 21:00 International Jazz Day is celebrated worldwide on 30th April as an official UNESCO holiday, while jazz has been officially described in UN documents since 2011 as “a means of furthering understanding, dialogue and unity between people”. Since 2012, the Belgrade Youth Centre and the Belgrade Jazz Festival have regularly marked this day with the staging of jazz concerts aimed at popularising this music genre and attracting the attention of the broadest possible audience. The selection for this year is Irena Blagojević – an outstanding jazz, pop and soul singer who recently released her second album, entitled “Blistavi grad”


(Shining City), released by PGP-RTS. Created in the jazz-pop genre in which Irena is the leading light on the domestic scene, she imposes herself as a mature singer, with specific and recognisable style, but also a composer, arranger and songwriter. In a manner based on the tradition of classic jazz divas, with a strong and distinctive voice, alongside fresh modern melodies, with a hint of pop elements, she brings nine songs that will be enjoyed not only lovers of jazz, but also the general public.

in military parade uniforms. The orchestra also includes female members, who are responsible for backing vocals,” explains Vlatko.

Freddy Kempf 24 – Kolarac – 20:00 Born in London in 1977, Kempf made his first public appearance at the age of just 8, at a concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. After winning the title of BBC Young Musician of the Year, he became known to the broader public after his performance at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1998. That year he won third prize, while first place went to Denis Matsuev. Some judges had wanted to award the first prize jointly to Matsuev and Kempf, and had successfully negotiated with the Russian Culture Ministry for the additional funding. However, Kempf only collected the third prize in the end, which provoked a barrage of indignant protests from both the audience and the Russian press, who accused some of the

The 20th anniversary edition of the first book in the internationally bestselling Harry Hole series includes the opening of the brand new Harry Hole thriller, The Thirst, and an exclusive new introduction by Jo Nesbo. Harry is out of his depth. Detective Harry Hole is meant to keep out of trouble. A young Norwegian girl taking a gap year in Sydney has been murdered, and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can. He’s not supposed to get too involved… When the team unearths a string of unsolved murders and disappearances, nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth. The hunt for a serial killer is on, but the murderer will talk only to Harry. ...but he might just be the next victim.

MILLER’S ANTIQUES HANDBOOK & PRICE GUIDE judges of bias and dubbed Kempf the Hero of the competition. Kempf returned to Moscow the following year, 1999. His visit included several sold-out concerts, huge popularity and great media attention. Programme Tchaikovsky - The Seasons Prokofiev – Piano Sonata No. 1 Rachmaninoff – Piano Sonata No. 2 (1913)

Meshell Ndegeocello 26 - Bitef Art Café - 22:00

Vokalkompagniet Choir

Judith Miller 1897.50 rsd

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10 – Misker House – 20:00 The Vokalkompagniet choir comprises qualified and experienced singers from Copenhagen who are characterised by their strong musicality. The choir will perform in Serbia for the first time at Belgrade’s Mikser House on 10th April at 8pm. Having performed for over 20 years, both in Denmark and abroad, Vokalkompagniet conveys the beauty of Nordic song, country and bluegrass, modern pop classics and swing jazz, but at its core the choir is woven from a love for colourful and emotional a capella pop


International Jazz Day: Irena Blagojević

compositions. The choir’s repertoire also includes trip hop music during a capella performances of the likes of Massive Attack, Bjork and many others. Those attending the Belgrade concert will have the opportunity to hear how choir members combine modern and old compositions. For this tour the choir is composed of 20 singers, led by conductor Simone Maja.

Meshell Ndegeocello will complete the Musicology Barcaffé Sessions concert series with her performance at the Bitef Art Café club on 26th April. This American artist is a celebrated songwriter, vocalist and bassist, while her music encompasses various influences, from funk via soul, hip-hop, reggae, R&B and rock, all the way to jazz. Acclaimed by music critics and her fellow performers, Meshell has been nominated for Grammy Awards ten times. During her illustrious career she has performed and recorded with artists like Prince, The Rolling Stones, Alanis Morissette and many others.

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To celebrate NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and its 25 years of accomplishments, The Hubble Cosmos was released in 2015 to fill your mind with big ideas, brilliant imagery, and a new understanding of the universe in which we live. Relive key moments in the monumental Hubble story, from launch through major new instrumentation to the promise of discoveries to come. With more than 150 photographs including Hubble All-Stars—the most famous of all the noteworthy images—The Hubble Cosmos shows how this telescope is revolutionising our understanding of the universe. APRIL



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Bulgarian National Day Marked The Republic of Bulgaria’s national holiday was commemorated by H.E. Ambassador Radko Vlaykov and the Bulgarian Embassy in Bel- H.E. RADKO VLAYKOV grade, with an official reception at Belgrade’s Metropol Palace Hotel. Guests included senior Serbian officials, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Bulgarian national minority, figures from the culture and academic scenes, representatives of business organisations and presidents of municipalities and local government. H.E. RADKO VLAYKOV with H.E. KYLE SCOTT 03.03.2017

180th Anniversary Of Diplomatic Relations Between Belgrade And London A conference in Belgrade marked the 180th anniversary of the establishing of diplomatic relations between Serbia and the UK. Speaking at the conference, which was organised by the Eurosfera consulting agency, Sir Paul Judge, president of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that Serbia’s position has improved on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index and that the International Monetary Fund is now on Serbia’s side in the stand-by arrangement to provide financial support. He invited the Government of Serbia to further SIR PAUL JUDGE improve these indices, which are vital for the country as aspects that confirm the country’s reputation in the commercial sense. The conference was organised with the support of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UK Embassy in Belgrade, the UK Department for International Trade, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the British Society of Serbia and the British Business Network, under the patronage of the Serbian Minister for EU integration.


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Australian Minister Visits Exhibition Of Serbian Handicrafts Belgrade City Manager Goran Vesić and Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, visited the exhibition of Serbian handicrafts and traditional crafts in Belgrade. Vesić expressed his satisfaction at being able to host this Australian minister on behalf of the City of Belgrade, but also took the opportunity to thank H.E. Australian Ambassador GORAN VESIĆ, CONCETTA Julia Feeney for everything she does to promote FIERRAVANTI-WELLS and Serbian culture and tradition. JULIA FEENEY - The job of Mrs Feeney is much more than the job of an ordinary ambassador and she has, together with our friends from NALED, done a lot to promote the traditional Serbian handicrafts that can be seen in this exhibition – said Vesić. He noted that the City of Belgrade, together with NALED, is working on creating an ethno gallery in the centre of Belgrade at which women from various parts of Serbia will have the opportunity to exhibit and sell their works.


Crown Princess Katherine Hosts Lunch


HRH Crown Princess Katherine hosted a traditional “Ladies Lunch” in honour of 8th March – International Women’s Day, at the Royal Palace in Belgrade, for ladies who are senior officials, the wives of senior Serbian officials, lady ambassadors, wives of ambassadors, representatives of international organisations in Serbia and other distinguished ladies. Crown Princess Katherine and her daughter Alison welcomed the distinguished guests and emphasised the importance of support from the ladies in attendance when it comes to humanitarian actions and projects aimed at improving women’s health. Among the distinguished guests were Maja Gojković, Speaker of the Serbian National Assembly, H.E. Julia Feeney, Ambassador of Australia, H.E. Adela Mayra Ruiz Garcia, Ambassador of Cuba, H.E. Narinder Chauhan, Ambassador of India, H.E. Alona Fisher Kamm, Ambassador of Israel, and H.E. Vera Jovanovska-Tipko, Ambassador of Macedonia.


Independence Day Of Tunisia The Independence Day of Tunisia was commemorated by H.E. Mohamed Bougamra and the Tunisian Embassy in Belgrade, with an official reception held at Tunisian ambassadorial residence. This holiday marks the anniversary of the country’s gaining of independence from France in 1956, following almost a century of Tunisia’s status as a French protectorate. Tunisia gained independence on 20th March 1956, after long negotiations between French and Tunisian authorities. The state was then headed by Habib Bourguiba, a major figure in the fight for independence. The Constitutional Democratic Rally, created by Habib Bourguiba, controlled the country until Tunisian revolution of 2011. Alongside many friends and associates of the Tunisian Embassy, the reception was also attended by members of the diplomatic corps and prominent figures from Serbia’s cultural and public life.



St. Patrick's Day Party The Canadian Club and H.E. Ambassador Philip Pinnington hosted a reception to mark St. Patrick’s Day. St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador on the nearest Monday to 17th March each year. It celebrates the life of St. Patrick, a missionary who H.E. PHILIP PINNINGTON converted many of Ireland’s inhabitants to Christianity in the 5th century. His day is also celebrated by Irish culture around the world. The reception was attended by Serbian Government representatives, members of the diplomatic corps and the Romanian community in Serbia, as well as business leaders, public figures and representatives of religious communities. APRIL



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Individuals Decorated By The Jewish Community

DR JELENA ERDELJAN and DR NENAD MAKULJEVIĆ (right) receive their awards

The gallery of the Jewish Community of Belgrade hosted an award ceremony to present the Order of Caballero Del Ladino to Dr Jelena Erdeljan and Dr Nenad Makuljević, professors of the Belgrade University Faculty of Philosophy for their contributions to the study and cultivation of Sephardic culture. The award is named after the fifth President of the State of Israel, Yitzhak Navon. Those in attendance were welcomed by the President of the Jewish Community in Belgrade, Jakob Salom, after which Erez Navon, the son Yitzhak Navon, spoke about the life and deeds of the fifth President of Israel. Alongside Ambassador of Israel to Serbia H.E. Alona Fisher Kamm, the ceremony was also attended by Viktor Jelić, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, students of the Philosophical Faculty, members of the Jewish Community of Belgrade and other guests. On behalf of the Jewish community, the event’s host and organiser was the manager of the Belgrade Jewish Community, Danijel Bogunović.


CCFS General Assembly Held The French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (CCFS) held its annual General Assembly on 16th March. In the presence of a large number of members, CCFS President Dragoljub Damljanović, Treasurer Marc Dorfmeister and Director General Sanja Ivanić presented the annual report on the chamber’s activities and the financial report for the previous year, as well as the planned 2017 budget and action plan. Members unanimously adopted these reports. The General Assembly also included voting for new members of the Board of Directors – four candidates renewed their mandates (Dragoljub Damljanović (Schneider Electric), Eric Grasser (Hit Auto), Francois Allain (SADE) and Sabine de Lattre-Eustache (Societe Generale Osiguranje) . Beginning his first term as a member of the Board was Bertand Maxel, Manager of the Le Belier factory in Kikinda. 24.03.2017

National Day of Greece Marked

H.E. ELIAS ELIADIS welcomes German Ambassador AXEL DITTMANN


Pakistani National Day Marked The National Day of Pakistan was honoured with an official reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel that included the attendance of both local and international guests. Apart from representatives of the diplomatic corps and religious communities, the reception was also attended by members of the Serbian Government and many other guests. Guests were welcomed by Modasar Chaudhry, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Pakistan, who said: “Pakistan and Serbia enjoy friendly relations. We are glad to see the Serbian Government’s efforts towards promoting economic development and regional stability. Our bilateral trade is growing and we have witnessed a hundred per cent growth in business contacts between the two countries.” Mr Chaudhry welcomed guests and also the new Ambassador, H.E. Syed Adil Gilani, after which the Ambassador-Designate cut the ceremonial cake.

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In honour of the National Day of Greece, H.E. Elias Eliadis, Greek Ambassador to Serbia held a reception that was attended by representatives of the Greek community in Belgrade, international institutions in Serbia, many Serbian friends and associates of the Greek diplomatic mission in Belgrade, media representatives and businesspeople. The Greek national holiday falls on 25th March and is celebrated in honour of the granting of Greece’s independence after the national uprising of 1821.

Leaders: Construction Sector



Serbia Is A Country In Full Swing When I took over the ministry of construction, transport and infrastructure in 2014, I had one priority goal: to make Serbia a country where people work and build, where the construction industry gets back to its feet and restores its former glory that made our country well known all over the world

ZORANA MIHAJLOVIĆ PHD Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure


Over the few years that I have been in charge of the Ministry, we have achieved successful results and increased the construction industry's share in gross domestic product (GDP) from 4.4 to 5.1 per cent, while our goal is to reach at least 7 per cent. Our success would not have been possible if we hadn't been able to launch the process of electronic issuing of construction permits: they were once issued within an average of eight months of the date of application, while today they are issued in a week. Thanks to electronic building permits, Serbia was among the top 10 countries for the best reforms in the world on the World Bank’s Doing Business list. The growth potential of the construction industry may have existed before, but

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it lacked a decisive government ready to make this vision a reality. The government that I am part of has done a lot in the field of construction, having improved the business environment for investors and also developed the real estate market. In the past three years we have enacted key reform laws. The Law on the Conversion of Usage Rights to Ownership Rights over construction land upon the payment of a fee was adopted, so today for the first time we have a database with all illegally constructed buildings in Serbia, and we have initiated a legislative procedure that has been awaited for over 30 years. We have allowed citizens to quickly and conveniently legalise illegal buildings and become legal

The government that I am part of has done a lot in the field of construction, having improved the business environment for investors and also developed the real estate market owners of their homes.The ground-breaking Law on Planning and Construction was enacted, but more importantly this law, which provides for the introduction of electronic building permits, has been successfully implemented in practise.

A BUILDING PERMIT FOR EVERYONE IN A MATTER OF DAYS The Law on Planning and Construction, which seemed mission impossible to many, has begun working in practise, which is also proven by data from the Serbian Statistical Office. According to this, in 2016, when the building permit was first made available electronically, the number of permits issued rose by 21.4 per cent compared to 2015, while the whole of last year was marked by a record-breaking number of permits issued month by month. For example, in November alone, 1,394 construction permits were issued, which is as much as 46 per cent more than in November 2015, or 37 per cent more than in the same month during 2008, which was previously recorded as the best November since statistics began being collected. In December, a total of 1,299 permits were issued, equating to 19.4 per cent more than in December 2015. We take encouragement from the fact that the construction industry has gained momentum all over the country, not only in Belgrade. The most dynamic construction activity was recorded in the Mačva Region, which saw an increase of 13.8 per cent in the envisaged value of new construction. Close behind is the Braničevo District, with 12.8 per cent, and Belgrade with almost 10 per cent.

This positive trend has also boosted the value of building construction works, thus the estimated value of works in 2016 rose by 26.6 per cent compared to 2015, which further suggests that our efforts have yielded good results. DOING BUSINESS LIST BOOM The success achieved through these reforms did not go unnoticed internationally, with the electronic building permit being cited as the main reason for Serbia’s sharp improvement on the World Bank’s Doing Business list by 44 places in the last two years alone. On the criteria for the issue of building permits, Serbia stood almost at the bottom of the List in 2014, ranked 186th of 190 countries, while it leapt to 36th place in the most recent edition of the List, thanks to the introduction of electronic building permits. Previously, investors used to wait on average 259 days for a permit, while now the permit may be obtained in just a few days. In some cases investors were unable to start building as they were waiting for permits for years - something that's almost unthinkable now. So we can rightly say this is a decade’s worth of reform for which I was awarded for the second time as the Reformer of the Year by the National Alliance for Local Economic Development - "Reformer of the Year 2016". The success achieved with building permits has motivated us to vigorously launch cadastre reform. I expect the adoption of the Law on Cadastre, which will abolish the

administrative procedure in the cadastre so that the property registration procedure will only last a few days. Our plan is to establish an e-cadastre with real-time updates.

The Law on Planning and Construction, which seemed a mission impossible to many, has begun working in practice, which is also proven by data from the Republic Statistical Office With the aim of further improving Serbia's position on the prestigious Doing Business list, we have adopted an Action Plan that would help us jump in two years from our current 47th position into the world's top 20 countries for conditions for doing business. These are concrete

goals that we aim to achieve, not just empty promises. Achieving this and other objectives related to infrastructure projects will help us make Serbia a desirable investment destination. All major investors will be invited to Serbia, as we intend to further develop the economy and increase the standard of living. PROJECTS WORTH €9 BILLION There is plenty of work on infrastructure projects across Serbia. In the framework of the ZB6 Group from the Vienna Initiative, priority projects have been defined through SEETO that may see the involvement of prospective investors and construction companies, with a total of 24 projects in Serbia. The total value of infrastructure projects implemented by Serbia currently amounts to around €4 billion, while new projects are worth €4.87 billion, making a total of around €9 billion. Upon completion, all the aforementioned projects will strengthen Serbia’s position as a transit hub for the region and as a country of first choice for investors who want to invest in this part of Europe. Although we are about to complete works on Corridor 10, we also want to finish Corridor 11 as soon as possible. Besides this, works will be intensified on the so-called "Morava Corridor", connecting Čačak, Trstenik, Kruševac and Ćićevac. This is a motorway that will connect the two strategic corridors from Pojate to Preljina.


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In Vojvodina, we are about to begin work on construction of the Fruška Gora Corridor, from Novi Sad to Ruma, where in parallel with the project design talks will commence on the model and the means of financing works. As Corridor 11 is the fastest road link for Serbia to Montenegro and the Adriatic Sea, we will seek implementing partners for the sections from Požega via Pešter to Boljare. For the most important regional project, the Niš-Merdare-Priština highway, which is to be built jointly with the EU, project documentation will be completed by mid-year and we expect to start discussing financing modalities, through which we will strive to provide for the highest possible participation of local companies. Together with Bosnia-Herzegovina, towards the end of this year we expect to complete the Ljubovija-Bratunac Bridge, with a joint border crossing. A decision has also been made on the construction of the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway, which will continue from Požega via Užice towards Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the route to be agreed upon by both entities. Following the implementation of these projects, Serbia is expected to achieve high economic growth rates in the next few years. At the same time, our construction companies and their staff can count on secure jobs in the long term and gain references that will allow them to compete for projects abroad. DOMESTIC CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES COMPETING FOR CONTRACTS WORTH €977.7 MILLION This government has demonstrated its commitment to local businesses and their staff, who are only required to perform well and meet deadlines. In the next two years, local companies will be able to apply for projects worth €977.7 million, including new road and rail projects, and a rehabilitation project that entails mainly engaging domestic firms. The Ministry is committed to preserving construction companies and providing work for them, but we also

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take due care of the people they employ. With this in mind, we have set a requirement whereby companies applying for projects must be listed on the "white" list of construction companies, meaning they regularly pay all taxes, register their workers and pay their wages. We launched the initiative to create "white" and "black" lists in 2014, precisely in order to see which companies pay their charges and their employees, where severe injuries at work often occur, and which registered companies have no staff at all. The Ministry of Construction, Transport

Although we are about to complete works on Corridor 10, we also want to finish Corridor 11 as soon as possible and Infrastructure will support all responsible companies. On several occasions I have suggested to local companies to join forces and be well organised, as it would help them win million dollar deals and become main contractors. CITIZENS WILL OWN OF THEIR HOUSES AND ENTREPRENEURS THEIR PREMISES The Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure has decided to tackle problems that have not been addressed by some of our predecessors, and one of these is precisely illegal construction, an issue that has been neglected

for a number of years. The list of illegal buildings is about to be completed, and their legalisation will follow soon afterwards. Thus citizens will be able to become owners of their homes in a rapid and affordable way, while entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to legalise their business premises. According to recent estimates, Serbia now has a total of 2.2 million illegal buildings. The scale of our engagement on this matter is best illustrated by the fact that in November last year all municipalities in Serbia registered a total of 346,000 buildings, while in the last three months alone around a million buildings were listed in the register. Thanks to the census, Serbia will obtain its first database of all illegal buildings. Following the decision to employ - for activities related to legalisation - as many as 1,056 people from the Employment Office aged between 30 and 35, most of whom were being employed for the first time in their lives, a total of 1,353,463 buildings were registered by 14th March 2017. This clearly demonstrates that we can succeed in achieving our goals, and that recruiting young people, along with performing regular inspections by the expert teams of the Ministry that visited all locations across Serbia, has shown good results. Completing the legalisation procedure is important for all citizens who will be able to leave legally registered flats and houses to their children, but it is also important for local governments that will collect a minimum of €100 million from the legalisation fees. The local governments will not spend that money on salaries, but rather the funds will be returned to citizens through the construction and renovation of local roads, sewage systems, water supplies, schools and nursery schools. Following the census, our next goal is to make local government embark effectively on issuing formal decisions on legalisation. To date, 44,006 decisions have been issued, with a total of 1.2 billion dinars collected in taxes. ▪


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Bringing The Construction Industry Together Experts praise Belgrade Fair’s Building Trade Fair as one of the most prestigious events in the construction industry in South-East Europe, primarily because of its innovativeness


ven back in the day when it was part of the Technical Fair, which was half a century ago, the Building Trade Fair used to attract a great deal of attention from experts, companies, visitors. It has since become an autonomous event of international character, with an ever increasing number of exhibitors, expert meetings and exhibitions, and a ‘view into the world’ for many building companies, primarily smaller ones, doing business on the domestic and regional markets. This year the Fair continues to present numerous innovations in the construction industry, from materials to innovative technical and building solutions to the latest IT trends in the industry. • The Building Trade Fair is one of the most visited exhibitions. How many exhibitors do you expect this year and where do they come from? - The Building Trade Fair is indeed one of our most visited events both by exhibitors and by visitors. For the almost four

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and a half decades that it has existed as an independent event, the Building Trade Fair has always been by any measurable parameter – attendance, showcased innovative technologies and materials, demonstrated business potential of the sector – a reliable indicator of what and how much we as organisers should communicate to the actors in the construction industry and what we should take from their experience and bring to the fair. These are the main reasons why the number of exhibitors might

There will also be country-specific exhibitions at this year’s exhibition. Turkey, China, India, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and other countries will have their own pavilions be an overrated criterion compared to their variety, the innovativeness and attractiveness of what they produce, or even aggressiveness in dictating trends, rules of conduct, etc. Yet some 550 expected and announced exhibitors, of which at least 150 from abroad from 25 countries, and some 35 thousand expected visitors,

among them a great number of those with business cards, are in themselves a sufficient guarantee and a broad basis for getting the quality we all hope for. •The construction industry establishes its professionalism at this exhibition. Can we expect innovations in materials and construction itself, primarily in IT technologies? - The affirmation of building and con-

struction is logically one of the immanent characteristics of this event, perhaps even its essence. Such a context simply means and in every way includes innovation, be it new building materials or new technologies, or innovation in existing materials and technologies, made available to the wider public through expert, professional enterprise, and commercialised through the fair. This also counts for IT technologies and for any kind of innovative application software, customary in the construction industry for a long time and not considered exclusive any more unless it literally is that. How important this context is to us is reflected in the extensive organisational, expert, advisory and other assistance that we get from the Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure. At the end of the day, this year’s Organisational Committee of the Building Trade Fair will be chaired by Prof. Zorana Mihajlović, PhD, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure. • How is this year’s exhibition going to be grouped, as it brings together building engineers, architects, design engineers, contractors and the manufacturers of heavy equipment and materials? - This year’s exhibitions will be grouped traditionally, so to speak, as recommended by exhibitors and professionals. This means that the exhibitions with innovative content and design, such as this year’s conceptually innovative emphasis on construction equipment and machinery including a classic crane as its symbol, will find its place in the segments familiar to the visitors: research and design engineering, construction and maintenance, building construction, civil engineering, state-of-the-art building systems, the latest materials, construction machinery, devices and tools, furnishings and interior design, information technologies... All this will be exhibited in six halls of the Belgrade

Fair and in the open air, on some 19,000 square meters in total. A separate segment will be the 9th International Stone Fair, STONE EXPO SERBIA, the largest event of its kind for natural stone and the associated industry.

first-hand where we stand and what we are in terms of global standards. • The Building Trade Fair grows from year to year despite the difficulties in the industry. Is this because of its reputation and the efforts of the Belgrade Fair to make it a top-class exhibition? - The management of the Belgrade Fair are aware of the company’s business dimensions, including the outstanding historic value of the brand. We are aware that the Fair has been established as a representative trade fair company with the most recognised and best known events in the region, and that some events and the company itself in a special way exchange their brand-related destinies, powers and flaws. As the value of the Fair is not measured only by economic and commercial parameters but also, and quite significantly, by the emotional and cultural ones, this logically transfers to its events, including the great Building Trade Fair. • Are there any plans for specialised programmes by smaller manufacturers or engineering and architectural practices to show their work? - Specialised programmes are devised

They have announced the participation of over 20 countries in the region and worldwide, architects, designers, representatives of the construction industry, urban planning, institutional and private investors from Serbia and the region. • Will there be country-specific exhibitions as before and how important are they for the industry? - There will also be country-specific exhibitions at this year’s exhibition. Turkey, China, India, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and other countries will have their own pavilions. The Austrian and Indian chambers of commerce will take part in the fair for the first time. For all of them this is an opportunity to research the market, broaden cooperation and launch new projects, and for us a way to find out

This year, some 600 exhibitors will be featured on 19,000 square meters, almost the entire fair ground, among them the manufacturers of materials, heavy equipment, innovative construction, engineering practices and new IT solutions in the construction industry by professionals, guild groups, educational institutions, small companies and ateliers and are as a rule the backbone of the fair’s auxiliary programmes. We as organisers and motivators are making great efforts to provide the so-called favourable environment and infrastructure so that these programmes can be realised to a high standard. And it seems we do it successfully. ▪ LEADERS OF CONSTRUCTION SECTOR 2017

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Of Its Time Tikkurila brings to Serbia products of proven and certified quality that meet the highest European standards


ounded in 1862 as a small linseed oil production facility, Tikkurila has grown to become one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of decorative and protective paints and coatings.

• This year marks the 155th anniversary of the work of the TIKKURILA group. Over the course of more than a century and a half, the profile of the company has changed dramatically. What are the bearers of the TIKKURILA group’s success today? - Tikkurila has always kept pace with the time often being ahead of it. By following international trends and standards, with constant innovations by introducing new ones, the company has changed and evolved on that route, but one thing has remained the same – absolute commitment to our mission of providing high-quality products and by so raising the quality of life of our consumers. • The high business standards of Nordic countries are well-known. TIKKURILA boasts a large number of certificates that guarantee the high standards and quality of products. How important is certification for your customers across Europe? - Tikkurila brings to Serbia products of proven and certified quality, that meet the highest European standards. New tasks have been assigned to coatings by growing market demand, no longer

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only to protect the surface but also to colour our life and even more to have certain functional characteristics like anti-bacterial, anti-allergy properties etc. Constantly increasing concern for the environment through the use of sustainable materials represents a great amount of social responsibility that we successfully cope with. Certificates of quality, and Tikkurila has more than 300 marked with the ECO label, should be an important factor in a purchase decision making. • How do Scandinavian efficiency and Serbian business habits function?

Much of the Scandinavian business style has already been built into the principles of doing business on our market, but we still have much to learn from our western/northern colleagues - With the arrival of multinational companies on Serbian market our business habits have been significantly reshaped. “Fact based” rationalisation of operations has assumed dominance over intuitive models of decisionmaking process. Simplicity of communication with direct messages is a characteristic of the Scandinavian business style, which got its footprint

in our business practises as well. Being known as emotional nation, it is not so easy to fit our “southern temperament” into calculated, corporate, “western style” frameworks. Much of that has already been built into the business principles on our market, but we still have much to learn from our western/ northern colleagues. • Corporate responsibility is woven into the company’s operating system. Through which projects is CSR most often manifested? - Tikkurila, as a socially responsible company, tries to help vulnerable people and institutions through aids but also young people by providing practical training and education. We have completely renovated neurosurgery department of Klinicki centar Srbije, donated paint and coatings needed to restore the Home for disabled children in Veternik, and donated food to the Shelter for adults and the elderly in Belgrade, all of which represent only part of the assistance that we will continue to provide. Colours make our lives more beautiful and are inextricably linked to other forms of artistic expression, such as movement, sound or the written word. As such, we also support the arts through sponsorship of the Belgrade Dance Festival, and sport and healthy living through sponsorship of race with colours - Colour RUNNING.▪

New slogan for OBO Bettermann

Recently we began to present our latest and existing solution for electrical installation under the “Building Connection“ slogan. But it’s more than a marketing tag-line: “Building Connection“ will stay with us and our customer for now on. We were looking for a motto that describes who we are, what we do and what you can expect from us. “Building Connection“ describes our work perfectly - in just two words. Building Connection

The OBO Solution City: this is where you can see just how apt our new slogan is. We offer comprehensive solutions which enable our customers to create new things and construct connections.

OBO products: Effectively linked – up and down multiplestoreys and across large areas. OBO products enable modern, effectiveelectrical installation, facilitating elegantconnections. Our product systems arebeing evolved constantly and we are always adapting our solutions to the latest requirements of modern electrical fitting. Whether you are a planner, tradesman or architect – you can use OBO solutions to connect buildings and systems perfectly according to your specific requirements. OBO experience: Collaboration between generations. OBO’s knowledge and a company tradition – more than a century old today – connect 3,700 employees and over 40 subsidiaries. This gives us a rich source of experience which ultimately benefits our customers. Here, the latest technology goes hand in hand with tried-and-tested, practical experience in the trades, and younger employees are in constant conversation with our more experienced colleagues. Collaboration between generations of employees is one our most important principles and is reflected in our new slogan, “Building Connections”. OBO partners: Networked worldwide. Its home and roots are in the Sauerland region of Germany, but OBO is now an international company with subsidiaries and partners

all over the world. Using today’s digital possibilities, OBO’s experts exchange experience throughout the world and work together constantly on new technologies. Working with our partners and associations, we always strive to find the best solutions for our customers. OBO service: Connect with us! Trustful links to our customers are our most important asset. That’s because we always try to tailor what we offer to your requirements and wishes, and to ensure that every customer is given the solution that best suits them. That’s why we’re always there to serve you whenever you need help. If you have any questions about our products, if you need help installing anything or assistance with planning complex projects, then our staff will be there to assist you with help and advice in every phase of your project.

OBO BETTERMANN doo Stara Pazova 22300 Stara Pazova, Evropska br.2 Tel: +381 (0) 22 21 50 346 e-mail:

“Building Connection“ LEADERS OF CONSTRUCTION SECTOR 2017 describes our work perfectly - in just two words.

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Photo: Marija Zindović - Ton magazine



ver and above being a world leader in bridge repairs implies that Sika is present in most of the bridge construction and repair projects in Serbia.

• With your presence - and you’ve been here for 15 years – you have significantly improved standards and procedures in the construction sector. In your opinion, what have been the most important stages in Sika’s operations in Serbia? - From establishing its headquarters in Serbia in 2002, Sika started winning the market share through smaller projects and cooperation with specialised contractors, mainly in industrial flooring, waterproofing synthetic membranes of flat roofs, waterproofing of foundations and hydro-technics facilities, as well as in repair and protection of reinforced concrete structures. Now we cooperate with the most significant manufacturers and installers of concrete and we have a strong distribution network that plays a significant role in our overall business. Today it is nearly impossible to implement any refurbishment or construction project in housing, commercial, industrial or infrastructure construction projects without application of Sika’s wide range of system solutions. The management of Sika Corporate recognised the high quality work and success in Serbia, which resulted in approval of the investment to build a

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Solutions “From Roof To Floor”

After 15 years of Sika being present on the Serbian market, it is almost impossible to carry out a project in housing construction, industry or infrastructure without the use of Sika’s products and system solutions production and business complex in Simanovci, relocate the factory for concrete admixtures and to build a brand new, modern factory for the production of powder products (mortars). The launch of Sika’s own production in Serbia also marked the beginning of export to the countries of the region. From its establishment to the present time, Sika Srbija has been constantly growing in terms of turnover and human resources. Maintaining the growth trend continues to be our main goal. • As a Swiss company with tradition and the latest standards, you offer clients so-called business solutions

From its establishment to the present time, Sika Srbija has been constantly growing in terms of turnover and human resources. Maintaining the growth trend continues to be our main goal “From roof to floor”. What does this slogan imply and what benefits do clients receive? - The slogan “From roof to floor” means that we offer system solutions for all positions in all phases of projects in housing construction and civil engineering. The customer receives high-quality system solutions from a proven and reliable supplier.

• Sika is a world leader in the field of bridge reparation, which is at the top of construction activities. Which bridges have you worked on, which ones are you working on today and what are your plans for the immediate future in Serbia and the region? - We are very proud of the success achieved and projects implemented in the field of repairing bridges or constructing new ones, such as the repair of Gazela Bridge in Belgrade, repair of the old bridge and the construction of a new one at Beška (at that time the longest bridge over the Danube in Europe), the old railway bridge in Belgrade, as well as the repairs of dozens of bridges in Central Serbia and on the main road Cetinje-Budva in Montenegro. We have been involved in the biggest bridge construction projects, such as the new Ada Bridge, Pupin’s Bridge, bridges on corridors X and XI, and many others. Our plan is to continue developing in areas that include repairs and construction of bridges, both in Serbia and the region. • Are you satisfied with conditions for doing business in Serbia, particularly when it comes to the development of the construction sector? - There is no reason for dissatisfaction, given that the current trend is promising in terms of new projects related to the refurbishment and construction of new facilities. ▪


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Quality To The Fore

Alongside their ropes, management and employees are proud of their laboratory for mechanical and chemical testing. Anyone in Serbia and the region who needs steel wire ropes and products made from them (slings), has for 35 years first sought the assistance of company UNIS-USHA A.D., based in Višegrad


The steel wire ropes and slings for which this company is known have been produced at this factory for 35 years, or more precisely since 1982, when it was constructed using the combined assets of UNIS and Indian company USHA MARTIN INDUSTRIES LTD, headquartered in Calcutta. The factory has a production capacity of 6,300 tonnes of steel wire ropes of all commercial structures in dimensions ranging from 1.25 to 46 mm of ungalvanised and galvanised steel wire ropes. Alongside the production of rope, here they are also proud of the other services and products that they offer the market.

This primarily relates to the accredited Laboratory for Mechanical and Chemical Testing, which is equipped with the latest equipment and is certified with certificates from London-based certification body Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance. The laboratory boasts aTarno Grocki testing machine for breaking wire (rope) up to Ø5,0 mm, an Usha Ranchi – India horizontal hydraulic machine for testing the real force required to break rope and testing slings up to Ø20.0 mm, an a SAM.DENISION & SON

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- England horizontal hydraulic machine for testing the real force required to break rope and testing slings up to Ø50,0 mm. - As proof of the high quality of our products we received the Certificate for product in 1999 from the certification body Lloyd's Register and the Certificate of system management quality, which was issued in 1988 by the certification body Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), based in London. We are also working on the thermal treatment of wood (pallets), because we have our own wood drying chamber - says Aleksandar Mandić, Managing Director of UNIS-USHA, speaking to CorD. - The quality of our products is the most important factor us and we are known for that throughout the region. Our ambition is to become bigger exporters and for all our customers to recognise us on the basis of quality. At UNIS-USHA they emphasise that their mission is to provide high-quality products and respect delivery deadlines,

UNIS-USHA is a leading manufacturer of steel wire ropes, while its ambition is to become the leading exporter in Southeast Europe and to restore its position on the old markets of Western Europe

utilising modern technologies and knowhow. When it comes to vision, they note maintaining and improving their position on existing markets and expansion to other markets, as well as the continuous improvement of activities in accordance with the desires of customers. And concerns over quality are the reason that UNIS-USHA possesses numerous certificates conforming quality, the most important among them being the Certificate of quality management system that adheres to the requirements of standards BS ISO 9001: 2008, BAS ISO 9001: 2009 (pdf, 589 kb) Certificate for product (pdf, 253 kb) Certificate for environmental management system (pdf, 384 kb). From the Institute for Accreditation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BATA), the factory possesses certificates including Accreditation to perform mechanical testing of metallic materials according to the requirements of the standard BAS EN ISO/IEC 17025: 2006 (pdf, 698 kb). From the SGS Group – the worldwide organisation for inspection, testing, monitoring and certification – they received the Certificate for product according to the requirements of the standard ISO 10245: 2003 (E) (pdf, 2095 kb). From TÜV SÜD Management Service GmbH the factory possesses the Certificate of the results of the review of the Technical File (TF) (steel cable with a diameter of up to 46mm, slings from steel wire rope with a diameter of up to 46 mm) (pdf 356 kb). ▪


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Enjoy the luxury of your own private SPA centre The Marconio Wellness Club currently has only two suites in its offer in Serbia, but they can justifiably be referred to as two of the most exclusive apartments in the country. Located in a quiet urban neighbourhood in Zemun, they are just 9km from the city centre and a 10-minute drive from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. Marconio Wellness Club suites offer an entirely new concept of accommodation units, with the basic determinants being luxury, privacy and wellness. Having handled the construction of public and private wellness centres for the last 10 years, we have faced demanding clients with primary needs in hygiene and privacy. Public wellness centres have major problems with water hygiene, but also with the maintenance of other facilities, such as saunas, steam baths etc., where people perspire a lot. Our basic idea when devising the concept of the Marconio Wellness Club was to create a place

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where demanding clients have access to all the amenities of a professional wellness spa centre in the privacy of apartments they occupy. Today the Marconio Wellness Club represents a genuine oasis of hedonism, a place where all worries cease and where an unforgettable journey through the world of luxury wellness begins. The construction and equipping of Marconio Wellness Club included the use of only the highest quality materials and equipment, which ensures that you will feel regal and privileged during every moment of your stay there. Both apartments are equipped with the luxurious offering of a mini bar, coffee and ice machines, air freshener systems, underfloor heating, a music system and Wi-Fi in all rooms, as well as free parking right in front of the building. Marconio Wellness Club has a professional ventilation system, as well as the kind of air conditioning and dehumidification found in the

world’s public spa centres. You will never see wet or damp walls, windows or glass surfaces here, as the humidity level in the rooms is regulated automatically. Finally, it is important to note that all massage pools, swimming pools and other wellness facilities in both apartments are manufactured by our company, Michel doo, and have been sold under the Marconio Whirpool SPA brand for 20 years. If you’re interested in creating your own private oasis of wellness within your home, feel free to contact the professionals from the Marconio Whirlpool SPA team.

For more information and to make reservations, call: +381 65 316 60 01 MWC Belgrade


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• 3D Laser Scanning and Modeling

• Subsurface Surveying of underground objects and infrastructure

• Geodetical Surveying

Požarevačka 5, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia Phone & Fax: +381 11 2440 094 +381 11 2445 504

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Gospodara Vučića 35, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia Tel: 011 744-60-94; Fax: 011 744-66-84;


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Sailing The Big



A childhood dream about the big wide world, an islander's dream from Ugljan in the Adriatic: Budimir Leko Lončar realised his dream in decades of diplomatic work, taking every step and challenge since 1949, serving as SFRY's last minister for foreign affairs, to name but one of his public offices. Today, at the age of 93, he is still committed to some uncompleted missions APRIL



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alking about his marathon of a life, Budimir Lončar starts from the unforgettable moments in his childhood. “The greatest event was when a big ship passed by, especially if it anchored by our village. We used to feel that the world had paid us a visit and we were always in awe, longing to be taken to faraway shores. This is something that’s stayed with me forever. “When I finished primary school, my parents were in a dilemma: should I continue my education – which wasn’t easy because of hard financial times and the isolation of the island. Zadar was the nearest place, only two nautical miles away and visible from my native Preko,

interest in the world and a childhood longing. My later initiation as a diplomat happened more by chance, at the time when Yugoslavia was under pressure from the USSR. This was in 1949, when the international position of the country and its foreign policy needed to be defined. At the time, Yugoslav diplomacy recruited new, ‘tested’ but very capable people. I saw diplomacy as a special challenge and privilege, I was aware that I was treading uncharted territory and that uncertainties were ahead of me. Finally, in 1987, I became the first minister for foreign affairs with a professional background. The position was usually occupied by people with a background in politics. Of course, I’d never dreamt that I would become head of diplomacy but I did believe that I would be a successful diplomat, an ambassador at best.” Mr Lončar was ambassador five times. “My first diplomatic post was New York”, he continues, with the story about his early days. “I was part of the mission to the United Nations. It was a stroke of luck (I was supposed to go to Paris) that they published a competition for the post that year, in 1949. Since I had an uncle there and like any islander an affinity towards America, I was pretty self-confident. To me, New York seemed more attractive, easier than Paris (and I’d never been to either city). I arrived there when the Korean war broke out. It was dramatic. At the time, Yugoslavia was presiding over the Security Council and Aleš Bebler was our Head of Mission. I was present at that meeting. Of course, I was sitting in the back row, more to hear and learn than to be of some use. Bebler was brilliant. His competence was admired by everyone, it scared me. He addressed BUDIMIR LONČAR and ANGELA MERKEL the French in French, the English in English, the Russians in Russian, the Spanish in Spanish. When but it was under ItalAt the time, Yugoslavia was ian occupation, havthe meeting was over, I was so proud of the role of presiding over the Security ing fallen under their my country and the superiority of our ambassador. Council and Aleš Bebler was our rule after World War But I didn’t sleep all night. I was wondering how Head of Mission. I was sitting in the I was going to cope in that environment. I’d just I. Of course, no one would even dream of started learning English, I’d just started learning back row, more to hear and learn sending their child about the world, while these people were solving than to be of some use. He was to school there beits most difficult problems. How could I go back brilliant. His competence was cause it meant giving home? But then I felt the awakening of a partisan admired by everyone, it scared me. courage, determination and obstinacy: I must stay them over to another culture, another naHe addressed the French in French, here, this is a huge privilege for me. tion. My father’s two were also the times when Yugoslavia the English in English, the Russians was“These brothers were living establishing its international position. We in Russian, the Spanish in Spanish were to earn the trust of the West, especially in America and he wanted to send me of the United States, and establish closer relations not only with America but also with the rest of the world. there. My mother preferred me to stay and go to school, and this It wasn’t easy because this was also the time of the American prevailed with the support of elder brothers. They sent me to Zagreb. McCarthyism and wich hunt. I was lucky that Yugoslav diplomacy “And how did I go into diplomacy and set off into the world? had two great men who had fought in the Spanish Civil war, two “World War II definitely played a crucial role. It was a fight for experienced men of the world: Aleš Bebler in New York and freedom, without defined ideological goals. Though the fight was lead Vladimir Popović in Washington. Looking back, I can really say by the Communist Party, we, scores of young people who joined it, that good fortune was with me at that time. were just against the occupier, without prejudice. All of this turned “Emboldened by my inexperience, strong patriotism and post-war us into thinkers and there were two things that ran in parallel: an 80 |



to ask the world to help,” he continues. “I believed that we should euphoria, I socialised with very important people. So many of them turn to the EU. Despite little enthusiasm in the EU and even less helped me in those early days and I remember them with gratitude among the Yugoslav leadership, and thanks to my friend, the and respect to this day. General Ellery C. Huntington helped me a late French foreign minister Claude Cheysson who was then in lot, he was a member of the OSS, the American intelligence service charge of EU enlargement, and to Jacques Delors, President of and Head of US Mission during WW2 with Tito. He introduced me the European Commission, I made a bold move and succeeded in to William J. Donovan, Head of the OSS. Even my superiors were having our association accepted as an orientation for future memamazed that I knew these men personally. bership. This happened after twenty years of relations between Professor Philip E. Moseley meant a lot to me too. He was from Yugoslavia and a united Europe. This logical move was followed Columbia University, a Slavist especially interested in Yugoslavia, by another one: against the stance of the country’s Presidency, a Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. Professor Moseley I practically imposed the second presidency of the Non-Aligned was one of the highly respected experts on the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Franklin Clark Fry, President of the United Lutheran Church for America and then Pastor, who later became President of The Lutheran World Federation, was a man who opened many doors for me, made my work easier and boosted my self-confidence. All this was valuable experience for me, a great challenge and a test. I still think that my beginnings in New York were tough, but crucial for my professional, human, intellectual and cultural growth. Despite my initial trepidations, my success surpassed my expectations.” Leko remembers another “important moment in life”. “Thanks to Koča Popović, who had faith in me and with whom I’d spent eight and a half years (his parting present was a photograph with a dedication that read: From a tormented tormentor), I learnt a lot about the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement and the articulation of its policy. And I’ve been true to it all my life. Even when I was holding other posts, I was BUDIMIR LONČAR and TITO always engrossed by it. I must say that I have made many friendships and received many a Movement on YugoTito was certainly the leading slavia. They were recognition through the NAM, which continues to foreign policy strategist. But this seemingly contradicfunction, although with some oscillations and all was a policy that brought up many tory moves. But with its weaknesses. I have invested a lot of my energy extraordinary people, developed its the need to build a and knowledge in it, and I’m proud of it. I believe new order and a nonthat the philosophy of active peaceful coexistence own merits and, one can say, aligned policy, we had is as relevant today as it was decades ago.” its particularly recognisable style. to spur our evolution Mr Lončar talks in detail about the internationThe inventive people who led the alisation of the Yugoslav crisis, a challenge that, and affirmation. Minway were Vlatko Velebit, Aleš ister Hans Dietrich as he puts it, “was the most painful one” for him. Genscher, and in par“I was a minister when I found myself in a Bebler, Veljko Mićunvić, Leo Mates, situation where I had to think how to use our Mišo Pavićević, Josip Đerđa, Vladimir ticular our French colleague Cheysson, international relations to de-escalate a constituPopović, Mladen Iveković, Ivo Vejvoda suggested that the tional and political crisis, how to turn our massive foreign-policy capital into support and influence Non-Aligned Movement should get more involved in the global processes that from as many countries as possible and, if necessary, their intervention to prevent what, sadly, did happen – a bloody conflict. It came into being when the Cold War ended and that it would be was clear that Yugoslavia couldn’t survive as it was. As a one-party best if we took the initiative, i.e. bring the NAM’s presidency to yet multinational country, lagging behind its own democratic and Belgrade. And this was supposed to help peaceful resolution of foreign-policy commitments, it was outdated. Yugoslav crisis. These two initiatives were my greatest diplomatic achievements. Sadly, neither of them bore fruit. So it was “I must say that the internationalisation of the crisis was the a Pyrrhic victory that turned into a great, the greatest failure.” most important and most difficult mission and task I’ve ever had. Leko then concludes, “The war broke out in Yugoslavia, although In a way, the capital that Yugoslavia had acquired gave it the right APRIL



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this internationalisation did affect some processes and eventually the end the conflict, but it wasn’t in time and it didn’t prevent the war. Yugoslavia had reached a stage where it had to be redefined, as I said at the meeting of the Security Council that I’d also initiated so that the legitimacy of international intervention was recognised by the most important body of the United Nations and under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, while everybody kept asking how a country that was so different from other East European countries had suddenly found itself in such a predicament. What happened to us was that the ruling party, the ruling structure, was not capable of carrying out accelerated democratisation, which meant plural-

- “This is at the same time an easy and a difficult question. Different generations worked in different times. Tito was certainly the leading foreign policy strategist. But this was a policy that brought up many extraordinary people, developed its own merits and, one can say, its particularly recognisable style. The inventive people who led the way were Vlatko Velebit, Aleš Bebler, Veljko Mićunvić, Leo Mates, Mišo Pavićević, Josip Đerđa, Vladimir Popović, Mladen Iveković, Ivo Vejvoda. My generation inherited and learnt a lot from them. Our predecessors were people of the world by education, knowledge and experience, courage and personal integrity. For instance, Vlatko Velebit’s mission and his talks with Churchill in 1943, when as a representative of the National Liberation Movement he impressed his British counterparts, is well-known.

■ What does he say about his predecessors, the ministers? - “Koča Popović’s contribution to the development of Yugoslav diplomacy was the greatest. He was head of Yugoslav diplomacy for thirteen years. He was definitely the one who left the strongest impression on me and he remains the greatest authority to date. He could see the advantages and disadvantages of any concept. As a great intellectual, he was always tormented by doubt and self-criticism. This would sometimes hinder his efficiency. But this was his virtue, worthy of respect. Many considered him a cynic but he was really the hardest on himself. Marko Nikezić used to impress me with his ability to find simple solutions to difficult, complicated BUDIMIR LONČAR and HENRY KISSINGER problems through light communication, subtly ism and market oriconducted talks, solid opinions and consistency. Koča Popović’s contribution to entation. It was hapMirko Tepavac lead the ministry for a relatively the development of Yugoslav pening, but it wasn’t short time. He played an important part and left a diplomacy was the greatest. He decisive enough. It big legacy. He was a man of great integrity, strong was head of Yugoslav diplomacy was a precondition resolution and high ethics. Here’s an example: When for re-ordering the for thirteen years. He was definitely Brezhnev visited the country in September 1971 federation, which there was some tension in relations with the USSR, the one who left the strongest was effectively a conand Tepavac and Gromyko ended up in disagreement impression on me and he remains over the final document. Brezhnev complained to federation under the the greatest authority to date 1974 constitution, Tito about Tepavac’s opposition to the statement and the republics that socialism was particularly important for mutual were the ones that held sovereignty. Naturally, Milošević’s narelations. Tepavac was adamant that Yugoslavia’s fundamental position tionalistic politics tried to use the Yugoslav National Army to was that international relations, including those with the USSR, should break up not only the federation’s constitutional foundations but be de-ideologised, as ideology was a hindrance to international relations. I remember that even on the Brijuni Islands in 1972, when the also the foundations that were established under AVNOJ, and to international situation and the position of Yugoslavia were discussed take advantage of big historic upheavals in Europe and worldwide and Kardelj criticised the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as to redesign Yugoslavia under a Unitarian hat. How things then ‘lacking an ideological component and emphasising the superiority developed in the wild frenzy of the lowest of nationalist forces is of political pluralism and the market economy’, Tepavac replied that only too well-known.” the value of the analysis was in its non-ideological approach. Miloš Minić became foreign minister after the fall of the Serbian ■ Hearing this open exposé, we wanted to know who in the liberals. He had no diplomatic experience but he had good reputaformer Yugoslav diplomacy Mr Lončar particularly held in tion on the political scene. He was well-educated, refined and Tito’s high regard. 82 |



loyal acolyte. Political leaders at the time and ambitious staff in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wanted to oust those close to Marko Nikezić, Mirko Tepavac and Koča Popović. Minić strongly opposed them. He didn’t allow a purge.”

■ Has anyone disappointed him? - “I’ve met many people whom I found interesting”, says Mr Lončar, “and I can’t say that I’ve been disappointed by any of them, because I learnt even from those who were wrong. Those who are wrong also teach in a way. I never thought I’d wasted my time talking to anybody. Diplomacy is the art of the possible. Of course, times and methods change. The ability to change has become increasingly important in this fast-paced and chaotic world. I was – and I’ll say it again – lucky. I made choices, but there was an element of luck as well. I surrounded myself with the most talented, most capable young diplomats whichever post I held. I gave them a chance just like

■ And from the big wide world, who is on your list? - “First and foremost, Willy Brandt, as a moral and political pillar, with his historic contribution to Germany’s facing its demons from the past and with his vision of how to end the Cold War, how to turn Germany, the object of the Cold War, into an actor in the detente and unification of Europe. I was impressed by Jawaharlal Nehru and his views on how to make yesterday’s colonial powers an integral part of the global community and how to heal the painful wounds and overcome the legacy of the colonial past. Indira Ghandi left a strong impression on me with her extraordinary view that India, as the greatest democracy among the Non-Aligned countries, should unobtrusively yet efficiently develop a sense of belonging to the NAM in both large and small countries equally, without making the latter feel subordinate. In his own way and for some other reasons Richard Nixon is also on my list. He was a typical, thoroughbred follower of realpolitik. What Henry Kissinger developed and implemented was in essence Nixon’s idea too. He started the dialogue with the USSR about arms control, especially nuclear arms control. His relationship with China remains important up to the present day. After he’d resigned, I met him on several occasions and BUDIMIR LONČAR and Former British Prime Minister MARGARET THATCHER I always saw him as a human being who naturally represented the interests of a great capitalist and I had had mine.” Willy Brandt was a moral imperialist country but who also had a sense of and political pillar, with his historic the world that was changing and was at the same ■ And to end this or contribution to Germany’s facing its any other conversatime interdependent. demons from the past and with his tion with Budimir I was also impressed by Mikhail Gorbachev, Lončar, a typical whose credits are historic although his visions vision of how to end the Cold War, didn’t come true. I had interesting, enriching how to turn Germany, the object of question: Where are you rushing off conversations with him, although I had a feeling the Cold War, into an actor in the to now? that he took some aspects of Western politics too detente and unification of Europe - “I’m about to leave lightly. He failed to understand that the politics for America. Our famwere not determined only by governments or ily is there, our sons and daughters-in-law, our five grandchildren. country leaders but that there were the so-called ‘constants’ too, Only my wife Janja and I have remained here. She, as the saying goes, such as the military, intelligence and big corporations with their is the woman behind the successful man. In fact, in this time-travel influential lobbies.” – we started with New York in the past and are finishing with New Mr Lončar mentions many others. He has fond memories of his York in a few days ‒ I must say that my greatest achievement is my French colleague Claude Cheysson, “whose best man I was, albeit family. They have always been my greatest joy and biggest support. at his third wedding”, and of his German colleague Hans Friedrich And, I’ll also be going to a meeting in South Carolina, ‘A Quarter of Genscher. “Herbert Wehner once asked me, ‘What do you think, how a Century After the Cold War: Global Realpolitik Today’. Times are is this meaty man with big ears going to handle foreign affairs? He’s hard. We have to talk and not succumb to fear and hopelessness to going to break all the china in our eastern politics.’ I replied, ‘I don’t successfully face the threats and dangers that are lurking everywhere.” know Genscher well enough, but I have a feeling that he is a man Sailing the big wide world, that started a long time ago from the who has the ability to connect a vision with reality.’ Later, Wehner fishermen’s village of Preko, goes on. ■ admitted, ‘Ambassador, you were right’”. APRIL



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HANI MIRACLE - YUANYANG TERRACE ▶ Yuanyang County is in the Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province in China. Thousands of years ago, the Hani people living in this place created a wonder by developing large areas of terraced fields on the mountainsides and in the valleys. Nowadays, those terraced fields still support the Hani people both materially and spiritually. The fields are food sources for a population of 350,000, the 640 square kilometres of forests on the mountains hold the water for daily use and irrigation, and a total of 4,653 canals in the county carry water to irrigate the terraced fields. The terraced fields also play a central part in the religious ceremonies of the Hani people.




MAN BURIED WITH $55,000 TO ‘BRIBE’ GOD ▶ A 52-year-old Ugandan, Charles Obong, left a will stating that his wife should deposit $55,000 in his coffin. The money was to be given to God on the Day of Judgement as an offer so that his sins could be

forgiven. He asked his brother and sister to ensure that his wife does as instructed. After a protracted illness, he died and was buried in his ancestral home in the northern Lira district of the country. His will was, however, ‘violated’ over the weekend after his remains were exhumed and the money removed by his clan members.

▶ Following clear success achieved in previous seasons, the World Tattoo Convention in Paris (Mondial du Tatouage) returned to the Grande Halle de La Villette for its 5th edition. This year’s world tattoo expo featured more than four hundred tattoo artists from around the world. Rising stars of tattoo art and famous international tattoo artists presented their artwork,

“flash tattoo”, books, prints etc. The convention also provided the occasion for some to get tattooed by a tattoo artist from anywhere in France or abroad. Tattoo competitions were organised during these three days, along with concerts, DJ sets, tattoo art exhibitions, as well as guests of honour. The event also proved to be a good occasion for passionate and curious tattoo-lovers to better familiarise themselves their tattoo idols and check out professional tattoo stands, exhibitions, seminars and even concerts.


THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGE IN POLAND ▶ A small ancient village in Southeast Poland, Zalipie, is definitely one of the country’s most beautiful villages, due to its small wooden cottages, which are painted in the most vibrant colours. This lovely tradition started more than a century ago, when every single female resident in Zalipie began to paint her home with floral themes, as she wanted to cover up some particular faults. And since the women didn’t have professional equipment, they manufactured the brushes themselves, using hair from the tails of their cows. As or the paint itself, the women used fat from the dumplings they made. What is very important is that each year all the women had to repaint their charming designs.

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MOSCOW ABOVE THE CLOUDS ▶ Photographer Dmitry Chistoprudov took pictures of Moscow when clouds sunk very low. According to him, this kind of weather condition occurs just a few times a year. It happens when a warm front comes after severe frosts and gradually replaces the icy air. This is a moment of magical beauty that is not visible from the ground. From the observation deck of the Ostankino television tower, however, Chistoprudov captured the city and some sights, including the business centre and Moscow State University building.

been there for the couple throughout the years and the couple’s love “is as cheesy as a quesadilla.”



The winner of Taco Bell’s “Love and Tacos” contest gets an allexpenses paid trip to Las Vegas to get married in a chapel at the chain’s flagship restaurant. The wedding venue opens to the public later this year.

▶ Diane Nguyen entered

Taco Bell’s contest with an Instagram picture of herself wearing a burrito-wrapper dress while holding a tray with her fiancee in front of a Taco Bell counter. She wrote that Taco Bell has USA


THE DAYS OF CAMELLIA ▶ The Days of Camelia during March and April in Montenegro, offers dazzling exhibitions of floral displays of camellias, combining the creativity, art and floral mastery of the people of Kotor Bay. According to legend, in 1870 this exotic ornamental flower



SPRINT RACE ▶ At the U.S.A. Track and Field Masters Indoor

Championships in Albuquerque, 99-year-old Orville Rogers squared off against 92-year-old Dixon Hemphill in a 60-metre sprint showdown. With the crowd cheering the nonagenarians on, Hemphill got off the blocks faster and appeared on his way to a victory. But Rogers turned on the jets in the final few metres and began to close ground as they hit the finish line. In real time, it’s difficult to tell who finished first. But the 99-year-old Rogers was credited with the win, completing the distance in 18 seconds flat. Hemphill ran the 60 metres in 18.05 seconds.

▶ China is planning to build around 20 floating nuclear power stations to provide a stable power source for its offshore oil and gas projects, as well as residents in disputed islands in the South China Sea. Beijing is doubling down on nuclear energy development in an effort to pump up power in the South China Sea. According to Wang Yiren, vice director of the State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defence, China plans to build a floating nuclear power plant over the next five years. About 20 floating stations are expected to be built and posted in the disputed islands, Science and Technology Daily reported.

was brought by a Stoliv captain from Japan to Kotor Bay as a present for his wife and since then it grew to become the most fashionable and prized flower in the region, as it brightens winter and spring days with its colourful blossoms, warming people’s hearts. To celebrate the camellias, diverse events are organised in Stoliv and Kotor Bay, including floral exhibitions, fine arts exhibitions, the Camellia Ball, the contest of the Miss Camellia and much more.




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A Classic


Ever wondered why some things just don’t lose their sparkle and appeal over the course of time? When looking at vintage watches, it becomes clear why this is the case, though it helps to look at the origins of the wristwatch. Ever since soldiers were given watches when heading off to fight in the wars of the 20th century, the wristwatch has come to carry much meaning. It is not only a fashion item, but rather also carries and implies status. The wristwatch has never really gone out of fashion and has not lost its charm down the generations. Even with all the hi-tech Apple watches coming out on the market, convenience only goes so far. Here are some of the best known latest versions, to give you some ideas if you have yet to find your own vintage wristwatch.

Tissot - Everytime Small As it names indicates, this watch will be the winner everytime, for any occasion. A classical, timeless design, the sleek and clean face of the Tissot Everytime singles it out as a very modern watch. The cool minimalism of the face leaves room for some fun experimentation with the bracelet. Price: €195

Longines - Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 Patek Philippe - Chronographe À Quantième Annuel The new PATEK PHILIPPE CHRONOGRAPHE À QUANTIÈME ANNUEL marks a further step forward in the evolution of Patek Philippe's Annual Calendar Chronographs: thanks to creative fine-tuning, it has a clearly distinctive new look. The manifestly elegant model with the blue dial comes with matching navy blue strap. A matt black alligator strap complements the version with the black dial. Both straps are secured with a platinum 950 prong buckle. Price: €64,840

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Longines takes us back in time with its new Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935, to the 1930s to be exact. The 41mm steel model stands out for its dial angled at 40°which enabled pilots to see the display. The model was also commissioned by the US army in 1935. The polished white lacquer dial on the Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 is seriously retro with oversize honey-coloured Arabic numerals and blue pearshape hands. The monopusher chronograph has a central seconds hand, 30 minute counter at 12 and date display at 6. The watch is waterproof to depths of 30m. Price: €4,750

IWC - Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 Pilot watches have an instantly recognisable design: large size, big Arabic numerals, chunky hands, protruding crown and minimalist dial. Although highly popular with watch enthusiasts, some criticise the case size and depth for comfort or design reasons. This year IWC has designed a smaller and slimmer Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 which, has a 36mm steel case. The self-winding 3511 calibre powers the time and date functions along with the 42-hour power reserve. Price: €3,900

Cartier - Drive Extra-Flat Despite campaigns strongly aimed at men, this watch would adorn a woman’s wrist as much as a man’s. For this year Cartier has designed a slim, pure version simply baptised Drive Extra-Flat. Its cushion-shaped case is 38mm by 39mm and under 7mm thick, and is available in white gold (limited to 200 pieces) or pink gold. The case contains the 430 MC calibre, a manual winding movement driving the hours and minutes, while providing a power reserve of about 40 hours. Price: €13,700

Emile Chouriet - Heritier Lady Héritier Lady is a classic little watch of perfect proportions for those who like the hour to be discreet and unfussy. As classic simplicity dictates, the dial of the Héritier Lady is coated in immaculate snow-white lacquer. The disc with its porcelain pallor holds an hour rim made up of Roman numerals and long markers as well as a fine minute track, In the centre, two spearshaped steel hands, completed by a baton-shape seconds hand, count down the hours, the minutes and the seconds. Price: €980

Girard - Perregaux Laureato 42 Thirty different watches have been added to the Girard-Perregaux catalogue in the Laureato range. But the watch that seems to have had the most impact is the Laureato 42, which suit both women and men, maintaining its strong identity since the 1970s. The setting carved out of steel or titanium is topped by the famous octagonal crown with rounded angles. The crown enhances the watch face that comes in three colours (silver, slate grey or blue) The date is displayed in white on a background matching the watch face in a window at 3 o’clock. Price: Around € 10,000

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Watch. 41mm x 10.80mm 18K pink gold case, screw-locked crown, glareproofed sapphire crystal, black dial with Grande Tapisserie pattern, pink gold applied hourmarkers, and pink gold Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating, selfwinding Audemars Piguet Calibre 2385 movement with chronograph, date, and small seconds, approximately 40 hours of power reserve, hand-stitched large square scale black crocodile strap with 18K pink gold folding buckle. Water resistant to 50 meters. Price: €28,400

Omega - Speedmaster For the beginning of the year, Omega has released a preview version of two Speedmaster watches, with this being the second. This new Speedmaster 38mm, affectionately nicknamed the “Cappuccino“ because of its soft colours, is driven by the Omega 3330 calibre. This self-winding movement, certified as a chronometer by the COSC and fitted with a Co-Axial escapement and a silicon spiral, drives the hour, calendar and chronograph functions while providing over 50 hours of power reserve. Price: €8,740 APRIL



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Spring Is In The Air! FASHION


Whether you’re a keen runner or just getting started, having the right clothing will help you feel comfortable during your workouts

Spring is finally in the air! Unfortunately, with the longer days comes the inevitable unpredictability of the weather. Conditions could be sunny, but they could be blustery and overcast, cool and rainy, or even worse. When it comes to keeping up with your outdoor

workouts, you must be prepared for all of the above. Between providing protection from the wind and rain, and offering easy adaptations for high or low temperatures, this gear will ensure you’re ready for whatever weather comes your way this season.

Asics Stripe Short Sleeve Top With the tiger stripes on your shoulder, you'll turn heads along urban road and park paths. And you can take to the streets at night with reflective dots at the front and back. Price: €30

Icebreaker Men's Cool-Lite Incline Windbreaker Combining a lightweight, weatherresistant nylon shell with a merino mesh lining, the Incline Windbreaker is the ultimate active layer for trail running, hiking and other active pursuits in the mountains and beyond. Price: €140

Icebreaker Women’s Aero Tank Go-to ultralight tech top in a breezy sleeveless design, the Aero Tank features an updated design for improved comfort on summer trail runs, extended hikes and any time you need maximum breathability and lightweight comfort. The Aero features 120gm tissue-weight fabric that blends soft, breathable and odorresistant merino wool with a touch of nylon for added durability. Price: €55

ON Cloudflash men’s ISPO Product of the Year Award for 2017/18, Gold for best Performance Shoe! Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but it can dissipate. Small Pebax cushions adhere directly to the Cloudflash’s midsole, moving energy from strike to toe-off, propelling the runner forward. A hybrid sock liner supports the foot. A heel-cap cradles it for a secure fit. The lightest shoe in the On lineup, the Cloudflash is built for speed. Price: €190

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Adidas Women’s Pure BOOST X Adidas Pure Boost shoes have stolen our hearts. With Boost technology that returns energy with every step and a floating arch that hugs your foot, your running shoe will support your dogs mile after mile. Price: €105

New Balance Women's Reflective Hybrid Jacket Asics Fujitrail Graphic Short Sleeve Top Performance Features & Benefits. Lightweight fabrication. Mesh panels under arm for ventilation. Active seams used through out. Stretch back neck taping. Price: €35

Night Light Spur Want a running light that you truly will forget about? Clip the Light Spur to the heel of your shoe, and you will have a bright, flashing LED that’s with you every step of the way. Price: €15

This wool terry knit jacket, with reflective yarns woven in, provides for 360-degree reflectivity. An athletic fit adds some style to your look, and the company's NB Dry technology wicks away moisture when you get sweaty. Price: €160

Asics Nimbus ST sock Take on marathons, half-marathons and 10ks in a sock built for the longest distances. Every landing is a little easier on you with shock-absorbing cushioning, while your heels and toes are cocooned in extra-soft Nanoglide yarn. Price: €15

New Balance Impact 3 Inch Split Men’s Short Get the freedom you need to go the distance with the men’s Impact 3" Split Short. Reflective trims provide plenty of visibility while a fuel pocket, an elastic waistband and internal brief provide plenty of comfort. Price: €35

Asics Graphic Women’s Tight Complete your look with the all-over aurora print on a tight designed to help you go fast and long. Soft, lightweight fabrics are supremely comfortable and keep their shape wash after wash, so it never lets you down. Price: €70

Mizuno Women's Wave Creation 18 The Wave Creation 18s are great for overpronators who need arch support — but want to log some serious miles. Since they are a high-cushion shoe, expect ultimate comfort even after your long runs. Price: €100

ProSource Premium Sport Massage Foam Roller Deep tissue massage- Unique hexagonal bumps designed for a firm yet flexible finger-tip like massage and stretch without sharp pressure. Self-myofascial release- Improves blood circulation, muscle recovery time, range of motion and injury prevention. Versatile- Ideal for large, complex muscles like thighs, calves, back and chest. Great for advanced users needing a deeper massage. Price: €35




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H.E. PERTTI IKONEN (welcome address)

The Embassy of Finland in Belgrade and the Cultural Centre of Belgrade jointly organised a concert of the music of Jean Sibelius at the Belgrade City Assembly, where Sibelius’s classical pieces were performed by renowned Finnish pianist Uki Ovaskainen, who is wellknown to the audience in Belgrade, soprano Aneta Ristić and cellist Vuk Ovaskainen. Theconcertwasheldundertheauspicesoffestivities marking this year’s centenary of Finnish independence. According to H.E. Ambassador Pertti Ikonen, “The goal of this jubilee celebration is to introduce the public to Finland, its culture, values and social life, as well as the successful cooperation that exists between the Nordic countries, which may be a good model for this region”.



The second Business Forum India – Serbia has been held in Belgrade, organised by the Embassy of India to Serbia as a preparatory meeting ahead of the third session of the Joint Economic Committee of India and Serbia, to be held in New Delhi soon. Host of the forum was H.E. Narinder Chauhan, Ambassador of India to Serbia, who noted that Serbia and India have excellent political relations, but that there could be more cooperation in the economy and trade exchange. Acting Director of the Development Agency of Serbia, Željko Sertić, said that he expects an increase in the trade exchange between the two countries, which currently totals about $142 million, while State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nemanja Stevanović, reminded participants that the prime ministers of Serbia and India had set as a goal of trade between the two countries reaching a billion dollars annually in the coming years.




TheEmbassyofFinland,togetherwiththeChamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, organised the seminar “Doing Business with Finland”, held at the Finnish Ambassadorial Residence in Belgrade. The aim of the seminar was to introduce possibilities for cooperation between Finnish and Serbian companies and institutions. “Our business decisions are based on solid facts and long-term business opportunities,” said H.E. Pertti Ikonen in his opening remarks. The Finnish delegation was led by Mr Mika Vehnamaki, from the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ms Siv Ahlberg, from the Finnish business partnership programme – Finnpartnership. SIV AHLBERG, Finnpartnership

ANDREJA PAVLOVIĆ, Nordic Business Alliance, and MIHAJLO VESOVIĆ, Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia

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Under the framework of the “SMART Trio” discussions, held at the Startit Centre and jointly organised by AmCham - the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia - and the University of Sheffield, personal experiences on the topic of “Happiness” were presented by Aleksandra Ninković Tašić, president of the Mihajlo Pupin EducationResearch Society, Živorad Vasić, vice president of Delta Holding and Regional Director of the InterContinental Hotel Group, and Vojislav Lazarević, Executive Board Chairman and CEO of Piraeus Bank in Serbia. Those in attendance had the opportunity to hear, in a friendly and informal atmosphere, what happiness means to these successful people. Following its series of successful “SMARTTalk” events, AmCham launched “SMART Trio” as a new format for prominent representatives of the academic and business communities, as well as important personalities from the worlds of culture, art and sport, to discuss ŽIVORAD VASIĆ (left), ALEKSANDRA important and inspiring themes NINKOVIĆ TAŠIĆ and VOJISLAV LAZAREVIĆ and values.



IVANA PARČETIĆ MITIĆ, editor of the Marketing mreža portal


This year’s Izazov (Challenge) forum, organised by portal Marketing mreža at Belgrade’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, included discussion of everything from trends in integrated communications to the situation on the region’s market of marketing communications. Izazov 2017 included the active participation of more than 250 experts from the fields of marketing and communications, with representatives of agencies and companies from across the entire region, including Microsoft, Eurobank, Ušće Shopping Centre, IBM, Mercedes-Benz, IKEA, SBB,Vip Mobile, L’OREALAdria-Balkan,UNIQAosiguranje(insurance), HEINEKEN Srbija, Delta Holding,Vojvođanska Bank, Societe Generale Bank and many others.






The Hellenic Business Association of Serbia (HBA) organised the 11th annual event in honour of the traditional breaking of “vasilopita” (New Year’s Day bread or cake containing a hidden coin). The event was attended by HBA members and friends, as well as members of the wider Greek business community in Serbia and representatives of the Greek Embassy in Belgrade. HBA President Georgios Papanastasiou stressed that HBA members represent €2.5 billion of Greek investments in Serbia and employ more than 15,000 people. H.E. Elias Eliades, Greek Ambassador to Serbia, also addressed guests and wished the HBA continued success in its work.

H.E. ELIAS ELIADIS, Ambassador of Greece to Serbia





Turkish Culture Night started with the photographic exhibition “The Eye of Istanbul”, by famous Turkish photo artist Ara Güller, at Parobrod Culture Centre in Belgrade. The exhibition and documentary screening were organised with the aim of introducing the Serbian public to the works of this famous artist, which represents part of world cultural heritage. This is the first exhibition of this artist’s photography in Belgrade. Güler has been documenting the cultural and domestic life of his home city since the 1940s. Turkish Culture Night was organised by the Turkish Embassy in Belgrade, led by H.E. Tanju Bilgiç, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Serbia.



The exhibition “Serbian art in ten images, from the collection of the Matica Srpska Gallery”, authored by Snežana Mišić, has opened at the French Institute in Belgrade. The exhibition has been organised to mark the occasion of the Month of Francophonie and the 170th anniversary of the existence of Matica Srpska Gallery. The opening of the exhibition was attended by Tijana Palkovljević Bugarski, director of Matica Srpska Gallery, Jean-Baptiste Cuzin, director of the French Institute in Serbia, H.E. French Ambassador Christine Moro and the author. Mišić said that the exhibition was created in order H.E. CHRISTINE MORO and Mr LOUIS MORO, to use ten images to present our art collection and MRS TIJANA PALKOVLJEVIĆ BUGARSKI, thus show the development of Serbian art in the director of Matica Srpska Gallery, and Mrs SNEŽANA MIŠIĆ, author of the exhibition period from the 18th century to the mid-20th century. APRIL



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Australian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Julia Feeney, and her husband, Tony, in cooperation with the Niš Centre for Girls, hosted morning tea at the Australian ambassadorial residence in Belgrade. The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the importance of promoting girls’ human rights in any society. With this in mind, the Embassy set up an exhibition of artworks by the Centre’s protégés, with aim of raising funds for their excellent work via a silent auction of the exhibited pieces. The starting price for each piece was either 7,000 or 12,000 dinars. Guests included members of the diplomatic corps and figures from Serbia’s culture and academic scenes, H.E. JULIA FEENEY (centre) with as well as representatives of business organisations. representatives of the Niš Centre for Girls




To mark the occasion of International Women’s Day, the EU Delegation in Serbia, the EU Info Centre and the UN Country Team in Serbia, in cooperation with the Coordination Body for Gender Equality of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, organised a panel discussion “Women and work: doubly employed”, which focused on the traditional model of relations between the two sexes. The gathering was welcomed by Dr Branka Drašković, advisor to the president of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, Milana Rikanović, head of the Office of UN Women in Serbia, and Nicolas Bizel from the EU Delegation in Serbia. Participants in the panel discussion included Ana Kunovac Ilić, entrepreneur, Jovanka Dimitrijević, pensioner, Đulijeta Sulić, coordinator for Roma issues in the city administration of Smederevo, and Marko Somborac, cartoonist and one of the winners of “Real Man” Award.




Photo: Marko Djoković

The Creative Educational Centre KEC for people living with intellectual andmentaldisabilities((http://kecmnro. was visited by H.E. Alona FisherKamm, Ambassador of Israel to Serbia, former Israeli Ambassador Arthur Koll, with his wife Jeanette, and Belgrade Philharmonic Director Ivan Tasovac. It was in 2012 that KEC received space to use, at 4 Kraljevića Marka Street, from the Belgrade City Assembly, after which it was renovated by the U.S. Embassy, with the support of the Embassy of Israel. “I’m proud that the Embassy of Israel was instrumental in gaining this space and the implementation of the KEC programme for people living with intellectual disabilities in Belgrade,” said H.E. Fisher-Kamm. Mr Tasovac said he was always glad to see KEC users handing out programmes before concerts at the Belgrade Philharmonic, under the auspices of the programme of work engagementthatKEChasimplemented successfully since 2004. 92 |






Popular-science magazine Galaksija (Galaxy) was one of the best periodicals of its kind in Europe, until it was shut down in 2001.Thanks to the efforts of the last editor of this magazine, Stanko Stojiljković, Galaksija is with us once again – in an electronic version. In the RTS Gallery, in the presence of a large number of scientists, scientific scholars and lovers of science, the electronic edition of this magazine for the popularisation of science “Galaksija nova” was presented. Speaking at the promotion were academic Vladimir Kostić, SANU President Branko Kovačević, the president of AINS, editor-in-chief of scientific-educational programming at RTS and acting director of Television Serbia, Ilija Cerović, and editor of this electronic publication, Stanko Stojiljković. New Galaxy will primarily present the achievementsofSerbianresearchers in the country and elsewhere, which are largely neglected in similar reviews, though it also won’t be short of interpretations of the latestinternationalfindings.




The French Embassy in Belgrade, led by H.E. Christine Moro, presented the third edition of the project Flavours of France/Goût De France. The concept is inspired by the original idea of Auguste Escoffier, who organised the first Epicurean dinner way back in 1912 (the same menu was served on the same day for 60,000 guests in several world cities). As Flavours H.E. CHRISTINE MORO (centre), at the of France does not offer the same menu around the presentation of Goût De France world, every chef invents their own menu “à la française”, adhering to the traditional French framework of aperitif with canapés, appetisers, one or two main courses, French cheeses, dessert, wine and champagne. For the third edition of “Flavours of France” in Serbia, 17 restaurants were selected: 14 in Belgrade and three in Novi Sad. They are: in Belgrade, Casa Nova, Enso, Franche, Homa, Hotel Moskva, Kalemegdan Terasa, Klub književnika (Writers’ Club), Madera, Na ćošku (On the corner), Oxalis, Splav/Raft Play, The Square, Voulez-vous and Žabar, and in Novi Sad, Kafemat 021, Scarpetta and Zak.







In Serbia, as is the case every year, the entire month of March was marked by Francophonie. This year’s Month of Francophonie, coordinated by the French Institute in cooperation with its cultural, institutional and educational partners, offered a very rich programme, which was realised in the mark of Francophonie and education in Serbia. Since 2004, young amateur singers from all over Serbia have been trying their luck in this competition and more than a thousand young people who are learning the French language have already participated in this beautiful campaign. As in previous years, the youngsters interpreted Francophone songs before a jury composed of celebrities, experts in music and the French language, who judged the candidate’s interpretation, creativity, vocal and language skills.




The Coca-Cola System creates €225 million value added in the local economy, or 0.7 per cent of GDP, while every job at the company supports 11 additional jobs in the economy. Every euro created by the System supports an additional €7 of value added in the Serbian economy, in the form of employees’ salaries, profit of companies and tax revenues from the Coca-Cola System and the companies with which it cooperates, ALEKSANDAR RUŽEVIĆ, General manager of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia according to the results of the latest “Socio-Economic Impact of the Coca-Cola System in Serbia” study, presented in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia. Serbia’s budget earns a total of €9 million in direct tax revenues from the Coca-Cola System, while as much as €139 million in tax revenues are supported in the System’s total value chain, equivalent to 1.1% of the country’s total tax income. The System employs 1,000 people directly and supports another 10,700 jobs throughout its value chain, for a total of 11,700 jobs. “This study confirms that we accomplish successful business operations and provide a contribution to the economy, thanks to our exceptional cooperation with partners, employment of the local labour force and investments in the community,” said Aleksandar Ružević, General Manager of “SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE COCA-COLA SYSTEM Coca-Cola HBC Serbia. IN SERBIA”

The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia) organises a large number of educational events for its member companies throughout the year. One of them, the “Time management” seminar, was held last month at Belgrade’s Holiday Inn Hotel. This interactive lecture, organised by AHK member-company Management Centre Belgrade (MCB), included the participation of nearly 50 representatives of companies interested in tools that ease the management of time – of which there is ever less in today’s business. Participants concluded that the time they spent on this education was actually an investment that equated to many hours saved in the future, which will contribute to greater operational efficiency.

MARIJA ŠVIGIR, Management Centre Belgrade




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Belgrade hosted the two-day International Exhibition “Expo Russia-Serbia 2017”, which included an exhibition of fast-moving consumer goods, a programme on the topic “Development of political and economic cooperation with the aim of successfully implementing joint projects of regional and Pan-European significance”, the presentation “Prospects for expanding cooperation between Russia and the countries of the Balkan peninsula at the inter-regional level” and a conference entitled “Free zones and industrial parks of the future”. “We are interested in continuing all positive trends, with the desire of improving energy cooperation with Russia, increasing the volume of the trade exchange and expanding the structure of goods represented in that exchange,” said First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia Ivica Dačić. The exhibition was staged with the support of the Trade Representation of Russia in Serbia, the Russian Embassy to Serbia, the Serbian Embassy to Russia and the governments of Russia and Serbia.



The concert of celebrated pianist Dina Bensaid, organised by the National Library of Serbia and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Belgrade, included performances of Beethoven’s “Sonata op. 90”, Liszt’s “Spanish Rhapsody” and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. Dina Bensaid received first prize in the Competition of HRH Princess Lalla Meryem, Stenway in Paris, the National Music Competition in Morocco and the Flame Competition in Paris. She was also the first Moroccan musician to be selected to participate in the very prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition. The Belgrade concert was attended by H. E Mohamad Amine Belhaj, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Serbia, as well as other representatives of the diplomatic corps and public figures from Serbia.




On the occasion of 90th anniversary of the inauguration of the building of the Czech Embassy in Belgrade, H.E. Ivana Hlavsová, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, organised the “Romantic piano” Gala Evening, featuring pianist Matyáš Novák performing on the renovated August Förster grand piano from the original inventory of the Embassy. Guests included members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Czech national minority in Serbia, figures from the culture and academic scenes of Belgrade, as well as representatives of business organisations.

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CorD Magazine No. 150  
CorD Magazine No. 150