SERBIA JOINS THE NEW SILK ROAD
FIRM SUPPORT TO SERBIA’S EU PATH
A STRONG GOVERNMENT CAN DISCOUNT ITS CRITICS
Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Serbia
President of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC)
Graphics artist, illustrator, caricaturist
NOVEMBER ’16 / ISSUE No. 145
H.E. LI MANCHANG
interviews opinions news comments events PRICE 300 RSD COMMENT
Serbia’s Road To Brussels Via Copenhagen THE SIXTH BELGRADE SECURITY FORUM - BSF
Differences Remain – Cooperation Continues
MIROSLAV LAJČÁK SLOVAKIAN FOREIGN MINISTER
If We Differ,
E XC L U S I V E
WE DIFFER FOR GOOD ISSN1451-7833
COVER MIROSLAV LAJČÁK, Slovakian Foreign Minister
If We Differ, WE DIFFER FOR GOOD
We see our EU membership as the completion of the political and economic success story of the modern Slovakia, and there is no better alternative for us than a functioning, strong and successful European Union. But unity does not mean uniformity, and we freely express our views, whether it comes to migration or enlargement policies
EDITOR: Ana Novčić firstname.lastname@example.org
SERBIA’S ROAD TO BRUSSELS VIA COPENHAGEN
Aleksandar Simić, Composer And Social Activist
IF WE DIFFER, WE DIFFER FOR GOOD
FACES & PLACES
PHOTOS: Zoran Petrović
WINE & RAKIJA
COPY EDITOR: Mark Pullen
A STRONG GOVERNMENT CAN DISCOUNT ITS CRITICS
TRANSLATION: Snežana Bjelotomić, MRP Editorial
SERBIA JOINS THE NEW SILK ROAD
Dušan Petričić, Graphics artist, illustrator, caricaturist
20 FIRM SUPPORT TO SERBIA’S EU PATH Yana Mikhailova, President of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC)
THE SIXTH BELGRADE SECURITY FORUM - BSF
84 THE START OF A NEW MOLECULAR ERA Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016
Differences Remain – Cooperation Continues
90 ARE YOU READY FOR WINTER COLDNESS? Fashion
94 LEARNING FROM MISTAKES 39
CONTRIBUTORS: Rob Dugdale, Maja Vukadinović, Mirjana Jovanović, Miša Brkić, Radmila Stanković, Steve MacKenzie, Zorica Todorović Mirković, Sonja Ćirić
H.E. Li Manchang, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Serbia
ARTISTS SHOULD HELP SOCIETY
Dr Ana S. Trbović, Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration
Miroslav Lajcák, Slovakian Foreign Minister
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Ðurad Caranović, Business Developer, Fundus Holding
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Serbia’s Road to
BRUSSELS VIA COPENHAGEN Just when it seemed that Serbia had finally moved on, by taking action to build better prospects for its citizens by assuming control of its public expenditure and improving the business climate, weak rule of law allowed the weight of the inherited regional instability to pull it back DR ANA S. TRBOVIĆ, Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration (FEFA)
orders and referenda have regained their primacy of this process will […] depend on progress in key areas, inin news coverage and living room discussions. The cluding the normalisation of Serbia’s relations with Kosovo previous experience of political (media) manipula- and implementation of the rule of law reforms”. Nonethetion has rendered people fearful of potential con- less, while Serbia has the power to reform its judiciary and increase government accountability, with no pretext for not flicts – and made investors wary. We have once again been reminded of why good gov- achieving more significant progress in this area of reform, ernance matters; why we need an accountable executive it does not have the power to produce regional stability on government, an independent and efficient judiciary and its own. The EU ambiguity and weak sanctioning of regional regulatory bodies, coupled with effective law enforcement. bursts of nationalism are not helpful methods in support of stability, nor is the insistence that SerHence, we return to the Copenhagen Cribia “normalise” relations with Kosovo by teria for EU accession, the Alphabet of EU When we open making one-sided compromises. Instead, membership conditions. Considering the various negotiation these lead to additional frustration and a path of other recent EU members, includchapters doesn’t sense of humiliation, as noted by the highing those that entered in 2004, this is not matter as much as est Serbian officials. The ultimate consea novelty. The EU even took post-entry quence is reduced, or at least muted, supmeasures against those members that reforms being port for the much-needed rule of law and could not effectively implement the rule implemented structural economic reforms. of law, while the Visegrad Group had to When we open various negotiation chapters doesn’t demonstrate good neighbourly relations prior to accession. Yet, this has proven more difficult in the post-conflict en- matter as much as reforms being implemented. Nonethevironment of the Western Balkans, especially considering less, the EU can use these small steps of formal accession that only Serbia has actively engaged in regional coopera- progress as encouragement – or sticks. As the allure of EU tion, while other countries of the region issue statements membership is fading and palpable progress in everyday but rarely take concrete steps and do not hesitate to re- lives appears ever more distant, the means of inspiration vert back to the language of conflict during rather frequent may be more important than the forest of sticks thrown at Serbia over past decades. In the absence of incentives, election periods. As the European Enlargement Commissioner stated re- the government may decide to linger instead of nurturing cently, “It is up to the candidate countries themselves to de- the progress made on the business climate and proceedfine the dynamics of the accession process. The overall pace ing with difficult reforms while looking to the future. ■
If We Differ,
WE DIFFER FOR GOOD MIROSLAV LAJČÁK SLOVAKIAN FOREIGN MINISTER
We see our EU membership as the completion of the political and economic success story of the modern Slovakia, and there is no better alternative for us than a functioning, strong and successful European Union. But unity does not mean uniformity, and we freely express our views, whether it comes to migration or enlargement policies
e spoke with Miroslav Lajčák, Slovakian Foreign Minister, about the pressing issues that the European Union is currently dealing with, Slovakia’s stance when it comes to the accession process of the Western Balkan countries, and particularly Serbia, and the Slovak experience during the reform process, which may be useful to our country. Slovakia has always stood by Serbia in its European ambitions, and it has demonstrated that with practical deeds, says Lajčák, noting its achievements during the EU Presidency, such as the opening of two key chapters in Serbia’s EU accession negotiations.
We are heading towards a unique process that the EU has never experienced before – the departure of a member state
Migration is a huge challenge. It is not a seasonal issue and is not a problem of one or a few countries. It is a Europe-wide problem and needs to be tackled by joint efforts
Slovakia is a keen supporter of EU enlargement. Reinforcing the credibility of this policy is one of our Presidency’s priorities
■ There are several important issues that are shaping the future of the EU, and Slovakia is very vocal in expressing its stance on each on them. Let us first talk about the migrant issue. Are we closer to finding a sustainable solution, or are opposing voices within the EU tearing the Union further apart? - Migration is a complex issue that requires the joint action of the entire EU and other partners.I believe that the EU has moved forward on this since the Bratislava Summit. During that summit, all participating member states agreed on the necessity of border protection, cooperation with the countries of the origin and/or transit countries in Africa, tackling root causes, as well as keeping the Western Balkan route closed and the EU-Turkey deal intact and functioning. All these measures are at the heart of the EU approach to the issue of migration.
terests of this region (which is fully legitimate and happens also in case of the Benelux countries, the southern EU members or others) or based on different historic experiences. The latter was the case when we rejected the logic of mandatory quotas for migrants as being the only solution for the migrant crisis.
■ It seems that the Visegrad Group of countries is forming a sort of bloc of its own, often arguing against the positions of core EU members, or at least France and Germany. Do you feel that you are well heard and understood on an equal footing? - The statement in the first sentence of your question is, of course, incorrect and this is not happening. The Visegrad Four is a group focused on regional cooperation. Our cooperation is not directed against anyone. Our philosophy is not to be in opposition to anyone. Most of the time, our views and positions are the same as those of other EU member states. But sometimes we differ, based either on different in-
■ In that respect, what is the real weight of Slovakia’s current EU presidency? - Here we have to differ. When one member state holds the EU Presidency, it is not defending or advancing its national interests. So, it doesn’t matter how big the presiding country is or to which groupings it belongs or what preferences it has. What matters is the extent to which that country is able to be an honest broker and consensus builder among the different interests and views of the individual EU member states. That’s because that is precisely what is expected of the EU Presidency. Your weight, respect and success is judged by the way
■ What is your stance when it comes to the post-Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU, and what are your priorities? - We are heading towards a unique process that the EU has never experienced before – the departure of a member state. Our main objective is to preserve the For us, unity does not mean uniformTaking into account best possible relations of EU27 with the UK. Here we ity and we should be free to express our the size of its economy, could offer our relatively recent experience from the views. But if we do that, it is always in the potential of its human a constructive way and in the spirit of “velvet divorce” of the Czech and Slovak republics, since we managed to part ways in a very civilised resources and its seeking European compromise. Someand responsible manner, and lay the foundations for tradition of social values times our partners fail to see that and excellent cooperation and ties afterwards. When it different views from us as sign of and political stability, it is take comes to negotiations about the future EU-UK relalacking solidarity or European immatuno wonder that Germany rity. But, eventually, if you look at what tionship, it has to be clear that there can be no cherry-picking of the benefits of European integration is considered a natural the EU is doing right now in the context without also respecting corresponding obligations of the migrant crisis, you will see many of leader in the EU – namely, participation in the single market without those measures and approaches that we accepting all four freedoms, including the free movement of persons. were advocating for right from the start.
you perform the role of honest broker and fair mediator. The country holding the EU Presidency can also use this position to put its own priorities on the EU agenda – areas where it wants to leave its specific mark. In our case, we chose areas where we want to achieve tangible progress for people and also to use our specific experience and understanding. That is why we are also focusing – apart from on sustainable migration and asylum policy, the digital market and the energy union – on enlargement, at a time when there is generally little appetite for this policy in the EU. And if you look at the results in this field so far, we have managed to find consensus among all EU members to request that the European Commission give its opinion on the application of Bosnia-Herzegovina and to open two key chapters in Serbia’s accession negotiations.
Germany, which played, and continues to play, a significant role in guaranteeing the political and economic prosperity of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. How do you now see the pros and cons of your membership in the EU? - Firstly, Slovakia has not been and is not a “harsh critic” of Germany. Germany is our strategic partner; we have similar positions on so many issues and I personally have a very good, friendly relationship with my German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who recently chose Slovakia to celebrate the most important German holiday – the Day of German Unity. Slovakia has never doubted the benefits that EU integration and EU membership brought to the country. The successful transformation of our political system and the economy with the help of our European partners, modernisation of our infrastructure with the help of EU funds, adoption of the euro, increased attractiveness for foreign investors – these are merely a few of the benefits resulting from our EU membership. Not to mention freedom to move, live, work or study anywhere between Tallinn and Lisbon. Even though we face challenges – like migration, terrorism, falling trust in the European project among the European public – there is no better guarantee of maintaining stability, democracy and prosperity in Europe than the EU itself. To put it differently, we see our EU membership as the completion of the political and economic success story of the modern Slovakia, and there is no better alternative for us than a functioning, strong and successful European Union.
■ ...and the de facto leading role of Germany ■ How has the conflict between Even though we face in shaping the future of the EU? Ukraine and Russia shaped EU polchallenges – like - Taking into account the size of its economy, the poicy and its economic prospects? migration, terrorism, falling tential of its human resources and its tradition of so- Destabilisation generally is a problem trust in the European cial values and political stability, it is no wonder that in today’s world, and may vary in its Germany is considered a natural leader in the EU. It mutations. Slovakia, as one of Ukraine’s project among the is a vital trade and investment partner for many EU neighbours, understands this very well. European public – there member states, including the V4 countries. However, That’s why we support an immediate is no better guarantee for the EU is a group of 28 member states and it is not and comprehensive ceasefire in the east maintaining stability, possible – indeed, it would go against the very idea of Ukraine and why we continue calling of the EU – for one single member or even a group for the full implementation of the Minsk democracy and selected states to set and shape the future agenda agreements. prosperity in Europe than of alone. We are united in a constructive spirit of soliIt is obvious that this issue is definthe EU itself darity and each and every member state bears its ing for political and economic relations share of our joint responsibility (I think the member between the EU and Russia, which used states made that very clear at the summit in Bratislava last September). to be the EU’s strategic partner. There is almost no political dialogue and economic cooperation is hit by the existing sanctions regime. It is ■ Are political issues clouding the equally important and in no one’s interest to prolong such a situation. It needs to be resolved worrying issue of economic stagnation in the EU? How do and the best way to find a solution is in a critical dialogue – about Ruspeople in Slovakia feel about that? sia, but also with Russia. - The European economy is on a slow, but steady path of recovery from the economic and financial crisis. The economy of Slovakia is in very ■ For those watching from the outside, it appears a little surgood shape and is one of the fastest growing in the EU. So, in this reprising that new EU members, whose brighter future started gard I am an optimist. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that the once they joined the EU, are such harsh critics of, for instance, 10 |
in actions and increase diplomatic efforts externally. We are defipublic is not sensitive to recent developments in the Eurozone and nitely not leaving our Balkan partners on their own. The Bratislava those in Europe’s neighbourhood. On the contrary, the level of uncerRoadmap adopted at the Bratislava Summit tainty linked to geopolitical tensions remains last September also contains a reference to high and could affect European economies. In a time when there is the EU’s support to the Balkan countries. We It certainly affects the mood and trust of the generally little appetite will continue to send our assistance and expeople. Job security, personal safety and gloperts to our Balkan partners and also help balisation are just some of their worries. for the enlargement with border protection, in order to relieve These worries and fears are then exploited by policy, during its EU the pressure faced by the Balkan countries. the propaganda and populist political parties Presidency Slovakia who offer easy answers, but no real solutions. managed to advocate ■ Is this the only issue related to secuSlovakia is unfortunately no exception in this rity in the Balkans, or do you see other and our people are also exposed to it. in favour of Bosnia-Herzegovina and issues that could come into play? - The migrant crisis has an important secu■ In your opinion, how are the aforemento open two key chapters rity aspect, but that is not the only issue. The tioned issues shaping the future of the in Serbia’s accession spread of extremism, increasing the radicaliWestern Balkan region? There is also sation of young people and the return of foruproar about migration, with the Balkan negotiations eign fighters from conflict zones, are also maregion not wanting to be left as a waitjor concerns for the region and the EU. That is why we aim to approach ing room for holding migrants. What do you see as the most them also in cooperation with the Balkan countries. probable outcome when it comes to migrants concentrated between Greece and the Hungarian border? ■ As you said, Slovakia is looking forward to tangible progress - Migration is a huge challenge. It is not a seasonal issue and is not a in the accession process for the Western Balkans and Turkey problem of one or a few countries. It is a Europe-wide problem and during its presidency. To what extent are candidate countries needs to be tackled by joint efforts. utilising this opportunity? We take the necessary measures internally and try to be united
- Slovakia is a keen supporter of EU enlargement. Reinforcing the credibility of this policy is one of our Presidency’s priorities. We have to recall that this policy and its credibility is a two-way street, with both sides having their obligations and tasks. It is encapsulated by the principle “Strict but Fair”. The “Strict” part means that the necessary conditions must be met, and once this is achieved the EU responds accordingly and advances its own obligations towards the partners – that is the “Fair” part. I’m glad to say that it works. After a not-so-easy process with Bosnia-Herzegovina, we managed to adopt Council conclusions requesting that the Commission assess B-H’s application for EU membership. Before that, we achieved the opening of two important chapters in Serbia’s accession process. And I believe progress will also be achieved with other countries.
■ How do you perceive bilateral relations with Serbia? - Slovakia has always stood by Serbia in its European aspirations. What I find very important is that we are not only proclaiming our support for Serbia, but rather we have been showing that with practical deeds. That’s because that is the real essence of a true partnership and friendship – not only reassuring your friend about how important they are for you, but also proving that visibly and tangibly. We are helping Serbia with the transfer of experience and knowhow from our transformation and integration process; we are using our ODA to help if there are floods, emergencies; we are helping to alleviate the impact of the migrant crisis… And if you consider the actions of the Slovak EU Presidency vis-à-vis Serbia, they also speak for themselves. ■ Slovakia went through rough times with its reform process, but also managed to develop a strong economy and a particularly strong industrial sector. What would be your messages for the Serbian government in that respect? - Painful reforms pay off eventually. The Slovak Republic has undergone a significant reform process leading to its integration into the EU and NATO. The knowledge and experience gained during the process of transformation and the implementation of reforms allowed Slovakia to actively participate in shaping the European Development Policy, as well as to be part of EU external assistance tools. One of the effective tools used in the official development assistance remains the programme Centre for Experience Transfer from Integration and Reforms (CETIR). Within this programme, numerous Slovakian institutions continue to share their specific experience with relevant state institutions in partner countries. Last but not least, my advice would be to carry out reforms, especially in the area of rule of law, and to do so as quickly as possible. Direct foreign investments can’t be boosted in a volatile judicial environment.
Based on Slovak ■ Slovakia has announced that experience, my advice for Serbia might open three chapters under your country’s presidency. Serbia would be to carry How likely is that outcome today out reforms, especially in and what are the decisive factors the area of rule of law, and ■ Did you also play the card of cheap labour in that respect? to do so as quickly as in attracting, for example, producers in the - Slovakia has announced that durautomotive sector; do you see Serbia today ing its presidency it will act as an possible. Direct foreign as a good investment destination for Slovahonest broker and we have already investments can’t be kian companies, or as a rival in attracting mentioned what that means when it boosted in a volatile foreign investments? comes to the enlargement process. judicial environment - Building on what I’ve just said, it is also important The most important chapters in to reach economic stability, part of which should be Serbia’s accession process – chapters a taxation system that provides reasonable incentives. It is also crucial 23 and 24 – were opened already in the first month of our Presito invest in infrastructure, education, make the healthcare system as dency and we remain ready to work closely with both Serbian and reliable and transparent as possible and boost regional cooperation. European institutions and member states in order to open other With regard to Serbia, we do not see you as a competitor, but rather chapters. Nevertheless, the question of whether more chapters will as a partner on a market that is becoming attractive in many areas, be opened depends predominantly on Serbia. I will not reinvent the including the automotive and IT sectors, energy, infrastructure, enviwheel when I say that Serbia’s accession process is closely linked ronmental protection or water management. ■ to Chapter 35 and the progress in the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue. 12 |
Serbia Joins The New
SILK ROAD H.E. LI MANCHANG
AMBASSADOR OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA TO SERBIA
“As regards the Belgrade-Budapest railway, the construction of this section was agreed between the prime ministers of China, Serbia and Hungary. However, this is also an important multinational enterprise in the context of China’s cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. All three countries are committed to the project and attach great importance to it; their services are working diligently and making steady headway. In practice, there is a big gap between the speed of progress and public expectations, but none of the parties will flinch when faced with complex problems, especially when it comes to the section in Serbia. The Chinese and Serbian teams, which cooperate closely and are making great progress, are expected to make the first breakthrough.” - Li Manchang
Serbia is China’s comprehensive strategic partner, our bilateral relations are rich in content, friendship and cooperation, and we share many common ideals and values
Many Chinese companies are very interested in building industrial parks in Serbia. A few of these companies have already conducted feasibility studies in some Serbian towns and they keep in touch with government services
Cooperation between the two countries is constantly developing, the exchange of human resources is improving from one day to the next, the introduction of new direct flights is a general trend
elations between China and Serbia have been - President Xi’s visit was indeed historic. The leaders of raised to a new level after the visit of the Chithe two countries signed a joint declaration to upgrade nese President Xi Jinping to Serbia, which could the bilateral relations. The two parties signed over twenbe called historic, says the Chinese Ambassador ty agreements, laying a strong foundation for a more Li Manchang in an interview for CorD. Speaking about the effects of the meeting, Ambassador Manchang says that an increasing number of Chinese companies are expressing an interest in doing business in Serbia. An ideal opportunity to see what they offer is for example the industrial park in Borča, for which preliminary designs are being prepared. Ambassador Manchang says that in addition to investing in infrastructure projects and the recent purchase of the steel company Železara Smederevo, Chinese partners are interested in investing in a new field - agriculture. It is imperative for the Serbian economy to join the so-called “new Silk Road”, an economic and infrastructure connection between China and Europe. Examples of already successfully realised projects in Serbia, are the construction of a motorway section, a ring road around Belgrade, bridges and power plants: these are a calling card that the Chinese will use when introducing comprehensive development of themselves in Europe, says Ambassador The development of relations between the two counLi Manchang. The Ambassador points out, economic cooperation is tries. however, that cooperation between the two It is my understanding that now at its peak, Chinese since President Xi’s visit to Sercountries will not lie only in strengthening economic ties. Bilateral agreements signed companies are involved in bia an increasing number of Chiduring the visit of the Chinese President numerous transport and nese institutions and companies have opened the door to cooperation in the expressed interest in startinfrastructure projects in have fields of defence, science and culture. The ing cooperation with Serbia, and Serbia, including the two countries, adds Ambassador Li Manthe scope of cooperation that the chang, share “deep mutual political trust”, two parties are negotiating is Serbian railway, several support each other in international forums expanding. I personally believe sections of the E763 regarding issues of key importance to the the visit has not only deepmotorway, the Belgrade that other party, and help promote world peace ened Chinese-Serbian friendship ring road, an industrial and development. and brought the two nations closer together but it has also park, a waste-power ■ In your opinion, what are the effects of the brought a new prospect for overplant, a waste water recent visit of the Chinese President to Serall Chinese and Serbian cooperaprocessing plant, etc bia, which was seen here as a historic one? tion to flourish in practice. NOVEMBER
■ During the visit, as many as 20 memorandums of coopquisition of Železara Smederevo is the most important eration in various areas were signed. How are the prepaproject of cooperation between the two countries. The rations for their realisation going? In which area has the new investment will boost steel production and the comgreatest progress been made? pany’s international competitiveness, and it will benefit - During the visit, the two leaders local employment and the standsigned The Joint Declaration of ard of living. The countries’ priorChina and Serbia on Upgrading the ity is cooperation in building inRelations to a Comprehensive Strafrastructure. Chinese companies tegic Partnership, marking new build bridges in Serbia, the power heights in the political exchange plant has become a new calling between the two countries and card for Chinese companies comstarting a new chapter of bilateral ing to Europe. The two countries relations and practical cooperaare making headway in the contion. In addition, the two parties struction of roads and railways. signed 12 intergovernmental docThey are also committed to makuments concerning trade, defence, ing agriculture the new highlight culture, education, science, media of their cooperation. and other fields, as well as eight ■ Are Chinese companies interestcommercial agreements. Institutions and enterprises in the two ed in building the industrial park countries work together, constantin Borča? ly improving the implementation - Many Chinese companies are of the agreements. very interested in building indusThe development of economic trial parks in Serbia. A few of these cooperation is now at its peak, companies have already conductChinese companies are involved in ed feasibility studies in some Sernumerous transport and infrastrucbian towns and they keep in touch ture projects in Serbia, including with government services. For the the Serbian railway, several sectime being, the plan is to build an tions of the E763 motorway, the industrial park in Borča. The conBelgrade ring road, an industrial ditions are excellent, the construcpark, a waste-power plant, a waste tion companies and the local govwater processing plant, etc. These ernment are working on the plans Hesteel’s acquisition of projects are making steady proand design. They have already esŽelezara Smederevo is the gress and they will bring real bentablished contact with companies most important project of efits to the Serbian people. that might be interested in setting up here and have received posicooperation between the ■ What is the essence of the Chitive replies. Although everybody two countries. The new nese interest in the Western Balrefers to it as “the Chinese indusinvestment will boost steel kans? How do you perceive Serbia? trial park”, when it opens, both production and the company’s Serbian and foreign companies - Serbia is China’s comprehensive strategic partner, our bilateral reinternational competitiveness, will be welcome to enjoy its good lations are rich in content, friendinfrastructure and services. and it will benefit local ship and cooperation, and we share employment and the many common ideals and values. ■ In November, the tourist organistandard of living China and Serbia share “deep sations of Belgrade and Sarajevo mutual political trust” and supwill present a joint tourist offer port each other in international forums regarding isinspired by the film “Walter Defends Sarajevo”, our most sues of key importance to the other party. China and popular film in China. The presentation will include visits Serbia are committed to the reconstruction of their nato the filming locations in Serbia and in Bosnia-Herzegotions and states, they support each other in the spirit vina and places to which actor Bate Živojinović, a favourof mutual benefit, they both strive to realise their own ite of the Chinese audience, was personally connected. ideals while promoting world peace and development. Will this offer be interesting to the Chinese? The two countries focus on key areas and on deepening - I am very happy to hear this. We in China, especially their cooperation to their mutual benefit. Hesteel’s acPresident Xi and my generation, have a special “Walter 16 |
spirit”. “Walter Defends Sarajevo” and its lead actor Bata Živojinović have left a deep and beautiful impression, the audience loved it. “The Bridge” is another film that the Chinese people remember fondly. I believe that the promotion of the project “In Walter’s Footsteps” will attract many tourists from China who have that “Walter spirit”.
way. In practice, there is a big gap between the speed of progress and public expectations, but none of the parties will flinch when faced with complex problems, especially when it comes to the section in Serbia. The Chinese and Serbian teams, which cooperate closely and are making great progress, are expected to make the first breakthrough.
As regards the
■ What can we expect after the ■ Transport makes travelling easBelgrade-Budapest section, Chinese Prime Minister ordered ier. Is the announced direct flight it was agreed between the the Chinese ministries to speed from Belgrade to Beijing before prime ministers of China, up procedures concerning the the end of the year realistic? Serbia and Hungary. However, - Cooperation between the two construction of the Vienna-Budapest railway? countries is constantly developthis also an important - As regards the Belgrade-Budamultinational enterprise in the ing, the exchange of human repest section, it was agreed besources is improving from one context of China’s cooperation day to the next, the introduction tween the prime ministers of with the countries of Central of new direct flights is a general China, Serbia and Hungary. However, this also an important multrend. We are looking forward to and Eastern Europe tinational enterprise in the conthe new direct flight from China to text of China’s cooperation with the countries of Central Serbia as it will facilitate communication and travel beand Eastern Europe. All three countries are committed tween the two peoples. Institutions in the two countries to the project and attach great importance to it; their are negotiating it and actively promoting it. I believe it services are working diligently and making steady headwill soon become reality. ■
“We’ve got to make sure we have innovative ways of getting aid into Aleppo, and as several members have said, we have to step up the pressure on Assad’s regime through sanctions and on the Russians through sanctions.” - Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary
NOVI SAD – EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE IN 2021 ▶ The city of Novi Sad will be a European Capital of Culture in 2021, the European Commission decided on 13th October. After the final presentation of the Novi Sad 2021 project, a panel of independent experts decided that the first city outside of the EU to bear the title would be Novi Sad, the EU Commissioner for Culture Tibor Navracsics has said. Alongside Novi Sad, the Romanian city of Timisoara was also chosen, while the third choice will be a Greek city which will be picked on 11th November. Novi Sad Mayor Milos Vucevic congratulated the citizens of Novi Sad on their town becoming the European Capital of Culture, adding that “the heart of every Novi Sad citizen is full, because all of us together make Novi Sad what it is, and from now on all of Europe agrees that Novi Sad is a cultural center”.
TONY BLAIR HINTS AT POLITICAL COMEBACK
GAY FOOTBALL PLAYERS WOULD STILL FACE ‘SIGNIFICANT ABUSE’ ▶ Greg Clarke, the chairman of the
▶ Britain’s former prime minister
Tony Blair (63) hinted that he wanted to make a political comeback in an interview to Esquire magazine shortly after announcing he was winding down his controversial but lucrative government advisory business. But he remains deeply unpopular in Britain for his role in taking Britain into the 2003 Iraq war. Blair told that it was “an open question” what his future role would be. “I don’t know if there’s a role for me ... There’s a limit to what I want to say about my own position at this moment,” he said. “All I can say is that this is where politics is at. Do I feel strongly about it? Yes, I do. Am I very motivated by that? Yes. Where do I go from here? What exactly do I do? That’s an open question.” 18 |
English Football Association (FA) has said he would be “amazed” if there were no gay players in the Premier League and is “ashamed” that none appear to feel safe to come out. He said that homophobia in football was “disgusting”, but admitted
that as the FA had not managed to rid the game of it. He said he could not blame players for wanting to keep their sexuality private. “Before we encourage people to come out, we must provide the safe space,” he told the Commons culture, media and sport committee. Clarke told MPs he wanted to see “abhorrent” homophobia “driven from the game”. Asked what the reaction a player would receive from some supporters
if they came out, Clarke said: “I think there would be significant abuse.”
NORWEGIAN PM CAUGHT PLAYING 'POKEMON GO' IN PARLIAMENT
Prime Minister Erna Solberg was captured by a photographer for newspaper Klassekampen playing the popular augmented reality game on her smartphone during a debate in the country’s parliament, known as the Storting.
▶ The prime minister of Norway was
caught on camera playing Pokemon Go in parliament -- and the current speaker had previously been caught doing the same thing.
ALBANIA'S PRINCE LEKA II MARRIED ELIA ZAHARIA ▶ Prince Leka, the sole descendant of Albania’s last king, married popular actress Elia Zaharia in a ceremony attended by the Spanish queen and several former royals. It was the first wedding in Tirana of a member of the deposed royal family since 1938. Leka’s grandfather Zog I, fled in 1939, a year after his wedding with Hungary’s Princess Geraldine Apponyi. The royal family was forbidden to return until the fall of communism in 1990. The 33-year old bride, who studied theater in Paris, is a famous actress in Albania and Prince Leka (34) is a graduate from Britain’s Sandhurst military academy and is an adviser to Albania’s foreign minister. More than 20 current and erstwhile royals attended, including Spain’s Queen Sofia, Iran’s former Empress Farah Diba, Prince Mihailo Karadjordjevic of Yugoslavia and Princess Margarita of Romania.
“I don’t see how the potential sanctions, despite some possible impact in the long term, would facilitate the aid deliveries to the Syrian people. I am not the only one who is skeptical about sanctions in this regard.” - Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister
WEDDING OF PRINCE MIHAILO AND PRINCESS LJUBICA KARADJORDJEVIĆ ▶ H.R.H Prince Mihailo Karadjordjevic and Miss Ljubica Ljubisav-
ljevic were united in holy matrimony in the Church of Saint George in Oplenac, which was followed by a reception given by Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine, for invited guests at the White Palace. The religious ceremony was officiated by Their Graces Bishop Irinej, Bishop Pahomije of Vranje and Father Petar Lukic, Dean of Saborna crkva in Belgrade. The wedding was attended by over 300 guests – members and friends of the Royal Family Karadjordjevic, as well as by numerous distinguished guests from public life in Serbia and abroad. The wedding was attended by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine with their children Prince Philip and Alison, Princess Linda Karadjordjevic (mother of Prince Mihajlo), Prince Djordje Karadjordjevic (brother of the bridegroom), Princess Fallon Rayman (wife of Djordje Karadjordjevic), Princess Elizabeth Karadjordjevic, Speaker of the National Parliament Maja Gojkovic, ambassadors of Great Britain, Brasil, Congo, Mexico, Myanmar, Canada, Pakistan, Norway, Turkey, Argentina, India, Azerbaijan, and many others.
▶ Philippines–President Rodrigo
Duterte warned of drastic actions against corrupt government employees and officials and urged them to stop their wrongdoings now.
“Stop that. I will really skin you alive,” he said in a news conference. “Please do not tempt me to do it,” Duterte said. Duterte concluded that the days of corruption in government, when “everybody was on the take,” were now over.
immediately ascend to the throne after the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Thursday and a caretaker head of state has been installed.
THAILAND AFTER KING BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ'S DEATH ▶ Crown Prince Maha Vajiralong-
korn of Thailand said he will not Prem Tinsulanonda, a former Thai prime minister and head of the king’s advisory council, will serve as a caretaker to the throne while the nation mourns Bhumibol’s death and awaits the crown prince’s ascension to a majestic monarchy. Thais have long viewed Vajiralongkorn with skepticism after three marriages ended in messy public feuds and the widespread rumors about his sequestered playboy lifestyle in Europe. That stands in contrast with his father, who was beloved by the Thai people and highly respected for his devotion to the country.
CHINA LAUNCHES MANNED MISSION TO TEST SPACE STATION ▶ Two Chinese astronauts lifted off
for the longest manned mission in the history of China’s space program - a full month. The Shenzhou-11 spacecraft blasted toward on October 16 and is expected to dock with the Tiangong-2 space station in two days to start a 30-day mission conducting experiments and testing the station’s systems.
“The rocket is flying according to its original plan and the Shenzhou spacecraft has entered into its preliminary orbit,” said Gen. Zhang Youxia, chief commander of China’s human space program. “The solar panel has been unfolded and the crew is in great condition. Hereby I announce the launch of Shenzhou-11 is a complete success.”
Firm Support to
SERBIA’S EU PATH YANA MIKHAILOVA PRESIDENT OF THE FOREIGN INVESTORS COUNCIL (FIC)
Our third visit to the European Commission in Brussels shows that the FIC is eager to continue the process of actively supporting Serbia’s accession negotiations, and to remain a reliable partner both to the Serbian Government and the European Union
■ A delegation of the Foreign Investors Council of Serbia recently paid its third official annual visit to the European Commission, with a view to the Serbian EU accession process. What were the major goals of your visit this time? he FIC advocates for Serbia’s economic integra- The main goal of this third visit was tion into the EU, as that same as on previous occasions – to brings predictability and Our key message for our the continue the process of active support transparency to the busiinterlocutors in the EC to accession negotiations, being a reliness surroundings, as well as increasing the competitiveness of the able partner both to the Serbian Govwas very clear: FIC is Serbian market. Continuous communiernment and the European Union. On always ready to provide behalf of foreign investors doing busication between FIC and the European expert support to all Commission with regard to the Serbian ness in Serbia, we encouraged the Euparties in the process and ropean Commission to provide strong accession process shows the clear commitment of FIC to help Serbia in the rehopefully thus make the support to Serbia, both through accesform process and on its EU path, says sion negotiations and through assisSerbian EU path easier Yana Mikhailova, President of the Forinstruments. We were satisfied to and with fewer obstacles tance witness that the European Commission eign Investors Council (FIC).
T 20 |
with FIC to integrate Serbia’s economy into the EU and thus expressed high interest in Serbia and that they are closely make it more attractive to investors. We also highlighted how monitoring the situation on the Serbian market. We think important it is to collaborate in order to bring the Serbian it is important to note that the accession process through market closer to EU rules and practices. The topics discussed which Serbia will endorse European values and principles in more details corresponded to FIC committees’ agendas will bring benefits to all parties - Serbia’s citizens and their and I am very satisfied that our delegation gathered FIC economy, since it will also foster new employment and ecocommittees’ experts: Anti-Illicit Trade nomic development. And that is our key goal in the process. Going forward, we expect Committee President Goran Pekez, Food & Agriculture Committee Presifurther progress in ■ With whom did the delegation dent Milica Stefanović, Tax Committee structural reforms, EU meet and which topics were in the President Biljana Bujić, and Telecomharmonisation, and focus of these discussions? munications & IT Committee President - Our delegation comprised seven memdecreasing bureaucracy, Jasmina Vignjević and Vice President Marko Jović. Thus we made the discusbers, including myself and FIC Execuwith a special focus on tive Director Ana Firtel, had very sucsion more thorough and fruitful for all Tax Administration and sides. This is one of the FIC’s key valcessful meetings with representatives inspections of five directorate generals (NEAR, ues, to contribute with expert views ECFIN, EMPLOY, CNECT and SANTE) and suggestions on how to make doing and the European External Action Service (EEAS), including business in Serbia easier and thus more attractive for exista meeting with Director for the Western Balkans, Genoveva ing investors and newcomers. Ruiz Calavera, in DG NEAR. At the meeting with the Director for the Western Balkans, we expressed satisfaction for the ■ What were the FIC’s main messages for interlocustrong willingness of both parties, the European Commission tors? and the Serbian Government, to continue working together - Apart from the messages I already mentioned, our key mes-
sage was very clear: FIC is always ready to provide expert support to all parties in the process and hopefully thereby make the Serbian EU path easier and with fewer obstacles. Let me remind you that EU accession negotiations are a perfect mechanism for improving Serbia’s competitiveness and FIC can help in this process, as 75 per cent of its members hail from the EU. We have rich experience from both EU countries and from the markets
of “old” and “new” EU members, and thus we come to the added value that FIC can provide. The final outcome should be that Serbia’s citizens can enjoy benefits from this path faster, such as new employment opportunities and a better economic situation in the country.
■ In your opinion, in which areas should the EC help Serbia the most, in order to ensure sustained growth and the current pace of reforms? - The EU integration process is a great mechanism to evaluate the local legislative framework and its impact on the economy, citizens and society at large. For sustainable growth, we should have both laws harmonised well with the EU Acquis and their smooth implementation. The scope of economic negotiations is vast, as it includes the evaluation of EU economic criteria, where the country needs to demonstrate that it has a functioning market economy and is competitive. The expected actions targeted at making the country more competitive include ensuring the same business conditions for all market participants. This could be achieved by conducting structural reforms and securing the enforcement of the law (i.e. addressing the shadow economy in a consistent way through enforcement of the Law on Inspections).
The EU integration process is a great mechanism to evaluate the local legislative framework and its impact on the economy, citizens and society at large. For sustainable growth, we should have both laws harmonised well with the EU Acquis and their smooth implementation
■ How would you assess the current business climate in Serbia and how can the accession process spur the further improvement of conditions for doing business? - There is a clear commitment of the Serbian Government to pursue reforms, which have already demonstrated clear results with more flexible labour regulations, simplified construction permitting and a better inspection system. FIC advocates for Serbia’s economic integration into the EU, as that brings predictability and transparency to the business surroundings, as well increasing the competitiveness of the Serbian market. In negotiations, a candidate country needs to conduct comprehensive reforms, as well as raising the administrative capacity to implement new regulations, which is one of the key problems in Serbia today. Going forward, we expect further progress in structural re22 |
forms, EU harmonisation and decreasing bureaucracy, with a special focus on Tax Administration and inspections.
■ How can business associations like the FIC act as catalysts of the Serbian accession process? - By continuously providing expert and valuable input that should help all parties in the process.
■ What motivates the FIC to engage in such processes? - The FIC mission is “to actively promote a sustainable business environment through an open dialogue with the authorities and other relevant stakeholders”. The main goal of the association is to influence the improvement of the business climate in Serbia by making concrete reform proposals and building a business portal for communication with the authorities in Serbia. Taking into consideration our mission, as well as the fact that FIC members are the driving force of the Serbian market, motivation comes as a natural subsequence. We believe in long-term cooperation, as we all need to work together to build a better environment with a functional state, more competitive businesses and a higher standard of living for citizens. FIC offers its knowledge and experience on navigating a route through economic transition and we are willing to put it to use for the greater benefit of all interested parties. ■
B y M I R JA NA Z E C
THE SIXTH BELGRADE SECURITY FORUM - BSF
Differences Remain –
COOPERATION CONTINUES The stars of this BSF are undoubtedly the prime ministers of Serbia and Albania Aleksandar Vuč ić and Edi Rama, who in an open and direct dialogue, with sparks on both sides, showed that cooperation is possible even when stances differ completely
of new investments in roads and Albanian ports that would much more ialogue and democracy – these were the two most comtightly connect Serbia with Kosovo and Albania. monly uttered words at the Sixth Belgrade Security Forum, Neither Vučić nor Rama, and particularly the guest from Tirana, evadthe main question of which was “Will democracy survive the crisis of world order?” ed difficult issues, all of which were related to Kosovo, because Albania An answer was sought via 25 panel discussions mainly and Serbia, as two neighbouring countries, do not have any other misunentitled with topics that dominate in Europe and for which the Union does derstandings, or they are of far lower intensity. Opposing views on the not have good answers, such as the migrant crisis, relations between Belgrade status of Kosovo, the Trepča Mining Combine and the arrest Nihat Thaci and Pristina, and the rigid implementation of the Brussels agreement, relamarked the debate of prime ministers Vučić and Rama, but that conversations in the region and their impact on the EU, Serbia’s path towards the EU tion was also seen as a message to the EU that the two prime ministers, deand its enlargement, the situation in the media etc. spite their differences, want to solve problems, both economic and every More than 650 participants, nearly a hundred panellists and over 200 other kind that hinders their countries on the path towards the EU. accredited journalists carefully followed -Today there are many things in the Unlike two years ago, and participated in the work of this threeworld that are related and no one has the day gathering, which attracted great interluxury of not talking about any subject, during his visit to Belgrade, est throughout the entire region. when Rama first mentioned the no matter how difficult it is, regardless of whether the interlocutors agree – said But the stars of this BSF were undoubtindependence of Kosovo as a Rama explicitly, then immediately raised edly the prime ministers of Serbia and Albareality and sought from Prime the question of “Trepča”. nia – Aleksandar Vučić and Edi Rama. Their - Trepča is a mine on the territory of Kodirect and open dialogue, with sparks on Minister Vučić that Serbia both sides, showed that it is possible to talk sovo and it belongs to all citizens, regardless recognise this reality [“I even when politicians don’t agree on some of whether they are Serbs or Albanians. It is thought the man would die in there and cannot be moved. What will Serimportant issues, on this occasion the stafront of me when I said that,” tus of Kosovo and problems that have arisen bia do with this mine? Do you not perhaps recently in relations between Belgrade and wish to relocate it here in Belgrade – he recalled Rama later], Vučić Pristina. That dialogue, which was carefully asked publicly, adding that “Kosovo is an now very coolly replied that monitored not only in Belgrade but also in issue which we absolutely do not agree on, he knows a little bit more than and that is clear to everyone. My view is that Brussels, was often mentioned both durRama about Trepča and Kosovo Serbia should recognise Kosovo’s independing the panel discussions and on the sidelines of this event, and it was also used as ence as soon as possible, because that will be an example of how, despite differences, there can be cooperation in areas better for everyone. But, at the same time there is a process which I fully where interests exist, which was shown the very next day at the meeting support, and that is dialogue,” said Rama, whose words caused a commoof businesspeople from Serbia and Albania in Niš, with the announcement tion in the Crystal Hall of the “Hyatt”, where the panel discussion was held. 24 |
halt the dialogue with Pristina. -This is not only an economic issue, but rather also a political issue, -You have not heard that as my argument to stop the dialogue, to fight responded Vučić. - Pristina did the worst thing when it comes to “Trepča”, with someone, to say that we should not talk with Kosovo Albanians. Do because it did not want to talk with the Serbs, nor to talk with those who you really believe that someone deliberately work there – noted Vučić. “They skipped all the procedures of their internal reasons. I We are not halting the dialogue arrested Thaci for political reasons? No. Nocannot find a reason why they did that,” body did that. The order was given in 1999,” process, although it said the Serbian PM, continuing, “Edi said said Vučić. sometimes seems that we that this is almost certainly to the benefit of The Serbian Prime Minister insisted that have reached an impasse. I both sides, but can you find one Serb who Belgrade will continue to be committed to would agree with that? Did they try to find the dialogue with Pristina in the future, beconsider that we must find a Serb who would agree? No, because they more compromise in order to cause that must be done for the future of redon’t want to talk to the Serbs who live in lations between Serbs and Albanians, which be able to dedicate ourselves are the two largest nations in the Balkans. Kosovo and work at Trepča.” to the story of the European Noting that “Rama is a better politician” -Good will is essential, because with that than him, Vučić said that he did not want everything will be more easily resolved. I path and economic progress,” to talk bad about people from Pristina, know there are many citizens of Serbia who explained Vučić because, as he says, “I’m not like that”.” He do not understand that and who would put a immediately linked from this into other toxic topics, which related to the qeleshe cap on my head and say that I am a friend of the Albanians, but I’m arrest of Nihat Thaci and the continuing prospects of talks between Belnot bothered about that. We are not halting the dialogue process, although it sometimes seems that we have reached an impasse. I consider that we must grade and Pristina. Rama publicly asked “what does that (the arrest) say find more compromise in order to be able to dedicate ourselves to the story about people when one who has crossed the border ten times is arrested of the European path and economic progress,” explained Vučić. by someone on the 11th time?” The dialogue between the two prime ministers was filled with praise Vučić responded to him by saying that he knew nothing about this for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Rama said without hesitation that case because he has not seen the file, but he also stressed that Belgrade “she protected the face of Europe when it comes to the migrant crisis” and did not use the arrest and detainment of Oliver Ivanović as a reason to
wondered what life would be like if in Berlin we had a leader like Orban (Hungarian Prime Minister). Rama added to this by saying that “Serbia acts much more European than some EU member states when it comes to the migrant crisis”. Almost all participants in the numerous panel discussions agreed that recent years have seen the EU confronted by several more serious crises that have seen EU enlargement placed on the back burner, so the Balkan political elites, by force of habit, have revived old disputes. Thus there was hope that this meeting and the open discussion between the two prime ministers would trigger the implementation of the Brussels agreement and enable a comprehensive approach to it.
Trepča was also a reason for panellist James Ker-Lindsay, an analyst from London, to turn to relations between Pristina and Belgrade. He asked why Pristina had now withdrawn from this issue and why there had been no discussion of property in Kosovo to date. I think the point is that which Vučić pointed out - why now. I think that is what he is concerned about – not why Trepča, but why Trepča now. That is the big question,” said Ker-Lindsay, adding that because of that we will have a crisis that will harm relations. Speaking about the problems of the countries in the region, Vučić was clear in stating that the main goal of the Government is to do everything on the European path in order for the country to move closer to membership. -People say that there are countries that want to leave the EU, while you want to enter it. I’m not here to complain and whine about our difficult fate. We need to work on that being better for us – said Vučić, not hiding the fear that there could be “European disorder” if German Chancellor Merkel leaves her function.
There was plenty of interest around the panel whose speakers included Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dačić and James Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General of NATO. -Serbia leads a policy of military neutrality, state bodies are not considering membership in NATO, but that is not an obstacle to partnership and broad cooperation with NATO – said Dačić explicitly. - All of the Serbian governments have in the first ten years led a policy of partnership relations between Serbia and NATO, without aspirations for partnership relations. He added that Serbia wants relations with NATO to be honest, with the assessment that the region of the Western Balkans faces instability, which is why it is important to preserve peace and stability. -Serbia will also remain a pillar of stability and a partner to all those who want peace,” said Dačić, adding that he hoped Serbia and NATO share an interest in preserving peace and stability. Cooperation with NATO is also important for Serbia because of Kosovo, which represents the biggest security challenge for Serbia. -Kfor is the basic guarantor of peace and the protection of the Serbian population, and a security guarantor of the implementation of the Brussels agreement. That’s why our relations are of vital importance,” he said. -NATO has not imposed solutions, cooperation is adapted to our needs and our strategic goal of EU integration and our commitment to peace and stability in the region – explained the minister. With regard to military links between Serbia and Russia, he said that they are on a far smaller scale than military cooperation with NATO and bilateral cooperation with some NATO member countries. For NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General James Appathurai, “Serbia is a firm, reliable and stable partner”. He said that NATO needs strong partnership, dialogue and practical cooperation with Serbia, adding that “no one has a secret plan for Serbia to join NATO”. -It is necessary for us to hear from Serbia at the highest level as to what the stances of Serbia are like and what we can do together,” he said. Serbia and NATO do plenty together, for 10 years already, with Serbia, as he said, playing an excellent role in missions and contributing to stability on the international front. Through NATO funds, there are many opportunities for new projects, and this should be examined. There was also plenty of discussion about Serbia’s military neutrality during other panel discussions, but the prevailing opinion was that this is a good thing, while Dr Ivo Visković said that it is natural to also have links with other countries, because that is also done by the major powers. ■
For a full day and more, panels were devoted to the migrant crisis and finding solutions to it. Many assessments and criticism could be heard about how Europe does not have a good practical solution, but stopping wars and conflict was not mentioned as an exit. -That is no longer considered and that question is not raised – we are told by Dr Stevan Tatalović, a panellist from Belgrade. - Migration and migrants are simply viewed as the movement of the population. It is not necessary to stop the wars in order for the migration to cease. It is considered that migration should also exist in peaceful times. The most striking presentation on migrants was that of Dr Sergio Carrera, a leading research associate of the programme for justice and internal affairs at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and a professor of The School of Law at Queen Mary University in London. -The European Union should help the Balkan countries that are on the migrant route, but they should not close the borders entirely, because that is part of the criteria for joining the EU when it comes to respecting human rights. Serbia should respect international obligations by providing protection to asylum seekers. The Balkan route cannot be closed. We cannot build walls against refugees.
NOVEMBER BUSINESS LEADERS’ MEETING POINT
DAVID HORNER, Athletics and Activities Director at The International School of Belgrade, ISB
MARTIN MASON Managing Director of British footwear brand Tricker’s
Great Practice For Future Life
Unrivalled in Quality, Personality And Character
ZDRAVKA DEMETER BUBALO Vice President of Human Resources at MOL Group
KATARINA SAVIĆ Site Director, Sitel Belgrade
Ensuring Development Opportunities for All
Expanding Operations in Serbia NOVEMBER
CORPORATE DAVID HORNER, Athletics and Activities Director at The International School of Belgrade, ISB
Great Practice For Future Life The After School Activities (ASA) Programme at ISB supports students by developing their time management and prioritisation skills. Students need to learn how to juggle a variety of different tasks and commitments, as an essential life skill
he variety of extracurricular programmes offered by ISB allows students to focus on areas that are close to them and in which they want to improve. There is equally great attention paid to all programmes, from sports, to arts and sciences, but also the acquiring of specific skills
rate in the activities offered to the students. We can take pride in our very high percentage of student responses, because we have two-way communication. The school ensures that it offers programmes that will interest pupils, but not only so that they will attend in large numbers, rather also that they will enjoy those moments. The school offers the right activities and the students attend, because they enjoy the programmes. These types of numbers are not common across the rest of the world. This is my fifth overseas school, spanning an 11-year career, on three continents, and these are the best participation statistics I have ever seen.
discuss the value of a quality ASA programme. The key findings support the idea that a good ASA programme has a positive influence on academic performance, work habits and behaviour. There are many students at ISB who are involved in multiple activities throughout the week. These students will need to organise their daily equipment, inform adults of pick up/drop off times, complete their homework and come prepared for class each day. This is great practice for later life.
■ In which ways do you encourage their interest? - The diverse offerings which are available to students at ISB allow for focus in the areas that students ■ How interested are children find interesting. The variety of our Statistics taken from the today when it comes to extracurprogramming includes three major 2015/16 school year show that sports: soccer, basketball and volricular activities? ASA participation was above - The International School of Belleyball. There is also a focus on the arts, and students are active in grade (ISB) understands the need 90% for the majority of the dramatic performances, a rock band for each child to be engaged in a year. There were even times and a choir. There are students that holistic style education. The Interduring the year when 100% prefer a more academic theme to national Baccalaureate programme, of the students were engaged their activity, and in this aspect we which is used across the school, offer Knowledge Bowl, Speech and states “An IB education is holistic in an ASA. These types of Debate and Math Counts. These in nature—it is concerned with the numbers are not common activities each come with a poswhole person. Along with cogniacross the rest of the world, tive development, IB programmes sible travel opportunity, through and these are the best address students’ social, emotional our membership in the Central and and physical well-being.” Eastern European Schools Assoparticipation figures I have The extracurricular or after school ciation. CEESA provides cultural ever seen activities (ASA) programme at ISB events, where students can comis an extension of the IB classroom pete in their chosen area of experand students are engaged in learning ■ Are they left with enough time, tise, whilst staying with a family from that is specific to their area of interest. and in which activities are they most the hosting school and country. This The International School of Belgrade interested? provides our students with an excelboasts a phenomenal participation - There are many research articles that lent opportunity to make new friends, 28 |
and are children and parents sufficiently aware of that? - The message at ISB is that we are a community of learners. This community is strengthened through student, parent and teacher involvement. The lesson learned during an ASA may be quite different from those that are taught in an authentic classroom, though they are just as powerful and long lasting. The students involved in the after school programme are learning about the importance of long-term commitment. Once they are registered for an activity, they know they have made a commitment to that activity sponsor, those fellow participants and themselves. Students know that they will be positive contributors to that programme. They also feel like they are contributing to the greater good, and developThe students really enjoy seeing their ing a sense of school culture teachers outside of the classroom and and spirit, which helps with that is why we strive to provide teacher attitudes towards school and learning. driven sponsorship of each
develop cultural awareness and experience events that will forge lifelong memories. The ASA programme is further enhanced with an assortment of NonCEESA activities, which include martial arts, chess, a technology club, Dragon’s Den newspaper, climbing, yoga, model making and services. The students in our Middle School are all expected to participate in one after-school service activity, which is organised by our Service Coordinator.
■ What can you conclude from the interest of children? Do you have the possibility of recognising special talents, singling them out and working with them in particular? - The philosophy of ISB is to include all students in all activities. Therefore, we accept every student that wants to be part of any team throughout the year. The purpose of these activities is to provide an extension from the school day; therefore teaching and learning should be at the forefront of every activity we offer. The Non-CEESA activities provide students a learning environment, without a competitive flavour, which many of our students really enjoy and participation has been high. The activities which have a CEESA component do provide opportunities for students to engage in competition. The teams are selected from a larger squad of participants, due to regulations placed upon us by CEESA, but we still maintain an inclusive philosophy and those students that are not selected are just as valuable as
those that are. The activity sponsors do a great job of making sure each student feels part of the team, and is actively engaged throughout each of the sessions. There is time spent each week in the activities update prais-
after school offering
ing individual accomplishments by students and these are highlighted in our Dragon Dispatch newsletter and Awards ceremony. ■ How important is it to get involved in sport and other activities,
■ Are you satisfied with your cooperation with other schools and the extent to which they get involved in joint activities? - The one downside to having travelled and worked in overseas schools in Shanghai, Guatemala City, Kuwait City and Manama for the past 11 years is that I have seen what an excellent city-wide activities conference can do for a school and for the city. I would love to see greater connections between the international schools, so that we could engage in competitive activities across the city. This would provide excellent, age appropriate practice for our students that are interested in taking the jump to the next step and representing ISB at a CEESA tournament during the year. ■ NOVEMBER
INTIMIDATION “We want to join the EU, but we cannot join the EU without a state. We are going towards the EU like any other country, respecting our national and state interests... and there will be no more intimidation.”— IVICA DAČIĆ, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
New Leoni Plant in Niš An agreement that will see German auto parts maker Leoni build a new plant was signed in Niš at a ceremony attended by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, German Ambassador Axel Dittmann and Niš Mayor Darko Bulatović. The €22 million deal, which will create 2,200 jobs, was signed by Serbian Economy Minister Goran Knežević and Leoni Director Clemens Sachs. The cornerstone for the Niš plant is expected to be laid in December, while the first stage of production should start in August 2017.
Turnover Growth Of 28.5% In 2016
Nelt Group CEO MILOŠ JELIĆ
Significant results have been recorded after three years of combined operations of all companies within the Nelt Group organisational system. Turnover reached €702 million in 2015, while organic growth, contracts with new principals and clients, and the launch of new business activities, saw Nelt Group increase its workforce by 250 in 2015. Revenue growth of 28.5% is expected by the end of this year. Today, 12 companies within the Nelt Group employ nearly 4,000
Building Pupin’s Palace – A Job For 1,000 Construction Workers Construction company “Galens” has launched work on the construction of Pupin’s Palace – an original high-rise building in the centre of Novi Sad. Pupin’s Palace has been conceived as Novi Sad’s first building with Class A office premises for sale and lease, modelled on the best commercial buildings in Europe and worldwide.
people on seven markets, ranking the Group among the most successful domestic business systems. Nelt is the leader in providing top-class services in the area of distribution, logistics, production and trade marketing. New partnerships with “Bambi” in Bosnia-Herzegovina and “Hipp” in Macedonia, new distribution centres in Bijeljina, Podgorica and Luanda, and cooperation with the Lactalis Group in the area of logistics services, have all had a positive impact on the company’s revenue and reputation. In order to best respond to consumer needs, Nelt acquired Tako Lako Shop web retailer last year and turned it into the largest online sales platform in the country. “Our commitment and dedication are the best recommendation for new partnerships and the continuation of existing ones. Our values are also indicators of the positive mentality of our employees, who are the crucial factor in our success,” said Nelt Group CEO Miloš Jelić.
In the next two years, this modern structure, with a surface area of 45,000 square metres, will be carefully integrated into the classic architecture of the city, without its emergence disturbing the urban aesthetic of the city as a whole. The investment is worth €30 million, and it is estimated that construction works will see the number of construction workers employed in Novi Sad increase by a third. Experts calculate that this construction venture of company “Galens” could lead to the value of Serbia’s GNP increasing by between 0.2 and 0.3 per cent.
WORLD BANK – DOING BUSINESS
Reforms Propel Serbia to The Top of The World
Electronic building permits are the main factor contributing to Serbia having joined the top 50 most successful countries on the World Bank’s latest Doing Business list for the first time this year, it was assessed at the conference “Doing Business 2017 - Enhancing the competitiveness of Serbia”, which was organised by the British Embassy in Belgrade, USAID’s Business Enabling Project and NALED.
The introduction of e-permits shortened the procedure by 100 days. Compared to the previous report, Serbia advanced in the area of obtaining construction permits by 103 places, while in just two years it has leapt over as many as 150 countries and progressed from 186th position to 36th, bringing it shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States, Finland and Ireland, and ahead of Austria , Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland. NALED, USAID’s Business Enabling Project and the Serbian Construction Ministry worked on the reform of building permits from 2012. With the support of the governments of Germany and Switzerland, Serbia has developed software for e-permits, via which 35,000 requests were submitted during the first eight months of this year and 90 per cent have already been resolved. This is one of the largest
reforms in the past decade and we congratulate the Construction Ministry, which has created a revolution in the field of permitting and launching investment and construction in Serbia - said Stanka Pejanović, vice present of the NALED Managing Board. Apart from building permits, great progress has also been achieved in terms of starting businesses (advancement from 65th to 47th place) and registering property (from 73rd to 56th place), which contributed to Serbia jumping to the overall position of 47th place among 190 countries in terms of the ease of doing business. Significant improvements were also achieved in the categories of tax payments (from 143rd to 78th place), credit approvals, protection of minority shareholders, contract enforcement and resolving bankruptcy, both due to reforms and changes in the methodology of the Doing Business list.
RECOMMENDATIONS “The European Commission has made its recommendations on opening new chapters in the talks, in particular Chapter 5 on public procurements… Now it is up to the member states to make a decision.”— H.E. MICHAEL DAVENPORT, Head of the EU Delegation to Belgrade
Carlsberg Srbija Hosts High-Level Meeting
Placements & postings email@example.com
New Acting Director of The Development Agency of Serbia Željko Sertić was born in Secanj in1967. He graduated from the Faculty for Business and Industrial Management of the University Union in Belgrade. He was appointed to the position of the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia - CCIS in March 2013, with over two decades of experience in managing SMEs, production and servicing companies. During his time in CCIS extensive reform of the chamber system was launched, and the results achieved saw Sertić declared the Best Manager in Southeast and Central Europe for 2013 and 2014 and acquired Best European Award in the field of economy. In September 2014, Sertić was appointed Serbian Economy Minister. He speaks English fluently.
ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA
To mark the occasion of Bačka Palanka Liberation Day and the visits of H.E. Russian Ambassador Alexander Chepurin and Head of Mission at the Embassy of Denmark in Belgrade, Morten Skovgaard Hansen, Carlsberg Srbija, together with the Municipality of Bačka Palanka and Privrednik business club, organised a meeting of the most prominent businesspeople in Bačka Palanka with the leadership of the municipality, provincial government representatives, and the two ambassadors. The topics discussed included: connecting the Russian and Serbian economies, the economic situation and expectations in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and the current economic and communal situation in the municipality of Bačka Palanka. “We need to look over the prospects for exports of Serbian agricultural products to Russia, because that’s not only important for this year and next year, but for the next ten, twenty years,” said Ambassador Chepurin. “I am glad that there is ever greater interest among various Danish companies for potential investments in Serbia, and I believe there will be even more in the future,” said Skovgaard Hansen. “Company Carlsberg Srbija strives for its operations to be an example of good practice, and to readily respond to the challenges posed by the market,” said Carlsberg Srbija CEO Andrej Beslać.
CorD at The Media Fair
This year’s Media Fair was enriched by the participation of alliance international media (aim), publisher of CorD Magazine, which – alongside its primary publication – presented over 30 publications that it produced and distributed this year. The message that could be heard at the design stand, which was created by agency New Moment, points to the unique editorial concept of this publisher, which has held a leading position in the sector of “b2b” publishing in Serbia and the region over 13 years, as confirmed by the list of partners and clients which have cooperated continuously with aim for years. At a time when poor plagiarism and increasingly frequent abuse of copyright threatens the entire media sector in Serbia, we considered that this problem should also be highlighted at the annual festival of media. Visitors to the aim stand were offered the opportunity for their face to appear on the cover of CorD Magazine – a position usually occupied by the world’s leading political and economic leaders – and then to distribute their presentation via Instagram.
All Classes in English Bikram Yoga Belgrade Facebook: BikramYogaBelgrade Kapetan Mišina 26, Belgrade, 11000 Serbia Phone: +381 (0)60 6116363 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NOVEMBER | www.bikramyoga.rs
ZDRAVKA DEMETER BUBALO, Vice President of Human Resources at MOL Group
Ensuring Development Opportunities For All MOL Group is an integrated, international oil and gas company, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. It fosters a culture based on diversity, listening, sharing, learning and seeking feedback on how the business can perform better
OL Group is active in over 30 countries and has a dynamic international workforce of 26,000 people and a track record of more than 100 years in the industry. Here Zdravka Demeter Bubalo, Vice President of Human Resources at MOL Group, talks about the role of HR and its importance for the business. ■ You hold a very important position at MOL Group. Is it a challenge and are there aggravating circumstances for a woman to deal with human resources at such a big international company? - At MOL Group, we foster a culture based on diversity, listening, sharing and learning, and we regularly seek feedback on how we can perform better. Therefore, at every level of the company we are committed to fostering a level of equality and openness, and that changes our culture for the better. We are also building a merit-based culture, where performance is rewarded irrespective of gender, race, religion or nationality. Our joint objective is to ensure continuous development opportunities for all of our colleagues and to also contribute to the sustainable success of our company as a team. ■ Human resources impact on the productivity of each company. Considering the fact that MOL Group is achieving major business results, how much does HR contribute to this success? 32 |
- Integrated oil & gas companies are currently undergoing transformation, due to the volatility of the oil price and rapidly changing customer needs. Our HR strategy at MOL Group is built on the business strategy, thus all areas - from Recruitment, through Talent Acquisition, to Learning & Development programmes – address the changing business challenges and priorities in a tailored way. In line with
In line with the recently announced MOL Group 2030 strategy, our HR teams contribute actively to becoming the first choice for our employees, customers and investors the recently announced MOL Group 2030 strategy, our HR teams contribute actively to becoming the first choice for our employees, our customers and investors. Being in the energy sector also means that we need to keep a constant focus on staying on top with technical capabilities. We have successfully implemented the Technical Career Ladder in Upstream, and this year we are also introducing it to our Downstream community. ■ What is the foundation of HR programme at MOL Group? - At the level of the group, we design a
wide range of programmes, benefits and initiatives to ensure the wellbeing of our constantly changing and diverse, multigenerational teams. These programmes are then tailored to local priorities, affecting the most important dimensions of our colleagues’ lives, including health, financial wellbeing, workplace environment and social care. ■ In your opinion, what is the key management of large companies that motivates employees to get involved in business more? - First, we ensure the early engagement of our potential colleagues by nurturing successful university relations in order to improve the image of the natural sciences among students. In support of attracting top talent, we retain a strong focus on employer branding and we tailor our recruitment strategy. Second, as blue collar colleagues make up the majority of our workforce, we focus on improving our blue collar strategies and are constantly reconsidering the development of a pay-for-performance framework. Third, for our white collar colleagues, we work to improve the Employee Experience, which is receiving growing attention. Employees who use simple digital tools in their everyday lives expect to also have user friendly digital tools and systems at work. In this area, we have made lot of improvements thanks to the successful implementation of IT tools, e.g. our new career portal. ■
CORPORATE MARTIN MASON, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF BRITISH FOOTWEAR BRAND TRICKER’S
Unrivalled in Quality, Personality And Character In 1840, Walter James Barltrop designed the world’s first country boot, the forbearer of all country footwear since
ricker’s has been run by five generations of the same family since it started making shoes back in 1829. It was felt that the challenges of building a brand, as opposed to running the factory, required somebody with luxury brand experience. ■ Mr Mason, you are the first Managing Director of Tricker’s to be appointed outside the family to take on this role in the brand’s 187-year history. Can you tell us about your experience in leading a heritage footwear brand like Tricker’s? - I began my career in banking, before embarking on a fifteen-year career to turnaround the fortunes of luxury brands. I am well-schooled in British heritage and luxury brands thanks to positions at Mulberry, Pringle of Scotland and John Smedley. ■ What sets Tricker’s apart from other footwear brands on the market? - In 1840, Walter James Barltrop designed the world’s first country boot, the forbearer of all country footwear since. Tricker’s built a reputation for manufacturing quality and durability, making the company the manufacturer of choice for heavy country boots and shoes for farm and estate owners and the landed gentry. While our shoes and boots and their distinctive look are often imitated, they remain unrivalled in terms of quality, personality and character.
■ Tricker’s has been making fine handmade shoes and boots for almost 190 years. Did anything change in the production process since the early days? - There are more machines today, but each piece of footwear still has over 250 separate hand processes and very little has changed. We operate from the same factory, opened in 1903, and our shop fit in the Jermyn Street store was installed in 1938. We want to offer an enduring take on high-end British craftsmanship; that’s in our DNA. ■ We have seen many heritage brands moving their production to the Far East over the years. Why did Tricker’s refuse to jump on that boat? - Tricker’s has uncompromising standards of craftsmanship and uses honest materials selected for durability and strength, which are values that are observed as resolutely today as they were in 1829. We are the oldest shoe manufacturer in Northampton and, unlike some other companies, we have never outsourced part or full production to the Far East or India, and we never will. If you are buying a pair of Tricker’s shoes they are 100% British, not 95% British. ■ Tricker’s is a holder of the Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales. What does that mean? - His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales confirmed this position in 1989 when he
awarded Tricker’s his Royal Warrant for Men’s shoes. We supply the Royal Household with our footwear. ■ Who buys Tricker’s products and how would you describe your customers? - If there is one characteristic to connect the diverse customer base of Tricker’s, it is that of pronounced individualism. Our customer is a self-assured, confident nonconformist, independent in thought and manner. While Tricker’s attracts a wide age group, you are not born a Tricker’s man, you become one.
■ The Tricker’s brand was recently introduced on the Serbian market by one of your stockists. How do you feel about expanding to new markets? - Our newly introduced seasonal collections are allowing the company to spread its sales into new wholesale markets, whilst strengthening its existing business in the core export markets of Italy, the U.S. and Japan. All new stockists must conform to the very highest standards of brand mix, service and an ability to understand how to present a handcrafted British heritage brand correctly. ■ NOVEMBER
“Our goal is to have the borders that separate us transformed into bridges that unite us, and on this common path of European integration we integrate our economies and give life as soon as possible to a common market that is attractive to all our entrepreneurs.”— EDI RAMA, Albanian Prime Minister ALBANIA
Hundred Properties Available For Rent MILVA EKONOMI, Albanian Minister of Economy
For all those interested in investing in Albania, there is a new online mechanism in place for business counseling. A registry of 100 free properties, former facilities and state lands, including private properties made available for business purposes,
have been put up for rental. These free properties, minister Milva Ekonomi says, as of mid last month were available for rent on site of Albanian Investment Development Agency and can be accessed at the link http://aida.gov.al/pronat/qytete. They are located in 12 regions of Albania. Minister Ekonomi says that it is a transparent process and another opportunity for local and foreign business to invest in Albania.
First Sections of North Stream 2 To Be Ready in November The first sections of the gas pipeline North Stream 2 from Russia to Europe will be welded and turned over in November 2016, stated the Communications Director of the company managing the project Ulrich Lissek, cited by RIA agency. “At the end of the year, an agreement will be signed for the laying of the two sections. The welding of the sections has begun and the first ones will be turned over as early as November,” stated Lissek. North Stream 2 envisages the construction of two gas pipelines on the bottom of the Baltic Sea with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic metres which will connect Russia’s coast with Germany. The new pipelines will be laid parallel to the already functioning gas pipeline North stream. Capital expenditures on the project are estimated at €8bln but, if loans are included, these could reach €9.9bln.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Energoinvest Signs €35.9mln Deal in Tanzania
Bosnian engineering company Energoinvest said mid last month it had signed a 35.9 million turnkey deal with Tanzania Electric Supply Company for the construction of a 400 kV transmission line in the African country. Energoinvest was awarded the deal in consortium with Indian company EMC, but consortium will be led by the Bosnian company. The works are a part of a Kenya-Tanzania power interconnection project, which consists of three lots. The consortium will work on Lot 3, which foresees the construction of a 400 kV transmission line from Arusha (Tanzania) to the border with Kenya, a distance of 114 km. The deadline for the completion of works is 22 months.
EVERY SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS TO DO
Hungary Could Call Tenders For All 2014-2020 EU Funding Hungary’s government could call tenders for all European Union funding available for the 2014-2020 funding cycle by next spring, even earlier than expected, Nándor Csepreghy, state secretary at the prime minister’s office, said in an interview. “We could fulfil our promise to call all of the NÁNDOR CSEPREGHY tenders for the funding by June 2017 even earlier. It’s possible that all of the money could be made available by the spring of next year,” Csepreghy said. So far, tenders for more than 6,400 billion forints (€21bln) in funding, more than 70 per cent of the total, have been called. Csepreghy acknowledged disputes with Brussels over pre-financing for the funding as well as the system of evaluating applications. The European Commission has aired concerns over the 50 per cent of pre-financing rate and evaluations of the applications by state employees rather than contracted companies. He conceded that the government’s pre-financing rate is over the average 30 per cent, but said the interests of Hungarian companies take priority over Brussels’ concerns.
Most of the challenges in launching a business relate to doing the little things right. So, if you are thinking of starting a small business, make sure you follow these ten important rules for small businesses:
1. You need to manage your cash. 2. You need to develop a data-based culture. 3. You need to understand your margins on all your products and services. 4. You need to have a strategy for recruiting and retaining talent. 5. You need to listen online every day. 6. You need to talk to your customers. 7. You need to know your competitors. 8. You need to have a higher purpose.
“Better political connections in the future would undoubtedly get us closer to the European Union, which all the countries in the region strive to. Having dialogues always improves relations, and this is of great important to us,” — ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ, Serbian Prime Minister MONTENEGRO
Selling 51% of Railway Operator Montecargo
EBRD to Back SMEs, Energy Security The EBRD said it had approved a new strategy for Kosovo focusing on support for small and medium-sized EBRD President SIR SUMA CHAKRABARTI and President enterprises (SMEs), energy of Kosovo, HASHIM THACI security and regional integration. ness investment in the last 10 years up to It will provide financing to Kosovo 40% by 2020. corporates and SMEs in order to increase The EBRD would “consider supporting their competitiveness and will continue to investments in power generation capacity cooperate with local banks to this end. The where these are consistent with its Energy EBRD would also seek to apply the Green Sector Strategy” adopted in 2013, which foEconomy Transition approach to all incuses on energy security, affordability and vestments in Kosovo. The Green Economy energy efficiency. Transition approach envisages increasing To date, the EBRD has invested more of the volume of green financing from an than €200 million in almost 50 projects in average of 24% of the EBRD annual busiKosovo. CROATIA
Exports and Imports Grow
Montenegro’s privatisation council launched a tender for the sale of a 51% state-owned stake in rail cargo operator Montecargo with a face value of €8.9 million.
A total of 1,703,458 state-owned shares in Montecargo, with a nominal value of €5.2285 euro each, are up for sale, the privatisation council said in a notice published on its website. The majority owner of Montecargo is the Montenegrin government with a stake of 85.4%. Government institutions control a further 2.2%. The deadline for the submission of bids is December 8.
World’s Highest Growth in Wine Production Romania’s wine production has increased by 37% this year to 4.8 million hectolitres, after two years of consecutive declines, according to estimates of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). The country thus recorded the highest production advance in the world. Despite this, Romania hasn’t managed to climb up among the large wine producers and remained in 13th place. Italy strengthened its position as global leader, with a wine production of 48.8 million hectolitres, down 2% from 50 million hectolitres in 2015. It was followed by France, with 41.9 million hectolitres, down 12% year-on-year, and Spain, with 37.8 million hectolitres, up 1%. The U.S. came next, with 22.5 million hectolitres, up 2%, followed by Australia, with 12.5 million hectolitres, up 5% year-on-year.
Croatian export of goods in the first seven months of this year amounted to 51 billion kuna (€6.8 billion), which was 1.5 per cent more than in the same period last year, while imports reached €11 billion and were 1.7 per cent higher, reported the Central Bureau for Statistics. These are somewhat higher rates of growth than the initial data announced earlier by the Central Bureau of Statistics, reports N1 on October 7, 2016. Croatian foreign trade deficit in the first seven months amounted to €4.34 billion 2.1 per cent more than in the first seven months of 2015. The importexport ratio in the first seven months stood at 61 per cent, slightly less than 61.1 per cent from the same period last year. The most important foreign market for Croatian products was the European Union, where Croatia exported goods worth €4.5 billion or 1.9 per cent more than in the first seven months of last year. Imports from other EU member states grew by 4.1 per cent to €8.7 billion. Exports to CEFTA countries reached €1.11 billionand were 2.6 per cent lower, while imports from these countries increased by 14 per cent to €642.2 million. The most important Croatian foreign trade partners were Germany, Italy and Slovenia.
“In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later. “ — HAROLD GENEEN, former president of the ITT Corporation, US DENMARK
World’s Leader in Addressing Sustainable Energy
According to the 2016 Energy Index from the World Energy Council WEC), Denmark is the top nation in the world when it comes to the sustainability of national energy systems. Denmark ranked first in the ‘Energy Security’ cat-
egory, sixth in ‘Environmental Sustainability’ and tenth in ‘Energy Equity’ for an overall first place finish out of 125 nations.Denmark moved up from sixth place on last year’s rankings and was ahead of Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany, while France, Norway, Finland, New Zealand and Austria completed the top 10. Other notables included the UK (11), the US (14), Canada (22), Japan (30), Australia (31), South Korea (44), Russia (45), Brazil (57), Iran (78), China (87) and India (91).
UBS Spends SFr1 Billion on IT Platform UBS is spending about 1 billion francs to overhaul the IT platform of its wealth management business in a bid to integrate the infrastructure. The 1-billion-franc-project involves more than 1,400 employees and will run through 2018. «This is about integrating our historically fragmented infrastructure that we have globally into one platform,» said Dirk Klee, the chief operating officer at UBS wealth management UBS several months ago said it wanted to save hundreds of millions by adopting a new structure and cutting jobs at wealth management. The Zurich-based bank as a whole aims to reduce costs by 2.1 billion francs by the end of 2017. The unified IT-platform will make it easier for the bank to distribute new digital service globally. An example of which being the online wealth-management product set to be launched in the U.K. at the beginning of 2017. If this project proves successful in the U.K., the Swiss giant is likely to offer it to customers in big European markets and in Asia, Klee said.
FedEx to Invest €1.4 bln at Charles de Gaulle Airport Package delivery company FedEX Corp announce it would invest €1.4 billion to double the capacity of its logistics activities at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in the Paris suburb of Roissy.
Under the plan, the U.S. group plans to open a new package sorting facility in 2019, creating between 200 and 400 jobs, according to a document handed out during a visit by President Francois Hollande. The extra 25,000 square meters of space will make FedEx’s Roissy center its second biggest in the world after the one in Memphis in the USs.Delivery service company TNT Express, which was bought in May by FedEX, also plans to open a new facility in the Parisian region, according to the same document.
HOW DO YOU KNOW If You Have a Good Idea For a Business?
Naftogaz Files Lawsuit Against Russia Naftogaz of Ukraine and six of its subsidiaries files lawsuit against Russia with $2.6 bln in compensation for Crimean assets. “Upon unlawfully invading and occupying Crimea in 2014, the Russian Federation engaged in a widespread and well-orchestrated scheme to deprive Ukrainian companies of their property, without payment of compensation,” the company said. Naftogaz noted that the six Naftogaz subsidiaries that have commenced arbitration against Russia together are Chernomorneftegaz, Ukrtransgaz, Subsidiary Company Likvo, Ukrgasvydobuvannya, Ukrtransnafta, and Gaz Ukraiiny. Naftogaz is a Ukrainian state-owned group of companies engaged in the exploration, development, production, transportation, processing, and marketing of oil and gas. NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, the corporate group’s parent, is the national oil and gas company of Ukraine.
No matter who you are or how big you hope to grow your business, figuring out what product to build and what services to offer is a huge challenge. Here’s our guide to find out if your idea is any good and if it’s worth moving to the next level.
1. Start by documenting your key assumptions about your business 2. Talk to your potential customers 3. Show your prospective customers a prototype of your product, if you have one 4. Figure out what people are willing to pay 5. Find people who think your idea is good 6. Find out how much money it is going to take to launch your business 7. Start as small as possible 8. Stay flexible
DID YOU KNOW
“There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” — PHIL LIBIN, CEO of Evernote
Warner Music owns the copyrights to “Happy Birthday,” so it’s technically owed royalties every time you sing it to someone
Estonia On Top By Wage Satisfaction
China - No 1 Wine Export Market
According to a Baltic survey of CV-Online, satisfaction with wages is up most in Estonia. Latvians are most satisfied with their wages, with 39 per cent finding that their input meets the remuneration, followed by Estonians (34) and Lithuanians (19). In three years, satisfaction with wages is up 14 per cent in Estonia, 13 per cent in Latvia and down 2 per cent in Lithuania. In Estonia, the biggest satisfaction level was recorded in the IT and recruitment sector, as well as agriculture and environmental protection. In Estonia, 60 per cent of top managers, 45 per cent of middle managers and 42 per cent of sales
Last month Wine Australia released its annual Export Report, which showed China had accelerated past the US and the UK to become Australia largest wine export market, taking 21 per cent of Australia’s total exported wine, worth an overall $1.67 billion in 2015-16.
representatives said that their wages are in line with their work input.
Fortis Completes Acquisition of ITC Fortis Inc. St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador based international diversified electric utility holding company closed the largest deal in its history — the US$11.3-billion acquisition of Michiganbased ITC Holdings Corp. President and CEO Barry Perry said his company is positioned to build out new infrastructure as the United States transitions away from coal-fired electricity generation toward more natural gas and renewable power. “There is a focus in the U.S. of switching to natural gas and renewables,” Perry said in a telephone interview, adding he thinks ITC – which has a network of transmission lines that stretches 25,000 kilometres – is wellpositioned to grow during that transition. Fortis purchased Arizona-based UNS Energy Corp. for US$2.5 billion at the end of 2013 and New York-based CH Energy Group Inc. for US$1.5 billion in 2012.
Highlighting China’s interest in Australian wine is the fact that just ten years ago, wine exports to China were worth just $20 million annually. According to the report, the implementation of the China-Australia Free Trade agreement (ChAFTA) has played a major part in making Australian wine more accessible to China’s growing middle class. Wine Australia said more than a third of Australia’s exported wines, priced $7.5 or higher per liter, were being shipped to China.
Making Money With Football Stadiums Business is booming for Reeze Fan. He’s been building soccer stadiums, with in-built leisure centers, all over China since 2008. His company Soccer World already owns 25 stadiums in 20 cities and government officials continue to insist that he open up more. There is hardly any competition. The soccer enthusiasm has increased across the country since President Xi Jinping said that it was important to revive soccer so that China could become a sports nation. He stipulated that a football pitch be built as part of every new housing project. At the same time, Chinese investors have been placing their money in foreign football clubs. Aston Villa is 100 per cent Chinese, Slavia Prag 60 per cent, Espanyol Barcelona 56 per cent and Atletico Madrid 20 per cent. Deals worth $3 billion have been made since the end of last year alone. Reeze Fan has an easy task when it comes to transforming China into a football nation and can count himself lucky. He is not responsible for the quality of the teams but he can guarantee that his stadiums are good. At the beginning of the year, he received funding from Sequoia Capital China and the state private equity firm China Media Capital. He plans to expand the number of sta-
diums run by his company to 60 by the end of 2017. The goal is to be operating 150 by 2020 at a cost of 500 million yuan ($74.8 million) more. Fan’s business model is relatively simple. He draws up contracts with local governments to replace old football pitches with stadiums that have artificial turf fields, changing rooms and leisure centers, used by private individuals, schools and hospitals. Income is generated by the rent paid to use the leisure centers which he says are in use at a rate of 75 per cent.
KATARINA SAVIĆ, Site Director, Sitel Belgrade
Expanding Operations in Serbia Sitel Serbia recently celebrated five years of operations in Serbia. As a global company that employs 67,000 people, the ambition of the Sitel Global founder was to create a real global company and over the years Sitel started to grow in different countries via acquisitions, as the best way to capture market share from the first moment of investment
nce we had the right size, we changed the strategy to select specific countries with high potential for our business independently of the fact if our industry had a strong presence there. This is how Serbia was selected five years ago. Sitel was the first outsourcer in Serbia, because we thought Serbia was one of the best places to invest,” says Katarina Savić, Site Director at Sitel Belgrade, speaking to CorD Magazine ■ Was it hard to convince foreign clients to relocate part of their business to Belgrade five years ago, especially bearing in mind that, looking back, they have remained at Sitel Serbia since then? - At first, we had a challenge convincing them that Serbia is a good place to start a business, however very soon Sitel Serbia was at the top of the rankings not only in Sitel EMEA, but among all Sitel facilities. Sitel Serbia is now a reference for other Sitel sites and an example of what success looks like. ■ Five years later, would you say that clients are satisfied with your services? What are their biggest impressions? - Excellent Customer Service, great results and talented leaders have led that a centre that was originally planned to host 400-500 employees turns into one of the top centres among 40+ locations in Sitel 38 |
EMEA. Today, we serve eight clients in 10 different languages with more than 800 people, nearly double the number envisaged just five years ago. The most important fact is that we expect to hire another 200 people during the last quarter of this year, in order to support the seasonal campaigns of our clients. ■ Sitel opened its first site in Belgrade. Are you planning future expansion within Serbia?
Excellent Customer Service, great results and talented leaders converted a centre that was originally planned to host 400-500 employees into one of the top centres among 40+ locations in Sitel EMEA that today serve eight clients in 10 different languages with more than 800 people - We are in the process of expanding our operations in Serbia, and not only in Belgrade. We have a small team working outside of Belgrade and we are strongly considering another location in the south in order to continue delivering excellent services to our clients. People who are in Serbia and who speak foreign languages will always have a place at Sitel. ■ What does Sitel offer its employees
when it comes to improving their skills? Do they have a chance to take part in training and make progress within the company? - 75 per cent of the existing management team at Sitel Serbia started as Customer Care Representatives and that is the best way to show that there are possibilities to have a growing career at Sitel regardless of the position each individual initially holds. The process of advancement includes trainings, workshops and constant learning. ■ What are Sitel Global’s future plans? Does Sitel plan to conquer new countries and markets? - Our industry is in constant change and evolution. Technology is critical at this movement and customers want to reach companies using multiple channels (voice, email, chat, social media etc.) and they expect answers much faster than in the past. Sitel is permanently trying to find new ways to be closer to customers and to meet their needs, providing an excellent service and customer experience. Sitel is among the top four global companies in our industry, among other indicators also in terms of revenues, and our offer is simple: when somebody thinks of providing excellent customer experience they must think of Sitel. Currently, we are considering opening operations in another two countries, one in Central America and one in Europe. ■
29 CATCH PITCH CHALLENGE 2016 MARKED
DEJAN JOCIĆ WITH THE THREE TOP AWARDED AUTHORS
The Cintematheque Yugoslav Film Archives hosted the grand finale of “CATCH Pitch Challenge 2016”, the competition of FoundCenter Investment, a German investment fund, in which the best business ideas had an opportunity to win a direct investment of up to €1 million. It started as a €1 million race, but ended with almost €5 million which FoundCenter Investment invested in the 13 best entrepreneurial ideas that proved capable of being implemented in the international market. The first prize, €750,000 will be invested in an application that makes medical assistance just one click away, created by the Serbian startup Vismedic. Second prize, €400,000 went to Ukrainian-Spanish start-up BNesis, for a project that should help integration with third party APIs. Third ranked (€180,000) was the Serbian start-up Friend Recap – an app that collects posts of eight best friends from all social networks. FoundCenter Investment founder Dejan Jocić said that the decision-making process was tough, which is the main reason why as many as thirteen start-ups were chosen for investment.
30 UNICREDIT PRESENTS UEFA CHAMPIONS SEP
LEAGUE TROPHY TOUR
Representatives of the City of Belgrade and UniCredit Bank held a press conference to mark the arrival of the Tour of the UEFA Champions League Trophy, which was presented by UniCredit, and the trophy of this prestigious club football competition. The trophy of the UEFA Champions League began its eighth road trip across Europe on 13th September. One of this year’s stops was also Serbia, where it stayed until 2nd October. The Champions League trophy was exhibited in Belgrade in two locations – on 1st October on Republic Square and on 2nd October in UŠĆE Shopping Centre. Speaking at the conference were Siniša Mali, Mayor of Belgrade, Csilla Ihasz, CEO of UniCredit Bank Serbia, Marcos Evangelista de Moraes-Kafu, UEFA ambassador for the Trophy Tour of the UEFA Champions League presented by UniCredit, and others.
STEVAN STOJANOVIĆ, SINIŠA MALI, CSILLA IHASZ, MARCOS EVANGELISTA DE MORAES – KAFU and LARS ELLENSOHN, UEFA
COOPERATION SUOMI FINLAND 100 AND EMBASSY OF FINLAND
The Embassy of Finland organised a meeting for Team Finland member companies and other partners at the Residence of Ambassador H.E. Pertti Ikonen to prepare for the Suomi Finland 100 anniversary next year. Finland became an independent state on 6th December 1917, and the centenary of Finland’s independence will be the running theme of the Embassy’s events and activities in 2017. Various events will be held throughout the year, including the Nordic Glass Exhibition in Belgrade and Novi Sad, as well as the performance of Finnish dance group Tero Saarinen Company at the Belgrade Dance Festival in April. The presence of Team Finland member companies and partners will be demonstrated in these events. The occasion saw Päivi Alatalo, Deputy Head of Mission, and Igor Madžarević, Team Finland Coordinator and Economic Advisor, present plans for upcoming events and activities.
H.E. PERTTI IKONEN
FOURTH BALKAN CHEESE FESTIVAL HELD
The Fourth Balkan Cheese Festival, held at Belgrade’s Mixer House, attracted great attention from Belgrade’s lovers of cheese and wine. A wide range of rare and autochthonous types of cheeses from the Balkans and the Mediterranean was presented at the festival, where, alongside Serbian cheeses, cheeses from Croatian, Montenegro, Italy, Bosnia and Macedonia were also presented. More than 30 exhibitors presented real artworks of cheese, around 100 types, most of which are difficult to be found in retail stores. The festival’s special guest was Mrs Pauline Menthonnex Gacaferri, Chargé d’Affaires at the Swiss Embassy in Belgrade.
SRBA JOVANOVIĆ, founder of the Balkan Cheese Festival, IVAN LALIĆ, director of Mixer House, PAULINE MENTHONNEX GACAFERRI, Chargé d’Affaires at the Swiss Embassy in Belgrade
10 SSCC’S CONFERENCE
GORAN KNEŽEVIĆ, Minister of economy and H.E. PHILIPPE GUEX
Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce-SSCC’s Conference on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises SMEs was held as part of SSCC’s efforts to emphasize the importance of the SME sector in further enhancement of economic relations between Switzerland in Serbia. Organized in the context of the Year of Entrepreneurship in Serbia, this event strives to contribute to the strengthening of competitiveness of the local SMEs. H.E.Mr Philippe Guex was one of the keynote speakers, who outlined the key role SMEs play in the economic development of Switzerland. Opportunities and challenges related to SME establishment and growth were addressed during the panel discussion through an exchange of experiences and lessons learned from both public and private sector.
ART EXHIBITION AT THE AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY
Australian Ambassador H.E. Julia Feeney and Second Secretary Maris Tebecis hosted an exhibition of art by young Serbian artists Sofija Gavrilović and Velimir Andrejević, followed by a cocktail reception at the Australian Embassy. This was the first exhibition of Serbian boomerang art by these two young artists, entitled The Re- SOFIJA GAVRILOVIĆ, VELIMIR turning of the Boomerang. Inspired ANDREJEVIĆ and JULIA FEENEY by the concept of ‘returning’, these young Serbian artists used the indigenous Australian boomerang as a motif, hand-making and painting their own boomerangs and creating boomerang-inspired stories. We were told that these boomerangs do actually return when thrown properly, but these ones were too beautiful to throw!
NOCTOBER – MONTH OF NORWEGIAN CULTURE IN SERBIA
The Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade has for the first time organised a month of Norwegian culture in Serbia with the aim of enabling our fellow citizens to feel and taste different elements of Norwegian culture, from literature and music to film and cuisine. A Week of Norwegian Film was held under the auspices of this programme at the Cinematheque Yugoslav Film Archives from 11th to 16th October. It was opened by famous Norwegian film critic and former director of the Norwegian Film Institute, Jan Erik Holst, alongside renowned Norwegian director and feminist Anja Breien, who was also the first woman to enrol at the Film Academy in France. The Week of Norwegian Film including screenings of her films, which mainly deal with women’s rights. In addition to the film week, the month of Norwegian culture also saw the presenting of culinary specialities of Norway, a children’s choir, the jazz scene and Norwegian writers.
ANJA BREIEN AND JAN ERIK HOLST
CULINARY JOURNEY ACROSS MALAYSIA
The Embassy of Malaysia in Belgrade, in collaboration with the Hyatt Regency Hotel Belgrade and supported by Turkish Airlines, organised the “Malaysian Culinary Journey”. This event features Dato’ Ismail Ahmad, a renowned Malaysian celebrity Chef. The Grand Opening reception took place at the Metropolitan Grill Restau- NIK ADY ARMAN, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the Malaysian Embassy, and DATO’ ISMAIL rant at the Hyatt Regency AHMAD Hotel Belgrade. Chef Dato’ Ismail Ahmad specialises in local and traditional Malaysian cuisine and is a well-known figure in the world of gourmet food for his numerous achievements in food styling and recipe creation. Apart from the opportunity to savour a variety of dishes from authentic Malaysian traditional cuisine, visitors of the Malaysian Culinary Journey also experienced the beauty of Malaysian cultural heritage through traditional Malaysian dances that have been performed by the Embassy’s Chenderawasih Cultural Troupe.
BORIS STEVIĆ, President of the Association of Leasing Companies of Serbia
In the last 12 years, the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises through leasing has seen more than five billion euros invested in the economy of Serbia. The reasons for this are that, compared with traditional methods of financing, leasing makes it easier to manage costs and enables more favourable conditions for end users, and does not require additional guarantees and security. This is the conclusion of the annual conference of the Association of Leasing Companies of Serbia (ALCS) and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, which is entitled “Leasing in the Year of Entrepreneurship - Strengthening the economy through the development of small and medium-sized enterprises”. Among participants in the conference were representatives of leasing companies, as well as leasing customers, owners of SMEs. While representatives of leasing spoke about trends and predictions for the future, entrepreneurs noted the benefits of leasing that have helped them to launch and strengthen their businesses.
NEW INFINITI Q30 PROMOTED AT THE EMBASSY OF JAPAN
New Grand Motors model - Infiniti Q30 - presented at the Embassy of Japan “Infiniti is the first partner for which the Japanese Embassy has made space available for the organising of such an event,” said Japanese Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Juichi Takahara, continuing: “Partnering Japanese and Serbian companies is of great importance for us, and Infiniti, with its exclusivity, is worthy of a special place. Guests at the Embassy of Japan were also welcomed by Infiniti Europe’s director of sales promotion on independent markets, Julien Brunet. “We are very happy that as a partner in Serbia we have reputable company Grand Motors. Our cooperation is becoming more fruitful from year to year and I am convinced that in the future it will be even more successful,” said Brunet.
CONFERENCE “LEASING IN THE YEAR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP”
AHK OKTOBERFEST HELD
The seventh annual Oktoberfest, and the first organised by the newly founded German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia), was held with the support of this year’s partner company STIHL and numerous sponsors which are member companies of AHK Serbia, at the Belgrade Fair. In an original Bavarian setting, under MAJA VIDAKOVIĆ, aim executive a festive tent with German Erdinger director, receives a placard from AHK DIRECTOR MARTIN KNAPP beer, various specialities of Bavarian cuisine, competitions in holding beer glasses and drinking beer, and distinctive costumes, AHK members, with their partners and numerous guests from the economic and public scene in Serbia, enjoyed the two-day event, which once again this year had a humanitarian character. Funds in excess of 130,000 dinars, collected with the sharing of AHK pint glasses, will be paid to the “SOS Children’s Village” in Kraljevo, with which the children residents are ensured of a warm upTHE FIRST TOAST MARKED THE START OF coming winter. OKTOBERFEST IN BELGRADE
SERBIAN ECONOMIC SUMMIT The 16th Economic Summit of the Republic of Serbia, under the title “Road Map to the EU – Rebooting the Economy”, focused on the policy issues and actions that will be taken by the Government of Serbia, following Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić’s announcement that the key priority of the new Serbian Government will be expediting the country’s accession to the EU and Serbia continuing along its path to EU membership. The speakers that addressed conference participants at the Metropol Palace Hotel included European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Michael Davenport, EBRD Director Daniel Berg, Russian Ambassador Alexander Chepurin, French Ambassador Christine Moro and German Ambassador Axel Dittmann. Those in attendance included Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, Serbian ministers Ivica Dačić, Zorana Mihajlović, Dušan Vujović, Ana Brnabić, Jadranka Joksimović and more than sixty other prominent speakers from Serbia and the region. PM ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ
ALEKSANDAR JERKOV and KYLE SCOTTT
US AMBASSADOR HELPS IN THE RESTORATION OF THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
H.E. U.S. Ambassador Kyle Scott visited the Svetozar Marković University Library and, together with director Aleksandra Jerkov and Minister of Culture and Information Vladan Vukosavljević, announced that the U.S. Government had presented a special grant to the library amounting to $106,000. These funds are intended to repair the roof and façade in order to ensure the continued existence of this famous monument of culture. Apart from this project, the U.S. Embassy has provided more than $460,000 since 2001 for projects that help Serbia preserve its cultural heritage. These projects are a sign of the respect of the American people for the diverse cultural heritage of Serbia, showing the support of the Embassy of the United States for the development of tourism VLADAN VUKOSAVLJEVIĆ (left), in the country and the improving of ties between Serbia and America. ALEKSANDAR JERKOV and KYLE SCOTTT
AUTUMN OF POLISH FILM
The “Polish Film Autumn” event has opened in the presence of Polish Ambassador H.E. Tomasz Niegodzisz at the Belgrade Youth Centre. It will run until Sunday 23rd November and will include the screenings of nine films – feature films, documentaries and animated films – that have all been awarded at prestigious international festivals. The main aim of this year’s “Polish Film Autumn”, organised by the Embassy of Poland in Belgrade and the Belgrade Youth Centre, is to bring the most prominent Polish achievements in film to lovers of cinematography in Belgrade. Guests were addressed at the opening ceremony by Marko Popović, Editor of the Belgrade Youth Centre Film Programme, Milica Ševarlić, Belgrade Youth Centre PR, and Andrzej Kindziuk, First Secretary at the Embassy of Poland in Belgrade.
GIOVANNI MAFODDA, ICE Belgrade, MASSIMO RUSTICO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, ZORANA MIHAJLOVIĆ, deputy prime minister, and the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, H.E. GIUSEPPE MANZO, Ambassador of Italy in Serbia
“ITALY & SERBIA: BUILDING TOGETHER”
We’re building together is the message with which a delegation of 40 Italian companies from the fields of construction, design and engineering came to Belgrade to meet with Serbian companies and institutions in the context of an intensive two-day programme of presentations and expert exhibitions organised by the Italian Agency for Foreign Trade, ICE, and its office in Belgrade . The initiative “Italy & Serbia: Building Together” was launched with the aim of supporting Italian companies interested in the Serbian construction market and cooperation with Serbian companies in this field, and was organised with the assistance of the Embassy of Italy in Serbia and under the auspices of an extensive programme for promoting the Italian construction sector abroad that was jointly launched by the ICE Agency, the Italian National Association of Builders (ANCE) and the Association for Engineering, Architecture and Technical-Economic Consultancy (OICE).
FESTIVAL OF JAPANESE FILM HELD
The Museum of the Cinematheque Yugoslav Film Archives hosted a review of Japanese film, with the event opened by Japanese Ambassador in Belgrade, H.E. Juichi Takahara. The festival opened on 20th October with a screening of the film H.E. JUICHI TAKAHARA “Samurai Cat”, followed on 21st October by films “The Round Table” and “The treasure Hunter”. On Saturday, 22nd October the creations “Special Unit: Red and White File” and “The Floating Castle” were shown. Japanese cinematography has been among the world’s leaders for many years, and in recent years it has experienced a new blossoming.
EXHIBITION OF VOJVODINA PAINTERS FROM VOJVOĐANSKA BANKA’S COLLECTION
An exhibition of paintings by Milan Konjović, Mića Popović, Nikola Graovac, Milan Kerc, Sava Stojkov and other famous painters from the Vojvodina region, part of the rich art collection of Vojvođanska Banka, was held at the Matica Srpska Gallery in Novi Sad. The exhibition, entitled “Responsible in culture”, included the first public presentations of 40 extremely valuable artworks from the second half of the 20th century, all of which became part of the collection of Vojvođanska Banka through its planned acquisitions and continuous realisation of art colonies. “The declaring of Novi Sad as the European Capital of Culture for 2021 is a wave that should be used to do great and important things in the field of culture, amongst which is the reconstruction and renovation of cultural institutions,” said Marinos Vathis, Chairman of the Executive Board of Vojvođanska Banka. To this end, the bank also contributed to the reconstruction of the Matica Srpska Gallery.
BELGRADE INVESTMENT DAYS
LEGION OF HONOUR AWARD FOR ZORAN SEKULIĆ
H.E. CHRISTINE MORO and ZORAN SEKULIĆ
SINIŠA MALI, Mayor of Belgrade
The City of Belgrade, the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce and the Central European Development Forum, CEDEF, jointly organised the second “Belgrade Investment Days” investment forum in the Serbian capital. The goal was to bring business and financial communities into direct contact in order to improve the business climate and finalise business arrangements. This event gives investors, international financial institutions, the diplomatic corps, ministries, banks, foreign and domestic companies and local governments the opportunity to present their investment potential and agree on cooperation. An evening cocktail reception was organised at Belgrade City Hall.
AJA JUNG BECOMES KNIGHT OF THE ORDER OF ARTS AND LETTERS
H.E. French Ambassador Christine Moro has honoured Belgrade Dance Festival founder and director Aja Jung with the title of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres). “With her works, Aja Jung has embodied the belief in the principles to which the French are eternally devoted, that culture is part H.E. CHRISTINE MORO and AJA JUNG of a human being, that it gives man a special quality, a unique shine, universal and not caring for borders. This recognition is not presented merely because of the establishing of links between Serbian dancers and choreographers, French companies and the Serbian public, rather primarily due to her enthusiasm to ensure culture occupies a more important place in the lives of the citizens of Serbia, France and many other countries,” said Ambassador Moro. “It is a great honour when recognition comes from a major and, in a historical sense, immensely rich cultural environment, for our small city in the Balkans ”, said Aja Jung. The reception that was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps and figures from culture and the public life of Serbia.
French Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Christine Moro, presented to Zoran Sekulić, founder and director of news agency FoNet, France’s highest decoration, the Legion of Honour, with the rank of Knight, at a reception organised at the French Ambassadorial Residence. Ambassador Moro said that French President François Hollande had decided to present this highest recognition to Sekulić in recognition of his engagement in the service of defending the development of the media and media independence in Serbia and Europe, as well as because Sekulić has contributed to promoting the values that France has supported throughout history and which are considered as being among the foundations of democracy. “The decision of the French President to present the Legion of Honour to a journalist from Serbia confirms the universal character of values such as freedom of thought, freedom of expression and media freedom,” said Sekulić.
B y M A JA V U K A D I N OV I Ć
HELP SOCIETY ALEKSANDAR SIMIĆ
COMPOSER AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST
Aleksandar Simić is a composer whose opus encompasses hundreds of pieces in all genres, ranging from solo, chamber and vocal works, to grand scale pieces for the symphony orchestra or choir and orchestra. He has composed music for theatre, film, television, and international sporting com-petitions, while many of his pieces have been used to mark important jubilees across the globe. With various collaborations and commissions from such institutions as the United Nations, the Vatican, the U.S. State Department, the Russian Federation, NASA or Yad Vashem, Mr Simić is widely hailed as one of the brightest and most intriguing of his generation of composers
esides music, Mr Simić is also well-known for his public advocacy. In this interview for CorD, Aleksandar Simić talks about his music, but also his social activism and humanitarian work.
■ Your music has often been commissioned to honour important historical jubilees and used to mark leading international events. Do you believe that art should support political and social change? - Political and social change is an immanent and relentless phenomenon. The important role of the artist, as I see it, is to help society set its values and therein set rightly the course of the changes, simply because not all change is necessarily good. We had our share of Leni Riefenstahls or Albert Speers in any era or any society, but luckily for Humanity, we also had people of genuine human and artistic integrity, such as Socrates, Thomas More, Émile Zola or John Lennon. People often quote Dostoyevsky, saying that “beauty will save the world”, but I’m not completely sure if most of them really understand the true 44 |
meaning and the power of these words - because here lies a recipe on how to address most of the challenges we face. Also, this sentence prescribes the essential role of the arts in this world - and this is to imbue the generations with right values and with the everlasting beauty of kindness, honesty and righteousness. ■ What are the main messages you intend to convey through your music? - It depends on the piece, I guess. When I wrote Under One Roof as a commission from the UN, the main idea to convey, was that of a world united in peace (to paraphrase the emblem of the organisation), and so I chose to write a musical journey around the globe for the symphony orchestra, as a celebration of unity in diversity and the fantastic richness of cultures, which make up this kaleidoscope of nations, that the UN has set to harmonise. I believe even the title itself was a message, since the Secretary General has decided to base on it a big part of his speech at a global UN Forum in Qatar,
only a month after the work was premiered, saying that we indeed live in a very small home, under one roof and that all 7 billion of us better start learning to share it with love, respect and accountability. When I wrote my Missa Solemnior for the Vatican, it was to honor 950 years of the Great Schism and 40 years of reconciliation between Rome and Constantinople, and here again was a chance to send a very distinct message regarding Unity. Among many such messages in the Mass, introducing a first ever Kaddish for Jesus in the history of Roman Liturgy, I believe, was not only a contribution to the Jewish-Catholic relations, but also a statement against the stupidity of anti-Semitism based on a premise that the Jews are “guilty for crucifying our Lord”, while completely neglecting the fact that Jesus was a Jew and practically a Rabi himself. Anyway - every time we pick up a pen, a brush or a film camera - we are in a position not only to entertain but to send and support important messages, and I strongly believe it is also our duty.
■ You are well known for combining musical styles and your concerts are often described as some kind of a spectacle. Also, your music is not intended for small group of connoisseurs. How do you approach the audience? - You know how people often advise you to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”, as in to try and look at things from different angles? Well, I think it is wise and beneficial to “think a mile” from the perspective of a consumer if you are producing any product, and this goes for the arts as well. We need to respect our audience, educate and nurture it - but yes, we also need to please it and there is nothing wrong with that. It goes without saying that one should never compromise his or hers artistic integrity, but this can indeed be done without being hermetic.
serve as an excuse for carnage, as it often does. All my initiatives were based on that premise - the idea that empathy, solidarity and accountability represent the core of every religious teaching and that these ideas should be demonstrated by religious leaders and communities in the service of the greater good and common interests of peace and stability. The most recent initiative, planned to officially launch in 2017, is based here in Serbia, where I have invited Mme Sonja Licht with her Belgrade based Fund for Political Excellence and Mme Simona Miculescu, the Head of the UN Office in Serbia, together with the high level representatives of all denominations to join efforts in addressing the challenges that our local and global societies are facing. I have full faith that this Initiative will have a significant impact on our social landscape in the times to come. It is pivotally important to rehumanise society and provide support for integrative processes that require solidarity and accountability, and in both cases the above mentioned stakeholders could have a crucial role. ■ You were a spokesperson and an activist for such charitable campaigns as Helping the Blind, the Safe House program and Notes from the Heart. How do you perceive relations between music and humanism? - Actually I was a spokesperson and an activist for the Charity Fund Light which has started the first two campaigns, but I also gave my voice and support to numerous other campaigns as well. The important thing about humanitarian work is that you are ready to land a hand where ever and whenever you see you can make even the slightest difference. I am sure that humanitarian agencies would be so much more successful if they were to join forces in addressing their goals and helping those in distress, rather than protecting their own turf as they often do, while going after the same donors and funds. To answer your question, finally, and comment on Notes from the Heart - I started this campaign for free cultural contents aimed at the so-called marginalised audiences, years ago. We gave concerts for and in support of children afflicted with cancer, down-syndrome, autism, people in wheel chairs, the blind, the poor, the old, the refugees - basically all those people whose lives could be lit up by attention and the universal language of music. The buzz created by these events is always, and with the huge help of the media, well used to attract further donors and draw the attention of the institutions that can genuinely help change their lives - so, naturally I love this project and I will stick with it as long as I can breathe, walk and move my fingers - on and off the keyboard. ■
The most recent initiative, planned to officially launch in 2017, is based here in Serbia, where I have invited Mme Sonja Licht with her Belgrade based Fund for Political Excellence and Mme Simona Miculescu, the Head of the UN Office in Serbia, together with the high level representatives of all denominations to join efforts in addressing the challenges that our local and global societies are facing
■ In which ways do you promote contemporary classical music, bearing in mind that these times are not suitable for the arts? - Primarily by creating good music. By writing music, that is anything but boring or academic, “although it is classical”. That, I trust, is the most important thing.
■ Apart from being an internationally recognized composer, people and the media know you as a social activist and someone who is often engaged in the global inter-religious dialogue. What are you working on now? - God’s name has been abused throughout human history. I have always trusted that faith should be able to unite people, rather than
Open mouthed. Photography of Cristina Garcia Rodero 1-15 - Instituto Cervantes - 10: 00-22: 00 “Open mouthed” is a retrospective exhibition of the photography of Spanish artist Cristina Garcia Rodero, which covers one of the themes of her oeuvre, beginning with her first photographic project at the end of the 1970s to this day. The exhibition examines the diversity of behaviours, feelings and emotions of the human being,
shown through the mouth – from the first painful scream until death, via laughter, shouting, singing, speaking, tenderness, love, happiness, anxiety, fear, surprise, boredom, sensuality, sexuality, joy... In other words, the feelings that are revealed by life itself. This project has been kept by Cristina Garcia Rodero over the course of forty years, so that she can now leave us “open mouthed”.
BUNT Festival 2016 2-14 – various locations
ticipated in several important collective festivals, such as FNAC, DRAC and the CNAP. Her works can be found in collections of photographic art, libraries and individual collections, as well as in numerous publications, magazines and on the websites of photographic art associations. As part of long-term collaboration with Belgrade’s Chaos Gallery (Galerija Haos), and under the patronage of academic Vladimir Veličković, the French Institute invites you to journey into the photographic universe of Eve Morcrette.
Cosi fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 2 –Yugoslav Film Archive (Jugoslovenska Kinoteka) - 19:30
Photography of Eve Morcrette 1-10 - Gallery Haos Eve Morcrette is an independent photography artist. Since 1984 she has participated in the collective exhibition donated by Air France to the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. She participates in independent exhibitions, besides in Paris, in the French cities of Arles, La Rochelle, Villeneuve de la Rivière, Gentilly, Le Perreux, as well as abroad – in Japan, China, Azerbaijan and Russia. She has par-
Ferrando and Guglielmo are engaged to sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi. To prove to an old philosopher that their lovers are faithful, they pretend to go to war, returning disguised as
Japanese Serbian Film Festival 5-6 – Yugoslav Film Archive (Jugoslovenska Kinoteka) – 22:30 At the 3rd JSFF visitors in Belgrade and Tokyo will have the opportunity to follow the programme on the topic of ‘Devotion’, and to become more familiar with the differences and similarities between Serbian and Japanese art. Free from genre limits, JSFF will present, from documentaries to fiction, the best answers on this year’s topic. In addition to the Yugoslav Film Archive, the organiser (CultCrave) this year is joined by the Academy of Fine Arts and multimedia (ALUM), contributing to the quality of the event and its related facilities and activities. Parallel projections in both Belgrade and Tokyo enables JSFF to nurture the same ambitions also in the Far East. Programme: 5th 19:00 Opening Ceremony 20:00 Official Selection: Yu Shibuya – The Apology , Lana Pavkov – World
Champiion, Arai Takatoshi – Quantity among Quality, Miloš Tomić – Radiovision of Slaves and Robots, Pedro Collantes - Serrori, Maša Šarović/Siniša Dugonjić – The City, Jovana Stokanić – Psychomagic manual 6th 16:00 Akira Kurosawa – Ikiru 18:30 Discussion on Japanese Cinetography by drawing parallels between Akira Kurosawa and yasujra Ozua. Guest: director Ryo Suzuki 20:00 Official Selection: Mile Nagaoka – Frauke, Makato Shinada – Non Fiction, Milena Grujić – Last Call, yasayuki Kubota – The woman who fell to earth, Marko Bačković – Night Line, Zoshimasa Higashi – Voldat, Jelena Milunović ’ Radiovishion, Distances are overcome, Shoh Kataoka – Jellyfish Boy, Yoshmasa Jimbo – The girl who never knew war
The BUNT Festival was first initiated with the goal of supporting fine art values; values that are worthy of the talent and professional accomplishments of musicians in Serbia, as well as of the country’s civilisational accomplishments in the 21st century. This year's festival will take place at the following locations: Kolarac, Lola, Mixer House, Zvezdara Theatre, Sava Centre, Belgrade City Hall and SANU Gallery. From this year’s festival we would highlight the concert held in strangers and court the girls under false identities. However, the ruse does not go as planned: each of them moves to woo the other’s fiancée ... Will the former couples remain intact in this game of love and cruelty? Film and theatre director Christophe Honoré relates this story in a new production and under the hot African sun... Artistic Director: Louis Langrée Director: Christophe Honoré Orchestra: Freiburger Barockorchester Duration: 3h 30m, with breaks Opera subtitled in Serbian Cast: Lenneke Ruiten as Fiordiligi, Kate Lindsey as Dorabella and Sandrine Piau as Despina, as well as Joel Prieto (Ferrando), Nahuel di Pierro (Guglielmo), Rod Gilfry (Don Alfonso)...
Concert in the Gallery - Meinhard Holler & Olga Salogina 4 - Instituto Italiano di Cultura 20:00
The concert of Meinhard Holler, a violoncellist from Germany, and Olga Salogina, a pianist from Russia, is organised in cooperation with the Italian Culture Institute and the Belgrade Culture Centre as part of the Concerts in the Gallery of the Italian Culture Institute in Belgrade. Every Monday during the month of November
collaboration with the French Institute in Serbia within the framework of the French Musical Autumn, which will be held on 14th November at the Sava Centre at 8pm. Marc Coppey, violoncello (France) Markis New Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Predrag Gosta (USA/Serbia) Repertoire: J. Ph. Rameau: Suite from “Les fêtes d'Hebe” (“Les Talens lyriques”), C. Ph. E. Bach: Concerto for violoncello in A major, Wq 172, Largo-Allegro con Sordini, mesto-Allegro assai, A. Makris “Trilogy” for orchestra, W.A. Mozart: Overture from the opera “Don Giovanni”, J. Haydn : Concerto for violoncello in C major, Hob. VIIb: 1-Adagio-Moderato Allegro molto For complete programme details, please visit: bunt.rs from 8pm the Italian Culture Institute in Belgrade will host concerts in the cycle Concerts at the Gallery, under the organisation of the Belgrade Culture Centre. Through this collaboration with KCB, a significant cultural institution in Belgrade, the Italian Culture Institute confirms itself as a centre of cultural initiatives and activities, open towards the city and the Belgrade audience, and becoming a scene for talented young musicians, winners of national and international competitions, as well as established artists. The event is organised in cooperation with UMUS, the Association of Serbian Musicians, and Art Link Festival.
Ian Gillan sings Deep Purple 7 – Sava Centre – 20:00 Ian is doing a major tour featuring the songs of Deep Purple. He will perform on stage with musicians from the Don Airey Band, with Stephen Bentley-Klein conducting. We have it on good authority that the repertoire won’t include only well-known DP songs - maybe Anya and Razzle Dazzle - but also some material from Ian‘s catalogue outside of DP. Quite possibly these might include numbers like No More Cane on the Brazos, Hang Me Out to Dry, A Day Late and a Dollar Short, and No Lotion For That. Support band: Papa Le Gal (featuring Grace Gillan).
Grand Opening of the “Free Zone” Film Festival 10 – Sava Centre – 20:00
The 12th “Slobodna Zona” (Free Zone) Film festival will be opened this year with the film “Neruda”, a Chilean-Argentinian-Spanish-French co-production, the latest creation of director Pablo Larrain. Gael Garcia Bernal plays an inspector who prosecutes Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda because of his membership in the Communist Party. With this anti-biographical work the director completes a trilogy of films about life under the dictatorship of Pinochet. Although based in a significant part on historically known facts about Neruda’s dissident life, the action of the film is built into fiction, just in the way he would have read and created himself, as a proven fan of detective novels. The festival was founded with the idea of using the popularisation of engaged cinema, which is not part of the usual cinema repertoire, to create room for the promotion, reflection and understanding of current social phenomena and problems in the world, the country and the region. For programme details please visit: freezonebelgrade.org
arrangements enriched with modern sound and electronic instruments, presents the life of this famous artist in a dramatic way. Vivaldiano - City of mirrors, reflected by this unique 3D concert show devised on the basis of Baroque music with a modern sound and new energy, all in the service of the success stories and the fall of ingenious composer Antonio Vivaldi. The scene is filled by the orchestra of classical musicians and art-rock performers and dancers, while in front and behind them, before the eyes of the audience, alternate images made
using the latest techniques for sophisticated lighting design, creating a unique three-dimensional musical experience.
Max & Iggor Cavalera: Back to the Roots 14 – Belgrade Youth Centre – 21:00 Legendary Brazilian band Sepultura released the album “Roots” in 1996, which opened the door to the modern new metal sound and mapped out the possible direction of the development of the hard rock method of performing in the 21st century.
Vivaldianno 11 - Kombank Arena - 20:30 A unique 3D concert spectacle the likes of which has never before been seen, Vivaldiano will be shown for the first time at the Kombank Belgrade Arena on 11th November! A blend of the most advanced visual effects and arrangements with the classic sounds of Vivaldi’s legendary “Four Seasons” composition is what characterises this spectacle, which is envisaged for large stages and spaces. A 3D projection, with narration and the music of Vivaldi performed by a string orchestra, with powerful
Precisely twenty years later, Max and Iggor Cavalera have joined forces to perform for audiences worldwide the visionary record that made them important musicians of our time: “Roots” will be performed in all its glory and greatness on 14th November in the Americana Hall of the Belgrade Youth Centre.
Roundtable: “El Periquillo Sarniento: 200 Años de la primera novela hispanoamericana” 24 - Instituto Cervantes - 19:00
• Dalibor Soldatić “Picaresque novel in Spain and Latin America (similarities and difference)” • Vesna Dickov: “The Latin American novel in the XIX century” • Ksenija Šulović “Positioning of the literary works of Carlos Fuentes in the context of freedom, revolution and Mexico” • Mirjana Sekulić: “El Periquillo
Sarniento: picaresque novel and utopia” • Ksenija Vulović: “The revolutionary novel of Julio Cortazar”. • Bojana Kovačević Petrović: “Postbum and the flows of the Latin American novel in the XXI century”
French Week 17-24 –University of Arts in Belgrade
French Week will take place in Belgrade for the fourth consecutive year from 17th-24th November. The slogan of this year’s event, which aims to promote French culture and business expertise, is ‘Creativity and Innovation’. Apart from the traditional celebration of young French wine Beaujolais Nouveau, the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce will also hold a conference on the use of advanced technology in constructing the City of the Future, with top French experts in attendance. Visitors will also be able to see the Virtual Job Fair and the Map of French Products on www. francuskanedelja.rs. French Week Programme: 17th November 2016 - Opening of French Week and the welcoming of young French wine Beaujolais Nouveau, alongside a mini fair of French products. Some 300 guests, diplomats, businesspeople and public figures are expected to attend. 18th November 2016 – a Student Debate will be held in collaboration with company Schneider Electric. The topic will be confirmed at a later date. 21st-22nd November 2016 - Meetings of a French delegation of enterprises with international financial institutions in Serbia, as well as B2B meetings with Serbian enterprises. 23rd November 2016 - Wine workshop; tasting of French wine with lectures by
Concha Buika 28 – Sava Centre – 20:30
sommeliers 24th November 2016 - Business Conference “City of the Future: the French experience”. A conference on the introduction of advanced technologies in the construction of the City of the Future (Smart city). The conference will be followed by B2B meetings between French experts, businesses and representatives of municipal governments. This event is organised by the Embassy of France, the FrenchSerbian Chamber of Commerce and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. 17th-24th November 2016 – The Virtual Job Fair will be available via the internet address www. francuskanedelja.rs. This event is expected to include the participation of the largest French companies and over 5,000 fair visitors. The platform offers candidates the opportunity to review a list of available job vacancies, send job applications and speak in real time with representatives of human resources departments through chat apps. 17th-24th November 2016 - Online map of French products: for the first time in Serbia, a digital map of French products, brands and services available in Serbia will be created. Site visitors are also awaited by information about discounts within the framework of French Week. Date to be confirmed – The FrenchSerbian Chamber of Commerce will give to one Belgrade school a painted mural featuring motifs of FrenchSerbian friendship. The participation of some famous Street Art artists is planned for this project. Apart from this, prior to and during the course of this event Belgrade’s Republic Square will be decorated with panels promoting French Week. www.francuskanedelja.rs
Renowned Spanish world music singer Concha Buika will hold a concert at Belgrade’s Sava Centre on 28th November as part of her world tour to promote current album “Vivir Sin Miedo”, under the organisation of promotion company Long Play. “I have awesome respect for the stage. Even if that stage is in the kitchen of your mother, for me that is the best stage in the world, because magic does not make the space, but rather people. ” says Buika. Born María Concepción Balboa in Palma de Mallorca as the child of African parents, over time Buika became one of the most prominent world music artists, thanks to her specific voice, charisma and strong presence, like those once possessed by Nina Simone or Cesaria Evora.
FACES & PLACES 03.10.2016
Day of German Unity Celebrated
DAVID MCALLISTER (left), MAJA GOJKOVIĆ and AXEL DITTMANN
An official reception at the Belgrade residence of German Ambassador H.E. Axel Dittmann marked the Day of German Unity. Ambassador Dittmann noted that the same day marks the partnership between Germany and Serbia, stressing that Germany is on Serbia’s side on its road towards the European Union, a road on which it took a major step this year with the opening of “the central chapters for the rule of law”. The reception at the German ambassadorial residence was attended by National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojković, as well as Serbian Government ministers Zorana Mihajlović, Jadranka Joksimović, Vanja Udovičić and Zoran Đorđević. The event was also attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps and religious communities, as well as public figures. 10.10.2016
Business Networking Reception at the Israeli Embassy
Indonesian Independence Day Marked The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia held a diplomatic reception at Hotel Metropol to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia and the 71st Anniversary of the formation of the Indonesian Armed Forces. The Embassy welcomed numerous guests, ranging from members of the MAJA GOJKOVIĆ (left), with diplomatic corps, government officials, Ambassador and Mrs KANDOU businesspeople, representatives of religious communities, travel agents, journalists, artists and friends of Indonesia, to the representatives of Indonesian communities in Serbia. This occasion saw Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Harry Richard James Kandou, deliver a donation to the President of Red Cross Serbia, Dragan Radovanović, which was collected by the Indonesian HARRY RICHARD JAMES KANDOU and Embassy as a contribution to DR DRAGAN RADOVANOVIĆ PH.D., humanity from Indonesia. President of Red Cross Serbia 12.10.2016
National Day of Spain Celebrated
H.E. MIGUEL FUERTES and Dutch Ambassador HENK VAN DEN DOOL
H. E. ALONA FISHER KAMM
H.E. Spanish Ambassador Miguel Fuertes organised a reception at Belgrade’s Hotel Metropol Palace on the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Spain. Speaking at the reception Ambassador Fuertes noted the friendly relations between the two countries, as well as the growing interest in the Serbian market among Spanish investors. The reception was, as is tradition, exceptionally well attended, with the more than 200 guests in attendance including Serbian National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojković, Defence Minister Zoran Đorđević, HRH Crown-Prince Alexander Karađorđević, as well as other senior Serbian officials, representatives of the diplomatic corps, cultural and public workers, representatives of the Spanish community in Serbia, business partners and other guests.
H.E. Alona Fisher-Kamm, Israeli Ambassador to Serbia, hosted a cocktail reception at her ambassadorial residence in honour of representatives of the Israeli business community, at which she noted that the potential for cooperation between the two countries in the economic domain is really large, emphasising that the embassy has recorded increased interest from both sides regarding the further development of economic cooperation. The Ambassador expressed her satisfaction with the fact that Israeli companies are already active in numerous sectors in Serbia, such as agriculture, real estate, IT technology, pharmaceuticals, coffee processing, transport and hospitality. She also underlined the exceptional importance of the introduction of new charter flights between Tel Aviv and Belgrade, in terms of bringing the two countries closer together and increasing tourist exchanges.
Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth commemorated
Representatives of the Embassy of India, the UN Office in Serbia and the City of Belgrade laid wreaths on the memorial bust of India’s “Father of the Nation”, Mahatma Gandhi, on the occasion of the anniversary of his birth and the International Day of Non-Violence. Indian Minister of State Jitendra Singh thanked the authorities in Serbia and the Serbian people for NARINDER CHAUHAN (left), JITENDRA being able to spread Gandhi’s phiSINGH and IRENA VOJÁČKOVÁlosophy and principles in society. SOLLORANO Indian Ambassador H.E. Narinder Chauhan thanked in particular the government of the City of Belgrade, for naming one of the streets in New Belgrade after Mahatma Gandhi. Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia, said that on the day of the great Mahatma Gandhi and the International Day of Non-Violence, we need to learn how to respect each other, but also to respect nature. 14.10.2016
Ambassadors Weave Stapar Rugs
The making of Stapar Rugs has been revitalised in just two years, thanks to successful cooperation between the towns of Sombor and Pirot, and with the support of the Ethno Network national professional association and the Embassy of Australia. This famous traditional VIOLETA JOVANOVIĆ (left), HENK VAN DEN handicraft from the West DOOL, JULIA FEENEY and PHILIPPE GUEX Bačka area has received its rightful place on the list of the intangible cultural heritage of Serbia. This significant achievement was promoted in Stapar, with those in attendance including H.E. Australian Ambassador Julia Feeney, H.E. Swiss and Dutch ambassadors Philippe Guex and Henk van den Dool with their spouses, as well Nevenka Furjan-Scott, the US ambassador’s wife.and Violeta Jovanović. President of Etno Mreža. The guests were hosted by Mayor of Sombor Dušanka Golubović.
Norwegian-Serbian Business Forum Established The Serbian Chamber of Commerce officially marked the launch of the work of the Norwegian-Serbian Business Forum, which was established at the initiative of UBQ, one of the largest Norwegian companies in Serbia, which enables Serbian companies to exchange information about the Norwegian market. Representatives of the SerbianNorwegian Business Forum (SNBF) presented their vision and announced many aspects of potential cooperation to those in attendance at the Chamber. They encouraged companies to join them in deepening economic cooperation between the two countries. Speaking on this occasion, Norwegian Ambassador H.E. Arne Sannes Bjørnstad said that the Forum will ease the utilisation of numerous opportunities to exploit the potential for trade and comH.E. SUZANA BOŠKOVIĆmerce between Serbia and Norway, as its PRODANOVIĆ, Serbian members will have an entire network for Ambassador to Norway, and H.E. the exchange of experiences. ARNE SANNES BJØRNSTAD 20.10.2016
AmCham Celebrates 15 Years in Business
The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) has celebrated fifteen years of work on improving the business environment in Serbia. To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Am- BOARD OF GOVERNORS, AMCHAM SERBIA Cham organised a gala dinner at the Crowne Plaza for its member companies, the Serbian Government, the diplomatic corps, the media and the friends supporting AmCham’s continuous promotion of competition, transparency and free entrepreneurship as its key values. Also attending were H.E. Kyle Scott, US Ambassador VERA NIKOLIĆ DIMIĆ, Executive to Serbia, Ana Brnabić, Minister for Director, AmCham Serbia Public Administration and Local SelfGovernment, Aleksandar Antić, Minister for Mining and Energy, and a number of Serbian Secretaries of State. “I am proud of the fact that the AmCham is now a leader of change in Serbia, and that its continued cooperation with the Serbian Government influences the making of strategies, laws and policies that improve the regulatory framework for doing business and encourage the economy to perform better and create more jobs,” said the President of the AmCham’s Board of Governors, Zoran Petrović.
FACES & PLACES 21.10.2016
60th Anniversary of Hungarian Revolution Marked The Embassy of Hungary celebrated the 60th anniversary of Hungary’s 1956 revolution, which started as a student demonstration in Budapest, only to be joined by tens of thousands of people from all over Hungary, many of whom lost their lives. Hungarian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Attila Pinter, hosted a reception at Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel that was attended by representatives of the Serbian govMacedonian Ambassador H.E. VERA ernment, the diplomatic corps, the Hungarian communi- JOVANOVSKI TIPKO and Canadian Ambassador ty in Serbia, culture and public workers and other guests. H.E. PHILIP PINNINGTON 25.10.2016
UN’s 71st Anniversary Commemorated
Austrian National Day Celebrated
On the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the creation of the UN, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, Director of the UN Office in IRENA VOJÁČKOVÁ-SOLLORANO (left), Belgrade, Simona-Mirela Miculescu, IVICA DAČIĆ and SIMONA-MIRELA and Resident Coordinator of Team MICULESCU UN in Serbia, Irena VojáčkováSollorano, jointly hosted a reception at the Palace of Serbia, at which they pledged to exert joint efforts in order to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “The UN is still necessary, almost as much as it was during the times when it was formed, and its relevance cannot be called into question,” said Dačić. “Serbia is a leader among the countries of the Western Balkans in terms of the number of military and police forces that contribute to UN peacekeeping missions,” said Miculescu. “Team UN in Serbia will continue to provide support to the Government of Serbia in creating a prosperous living environment for all people in Serbia,” said Vojáčková-Sollorano.
Austrian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Johannes Eigner, hosted a reception to celebrate Austrian National Day on 26th October – the very date when, in 1955, the country committed itself to permanent neutrality with the signing of its Declaration of Neutrality, allowing for the departure of allied forces and the restoration of the country’s full sovereignty. Speaking at the reception, Ambassador Eigner said that “the EU will still survive after Brexit and we will have a Union with Serbia as a member”. The City Hall reception was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps in Serbia, military attachés of numerous countries, representatives of the economic, cultural and public life of Serbia, but also individual representatives of the Serb community in Austria.
National Day of the Czech Republic On the occasion of the 98th anniversary of the creation of the independent state of the Czech Republic, the country’s embassy in Belgrade organised a formal H.E. IVANA HLAVSOVA with the Embassy's staff reception on the premises of its diplomatic mission. Ambassador H.E. Ivana Hlavsova gave her welcoming speech, in which she highlighted the importance of the date of 28th October 1918 to the contemporary Czech Republic – as the proclamation of independence of the then Czechoslovakia. The reception was honoured by the presence of a large number of guests, representatives of the diplomatic corps, Serbian officials, entrepreneurs, associations of the Czech national minority, media, culture and many others.
The Best Wine is One You Enjoy! DEJAN ŽIVKOSKI,
PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN SOMMELIER ASSOCIATION (SERSA)
A sommelier is a waiter who knows wine well, but also the selection of food and all other drinks in their restaurant. They have a broad education, speak foreign languages, are cultured, polite and everything else that befits an excellent staff member who is at the service of the guest
he Serbian Sommelier Association (SERSA) was founded in 2003, at the beginning of the new wave of Serbian winemaking. SERSA developed side by side with today’s leading Serbian wineries. Today our wineries return from world evaluations with plenty of medals and awards, which was a very rare occurrence just a decade ago.
• You head of the Serbian Sommelier Association – SERSA, which is known as an authority in the segment of Serbian winemaking. How would you describe the current state of the Serbian wine scene? - I am one of the founders of the Serbian Sommelier Association. And after holding almost all positions, two years ago I was elected president. My priority was to stabilise the Association financially and bring it as close as possible to the market, which knew little or
virtually nothing about us. I also made a turnaround in relations with partners of the Association, which resulted in gaining support from the best and highest quality wineries in Serbia, but also rakija brandy producers. The facts that support this initiative is the fact that we received the right from the International Association of Sommeliers to organise this year’s General Assembly and the first competition of Sommeliers of the Balkans in 2018. I would not label us as an authority; it is better to say that we are professionals in our business. The Serbian wine scene is very good to excellent. Our market is open to all wines of the world, with very expensive wines sold, but also cheaper ones. So, we have wines for everyone’s budget and taste. • How popular a drink is wine in Serbia today and who are the main carriers of the advancement of the wine culture in our country?
- We are recording an increase in all areas of wine production: the surface area of plantations, the number of wineries, new wine-themed establishments, wine lists, a growing army of wine lovers and, last but not least, we have growing interest in the training of sommeliers that we organise. All of this leads to the conclusion that wine is a very popular drink in Serbia. Supporting this statement is also the fact that the General Assembly of the International Association of Sommeliers was held recently in Belgrade, under the organization of the Serbian Sommelier Association. Among the 48 delegations from all over the world, there were also those who have followed the work of Serbian wineries in the last 12 years, as well as progress in the field of the quality and diversity of grape varieties, which certainly contributed to the good impression that they took away from Serbia. the practical value in the upcoming meal. For guests who do not want • Can parallels be drawn between Serbian and world wines, and to try something new I suggest known international varieties and the what needs to change in Serbian winemaking in order for Serbia to local versions of famous blends. All in all, foreign guests are very satisfied, and sometimes surprised, with the quality of Serbian wines. get the place it deserves on the world wine map? - All of the world’s latest production and aging techniques are also • How much we have matured as a wine market over the last ten present in Serbia. In this segment, we are not behind other regional, years and what are the market advantages of Serbian wine? European and world producers. One area where we have to try a lot harder, with work and money, is on the local level, i.e. for 25 per cent of wine We are recording an increase in all areas of wine production: to be sold at the wineries themselves the surface area of plantations, the number of wineries, new – “on the doorstep” and the same wine-themed establishments, wine lists, a growing army of wine amount in local restaurants and relovers and, last but not least, we have growing interest in the tail outlets. This is the right direction training of sommeliers that we organise in the development of wine tourism, which, to be honest, does not follow - The Serbian Sommelier Association was founded in 2003, at the the level of development of wineries and the local wine scene. In this very start of a new wave of Serbian winemaking. We grew up side way we can reach the development of small businesses locally and by side with today’s leading Serbian wineries, followed their work, employment. This is also a matter for local government headed by helped one another, and the wine market along with us. Today our the state, in order for everyone to be involved, through the system, wineries return from world evaluations with a bunch of medals and in the development of wine tourism. awards. That is now a daily occurrence, while just ten years ago international awards were an exception and a surprise to all those who • Which five Serbian wines do you usually offer your guests who are have followed the process of the development of winemaking from not from Serbia? the outside, but not for those of us who were there, on the front line. - At my restaurant “Steak & Wine Bar”, I first offer guests who are not Our advantage in relation to representatives in the neighbourhood is from Serbia our sparkling wine as an aperitif and an excellent introduction to the meal. Tamjanika and Smederevka, among the whites, obviously reflected in very open competition on the market. Examinand Prokupac and Vranac among the reds, are obligatory options in ing restaurants’ wine lists shows that we have given a chance to the the presenting of Serbian wine. I try, through tasting, to introduce whole world, not just the region. On the other hand, it is very rare for our wines to appear on the tables of our neighbours. Of course, it is them to our indigenous varieties and in that way bring them closer to
SERBIAN SOMMELIER COMPETITION SPARKLING WINE 2015
completely normal for everyone to root for their team and that is shown by the figures that support the fact that in Serbia local wine is most commonly consumed.
wine and food, and in that way allow your palate and senses of taste and smell to reveal new wine dimensions. If the restaurant has a sommelier, feel free to ask them for a recommendation. And if you have doubts in his choice, then you should request a small amount of wine to sample and only then make a decision. Today it is quite normal for those who until recently led fierce debates about sport to now debate wine with the same fervour.
• Do you consider that the future of Serbia winemaking lies in the cultivation of indigenous wine varieties and is that our chance for better positioning on the world market? - The future of Serbian wine is primarily in the hands of young • Who actually are sommeliers and how does one become a somwinegrowers and technologists who create our wines. If we are melier in Serbia? already drinking fine wines, what are they preparing for us for just - A sommelier is a waiter who knows wine well, but also the selection five to 10 years from now? Likewise, no less important are soil and climate, but also the note of spite for us to be the best. Indigenous People in Serbia increasingly enjoy sparkling wines, which varieties, yes, but also international varieties. The Serbian Sommelier winemakers follow with new labels. This is supported by the fact Association has an opportunity to that by the end of this year four new domestic sparkling wine labels tour a large number of wineries will appear on the Serbian market throughout the year, with whom we have more than friendly relations, of food and all other drinks in their restaurant. They have a broad and to see from the inside the real picture of the potential of our education, speak foreign languages, are cultured, polite and everywinemaking. What we do not have, and what we need to create thing else that befits an excellent staff member who is at the service at this juncture, is an extremely serious agency for representing of the guest. The Serbian Sommelier Association conducts training Serbian wines in the world, with a view to the examples of Austria, for sommeliers divided into levels 1, 2 and 3. For those who do not Portugal etc. This is the right road for increasing exports. Otherwant to engage professionally as sommeliers, we organise courses wise, with competition mounting quickly, we risk our cellars being for wine lovers. filled with old stocks of wine. • Knowledge of wine is part of the general culture. How do you recognise good wine and how sufficient is it for us to know about wines to feel secure when ordering wine in a restaurant or pairing food and wine? - Wine that you enjoy is the best in the world! The combination of wine and food that you like is the best pairing that you can imagine. Ancient Rome teaches that there should be no argument about tastes. It is enough to know ourselves, our tastes, our desires and needs. A dose of courage is also required to try new tastes, new varieties of
• Is price a measure of the quality of wine? - No, it is not. • What are the current trends in winemaking; does Serbia keep pace with global wine trends and, if so, to what extent? - People in Serbia increasingly enjoy sparkling wines, which winemakers follow with new labels. This is supported by the fact that by the end of this year four new domestic sparkling wine labels will appear on the Serbian market. ■
CORPORATE ZORAN BEKRIĆ, acting CEO at RUBIN
Let The Deeds Speak For Themselves Even after 60 years, Rubin’s Vinjak is recognised for its world-class quality, with hundred different awards, and its new special selection series, which was made to mark the jubilee
he Tri Morava region is located in central Serbia and covers an area of 286,930ha and nine vineyards, mainly characterised by moderately steep and gentle slopes and the fact that they are generally located at an altitude of 200 to 350 metres above sea-level, which enables the cultivation of top-quality grape varieties.
es three whites and three reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Prokupac, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat Ottonel. In creating these wines we were led by the idea of providing the market with something that reflects the serious work done in the vineyards and the winery.
• You have been working intensively for many years on the revitalisation • The Rubin Winery has a tradition dating back more than 60 years. In the and progressive development of our autochthonous Prokupac variety? - A rule of the winemaking world in developed countries is the correct seleclast ten years it has invested seriously in the expansion and renewal of vineyards and the introduction of modern technology. How big is the area tion of the assortment and work on choosing autochthonous varieties, so Rucurrently occupied by Rubin’s vineyards? bin also turned towards the selection of varieties and the intensive planting - As a company, we are exceptionally committed to the quality and growth of of Prokupac and the production of wine from Prokupac. We are expanding the wine business, which is why our main preoccupation over the last decade our Prokupac plantations every year and adjusting in accordance with the has been investment in the development of viticulture and the spreading of potential of vine grafts. In parallel with that, we are continuing to advance the wine culture in Serbia. Since 2008 we have acquired and planted over 800 the wine potential of this variety through its clonal selection. hectares of vineyards, and today we have a total of 1,200 ha of vineyards. We see We are currently developing the Vinjak Special Selection series, the future in providing the raw materials for production from our own vineyards. which will emerge as a result of the culmination of Rubin’s 60 years With continuous growth, Rubin last year of experience in the production of vinjak. This is a blend of distillates achieved annual production of more than that have aged in oak barrels for an unbelievable 30 to 50 years 14 million litres of alcoholic beverages. • Rubin’s vineyards are located in the Tri Morava winegrowing region. What are the applicable attributes of that region and what are the most common varieties grown in your vineyards? - In the development of viticulture we are focusing on that part of central and southern Serbia, while our priority is the Tri Morava region, which is the location of our winery and the majority of our vineyards. Rubin mainly cultivates international varieties in its vineyards: Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Ottonel, Rhine Riesling and Italian Riesling. We are working intensively on planting the Prokupac indigenous variety. We have devoted a special aspect to the series of varietal wines that are currently Rubin’s fastest growing brand. The range of these wines compris-
• Vinjak is Rubin’s most popular authentic product, while its consistent quality has ensured the long-term loyalty of customers. What are your plans for Vinjak? - Rubin Vinjak was created way back in 1957. And already by 1961 it had won its first prize, the Grand Prix in Ljubljana, and since then it has received hundreds of gold medals and championship trophies in international and domestic competitions. Today we are working on the popularisation and promotion of vinjak brands Rubin VSOP and Rubin XO, which have been evaluated by foreign experts as being top world-class products. To be the market leader for 60 years is a huge success, a success which, alongside the quality of Vinjak, must be attributed to its loyal customers, employees and Serbia. ■
CORPORATE ZVONKO BOGDAN WINERY
Message in a Bottle From Zvonko Bogdan Winery The terroir of the Palić vineyards and a centuries-long tradition, united with state-of-the-art French technology, visionary ideas, passionate dedication, enduring love and the name of a man who proudly carries it all off, are engraved in every bottle of wine from Zvonko Bogdan Winery
hile steadily advancing towards supreme quality for eight years, the wines from Zvonko Bogdan Winery carry the tale of the vineyards of northern Serbia around the world. Here, the authentic and acclaimed terroir meets the selected grape varieties that with the best expert experience and state-ofthe-art technology produce the wine that bears the stamp of its region of origin and captures a single-minded aspiration towards supreme quality. Then the tradition surrenders to development and new achievements. The Winery boasts the latest technology in wine-making, stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. Each tank in which the wine ages is connected to a computer network so that it can be remotely monitored. There are over 300 barriques made from the best French and American oak in the cellar of Zvonko Bogdan Winery. The wine tones of the Zvonko Bogdan Winery palette range from the light Pinot Blanc, the aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, the layered Chardonnay, the re-
freshing Pinot Grigio, to the sophisticated, elegant Rosé and the gold medallists Život teče and Cuvee No.1. The 8 Tamburaša suits any occasion, but for those special ones, there are the two latest arrivals in the Icon line: Icon Campana Albus and Icon Campana Rubimus. Like any globetrotter conquering new horizons, the wines from Zvonko Bogdan Winery are spreading the tale of their origin and invite anyone they meet on their journey to return the visit. Anchored in the sea of its own vineyards, built in the Art Nouveau style typical of the traditional architecture of the nearby Subotica and adorned with a spectacular roof, Zvonko Bogdan Winery awaits you with an open door. Like a beacon in the night, it will proudly and impeccably show you the way to the place where the wine is born and raised to the age when it is ready to travel the world. With the music of the tambura players, in the tranquillity of the Pannonian Plain and its typical farms, the salaši, you can experience in person everything you’ve ever heard about Zvonko Bogdan Winery. ■
CORPORATE MITAR DEURIĆ, Founder of Winery Deurić
People, Knowhow And Vineyards Deurić is a young winery, but one with many years of knowledge and experience in production, and a philosophy of quality that it utilises maximally and embeds in the cultivation of grapes and wine production
espite having appeared on the market just two years ago, Winery Deurić is not lagging behind its rivals in terms of quality and philosophy. They chose superior grape varieties, the most advanced equipment, and excellent and expert staff, and are heading with assuredness towards the top of the Serbian wine scene, as testified to by the numerous awards already won.
with them. The result of this approach is visible and measurable in every bottle, in every sip of our wine. We have expanded our range of wines with two blends Avangarda and Enigma, as well as Gewurztraminer, a variety for which Fruška Gora is renowned. Moreover, we have also launched a rosé wine on the market, Urban rose, made using the Pinot noir variety. This year Winery Deurić sent wines to only two evaluations, and we returned from both with gold and silver medals.
• You appeared on the market in 2014, one of the most difficult years for the wine industry. Yet, despite this, your wines were evaluated as technically perfect. Which wines did you use to introduce yourself to the market and which grape varieties are • The magnificent Deurić used to make your wines? complex, apple orchards, a - The year 2014 was a more difficult one, but every winery that modern winery with a capacprioritises quality and has professional personnel did not have a problem with their wines. At Winery Deurić people are the ity of 150,000 litres, a wine main engine of growth. With their commitment, creativity and tasting hall... You have all the hard work they are not only creating a new wine brand, but prerequisites to deal with also forging a path that leads to the top of the Serbian wine wine tourism successfulscene. The fact is that people, knowledge and vineyards are a ly. What are your immediate mirror of every winery. I have not mentioned equipment, beplans in that area? - The winery is located on the cause in today’s times all those who have the ambition of prosouthern slopes of Fruška ducing top quality wines and being serious market players already have modern and high-quality equipment installed in their wineries. At the Balkans International Wine Competition in Sofia we won 10 In the first year we presented ourmedals for nine wines, including four golds. The tenth was for label selves with two wines. Talas Beli (White) design. We won four silver medals at the AWC international wine and Talas Crveni (Red). Talas Beli is a blend competition in Vienna of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer, while Talas Crveni is a blend of Pinot Noir and Merlot. Both wines very quickly found their way to Gora, not far from Vrdnik spa. Our vineyards border Fruška Gora National consumers and people who enjoy a glass of fine wine. Park and one of the largest linden tree reserves in Europe. The aim of wine tourism at Winery Deurić is for us to show people how we produce wine and how much attention we devote to taking care of the vineyard. Each visitor, • This year you have appeared on the market with new labeling. You’ve alwith a glass of wine and delicious specialities, can enjoy the view of Srem, Cer, so received several prestigious awards. What stands behind such success? Majevica, Avala... all accompanied by a sommelier. ■ - Love for wine and vineyards. We nurture them, often lie down and get up
CORPORATE MARIJA JOVANOVIĆ ALLAIN, Founder and Director, Delice doo
Timeless Taste of French Culture France has an unparalleled reputation for its food and drink with an undeniably distinctive culture known worldwide
rench food and drink are accompanied with pride, exclusive ingredients and techniques, a globally renowned culinary tradition and with the variation of special regions that are known for their particular variety. As the Christmas and New Year holidays approach, let’s remember that we in Belgrade also have an outstanding selection of French food, drink and famous delicacies. The company Delice offers all of these to private and corporate clients.
• Many people tell us that Delice has made Belgrade more wonderful by bringing new tastes, and more like the cities where your range of products originate. How do your customers see this and can we expect more novelties on offer? - The response to our arrival into Njegoševa 52 was more than amazing. We instantly clicked with local businesses, and our neighbours pay us visits on a regular basis - they are already like our family. Regarding novelties, all I can say is that we keep our schedule busy! Besides the regular offer we always have special wine collections and delicatessen sweets. Just to give you an idea, we currently have on stock a limited edition of an amazing Argentinian red wine and we will soon be bringing the best French cheeses to our shelves. • Food and drink are the best way to get to know a foreign culture, bringing the country of origin closer. Is this part of your intention with what you offer? - That's exactly what I had in mind when Delice was still just a concept in my head: offering a taste of the timeless French culture through its most exquisite wines and recipes. That's what Delice is all about.
Customers themselves often tell me that when they come into my shop they feel as if they'd just travelled into the heart of France, and that's all I really ever wanted. • What do your customers ask for most, and what do you recommend? - That depends a lot on the customer! Often they ask us to arrange a "dreambox" in which we make a unique selection of a variety of our products and arrange them in a large box as a present. Other times they like us to walk them through our wine list and in a purely hedonistic way we choose the wine that best goes with the moment. As for what I like to recommend the most, I have to say that this changes on an almost daily basis. I couldn't choose only one thing because Delice is itself the collection of my all-time favourites. ■
CORPORATE PREDRAG NIKČEVIĆ, General partner and co-owner
Hand Made Premium Quality Goat Cheese - Our Time Has Yet To Come
It’s a great shame that in our country there is no culture or tradition of consuming goat’s milk and products made from goat's milk, perhaps that’s why the total share of goat’s milk in Serbia is at a negligible level compared to Europe
y sheer coincidence, and led by health reasons, Mr Predrag Nikčević Our goat’s milk products are in the higher price range, which is perhaps the reason why there are fewer consumers in Serbia for whom that range is accesdecided to invest in a goat farm and dairy. Within the framework of sible, but then we are increasingly recognised as a brand on foreign markets. company Beocapra, the brand KOZARI (Goat Keepers) has been developing successfully for six years and attracting more customers on a Goat whey, which is a by-product in the process of making cheese, is, accorddaily basis, but the greater concern of the state would be more than welcome, ing to our interlocutor, the company’s best-selling product, and is also recogin the form of subsidies that would significantly improve production, as is the nised by consumers as a product that is excellent for consumption by people practice in developed European countries. who have a problem with excess body fat. Serbia is not really a country that helps ag“We began by first purchasing a milking ricultural producers, while another wall is repherd of 180 Saanen goats from Upper Austria and buying land, but prior to that we resented by chain stores, which means that for read all the relevant literature we could find small producers like us the all kind of costs are and by 2009 we’d rounded off the entire proexceptionally high. There are also expensive analcess with infrastructure. Our initial idea was yses of quality, but also unfair competition, parto sell goat’s milk, but when we discovered ticularly linked to the sale of products without that there was only one major purchaser of any kind of evidence of origin or confirmation of the health and safety of foodstuffs. In order for goat’s milk and that existing dairies don’t us to overcome these problems, we opted for exgenerally have a goat programme, we opted port, which also had really high costs. However, it for the second stage and created a dairy in Soft-ripened double cream goat cheese in chestnut leaves is slowly paying off – we now export to the mar2010,” says Predrag Nikčević, General partner and co-owner of Beocapra, speaking to CorD. kets of the EU and Russia; we are striving to penetrate the countries of the MidWe also opted for a smaller series and packages of lower weight, in order dle and Far East, while we are also gradually penetrating the American market. to be competitive on European markets, with a lot of manual work, but in acMarkets mature slowly, but as the trend of healthy nutrition is spreading cordance with world standards for premium quality production. Beocapra has across the planet, I think our time has yet to come. ■ introduced ISO 9001:2008, HACCP, the ISO FSSC 22000 standard, a HALAL certificate, as well as all relevant health certificates on food safety. The comIn Serbia, subsidies are seven dinars per litre of milk, pany also possesses permits enabling it to sell its products on the markets of whether cow’s or goat’s, even though cows provide the EU and the Russian Federation, which are possessed by a very small numseven times more milk than goats, which should be ber of dairies in Serbia.
Our products: - Goat Milk - Goat Whey - Goat Yogurt - Semi-hard full fat goat cheese with natural liquid smoke flavour
- Semi-hard full fat goat cheese in extra virgin olive oil - Soft ripened double cream in oak ash - Soft ripened double cream in oak bark and ash
separated, but subsidies should also be introduced according to home head. Premiums are also much lower than in all of the countries of the region, and are particularly low compared to EU countries.The state could establish a distribution centre for small dairies and assist in export logistics
In the Southern Balkans, between the Danube and the Carpathian Mountains, lie the sprawling Deliblato Sands, a protected refuge for many species of plant and animal life and a genetic resource pool of importance to our entire planet. The specific micro-environment includes sandy soil, packed with exceptional minerals. Coupled with our commitment to cultivate our vineyards, this ensures great potential for the production of superior quality wines. ĐORĐE Winery produces its wines exclusively from grapes that grow in the family’s vineyard located close to the winery and encompassing an area of 12 hectares. We grow some of the most exquisite varieties of grape including some that are specific to the Southern Banat region and hold a special place in our hearts. Our aim is to turn the precious potential of the Deliblato Sands into wines of superior quality that will encapsulate the unique character of this region. The rolling landscape of aeolian sand dunes, crisscrossed by steppe vegetation and an unrivalled coniferous forest, make this place truly unlike any other. Devojački Bunar is a special natural oasis, easily accessible by Serbian city dwellers. In addition to offering wine tasting of our most popular wines, we provide our guests and wine lovers an opportunity to spend the day on our delightful family estate with stunning views of our vineyards and the surrounding countryside.
CORPORATE HEDONOPOLIS – Festival of Hedonism, 17th and 18th December at Mixer House
The Prettier Side Of Life
Uncover your new favourite destination for enjoyment! We take you to Hedonopolis
he Association of Authentic Hedonists (www.aah.rs) is organising The festival has a charitable character and part of the proceeds will go th th and 18 December the Festival for Authentic Hedonists, for to the protection and assistance of those who make our lives more beauon 17 all lovers of food, travel, chocolate, wine, massages etc. tiful every day, and those are our best friends: dogs. So, animal lovers and The festival’s aim is to share experiences with people in order gentlemen hedonists, this is your day! The festival offers a great opportunity for independent and small busito improve their quality of life and concentrate on its prettier side; how to nesses, food and beverage manufacturers, retailers, hoteliers, restaurants, enjoy everything they like and share that experience with at least some galleries, fashion houses, companies and establishments in the service doothers. Enjoyment is in the little things – this is Hedonopolis’s message main, art and design associations, goods importers and exporters, distribHedonopolis has no age limit. We all enjoy. We believe that everyone utors and wholesalers. can and should find themselves and their own five minutes of pleasure in one day. And that should be every day. The Association of Authentic HeSurprises for all your senses await you at this festival of hedonism, donists – AAH, was founded on 7th Februwhere you will be offered the best flavours of cheese, chocolate, ary 2005 in Belgrade and today brings together more than 5,500 members. The viwine, coffee, drinks and food sion is for all people on the planet, thanks to AAH, to be smiling, positive and enjoying life. The association’s CHO (Chief Hedonist Officer), Dragan Đordjević, Hedonopolis! The Festival that offers the opportunity for everyone to: ● Familiarise themselves with, sample and purchase products or is the creator and founder of the Festival, and he will be the host of our fesservices they enjoy tival on 17th and 18th December. What and who await you at Hedonopolis? Quite simply, the best in their ● Learn from professionals during presentations and workshops fields! You will have the opportunity to enjoy and develop your Hedonop● Attend educational and entertaining workshops olistic view of the world. The best flavours in cheese, chocolate, coffee, ● Discover ideas and sources of new and innovative products and drinks, food and wine will be presented at various stands. Through workservices shops we will embark on unusual journeys. You will satisfy your senses ● Be Hedonistic, Hedonistic, Hedonistic! through positive energy, scents, tastes and good company. More about the event will be available soon on www.hedonopolis.rs This will not be a sightseeing fair. This is an experience. This is a deparand via our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AAHAsocijacijaAut ture from the norm. This is an experience you will remember. Hedonopolis enticnihHedonista ... Follow Us! is a city of magic and the art of enjoyment. Record the dates in your calendar, because you are awaited by surprises for all the senses. You deserve it! ■ In addition to everything else, there are also gifts for you. This is a total hedonistic experience! Come along, be a Hedonopolist!
INTERVIEW IVAN UROŠEVIĆ, Ph.D., President of the Rakija Producers Group of the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce
A Noble Drink With a Long Tradition Although quince, apricot, William's pear and even raspberry rakijas have become a hit in recent years, šljivovica (plum) remains an evergreen
ccording to documents written in the 5th century, ancient Slavs used to drink mead wine and mead brandy and brought the habit to the Balkans when they settled here in the 7th century. Exactly when rakija production started is not known, but we do know that it was practiced during emperor Dušan’s reign. Under Dušan’s Code (1354) penalties were prescribed for alcohol abuse.
can we tell the difference between a good and a bad one? - Rakija is produced by fermenting 100% fruit ‒ no sugar is added ‒ and distilling the fermented fruit pomace. A rakija cannot have a more intense aroma than the fruit from which it was produced. This is because we constantly lose aromatic compounds during fermentation and distillation. The same goes for intensity of taste. In bars and restaurants alcoholic beverages with various aromas are often sold as rakija. This is effectively cheating, because customers have paid for a product they don’t get. The price is also important. On average, you need 10 to 15 kilos of fruit, depending on which fruit is used, to produce a litre of rakija. So, for example, the average price of quince is 45 dinars/kg, you need 15 kilos of quince for 1 litre of rakija, which means that the raw material alone costs over 650 dinars, not counting other production costs and the producer’s profit.
• We in Serbia believe that rakija cures many diseases and that it’s beneficial to our health. A shot of rakija before breakfast is recommended to improve blood circulation. Are the medicinal benefits of rakija old wives’ tales, or the real deal? - Rakija has been used in Serbia in diets, as a medicine and for pleasure. There is scientific proof that alcohol in moderation causes blood vessel dilation, which improves circulation and benefits the whole body. When herb rakiUnfortunately, we in Serbia drink brandies of very poor quality. This is jas are consumed, beneficial chemical due to inadequate education and the indifference of brandy producers. compounds contained in the herbs can be It is sad that with all the available knowledge and university level ingested.
education in this type of production, our private producers are still slaves to traditionally bad habits and do not use science
• What are the trends in rakija production and marketing in Serbia? Where does the future of Serbian rakija lie? - There’s been an expansion in the production of fruit brandies, such as apricot, William's pear and quince rakijas in the past fifteen years, and lately of
raspberry rakija. However, šljivovica, plum rakija, is an evergreen, an authentic beverage of Serbia as a rakija-producing country. With the emergence of new plum sorts, the range of plum rakijas has also become wider. • Which parameters are used to determine the quality of a rakija? How
• To what extent can a good Serbian rakija compete with French cognac or Scotch whisky? Can they even be compared? - Plum rakijas produced from brandy plum cultivars, such as our native požegača, crvena ranka or trnošljiva, ripened and kept in appropriate oak barrels, are neckand-neck with French cognac or calvados. Whisky is a different category of beverage. It’s produced from grains, the raw material is different and simpler. After five years of ageing in an oak barrel, a complex of aromatic compounds formed in šljivovica gives the beverage a new note, which we refer to as ‘bouquet’. Šljivovica
can be left to age for over 25 years, and if you tasted that drink you wouldn’t know which is better: the cognac or the šljivovica. • Rakija in Serbia is produced in rural households and by big companies. Each region has its own tradition and characteristic rakija. How can we consolidate production and marketing to improve rakija's position on the market? - Each rural household in Serbia has its own type of rakija, and everybody thinks that theirs is the best. The beauty lies in the fact that every region in Serbia has a specific microclimate which directly influences the fruit quality and consequently the quality of the rakija. It is important to know when and what to do. So, only ripe fruit of good quality should be used, with no leaves, twigs or stones. In other words, what you wouldn’t put in your mouth, you shouldn’t put in the barrel. The hygiene of the fermentation and distillation vessels should be the best possible. It is also important that the distillation start immediately after fermentation, often no later than ten to twenty days after putting the fruit in the barrel, depending on which fruit was used and on the temperature at which it was fermented. Unfortunately, home distillers in Serbia ferment the pomace when they have time for it, which is often as late as spring. This is wrong, because as soon as the fermentation is over the acetic acid fermentation takes over. It reduces the alcohol content in the pomace and creates organic compounds that spoil the quality of the rakija. When the disintegration of the pomace starts, the conditions for making rotgut are created. New legislation has made it possible for registered producers and private individuals to cooperate legally with one another, which I believe will
help raise the overall quality of rakija on the Serbian market. Today, all registered producers either have or collaborate with experts in this area and use all available knowhow and modern technologies. This guarantees top quality and continued production. There are many cases of entire villages producing soft rakija as a semi-finished product for registered producers, increasing the production capacity and the potential marketing of the rakija as a finished product. • Serbia is recognised for its šljivovica – it is one of the brands of our region. What other types of brandy could we export? - All rakija fruit brandies produced in Serbia are different from similar types of brandy produced abroad. First, the fruit quality that we use in rakija production is exceptional – it’s mostly Class 1 or Class 2. Second, double distillation gives our rakijas a different, recognisable note. We could increase the export of many of our rakijas, but I think I’d prioritise quince and raspberry, as fruit rakija delicacies. • When, how much and with what food do you recommend taking a shot of rakija? - I would always recommend colourless fruit rakijas before a meal, as an aperitif, slightly chilled, up to 10°C. Rakijas that have aged in oak barrels, šljivovica, quince, apple and grape rakija, should be taken as a digestive, with cake or coffee, and always at room temperature. Rakija should be consumed in moderation, a shot or two, and what they give as noble alcoholic beverages should be enjoyed. ■
Rich Aroma of Natural Rakija Brandy Production is dominated by rakija brandy from quince, followed by plum, apricot, pear, honey, herbs, gentian, William’s Pear, pelinkovac bitters and liqueurs from green walnuts. Besides their distinctive taste and aroma, these products are characterised visually by the design of the specific form of ethno packages that are defined by a wooden stopper, carafe bottle, sealing wax and thread
SAŠA BRANKOVIĆ, OWNER OF DISTILLERY KUMANE
istillery Kumane produces fruit brandies in accordance with the Law on Food Safety and the Law on Alcoholic Beverages, with respect for HACCP principles and the principles of Traceability and the identification of products. This production is traditional - classical technology without aroma and colour additives using healthy and ripe examples of different varieties of fruit. After fermentation has been completed, double distillation is carried out in copper stills with dephlegmators, after which the distillates are transported to stainless steel containers for aging and maturing rakija. After a minimum period of two years, diluting is carried out with distilled water to ensure the specific strength of the beverage. After this stage, the brandy obtained is tested in accredited laboratories prior to being made available for sale.
specific, as far as aroma, flavour and smell are concerned, is the pear brandy (kruškovača), which we create by processing old indigenous varieties of pears from trees that are more than a century old and which are not protected by pesticides. Here we single out the varieties Vodnjika, Lubeničarka, Takiša and Kaluđerka, which we purchase in southern Serbia. The most delicious is apricot brandy (kajsijevača), with an intense and lush varietal aroma that quince brandy (dunjevača) does not have, but which is characterised by a very pleasant taste. Then there is herb brandy (travarica), which contains 13 softened types of medicinal plants purchased from the renowned Josif Pančić Institute and which not only possesses organoleptic qualities, but also health potential.
• It is coming up to a decade since you founded the Distillery Kumane, on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains in the Braničevo Diostrict. Given that this is a region known for vegetable crops, what made you opt for fruit processing? - My love for processing fruits intensified during the seven years I worked at the factory Bambi, on its advanced fruit processing plant, where I worked as a technologist. Taking into consideration the fact that an extensive form of rakija brandy production in copper cauldrons, mainly from plums and grapes, has been present in my family for more than a century, my intention was to work with fruit to create something “personal”; something that represents a kind of stamp, the crown of The most specific, as far as aroma, flavour and smell are professional work, and which gives additionconcerned, is the pear brandy (kruškovača), which we create by al meaning to the existence of a man. This is processing old indigenous varieties of pears from trees that are also confirmed on the product declaration, more than a century old and which are not protected by pesticides which is dominated by a unique red wax seal, a crown and my personal signature. In conclusion, all of our fruit brandies, poetically speaking, as noted in the declaration, fully captivate and enchant all of our senses, starting from their • What is the manufacturing capacity of Distillery Kumane today and where unobtrusive subtle scent, opalescent transparency in the glass, their benefican your brandies be bought? Which brandy would you recommend? cial and pleasant taste that lasts and is maintained even after ingestion of - Total annual production is around 20,000 litres of fruit brandies, which we have the drink, after which it creates a fine pleasant warmth in our body which difexported continuously to Romania since 2010, as one of the largest sellers of nonfers from previous experience and does not leave us feeling indifferent, and industrial brandies. At Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport we sell our products within the Dufry shops, as well as selling on the Serbian market through the system which generates an overall feeling of happiness and satisfaction, returning of Mercator-S, Univerexport and other 260 outlets (hotels, restaurants, shops). us to early childhood and our carefree play in fragrant rural meadows and orchards. ■ When it comes to recommendations for the type of brandies, the most
Raft Restaurant Žabar Family restaurant with tradition In the month of October we celebrated coming of age as a successful business. We are located on a beautiful part of the Danube riverbank in Zemun, near the former Hotel Yugoslavia – “Grand Casino”. Žabar Restaurant is one of the most exclusive restaurants in Belgrade, where the most frequent guests are diplomats and businesspeople. Foreigners also account for a large percentage of the visitors to this restaurant. A superior atmosphere, a unique wine list with the best international wines, and the most diverse culinary specialities, make it special and widely recognisable. Make your reservation and indulge in the delights of Žabar Restaurant.
Telephonr reservations: 011 319 1226 and 062 232 320
Top Barrique Fruit Rakija From The Radulović Family Cellar
OWNER OF FAMILY CELLAR RADULOVIĆ LTD.
In the quarter of a century of its existence, the Radulović cellar has succeeded in setting high standards in the production of barrique fruit rakija. “Dukat” Quince Rakija has won numerous awards at fairs, but, more importantly, it has won over the hearts and palates of lovers of quality, strong spirits. For its devotees it also has barrique raspberry rakija, and to mark the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the existence of the cellar, Mr Milan Radulović announces a new product: rakija from wild pear.
echnologist and military officer Milan Radulović planted a small orchard of 100 quince trees almost three and a half decades ago in the village of Čitluk near Kruševac. The number of trees has been increased steadily, so that Radulović’s estate now has 2,500 of the highest quality quince trees, from which he produces the highest quality rakija. And it all started almost by accident...
• The Radulović family cellar was built at the end of the last century, when the production of quince rakija was almost completely unknown. What was the motive for launching the production of quince rakija? - I launched production in 1991, so this year we celebrate 25 years, which is a great success for a small, family business, where working with me now are my daughters Ivana, a Master of Technology, and Jovana, a Master of Agro-Economics. I had a quince plantation of 100 trees which I planted in 1982. In the meantime, I moved to Belgrade, and in 1991 the quince harvest was extraordinary. I picked 13 tonnes from 100 trees. I inquired as to what the bulk purchase price was at “Vino Župa”, which produced high-quality quince juice, but it was bargain cheap. Coincidentally, in daily newspaper
“Politika” I read a small article saying that quince rakija is great. As a technologist, I knew the technology for the production of rakija very well. I decided to launch experimental production of quince rakija. In the neighbourhood they were amazed, because nobody had even heard that rakija could be produced from quince. I was lucky and in that first year I produced 600 to 700 litres of highquality rakija. That was my impetus. At that time, quince rakija was produced only by “Vino Župa” and one producer from Tavankut. The following year, I began to buy up quince, and from year to year the rakija has become increasingly better. Under the influence of Calvados (French apple brandy), I embarked on an experiment to see how the quince rakija would react to wood, to produce in that way. After six months, I noticed that its quality had improved compared to young rakija. I produced rakija from 1991 to 2000, but it did not sell it, in order that I could unify the quality and create a reserve. In the meantime, I worked on the selection of bottles, designing labels and other supporting jobs. • How did the market react to “Dukat” quince rakija? - “Dukat” rakija is a protected brand at the Intellectual Property Office. When we ap-
peared on the market in 2001, both me and the product were anonymous. The previous year I received a championship medal in competition among 13 manufacturers of quince rakija at the Novi Sad Fair. That provided additional motivation for me to keep working. For four consecutive years I was the champion of the international Novi Sad Fair, which has only ever been managed by Rubin’s “Vinjak 5”. Th quality was proven there, but the best test was entering the market. “Dukat” quince brandy began to be sold modestly, but the owners and managers of the best restaurants and raft bars in Belgrade recognised the quality and began to order it. One should bear in mind that “Dukat” is an expensive product, but it quickly found its consumers. With serious work, by 2003 my quince rakija had already become a brand in Belgrade. • What kinds of rakija do you produce and what makes them unique? - As a young man, my father is from Toplica, from Radan Mountain, I tried wild pear rakija, which has a centurylong tradition in that area. I liked it and it stayed in my memory, such that I often considered what it would be like to launch production. Finally, six years ago, I started producing rakija from wild pears and I got a great product. This is also barrique barrel rakija, as it showed that the wood enriches. I didn’t want to release it on the market until I secured sufficient quantities. In less than a month from now, on the occasion of 25 years since the launch of production at the Radulović cellar, I will offer the market some 2,000 litres of wild pear rakija. Only restaurants and hotels that already buy our quince brandy will have the opportunity to buy it. The difference between William’s pear rakija and wild pear rakija is huge. This rakija leaves a stronger impression in the mouth, on the palate. It is more harmonious, fuller, slightly more robust, shaper. It has a mild bitterness, like quince, and is very specific. Comparisons between William’s pear rakija and wild pear rakija are almost impossible, because the former cannot handle barrique barrels. The wild pear trees I use are harvested at an altitude of 1,000 metres above sea-level, the fruits are gathered in the forest after falling from the trees on their own. The leaf and fruit of wild pear are very healthy, because they increase the immunity and reduce sugar levels. What is interesting is that other manufacturers carry out “aging” in a barrel made of one type of wood. I use barrels made of two kinds of wood and then I carry out blending to certain degrees. I think the wild pear rakija will be fantastically received.
• Where can your rakija be bought? - The greatest share, almost 90 per cent, is sold in Belgrade, Novi Sad and on Mount Kopaonik. The peak was reached in 2013. I had an offer from “Idea” for “Dukat” to go on the shelves in retail outlets, but I declined that. This is a premium product, and if it had gone onto the shelves there wouldn’t have been enough for regular customers, restaurants and raft bars. I wanted to produce a few thousand litres per year when I started, but the market was such that I increased production. Now the annual production capacity is up to 15,000 litres, but we don’t insist on that at all costs. Quality is very important to us. • Since the year 2000, the Radulović cellar has also been producing raspberry rakija and maturing it in barrique barrels. What challenges did you meet when storing raspberry rakija in barriques? - Barrique raspberry has been made for 15 years already and is well received by the market, but the problem is that the majority of people in Serbia don’t know that rakija can also be produced from raspberry. Everybody associates raspberry with a liquor. Raspberry rakija sells well, but nevertheless significantly less than quince rakija. Our raspberries are the highest quality in the world. Hits on the price of raspberries disappoint producers. Raspberry growers could organise themselves and connect with rakija producers. Raspberry rakija is highly valued in Europe. One bottle is sold for as much as 100 euros, and that is a great opportunity for everyone. • How important is packaging for placing rakija on the market? - “Dukat” quince rakija has its standard commercial packaging, with which it is supplied to restaurants, but also exclusive packaging for which the bottle was designed by Aca Portnoj of the Serbian glass factory in Paraćin. That design solution is protected. This unique bottle is very interesting and more of them were sold in the beginning. People first buy due to the beautiful shape, the label, but it is important that there is a quality product inside. The marketing and commercial sides are very important. The new product must reach the eyes and ears of the customer. The first years are especially important, and during that time aggression is a necessity. Later, a good product sells itself. The peak for every product is when demand is higher than supply. ■
CORPORATE VOĆAR KOPAONIK D.O.O.
Tradition of Quality Lasting More Than a Century Cultivating fruit and processing it into fruit brandy is an old craft that is very commonplace in Serbia. For generations, the skills of making homemade brandy have been refined such that they have a quality that ensures they can even take pride of place on foreign markets
oćar Kopaonik is a family business located Voćar Kopaonik is particularly proud of its raspberry brandy; one on the eastern slopes of Kopaonik Mounlitre is made from about 20kg of handpicked raspberries, which are tain, headquartered in Brus, that is engaged distilled in the old way, in copper stills. Tradition and experience are in growing fruit and processing it into fruit a guarantee of quality. The market will also soon be offered rakija brandy. The company owners’ tradition and experience of several generations of distilling rakija brandy brandy with honey and rakija brandy with gentian root from Kopaonik dates back more than a century and is applied at each stage of production. It is important to note that Voćar Voćar Kopaonik pays particular attention to the packaging of its products, Kopaonikćs products are continuously and consistently of a superior quality. thus its offer includes an exclusive wooden box for brandy that is ideal for corThe natural fruit brandies represented in the range of company Voćar porate gifts, and on which a logo or slogan of the client company can Kopaonik are clean, crystal clear and colourless, which contributes to be added. the overall visual appeal of this rakija. The aroma of these fruit brandies Medals and awards received by Voćar Kopaonik for the excepis accentuated, well developed, luxurious and clean, which is typical of tional quality of its products confirm the high quality of these fruit this type of brandy, which creates the impression of a pleasant, pleasbrandies. Of the numerous awards that have been won, the most siging and complex bouquet. nificant were awarded at international fairs in Novi Sad, Belgrade, Voćar Kopaonik possesses ISO and HACCP standards, and in the analyses of national consumer organisations all products are evaluatLeskovac and Brussels. Since 2001, Voćar Kopaonik’s products have ed as being 100 per cent natural. received 20 gold and 13 silver medals at the aforementioned fairs. ■
RAKIJA â€“ PRIMORDIALLY OURS
Woven Into Serbian Tradition
In Serbia, rakija is much more than an alcoholic beverage. Rakija is deeply rooted in our tradition, customs, beliefs
ne of the first things you should do when getting to know the history and culture of the Serbian people is to taste the Serbian rakija. You shouldnâ€™t be tasting just for the sake of it. To enjoy rakija properly, you should understand it. You should know when and how to drink it. The best rakija is the one you enjoy most! Rakija has been a reflection of our mentality for centuries. We use it to toast when times are good and to drown our sorrows when times are bad. It's universal because you can drink it anywhere, anytime: in the morning, at noon, in the evening, before or after a meal. Rakija is a real reflection of a household. A good head of the household will open his best bottle for you: the one that's been well hidden and kept for a long time for his favourite guests and special occasions. REMEDY FOR THE SOUL A belief that rakija has remedial properties is deeply rooted in Serbian tradition. In the past, it was used as the only anaesthetic in surgical procedures. It was used to disinfect wounds, to reduce body temperature. It is also believed that rakija is a remedy for the wounded soul, so they often used it in the past to cheer people up.
The tradition of drinking rakija in Serbian households is as old as rakija itself. It is an unspoken rule that when you are visiting someone you should bring a bottle of the best rakija stashed away in your house, and if you are receiving guests that you should ask them if they fancy a shot of “a homemade one” while they’re still at the door. The epithet “homemade” was attached to rakija in the olden days, when households used to make it for their own consumption and there was no mass production. Even in modern-day Serbia, despite the excellent offer of top-quality brandies in shops, bars and restaurants, rural households still make their own excellent rakijas, which are not marketed but used exclusively for their own needs. Every region has its authentic rakija, made according to a traditional recipe, which captures that volatile aromatic component in the best possible way. We may simply call it love of tradition, countryside, homeland. ŠLJIVOVICA – THE EMPRESS OF SERBIAN RAKIJAS According to an old belief, rakija is “the soul extracted from a plum”. No wonder it used to be kept as the greatest treasure and served only to the dearest guests with Turkish delight and coffee. A more significant production of šljivovica started in the late 19th century with the decline in wine production due to the mass destruction of vineyards by grape phylloxera. Plum brandy (šljivovica) is a national Serbian strong alcoholic beverage with a great tradition. Serbia is the third country in the world by the quan-
tity and quality of produced plum brandy. Of all plums produced in Serbia over 80% are used to make rakija, while the share of šljivovica in the total production of fruit brandies in Serbia is 80%. Besides the traditionally dominant šljivovica, an increasing number of more aromatic, fruit brandies such as apricot and quince brandies have also become available on the market. Pear brandy is mostly made from Williams pears, while raspberry brandy is a real delicacy for those who like a good drink. DISTILLATION They say that those who haven’t seen how rakija is “burned”, haven’t lived in Serbia. “Burning” is a popular term for making rakija using distillation technology. Distillation is a process of separating and concentrating volatile compounds that give a brandy its authenticity. The fermented fruit is heated in distillation vessels (pots stills) causing specific chemical reactions and producing specific aromas. The variations and combinations of raw materials for distillation (fruit preparation), the way in which fractions are extracted and the duration of distillation make all the difference from one final distillate ‒ rakija ‒ to another. Final distillates have high alcohol content, usually between 60 and 65 per cent. To make a rakija of desirable strength (40, 43 or 45 vol %) the distillates should be diluted, i.e. the alcohol content should be reduced to the desirable amount.
HOT BRANDY The epithet “hot” comes from the traditional making of rakija that is much stronger than normal, which means that its alcohol content is higher. People used to believe that the hotter the rakija, the better. However, you should be aware that a higher alcohol content masks the beauty of rakija. Higher alcohol content numbs our senses and prevents us from feeling the natural aroma of rakija. TASTING A rakija-tasting glass should be filled to 60 % of its total volume (0.5 decilitre), and it should have a longer neck. When a bottle is opened, rakija should sit (in the bottle) at least two to three minutes, and then poured into the tasting glass. Waiting before the first sip, to let the full taste of rakija develop, is also recommended. When tasting rakija, it is very important to know that its taste and aroma depend a lot on the glass used for tasting. Šljivovica, especially one that has aged in wooden barrels, should be drunk from glasses that are wider at the bottom and narrower at the top, like cognac glasses. Shot glasses with a round bottom and a long narrow neck should be avoided because they make šljivovica taste raw and coarse and they neutralise its bouquet. The serving temperature depends on the type of brandy. Brandies that haven’t aged, such as apricot brandy, sour cherry brandy, pear brandy, quince brandy and plum brandy are served at 10-14ºC, while those that have aged are served at somewhat higher temperatures. Do not over-chill rakija because low temperatures prevent aromas from coming out. WHEN TO DRINK RAKIJA? Rakija is drunk in company, on various occasions, usually as an aperitif, to open the appetite, or as a digestive with aromatic cakes. Many types of brandy are now used as a cocktail base. Despite strong competition from other spirits such as whiskey or cognac, rakija has kept its primary position in the Serbian culture and cuisine. Its alleged remedial properties have not been replaced by any other alcoholic beverage. ■
B y R A D M I L A S TA N KO V I Ć
A Strong Government Can
DISCOUNT ITS CRITICS DUŠAN PETRIČIĆ GRAPHICS ARTIST, ILLUSTRATOR, CARICATURIST
I have long thought that caricaturists during the centuries fought for the position of some kind of court jester who serves to entertain the king, his close associates, and then also the national mass. And they rarely had a problem because of that. However, the situation in the world is visibly changing for the worse year after year. The killing of the caricaturist in Paris, for example, or the beating of a caricaturist in Syria
he Petričićs moved between the two world wars from Lika to Slavonia, and father Dušan’s family moved from there to Zemun. There are also Petričićs on the Adriatic islands, and they include both Orthodox followers and Catholics. It was only when his father, an officer and pilot, retired that they received a comfortable apartment for the first time. Prior to that, from the age of six to fourteen, he lived in Zemun, in Cara Dušana Street, in the narrowing below the cemetery and Gardoš, on one side, and below the hill on which he played,
on the other side. In the building, which was divided into four residential units, they had an apartment with two rooms and a kitchen, while the entire building shared a single toilet. After they moved, he never again set foot in the house where he lived with his brother and parents. But recently, while filming a show for the children’s programme of RTS, he visited the house of his childhood with a team of journalists and saw the apartment in which he had lived: “The two windows in the room where my older brother and I were housed overlook the street. One was a tectonic cubby winNOVEMBER
to interesting circumstances and the goodness of the school’s current director, one room of the school building today houses the Museum of Caricatures. (Zemun has produced six or seven caricaturists). He remembers his first teacher, Toma Dragojlović, a wonderful older man who was the embodiment of what he remembers as a teacher - kindness, gentleness and generosity. He has a best friend, Zlatko, with whom he hung out ever before primary school, and then they were together in the first and second grades: “When I today consider that he and I have known each other and hung out for 65 years, it seems scary to me. That is more frightening to me than the fact that I am 70. We spent our childhood and youth together. He is a biologist and I am what I am, but we remain in contact to this day.” As a kid, Dušan chased after a ball like most of his friends, but drawing and writing were his first, continuous and constant loves: “In my high school days I managed to formulate that strong need of mine to write, draw and paint. That was my attempt to escape from the ordinariness of everyday life. And that everyday life and the environment in which I lived was always a little depressing. Although my father was a pilot who retired early, we lived very modestly in that petty-bourgeois environment. Of course, I didn’t label it as such located the now dilapidated twoWe could draw everything we back then, but I experienced it as storey house where he lived with wanted, with only a single, something I wanted to escape from, his parents from his birth to the age clear prohibition – you to rise up, to be in some finer world. of six. That was an unpleasant one Not richer, because I never measured bedroom apartment for the four of cannot make fun of Tito. them. Both the first and second apEverything else was possible. value through wealth, I was never impartments were in houses located pressed by trucks, aeroplanes, villas Corax, Ranko and I slowly, step and swimming pools. I was interested close to the Zemun hills. There are by step, pushed backed those in art. Through poetry, through writa total of three hills, and everything that happened in his childhood was ing, through painting, an image of a boundaries and conquered bordered by those three hills, of different world was created in me, I new freedoms which Gardoš is the best known of had a growing need to create that difthe Zemun heights. During his later ferent world for myself.” life he realised that he had had a good childhood, among other He was fortunate that in the third grade of the First Zemun things because he had those three hills that had a graveyard, a Gymnasium High School he met famous music professor Mile tower, the White Bear slope and the White Rabbit drop, which Sajić, an erudite high-moraled man who spent two years imprishe would descend on a sledge during the winter, which has oned on Goli Otok, a pedagogue who was adored by generations the great Danube at the bottom... Everything unfolded in that of students and who legends are still weaved about to this day: atmosphere, including his childish falling in love. “That was an extraordinary professor of music. He was so His first love belonged to some girl called Brankica, from devoted to his work and worked with the children with so much the fifth primary school, who lived opposite the cemetery. In love that he directed and helped all students who showed an first grade he went to the Svetozar Miletić School, which was affinity for any kind of art. He took us to concerts in Belgrade, founded in 1728 as a German school, because the teaching to theatre performances, exhibitions... Thus it was with him was carried out exclusively in the German language. Thanks in the third gymnasium that I started discovering Belgrade’s dow where I drew and from where I watched the world. The man who now lives there expanded to the attic, and the room with the cubby tectonic window has been rented out to someone who has made a salon for dogs there! I went into that hairdressers for puppies and looked at the room where my brother and I slept, where I started growing up, drawing, painting... We were in that apartment for my tenth birthday when my brother, who is ten years older than me, gave me my first oil paint set and brush.” At the corner of Bežanijska and Ugrinovačka streets in Zemun, that place which was then called the swine market, is
could be proud of its then team of caricaturists: Ranko Guzina, theatres. From then I would forever remember Hamlet played who recently passed away, Predrag Koraksić ‘Corax’ and Dušan by Branko Pleša, then I childishly fell in love with actress Rada Petričić! Recalling this time, in the late sixties and seventies, Đuričin, who knew Mile Sajić and who sometimes led us home to the end of the life of lifelong Yugoslav President Josip Broz after the performances. I must have been very ridiculous. And Tito, it is also interesting to talk about what then represented then I practically, along with those works of mine that I was a political caricature: very keen on, determined my journey and my future.” “We could draw everything we wanted, with only a single, Dušan’s older brother completed architecture studies and clear prohibition – you cannot make fun of Tito. Everything that was considered a decent and serious profession at that else was possible. Corax, Ranko and I slowly, step by step, time. His parents expected the younger son to choose somepushed backed those boundaries and conquered new freething equally as wise and practical, but he enrolled at the Academy of Applied Arts. The first two years covered studies in the general direction, and after that he had to decide. He passed the entrance exam for interior architecture, but after two or three months he realised that this was not his choice, but rather that he’d thought that this would perhaps meet his parents’ expectations. He transferred to the Fine Art Department, where he also passed the entrance exam, and completed the third year of studies. Once again he realised that this did not suit him, and by then he was already working as a designer and technical editor at the then prestigious magazine Vidici: “All exalted, full of ideas, I worked on that newspaper extremely creatively and it was seen somewhere DUŠAN with mother and father by Professor Bogdan Kršić. He heard that I was a student at the Academy doms. Admittedly, that was a time when that We now live with and asked me if I would transfer to communist, socialist regime had already becompletely distorted his department. And so I finally fingun to show signs of relaxing. We worked on criteria and our children the wave of these first noticeable tolerances ished in the graphical department, which had been my secret wish from grow up in a society that as was done at that time throughout Eastern Europe, only that in our country that was the beginning, but I did not dare to does not give them a incomparably freer. Czechoslovakia, and Poapply for fear that I would not pass. chance to recognise the land in particular, had very strong caricaturI thought that was unattainable for difference between the me, but it turned out to be so random ists. That was then called political caricature, and so easy. Of course, Bogdan Kršić but in fact was a kind of general, universal beautiful and the ugly, was the head of the department.” caricature that only applied to certain situbetween tasteful and Petričić would later go on to be ations and certain characters in the society tasteless, between a lecturer in the same department, in which we lived. Everyone in the country good and evil but before that he would find emknew exactly who and what we were drawployment at daily Večernje Novosti, ing and there was no dilemma. We just didn’t a newspaper that then had a huge circulation and a reputadraw the character of the person we were talking about.” For Dušan Petričić those were years with a solid undertion as a progressive newspaper that was founded by famous journalist and translator Slobodan Glumac. When Novosti anstanding of morality and the system of values, and he explains that today: nounced a competition for a caricaturist, Petričić was called “Some say that I am conservative and outdated in my views, by Predrag Koraksić to apply; he was accepted and thus got but I grew up in a system of values where it was known what his first job. He already had the 1968 Pjer Award for the best appropriate human morality is. When you look at what is done caricature, which was a great recommendation for him. For today, what kind of behaviour there is in public life, what is Novosti he drew caricatures and illustrations for the Kekec unearthed to people across all media, I absolutely advocate for newspaper, which was published by the Borba house. Novosti NOVEMBER
after five weeks convinced that I would never be able to go and live in that world. I didn’t like anything. It was too hard and sharp for me; I took away the impression of a completely different and schizophrenic America. And today I still think that in some segments it is a really schizophrenic and crazy country.” However, in 1993 Petričić went to Canada and lived there for the next 20 years. Today he is back here. He has four children and six grandkids. His eldest son completed studies in film and television direction, the second is a graphic designer engaged in computer design. He spent ten years with the family in Canada, but then returned to Belgrade. One daughter completed television and film editing, while his youngest daughter, who grew up in Canada, has a Ph.D. in English and Italian language and literature. For now, she is the only one who sees her future in that country: “I then left with the idea of securing a place for the children, for it to be easier for them if they decided to go out into the world. And then when I went to Canada I knew that I was not going because of love, but rather because I must. I can today say that Canada is an exceptional country, an ordered, cultivated, cultural environment. I cannot complain even when it comes to my professional success in the U.S. and Canada, but after twenty DUŠKO RADOVIĆ, famous Serbian writer, poet, journalist… and DUŠAN PETRIČIĆ years of experience and life in that correctly and in the right way, but part of the world I still maintain that And then when I went to caring about young people was a it is not for me, that that is not an enviCanada I knew that I was not ronment in which I would like to live. major obligation of the state and going because of love, but society. You had a large number of Perhaps because I left late; I was 47 pioneer and youth organisations of years old. rather because I must. I can various profiles that worried about For Petričić, the greatest success today say that Canada is their upbringing and development. – as he has also discussed with foran exceptional country, an Today the state only knows how to eign media – is creation in and of itordered, cultivated, cultural send those young people to stadiself. That moment when you feel that you have come up with something ums where they scream, go crazy environment extraordinary, special or exceptional. and beat each other up, and you Whether that is about a caricature, a children’s book, a poster... have consequences that we can all see. You have fans that the For him that is the height of feelings of personal satisfaction, state uses like an army in crises and dramatic moments. that creative process with a result that he was able to offer to He had already received the October Award of Belgrade, the the audience. Golden Pen award and first prize at two Belgrade Book Fairs, For the last twenty years he has worked on political caricaas well as many other awards, when in 1985 he recorded huge international success as the winner of the Grand Prix in Totures for the Toronto Star, aware that his bloodstream did not possess the kind of cells that would enabled him to feel natural kyo for caricatures, at the most prestigious competition of the in a new environment, to feel at home and to understand the Japanese publication Yomiuri Shimbun. This award opened up social, historical and political circumstances to the extent necroom for him, but also helped him to realise that the world is uncharted territory that should be conquered. He slowly beessary to create great political caricatures. Despite the high professional standards that he has overcome, it is impossible gan sending his caricatures to Europe and America: to conquer some subtleties in the mentality of other nations “I was in the United States and Canada before that, in 1976, like that can be done in one’s own environment: Novosti paid my travel expenses, and I came back to Yugoslavia the state having some control in deciding what people should be offered as entertainment. In our country it has become an all-powerful buzzword that this is loved by the masses. In that name the nation is unscrupulously offered the kind of entertainment that undermines human dignity. We now live with completely distorted criteria and our children grow up in a society that does not give them a chance to recognise the difference between the beautiful and the ugly, between tasteful and tasteless, between good and evil. In the years when I grew up, the state worried about that, perhaps not always completely
“Caricature is a specific type of humour. Spoken humour, trol, from the media to factories, because with that they need verbal wit, is one thing, while caricature is another. It implies to make it clear to the public that the onloy things that are sucstylisation, conveying a certain meaning from one medium to cessfully are that which they currently control, and that everyanother, but also reading between the lines. That’s what Eastthing that is good is as a result of them. That merely testifies the extent to which such a state is not a serious state. Serious ern European caricatures were based on. It is also similar in states have better things to do.” journalism. Petričić recently became the permanent caricaturist of In the field of children’s books it was a lot easier for me. I weekly NIN, while he is an associate of a magazine in the Unitfound my way perfectly. I think that children are the same all over the world until, say, the age of ten.” ed States and an illustrator of picture books and children’s Writers have throughout history been banned and somebooks in Canada. He regrets that in our country high quality times locked up because of their writings and because of their satirical works. Unfortunately, when it comes to the fate of the artist, nothing has been forever consigned to history and the past to the extent to which it would not be able to return today, just in a somewhat changed form. What is the fate of the caricaturist like? “I have long thought that caricaturists during the centuries fought for the position of some kind of court jester who serves to entertain the king, his close associates, and then also the national mass. And they rarely had a problem because of that. However, the situation in the world is visibly changing for the worse year after year. The killing of the caricaturist in Paris, for example, or the beating of a caricaturist in Syria. “Control of the media, it seems to A strong government has and inspired picture books for children, the kind we used to be proud of, have almost me, has never been as strong in Serhistorically been prepared disappeared from the scene. Publishers bia as it is today. I consider the fact to disregard its critics, simply do not have the account to print that that my cooperation with Politika kind of book. They are too expensive for the was cancelled as a gesture of open while a weak public. “I cannot help but admire the tradipressure on caricaturists and clear government has, with evidence of unprecedented prestion that is nurtured in this respect in Canagreat pretensions, sought da. It seems to me that there is currently no sure exerted by the authorities. It is to fill in each hole from completely irrelevant whether that’s country in the world that concerns itself so called censorship or self-censorship. much with young readers. With awareness, which could emerge Actually, it is even worse if it is selfof course, that they will turn into tomorrows any sign of criticism or censorship, because that is the result adults and conscientious citizens, who will resistence. That’s also of fear that the authorities openly know how to take care of their country and how it is with people provoke in people. And a frightened the social values that they have achieved. nation, you would admit, is a worse And with that regret I will conclude: option than censorship. “When you allow the education system to drop and when “A strong government has historically been prepared the entire education system is reduced to bad schooling and to disregard its critics, while a weak government has, with purchased diplomas, when you completely ignore culture, when great pretensions, sought to fill in each hole from which could health and social care are so unimportant to you, you cannot emerge any sign of criticism or resistence. That’s also how it is expect such a state to recover quickly. It is easier and faster for with people. Those who are sure of themselves and their posian economically underprivileged Serbia to recover to an extent, rather than to re-establish a value system that was irreversibly tion have no need to insult their opponents. An irresponsible, destroyed and to restore culture to the significant and enviable weak and mafia state engages in confrontation with everyone. reputation it had until two or three decades ago.” ■ It has an unscrupulous need to place everything under conNOVEMBER
SCIENCE NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY 2016
The Start Of
A NEW MOLECULAR ERA
JEAN-PIERRE SAUVAGE, SIR J. FRASER STODDART and BERNARD L. FERINGA
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 is awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa for their development of molecular machines that are a thousand times thinner than a hair strand. This is the story of how they succeeded in linking molecules together to design everything from a tiny lift to motors and miniscule muscles
Based on that complex, Sauvage built a system where he ean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Berplaced a molecular ring around a copper ion, and then looped nard L. Feringa figured out how to combine atoms a C-shaped molecule through the ring. The ion delicately held to make nanoscale machines that can act like moboth molecules in place, until the scientists could join a sectors, elevators, muscles and even a rudimentary car with four “wheels.” Their creations are so small that ond C-shaped molecule to the first one, effectively closing they’re about 1,000 times more narrow than a human hair. the loop. The ion could be taken away, and voila — Sauvage The scientists’ revolutionary research could lead to a host had created a two-link chain. Plus, he could do it at far higher of sophisticated technologies, from molecular computers to yields, about a whopping 42%. targeted medical therapies and novel energy-storage sysWithin a decade, Sauvage’s team managed to make one tems, experts said. “This is the start of a new molecular era,” Sara Snogerup Linse, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, said after a briefing in Stockholm. In a molecule of water, the oxygen and hydrogen atoms are held together by covalent bonds sealed with shared electrons. To make a molecule of table salt, a sodium atom transfers an electron to a chlorine atom, and the electrostatic attraction holds these nowcharged atoms together in an ionic bond. While such molecules might move around, there’s not a whole lot of movement within them (unless those bonds are being broken). But in the middle of the 20th century, scientists sought to create a different kind of bond: a meA MOLECULAR CAR ON A COPPER FOIL chanical bond, a connection such as that between a free-spinning wheel and an axle, that would The scientists’ revolutionary research could lead allow for motion within a nato a host of sophisticated technologies, from noscale contraption. molecular computers to targeted medical therapies and To do that, they had to create novel energy-storage systems, experts said a molecule with at least two separate, semi-independently mobile parts. One of the first things ring rotate around another by adding energy — rather like a they tried to do was connect two molecular rings, like links in fan can rotate when plugged into an electrical outlet. Molecua chain. It wouldn’t be a machine, per se, but it would show that it was possible to create these mechanical bonds. lar machines were no longer a pipe dream. This, unfortunately, was even more difficult than it might Around the same time, Stoddart was developing molecusound. Scientists in the 1950s and 1960s did report that lar creations of his own. In 1991, his team threaded a long they’d found bits of molecular chain in their test tubes, but it rod through a ring, creating a nano-sized axle. When heat was was so little — sometimes just fractions of a per cent, Stodadded to the system, that ring would shuttle between two points on the rod. dart said — that it was little more than a chemical curiosity. By 1994, he was able to control that back-and-forth moSauvage’s discovery in 1983 breathed new life into these efforts. He noticed that photochemically active motion. That triumph over random motion would pave the way for even more sophisticated and reliable machines. lecular complexes, which use sunlight to power chemical Stoddart has since managed to construct a minuscule elreactions, seemed to be made of two molecules wrapped around a central copper ion. Minus the ion, it looked reevator, which can raise itself about 0.7 of a nanometer above a surface; design an artificial muscle by threading two loops of markably like a chain. NOVEMBER
For now, it’s unclear what the next big breakthrough will be, scientists said. “If I could tell you that, I would be running along to my lab and doing it now,” Stoddart said in an interview. “But in terms of generalities, I will say that it will be mind-blowing, what can be done even in 10 years’ time, let alone 50.” Feringa had a more specific list in mind. “Think about tiny robots that the doctor in the future will inject in your blood veins and that go to search for a cancer cell, or go in to deliver drugs,” he said during a briefing in Stockholm. “There are also smart materials, for instance: materials that can adapt, change, depending on an external signal — just like our body functions.” Donna Nelson, president of the American Chemical Society and professor of chemistry at the University of Oklahoma, agreed that the possibilities were wide open. “This perhaps will be an area in which most of the applications will follow the award, rather than precede it,” she said in an interview. But given the attention that comes with a Nobel, she added, “perhaps this is going to come along faster than we anticipated.” Sauvage is at the University of Strasbourg in France; Stod2016 NOBEL LAUREATES TAKE CHEMISTRY TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH WORLD'S SMALLEST MACHINES dart, formerly of UCLA, is now at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.; and Feringa is at the Uni“For now, it’s unclear what the next big breakthrough versity of Groningen in the Nethwill be. If I could tell you that, I would be running along erlands. The three will share the $930,000 prize equally. to my lab and doing it now, but in terms of The chemistry prize was the generalities, I will say that it will be mind-blowing, last of this year’s science awards. what can be done even in 10 years’ time, The medicine prize went to a Japalet alone 50.” - Sir J. Fraser Stoddart nese biologist who discovered the process by which a cell breaks second. He built a tiny nanocar, with molecules that spun down and recycles content. The physics prize was shared by rather like wheels, allowing the car to scoot around. He also three British-born scientists for theoretical discoveries that used molecular motors to spin a glass cylinder that was shed light on strange states of matter. 10,000 times bigger than the motors themselves. The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced Friday, and The three scientists’ work has inspired a host of others the economics and literature awards will be announced who continue to push the boundaries with molecular manext week. The Nobel Prizes will be handed out at ceremonies in chinery, but the research is still in fairly basic stages, Nobel Stockholm and Oslo on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize Prize officials pointed out. The advances, they noted, might founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896. be likened to those made to the electric motor in 1830s, when Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, wanted his awards to engineers built wheels and spinning parts without knowing honor achievements that delivered the “greatest benefit to that they would ultimately lead to a host of everyday devices, mankind.” ■ such as food processors and washing machines. molecules together; and even build a tiny computer chip with 20 kilobytes of memory. Such molecular parts could revolutionise computer technology. Feringa developed a key system in the late 1990s: He made a molecular motor that could turn continuously in one direction. That had been a challenge, as spinning parts tended to spin randomly in both directions. In the decades that followed, he improved the machine’s spinning speed, bringing it up to 12 million revolutions per
CHILL OUT B H U TA N
THANGBI MANI FESTIVAL ▶ Thangbi Mani festival is one of the most popular festivals held in Chhoekhor Gewog in BHUTAN. The highlight of the festival is the fire blessing (Mewang) ceremony, performed in an open ground. The lay monks perform purification rituals while people jump over flames to purify themselves. Several mask dances are also performed. It is believed that the festival would bring peace and prosperity and ensure better harvest for the entire community. People from different parts of the world come to participate in this rich cultural heritage celebration of Lhakhang to make this event a great success. Despite the fact that the frequent changes in the social values have somehow affected its sustainability but still a committee is being formed to coordinate the organisation of the festival so that it successes to revive its original taste amongst every one.
DUBAI TO HOLD 'FIRST CAMEL MARATHON' ▶ Dubai is preparing to host what’s
being billed as its first camel marathon later this year, it’s reported. More than 1,000 camels and their owners are expected to compete in the 50-km race on 3 December to mark the United Arab Emirates’ SWEDEN
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER USED THE SAME WOMB TO GIVE BIRTH ▶ Emelie Eriksson was the first
woman to have a baby after receiving a uterus from her mother, in a revolutionary operation that links three generations of their family. Eriksson was 15 when a doctor discovered she had been born without a womb and explained that she would
National Day. The first 50 riders to finish will win prizes from a €387,000 – €587,000 pot, and the top three will get luxury cars. While camel racing is a longstanding part of UAE’s sporting calendar, this is said to be the first one to be held over such a long distance, and could be taxing for both camel and rider. Riders must be over 18 years old, ruling out the younger jockeys often favoured in camel racing for their light weight.
never be able to carry her own children. In her early 20s, Eriksson began reading about scientists attempting to create organs from stem cells and was told about the womb transplant research being pursued by Mats Brannstrom, a Swedish doctor who is the only person in the world to deliver babies – five so far – from women with donated wombs. “It’s like science fiction,” Eriksson, 30, said. “This is something that you read in history books and now in the future when you read about this, it’s about me.” USA
BMW'S SELF-BALANCING MOTORCYCLE OF TOMORROW ▶ In the distant future, motorcycle riders will have no need of helmets or padded clothing. They also won’t need to put their feet on the ground when they stop. That’s because, according to BMW, the motorcycle of the future will balance itself and will help the driver avoid crashes. BMW, which is famous for motorcycles as well as cars, unveiled a new concept motorcycle in California last month. The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 offers a glimpse at what, BMW designers predict, motorcycles might be like decades from now. Basically, they’ll offer all of the excitement of today’s bikes, but none of the danger. Besides self-balancing wheels, the bike has an “electronic safety cage” that communicates with other vehicles and road sensors to help it automatically avoid crashes.
THE WORLD'S LARGEST PUMPKIN FESTIVAL ▶ The German city of Ludwigsburg hosts the largest pumpkin festival in the world, held annually from early September to November at the Blühendes Barock castle in Ludwigsburg, built between 1704 and 1733 and is the largest preserved Baroque castle in Germany. Bringing in more than 800 different kinds and 450,000 pumpkins grown in southwest Germany, the city arranges them based on a theme that varies year by year. This year’s theme is ‘Welcome to the Circus’ so all the statues and displays have something to do with the circus, acrobatics, performers, or clowns The festival includes more than 450 species of pumpkins, some of which are edible and others that are solely used for display purposes. The events include the pumpkin regatta, European pumpkin championship and giant pumpkin carving. a British inventor and furniture designer who also carries a PhD in bioengineering. During 10 years of research, he was able to develop an equation that defines posture and gravitational force, which later became the backbone of this innovative chair. According to the chair’s official website, there is a spot between lying and sitting up when your weight is evenly distributed and your body passes through zero gravity. “This results in sensory attenuation which is the principle of flotation therapy,” the website claims.
OFFICE CHAIR WITH A PRICE OF $26,000 ▶ The Elysium chair relies on a carbon-fiber skeleton and a combination of electronic joints and bearings to create a sensation of weightlessness for the person sitting in it. This marvel of engineering is being hailed as the ultimate office chair, but it also comes with a hefty price tag of $26,000. Elysium is the creation of Dr. David Wicket,
OVER 1,200 COUPLES RENEW MARRIAGE VOWS FOR WORLD RECORD ▶ A staggering 1,201 married couples renewed their vows to break a world record at Western Michigan University, US. The event outside the Kalamazoo school’s Heritage Hall featured 1,201 couples renewing their vows in a ceremony officiated by Mayor Bobby Hopewell, a WMU graduate. The crowd surpassed the previous record of 1,087 couples, which was set in 2009 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. A Guinness adjudicator was on hand to supervise the attempt and certify the new record.
BRITISH BOSS PLANS TO AXE THE MORNING TEA BREAK FOR WORKERS
POLISH BUSINESSMEN LAUNCH BREXIT ENERGY DRINKS
▶ A billionaire boss Jim Ratcliffe wants to axe the morning tea break for his workers in Scotland in a bid to save money - as he leads a ‘life of luxury’. Furious staff at the huge Ineos plant in Grangemouth in Scotland warn that other business leaders across the UK will follow suit if they lose their morning cuppa. “Workers across the generations have enjoyed their tea break. It’s a great Scottish tradition, “one worker said. “There’s no way we should be giving it up easily.” Jim Ratcliffe says the change will “provide an attractive incentive for the workforce in recognition of their contribution to the operation of the restructured working week”.
▶ Two cheeky Polish businessmen have launched an energy drink called Brexit ‘just for a laugh’, and they are selling like hotcakes.
Pawel Tumilowicz and Mariusz Majchrzak have caused something of a stir in Prestwich where their business is based since they began selling the beverage. Pawel, 39, insists the pair named their product Brexit Energy Drink ‘for a laugh’ and not for any political reason.
Are You Ready For Winter Coldness? FASHION
Whether we like it or not, there are ever fewer autumnal days and in the air one can already feel that winter is at the door
This fact sends some into despair, while reminding others that the time has come for summer things to be put away until next year, and yet others are already making plans for numerous gatherings between now and mid-January 2017. We, as always, have done our best to help as much as we can. We have expanded our autumn/ winter range in the hope that you will find at least one item in this offer that you will like.
Chloe Lexa Cross Body Bag The capacious interior and under-the –flap slip pockets make it an ideal choice for every day. Price: €1,314
Christian Louboutin Ankle Boots Janessa Leone Alara Fedora Handcrafted from soft wool-felt, this oatmeal style is reinforced with a discrete gunmetal bar to prevent it from slouching. Wear with knitwear on cold days. Price: €185
Christian Louboutin's 'Tiagada' ankle boots have been crafted in Italy from the smoothest black leather. Price: €570
Tiffany & Co T Wire Gold Bracelet Made from 18-karat gold, this minimalist 'Wire' bracelet is constructed to intentionally bend, allowing you to slip it on effortlessly without a hinge. Price: €1,220
Cutler and Gross Cat-Eye Metal And Acetate Sunglasses Handcrafted from polished galvanised metal, these purple-tinted 'Aphrodite' sunglasses are tipped with the label's black, white and gold mosaic acetate. Price: €315
Repossi Berbère Rose Gold Ring Crafted from high-shine 18-karat rose gold, this three-row design gives the illusion of a floating stacked set. Wear yours as a signature everyday piece. Price: €1,500
Bottega Veneta Degrade Wool Sweater This sweater is finely spun from wool that fades from darkgreen to merlot in an elegant dégradé effect - evocative of an autumnal sunset. Price: €548
Pomellato Nudo Classic Gold Prasiolite Ring This 18-karat rose gold piece is topped with a light-catching prasiolite in an 18-karat white gold setting. We think the green hue works particularly well with the 'Sabbia' diamond style. Price: €1,364
Dion Lee Wool-Crepe Dress This infinitely versatile piece is cut from wool-crepe in a knee-length silhouette, finished with a neatly layered back for flexibility. It works just as well at the office as it does social events. Price: €645
Parmigiani Tonda Metropolitaine Selene An in-house moonphase complication, rose gold applied indices, and a lovely blue mother-of-pearl lace detail laid over a textured blue dial give this elegant steel watch plenty of detail without being loud or obnoxious. Price: €10,100
Etro Velvet Mary Jane Pumps Made from plush velvet in a rich merlot hue, these classic Mary Jane pumps are designed with a retro square toe and decorative black trim. Price: €555
Prada Slim-Fit Double-Breasted Wool Coat The matching fabriccovered buttons add to the slick look. It's a contemporary and timeless coverup that will remain eternally stylish. Price: €2,665
Francesco Maglia Lord Chestnut Two-Tone Umbrella Polo Ralph Lauren Leather Duffle Bag
Heritage brand Francesco Maglia crafts its umbrellas using timehonoured techniques. Price: €212
The 45mm neodymium highperformance drivers ensure crystal clear sound and responsive volume. Keep them on your desk for days when you need to block out the background noise. Price: €295
Tote your essentials in style with this full-grain leather bag. Price: €475
Filling Pieces Trainers This rendition is made with the contemporary, custom designed, Filling Pieces Ghost sole. The use of premium materials gives the model a minimalistic yet elegant touch. Handcrafted in EU. Availability: KOBBLER Belgrade Price: €210
Master & Dynamic MH40 Headphones
Dolce & Gabbana Silk Scarf Longines Master Collection Moon Watch
The lustrous silk fabric feels luxuriously soft and the tassel fringing brings movement to the design. Price: €400
This Master Collection Moon watch brings together the classical elegance and high quality for which Longines is renowned. Price: €2,295
Richard James Double –Breasted Melton Wool Overcoat A stunningly clean-lined doublebreasted Richard James overcoat in a tough-wearing, winter-weight khaki heritage melton wool. A key piece that will wear beautifully with age. Share it! Price: €910
Kingsman Linen Sweater This timeless crew-neck design is sure to slot seamlessly into your weekend wardrobe. Price: €315
Pantherella Waddington Cashmere Men's Socks The Waddington Cashmere 5x1 Rib socks from Pantherella are wonderfully soft. Cashmere socks from Pantherella are made from the finest yarns and are hand-finished for the premium quality finish Pantherella is renowned for. Made in England. Availability: KOBBLER Belgrade Price: €45
Tricker’s Stow Acorn Country Boots Keeping up appearances and keeping out the weather always matter, which makes this heavy brogue 7-eyelet Derby ankle boot with half bellows tongue and storm welt the ideal choice. Handmade in England. Availability: KOBBLER Belgrade Price: €470
Learning From Mistakes Everything I've ever done, every choice I've ever made, every mistake or success that’s ever happened to me, it's all led me right here, to this moment with you
ĐURAĐ CARANOVIĆ Business Developer, Fundus Holding
hroughout my life I have learned most from my mistakes, and today I am thankful for that. It wasn’t easy, but it was very educational. To tell you the story about my academic life or career will not reflect the person I really am. They are only one part of me, so I have decided to take an “out of the box” approach once more :) Today, I am a financial expert, educator, maybe even a public speaker. I realised that through lectures I not only repeat what I have learned but also discover something new through my students’ questions. I am thankful for all of this, to my colleagues and people I have met on my career path. Every single one has had an impact on me. And I never had career goals, I always had life goals, always asking myself the question “Why are you doing this?”. The crucial issue for me is to be honest with yourself, so you can give that 10% extra that everyone is looking for. I started as an accountant during my studies and become a finance expert with a feel for strategy after seven years of corporate experience. And I am still learning. I discovered (learned 94 |
the hard way) that communication and the ability not just to hear, but to listen, is the best thing you can bring to a company. If on top of that you have intuition, good for you. The best known secret is that a company hires character, not just skills. My secret is that I stopped being afraid, I started to listen and be flexible. I noticed that people or companies tell you all you need to know, if you just listen.
In conclusion, explore your path, don’t be afraid of mistakes or of trying something new. Whatever you do, be a leader on your path, don’t follow anyone else’s steps. If you do this, you will understand exactly what my profile is I had the good luck to work for some great companies such as Adidas and OMV, and they thought me the most important thing – values. But I learned also, that the most valuable thing for me is what I can bring, and that is experience and knowledge. If you are working just for money, you are not motivated, money is a result of a good work. And to do that, you need to love it. So, my axiom is not “Do what you love”, but “love what you do”. My two biggest motivations are knowl-
edge and family - yours? I am currently working as a business developer and trying to take a coaching approach to my colleagues. I am trying to develop and learn tools, how to share my knowledge with others and learn something new myself along the way. My challenge is to implement some strategic processes and to be practical at the same time, so that the company can benefit as quickly as possible. I have the opportunity to be creative in the world of finance, but in a good way. I always try to synchronise my life goals with companies, since that makes it easier to understand and to feel the company. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. At the end of the day, I try to do more good things than bad ones. I have noticed that everyone is thinking or saying these days that people are working for their own interests, but what happens when they have emotions? Try and explore why you do what you do and whether you are giving or taking. To give something valuable to a company or to ourselves, we need to fill the gaps and be able to give. Only then will you make progress. In conclusion, explore your path, don’t be afraid of mistakes or of trying something new. Whatever you do, be a leader on your path, don’t follow anyone else’s steps. If you do this, you will understand exactly what my profile is.
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