Page 1


Minister for Culture and Information



Ambassador of Romania to Serbia

Director, screenwriter



JANUARY ’17 / ISSUE No. 147


interviews opinions news comments events PRICE 300 RSD

Challenges And Opportunities ISSN1451-7833




2 |






| 3

COVER PAVLE PETROVIĆ, President of the Serbian Fiscal Council

The Serbian Economy IN 2016 AND BEYOND PAGE 6

In 2016 Serbia successfully completed its second year of fiscal consolidation, achieving a budget deficit of around two per cent of GDP and halting the growth of public debt that had been increasing continuously since the 2008 crisis



January 2017



Vladan Vukosavljević, Minister of Culture and Information







Maja Lalić, Creative Director of Mikser House




H.E. Oana-Cristina Popa, Ambassador of Romania to Serbia





Zdravko Šotra, Director, screenwriter

84 86

CHILL OUT JEWISH NEW YEAR Feature, Rosh Hashanah

Feature, Dual Education

99 31


Feature, New Year 2017

49 COMMUNICATION – BUSINESS AND ACADEMIC CHALLENGE Tamara Vlastelica, Communications Professor at the Belgrade FON and Consultant at Victoria Group



100 CORPORATE GIFTS New Year & Christmas Gifts


EDITOR: Ana Novčić ART DIRECTOR: Jasmina Laković CONTRIBUTORS: Rob Dugdale, Maja Vukadinović, Mirjana Jovanović, Miša Brkić, Radmila Stanković, Steve MacKenzie, Zorica Todorović Mirković, Sonja Ćirić EDITORIAL MANAGER: Neda Lukić PHOTOS: Zoran Petrović COPY EDITOR: Mark Pullen TRANSLATION: Snežana Bjelotomić, MRP Editorial PROJECT MANAGERS: Biljana Dević, Aleksandra Ebilji, Ljiljana Knežević, Nataša Trifunović, Lidija Carević, OFFICE MANAGER: Svetlana Petrović FINANCIAL MANAGER: Dragana Skrobonja EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Maja Vidaković GENERAL MANAGER: Ivan Novčić PRINTING: Rotografika d.o.o. Segedinski put 72, Subotica CorD is published by: alliance international media Makenzijeva 67, 11111 Belgrade 17, PAK 126909, Serbia Phone: +(381 11) 2450 508 Fax: +(381 11) 2450 122 E-mail: ISSN no: 1451-7833 All rights reserved alliance international media 2017

CorD Magazine

Subscribe NOW and save 10% 11 ISSUES FOR ONLY €29 Call our subscription line +381 11 2450-508, 2450-122 4 |






| 5


The Serbian Economy in 2016 and Beyond In 2016 Serbia successfully completed its second year of fiscal consolidation, achieving a budget deficit of around two per cent of GDP and halting the growth of public debt that had been increasing continuously since the 2008 crisis PAVLE PETROVIĆ, President of the Serbian Fiscal Council


t the same time, Serbia recorded GDP growth of years to come, as even a balanced budget would deliver a 2.7%, which is quite an achievement compared to relatively sustainable debt-GDP ratio of 50 per cent in only only 0.8% in 2015 and the near stagnation of the about 10 years. The main risk for fiscal consolidation, and hence macpreceding years. Growth in 2016 also came as a roeconomic stability, comes from unreformed public utilipositive surprise, having been forecast to total just 1.8%. In a regional context, Serbia is still growing at a rate be- ties companies and state-owned enterprises – loss maklow the average, with the economies of Southeast Europe ers. Apart from Serbian Railways, restructuring has not yet growing at an average of four per cent in 2016. Interest- started at either EPS (Electricity utility) or the Serbian Gas ingly enough, the growth recorded regionally also came as Company. The privatisation of SOEs, planned for 2016, has a surprise, having initially been forecast at 3.5%. The lat- not materialised, and as a consequence their losses continue to accumulate, a big chunk being in ter suggests that, by and large, some the form of non-payment of bills for common external factors are driving Besides macroeconomic growth in the region, rather than spestability, another condition electricity and gas. It was this nexus of large public utilities and loss makcific country policies. Some obvious for viable growth in ing SOEs that led to the large increase candidates are, first, low oil and comSerbia in the next few in the budget deficit and public debt modity prices, given that all countries in the years up to 2016, and is threatin the region are oil and commodyears is investment and ing to do so again in the years ahead. ity importers. Another growth driver the resulting increase in Addressing this problem should top might be the slight recovery in the Eunet export – relying on the government’s agenda. rozone and the EU, with an increase in consumption, private or Besides macroeconomic stability, import demand, including demand for another condition for viable growth in goods and services from SEE. This tide public, would only deliver a Serbia in the next few years is investmay have lifted all boats. short-lived increase ment and the resulting increase in Like most other SEE economies, in output net export – relying on consumption, Serbia should use this wind in its sail private or public, would only deliver to lay firm foundations for sound and sustainable growth, as favourable external growth drivers a short-lived increase in output. Public investment in inframay well be reversed. The complacency with its achieve- structure has been catching up in 2016 and is planned to be ment, which seems to be emerging in Serbia, might eas- increased in the medium term to the desirable level of 4 per ily backfire. Public debt is still very high in Serbia: 74 per cent of GDP. The decisive role, however, belongs to private incent of GDP, and any adverse external shock, e.g. a sharp vestment, which is lagging behind and currently stands at 15 increase in the oil price, may trigger recession by causing a per cent of GDP, while the average for comparable SEE econorise in the budget deficit and already high public debt, mak- mies is 18%. To boost the investment required for sound ecoing it unsustainable. To be on the safe side, Serbia should nomic growth, the Serbian business climate must be sharply further decrease its budget deficit and, thus, its debt in the improved, especially as regards the state of its judiciary. ■ 6 |






| 7


Challenges And


What will 2017 bring us? In CorD’s survey, prominent businesspeople – representatives of chambers of commerce and associations that bring together local and foreign investors and businesses in Serbia – speak from their own perspective about progress achieved in improving the business and investment environment, but also about the challenges that lie ahead


ccelerated reforms, particularly those in the area of improving the business climate, ensure that the opinions of business associations are more important than ever. The increasingly open and constructive dialogue between the government and business leaders, which also resulted in Serbia making continuous progress on the World Bank’s

’Doing Business’ list, compelled us to set aside space in the New Year’s edition of CorD for the comments of presidents of chambers of commerce and organisations, business clubs and associations that bring together members of industry, NGOs and representatives of the local community. For the New Year’s edition of CorD magazine, we asked our prominent readers the following questions:

1. What will be in the focus of your chamber in 2017? 2. How do you cooperate with other mixed chambers in Serbia and what do you expect from the CCIS’s Council of Mixed Chambers?

Here are their responses. 8 |



Represent the Economy Through Constructive Dialogue

Dedicated to a Better Business Environment

In the coming year we will intensify our activities in the process of representing the economy so that MARKO ČADEŽ PRESIDENT, we can, through a constructive CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & dialogue with the government and INDUSTRY OF SERBIA (CCIS/PKS) relevant state institutions, best utilise all mechanisms and instruments of the unified chamber system, which begins operating as of 1st January 2017

ZORAN PETROVIĆ, AmCham Serbia traditionally PRESIDENT, conducts an annual survey among AMCHAM SERBIA its members with the goal of identifying key reforms necessary to improve the business environment, provide economic growth and increase employment in Serbia



rom the legal right to give our opinion on draft laws and other economy-related regulations, via quarterly analysis of the practical implementation regulations, to the working groups we have formed with most ministries in order to be able to jointly analyse initiatives and solve the problems of businesspeople. We have formed the CCIS Legal-Political Department as the central point for collecting, processing, refining and creating the balanced interests of the economy. The list of priority tasks still includes strengthening the chamber’s service role: improving existing services and creating new services and standardised service packages; first and foremost continuing digitisation, but also lowering services and public authorisation from the central level to the regional one, in order for us to bring those services closer to businesspeople; forming regional centres of competence etc. We are continuing activities on the introduction of dual education, while plans also include the establishing of our Business Academy. Providing support to the internationalisation of the economy will continue to be one of the chamber’s key roles. Alongside bilateral forums accompanied by B2B meetings and the organising of day events our suppliers aimed at helping our companies join the supply chains of foreign companies, in 2017 we will also enable businesses to make organised appearances at as many as 18 international and regional fairs. We are working in parallel on strengthening analytical and advisory support to companies seeking to market goods and services on foreign markets, as well as developing a future concept for representing the economy worldwide. In the past few months since its establishment, the Council of Mixed Chambers has shown itself to be very useful platform for the mutual exchange of information and initiatives, as well as open, constructive and high quality dialogue with the Government and state institutions, enabling us to jointly and regularly discuss proposals and solve the problems of businesspeople. Council members had the opportunity to exchange views on current issues and problems in doing business with the top representatives of state bodies and institutions (the ministers of finance, the economy, labour and employment; the director of the tax administration), but also to voice their opinions on measures and regulations already being prepared, thereby influencing the shaping of the economic environment. We also launched our first joint initiatives... Apart from that, our goal is to contribute, through the complementary activities of the CCIS and the members of the Council, to developing economic cooperation, increasing the influx of foreign investment and exports, helping to create a local network of suppliers for foreign corporations... The introduction of dual education is also in the common interest of our members, as is the active participation of businesses in the European integration process.

he results of this survey represent AmCham’s contribution to the identification of regulatory bottlenecks that the government needs to tackle if it is to ensure future growth opportunities for existing businesses and make the case for new investments. The results of this year’s survey show moderate satisfaction with the business environment and expectation of improvements in the next four years among 68 per cent of our members. In order to achieve those improvements, we identified priority areas on which we will focus our efforts: increasing the predictability of amendments to tax legislation, reducing the parafiscal burden and tax reform; curbing the shadow economy and state administration reform aimed at reducing bureaucracy. We will also encourage the further development of eGoverment, as one a means of increasing the efficiency of state administration, the introduction of trade facilitation measures and support for education and healthcare reforms. So, in 2017 we will continue to focus on shaping public policy with regard to these issues and thereby contribute to improvements to the overall business environment through constant and open dialogue with the Government of Serbia.

Together we represent the mechanism for the transparent involvement of the private sector in the creation of strategies and proposals for good regulations and efficient law enforcement The American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia is dedicated to establishing a broad platform of cooperation to support economic reforms for a better business environment. Continued dialogue between the private sector and the Government is crucial for a business-friendly regulatory framework. I am certain that we all have a common goal: to ensure that Serbia continues to be appealing for foreign investors, and to encourage current investors to continue investing. The government and businesses should work with the maximum level of cooperation and AmCham and other chambers in Serbia are important platforms for such cooperation. Together we represent the mechanism for the transparent involvement of the private sector in the creation of strategies and proposals for good regulations and efficient law enforcement.




| 9

New Year of Optimism




Our first AUSTRIA CONNECT Southeast Europe conference in Belgrade will definitely be a highlight next year, not to mention our ongoing project to introduce elements of the Austrian model of dual vocational training to Serbia

e are planning a series of meetings and events that will hopefully contribute to further developing our already very close economic and trade relations. Our particular focus will be on new companies, startups or companies that don’t yet have any business in Serbia. This requires not only a lot of informative work on our side, but also a set of new services in order to even better serve the needs of these companies. Just as an example: we recently started to host webinars on business topics in Serbia, a very useful and efficient tool to generate interest and offer hands-on advice. Another way to attract more companies from Austria is to organise regional business missions, i.e. missions that cover more than one country in the Western Balkan region in a very efficient and time-saving manner. Apart from our participation in various trade fairs in Serbia, we will also invite Serbian companies to trade events in Austria, for B2B-meetings and visits of outstanding companies and projects. Furthermore, our first AUSTRIA CONNECT Southeast Europe conference in Belgrade will definitely be a highlight next year, not to mention our ongoing project to introduce elements of the Austrian model of dual vocational training to Serbia. We are very excited to see the results of the first completed year of training and schooling in 2017. We have always had very good but rather informal relations with other bilateral chambers based on an ongoing exchange of ideas and experiences. This is why we are very pleased that under the leadership of Marko Čadež, CCIS President, the Council of Mixed Chambers has been established as a permanent platform for open and constructive dialogue with the government and state institutions. Our experience so far shows that this is a very effective body and we have already seen substantial results. We are very much looking forward to continuing our cooperation within this Council.

Contributing to Serbia’s Development



10 |



Serbia’s EU accession process induces a rapid sequence of changes to laws and regulations. To keep our members abreast of these changes, we will continue to bring relevant speakers and topics that might have an impact on their businesses environment


he year 2016 was marked by the BSBA co-establishment of the European Initiative (EI) working group and subsequently the Council of Mixed Chambers, while 2017 will be a year to continue our involvement in these initiatives. With the support of our corporate members, we will continue our supporting efforts aimed at improving the business environment for SMEs. Our working lunches with prominent speakers and the successful Belgian Day at the CCIS have been highly appreciated, showing that we have to continue in the same direction. We are inspired by our members, as we do not only want to inspire them but also want to be inspired by them. The BSBA will follow the business environmental changes in the country as closely as possible. The EU accession process induces a rapid sequence of changes to laws and regulations, which have been contributing to the improvement of the business environment. To keep our members abreast of these changes, our working lunches will continue to choose relevant speakers and topics that might have an impact on their businesses environment. No one will deny that a lot still has to be done, but Serbia is on the right track. However, one should not wait for the miracle of “growth” to happen, it is rather the reverse: contributing to small-scale local development, encouraging and supporting prospective SMEs to prudently invest, and creating modest but real perspectives for prosperity. The EI started as a working group of European Bilateral Chambers and business associations and close cooperation with the CCIS was immediately envisaged. This quest for cooperation soon developed into the CCIS’s proposed Council of Mixed Chambers. The BSBA, as one of the first to endorse the EI, also endorsed the CMC. We appreciate very much the work undertaken by the CCIS on this matter. So far we have had, besides the “founding assembly”, three working meetings which proved to be pretty fruitful, resulting not only in the formulating of recommendations for amendments to laws and regulations, but also in explanatory meetings highlighting the government’s enhanced strategies and priorities. The BSBA is an active participant in these meetings. The CMC is bringing bilateral chambers and business associations in the country closer together. The Belgian motto “Unity makes strength” is certainly in the right place here.

Canadian Education For Serbian Competitiveness




By bringing the LEADER Project to Serbia, we began an important part of our future activity in the field of education. We are proud to say that we were invited to organise the same project in 2017 and, hopefully, bring other similar Canadian educational programmes to Serbia

y promoting quality, knowhow, high working ethics, high standards in health & safety - all of which are attributes of the Canadian way of doing business – we have been on a mission to improve the competitiveness of Serbia on the world map and make it a better place for doing business since the first day of our existence. It is our belief that a major part of this goal can be achieved through education. The year 2016 was marked for CANSEE by the LEADER Project, the Canadian two-week educational programme, secured via a partnership between CANSEE and the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Canada, which we organised in Serbia for the first time. It

We’re Strengthening Contacts And Seeking New Partners

was our idea to give our members an opportunity not just to network, but also to familiarise themselves with the Canadian way of learning through case studies. By bringing the LEADER Project to Serbia, I believe we started an important part of our future activity in the field of education. We are proud to say that we were invited to organise the same project again next year, and hopefully we will bring other similar Canadian educational programmes and seminars to Serbia. We will also continue, through different types of networking events, workshops and seminars, together with the Canadian Embassy, as our valuable partner, to enable an efficient exchange of business information among our members.

We promote quality, knowhow, high working ethics and high standards of health & safety - all of which are attributes of the Canadian way of doing business CANSEE has good cooperation with other mixed chambers in Serbia, and we believe those relationships will reach an even higher level now, following the constituting of the Council of Mixed Chambers. We have recognised the importance of the Council and the possibilities it offers, and are on our way to becoming one of its members. It is important to have that kind of platform, as a direct way to discuss with representatives of ministries, the tax administration etc., all of the important issues that our members face in their day-to-day business. This will, we believe, accelerate important structural reforms in Serbia and improve the business climate in this region.

Our priority goals in 2017 are to increase the number of members and strengthen MARIJA RADULOVIĆ connections among current PRESIDENT, members, as well as establishing CROATIAN BUSINESS CLUB (HPK) wider collaboration with local governments, considering that there are still a lot of cities with which we should establish business contacts


he Croatian Business Club in Serbia has existed for ten years already, primarily with the aim of exchanging information, experiences and ideas among members - businesses that operate in Serbia, whether they are Serbian or Croatian companies, or business partners from other countries which have representative offices are in Serbia. Through the advancing of cooperation between companies, our long-term goal is to promote economic cooperation between Croatia and Serbia by encouraging trade and investment.




| 11

One of the priority plans in 2017, apart from increasing the number of our members and strengthening connections among current members, will be to establish wider cooperation with local governments: such cooperation already exists with some cities, but there are still a lot of cities with which we should establish business contacts. It is our intention to help SMEs recognise the opportunities brought by membership in our club. We plan to inform as many business as possible about these opportunities through social networks, where we appeared during mid-2016. During 2016 the Croatian Business Club, together with representatives of 12 other countries, signed an agreement with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia on the establishment of the Council of Mixed Chambers. This was the first step – establishing a platform for the development of long-term cooperation among the signatory countries. That will be a place where we expect members of the international business community that are active in Serbia to come closer together in the sense of joint projects. We hope that a joint action plan will soon be established, and, as was stated during its founding, that there will also be joint activities aimed at attracting foreign investment. Our business club, like most similar clubs from other countries, was established in order to improve the business climate in the country in which it operates – our goal is not only to strengthen the corporate position of foreign companies on the Serbian market, but rather common benefits for both countries, and particularly for the community in which we operate.

Improving The Business Climate With Expert Knowledge

We highly appreciate our independence, while at the same time being ready to cooperate on an “ad hoc” basis for the benefit of our members. We welcome the initiative of the CCIS to share experiences with us and other colleagues, but the FIC is not member of the Council of Mixed Chambers and only attends the Council’s meetings as an observer. The FIC membership will decide whether to join this alliance at the upcoming Assembly meeting on 21st December. In the meantime, we will continue providing proposals aimed at supporting the growth of business activities and improving living standards for Serbian citizens.

Doors Open Wide For Cooperation




With the organising of forums and meetings with government officials, but also renowned French groups, the doors are wide open for the development of French-Serbian economic cooperation, which we expect to be intensified during 2017

ased on the results of the activities that we carried out in 2016, we can conclude that in Serbia there is a great interest and need for French expertise, primarily in the area of public-private partnerships, sustainable infrastructu-

re projects, public transport and environmental protection. We could also see this, among other things, through the important political meetings that took place during the year. The opening of the chapter covering public-private partnerships in the framework of Serbia’s EU accession negotiations should soon come on the agenda. At the end of the year important talks were also held with the top political represen-

The Foreign Investors Council recently launched the latest “White Book”, in which we pointed out the YANA MIKHAILOVA areas that were marked by progress PRESIDENT, from October 2015 until October FOREIGN INVESTORS COUNCIL (FIC) 2016, and those that weren’t and will therefore be priority areas of our association for the next year


he most progress was marked in the field of real estate and four areas of the general legal framework, including competition and consumer protection, state aid and notaries, as well as in the sectors of telecommunications, oil and gas, and private security. The least progress was marked in taxes and labour regulations, and three areas of the general legal framework – forex, bankruptcy and whistleblowers regulations, as well as in the sectors of food and agriculture, insurance, and the home care and cosmetic products industry. The FIC’s three main expectations from the Government are that it will accelerate structural reforms and cut bureaucracy, improve the implementation of laws and continue harmonising laws with the EU Acquis. When it comes to the FIC cooperates with other chambers in Serbia, I would like to highlight that we are eager to cooperate with all relevant players on this market who share our main goal, which is to contribute to the improvement of the business climate with expert knowledge. Our strength comes from the fact that the FIC is growing continuously, currently bringing together over 130 companies that have invested over €28.7 billion and directly employ over 94,000 people in Serbia. 12 |



tatives of both countries on the project to build a metro rail system in Belgrade. With the organising of forums and meetings with government officials, but also renowned French groups, the doors are wide open for the development of French-Serbian economic cooperation. As such, we expect these relations to be intensified during 2017 and the increased presence of French experts and French companies in Serbia. Our mission

The cooperation we realise with other European chambers and all other foreign chambers, as well as with the CCI of Serbia, is at a very high level is to be the coordinator of these relations and to contribute to improving economic cooperation between our two countries. The cooperation we realise with other European chambers, but also all other foreign chambers, as well as with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, is at a very high level. Our cooperation is intense and open, all with the aim of improving the business environment in the country and our desire and responsibility to convey the world’s best practices. We regularly organise joint events. Thus we recently organised a business working lunch with European chambers of commerce in Serbia on the topic “Effects of digitisation on the labour market: challenges and opportunities for women”, at which we hosted Dragan Djermanović, an expert on using the internet for business. In the second half of December we organised a new Speed Business meeting with the Italian-Serbian Chamber.

Working Together on Real Life Changes




Businesspeople, who make up our Chamber, are by default the most enterprising members of a society. I believe that our German-Serbian entrepreneurship will become rather visible and cost-effective as early as next year, not only for our Chamber, but primarily for Serbia

the Chamber, the original idea was not that our members should fight a battle for their own interests. The point was that we should work in a partnership with the Government of Serbia and state institutions on the improvement of the economic environment and initiate changes on our own. In this sense, we are particularly involved in the implementation of dual education in Serbia, considering that we have good and extensive experience in that field in Germany. I am also sure that the project ‘German Initiative for Finding Suppliers in the Countries of the Western Balkans’ will be implemented for the third year in a row. The aim is for related companies from Germany and Serbia to meet directly and thus easily establish business contacts that may be of long-term interest. Of course, there is also Serbian Visions, a multi-congress that has already become a tradition. I am a very practical man and I think that plans make sense only if founded on real life. Businesspeople, who make up our Chamber, are by default the most enterprising members of a society. I believe that our German-Serbian entrepreneurship will become rather visible and cost-effective as early as next year, not only for our Chamber, but primarily for Serbia. The point of associations lies exactly in cooperation and the strengthening of that cooperation. The economy has its particular interests, but there are also common inte-

he German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the first bilateral chamber, was fo-

rests that, in order to be achieved, have to be supported by joint actions and attitudes.

unded nine months ago, as the most natural continuation of the already success-

Having been reformed, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia became ‘the

ful practices in economic cooperation between Germany and Serbia. Economic

privileged advisor to the Government’ and ‘spokesperson’ of the entire economy of the

and development cooperation between the two countries is the most intense part of our

country. This is very important because all of the attitudes, thoughts and ideas come

economic relations, and Germany is the biggest single donor. On the other hand, the 300

together in one place, where a common position of the economy is articulated. Let me

companies that are members of the Chamber, and the 30,000 people employed by tho-

simplify that by saying that draft laws are debated at the Chamber of Commerce &

se companies, represents the foundation of partnership – not only with each other, but

Industry of Serbia. These drafts are sent to the Council of Mixed Chambers, which sub-

also with Serbian institutions. An important fact is that, according to a survey conducted,

mits an opinion following debate. That is very important for us because we formulate

more than 90 per cent of German companies operating in Serbia would invest in the coun-

our positions in an institutionalised manner, which then, also through institutionalised

try again, which primarily reflects their trust in institutions. When we decided to establish

channels, reach the table of the one who proposed them.




| 13

Mutually Beneficial Cooperation




One of the priorities of the HBA will be to lobby actively for Serbia as an ideal destination to attract new Greek investments, which will be beneficial for both Greece and the Serbian economy

hat we will certainly work on with the most dedication is increasing the number of members of the Hellenic Business Association and strengthening ties between them, as well as further strengthening relations between the Association and state institutions. We also insisted on this in the previous period. At the same time, we also have the ambitions aimed at achieving better and stronger economic relations between the two countries. Our priorities also include greater visibility of the Association’s activities in the media, as well as actively lobbying for Serbia as an ideal destination to attract new Greek investments, which will be beneficial for both Greece and Serbia. We also hope to play a more active advisory role in Serbia’s efforts to join the EU, as well as in its efforts to harmonise local legislation with appropriate European Union regulations. Cooperation with the business associations of other countries in Serbia was intensified significantly in 2016 compared to the previous period. Organising “speed meetings” proved to be a very good form for meeting and establishing cooperation. We organised such meetings with the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, AmCham, the Slovenian Business Club and the Nordic Business Alliance, while with the Chamber of Italian-Serbian businesspeople and the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce we organised networking receptions. I would particularly highlight the B2B meetings organised by the Hellenic Business Association of Serbia, the Department for Economic and Trade Affairs of the Greek Embassy in Belgrade and the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, entitled “Open Doors Day for Greece – Possibilities of bilateral cooperation”, at which opportunities for bilateral business cooperation were presented and which included the participation of 40 Greek and more than 100 Serbian companies. The most recent in the series of activities in this field was the Business Women’s Lunch, which was organised in cooperation with various chambers of commerce of European countries. I see the establishing of the Council of Mixed Chambers as an excellent move when it comes to bringing together and connecting the international business community in Serbia with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, as an umbrella organisation. I expect the Council to primarily be a link between foreign companies operating in Serbia and the Government of the Republic of Serbia and its ministries, all with the aim of improving business environment. I see this as an ideal tool for constructive dialogue, which on the one hand means familiarising members of the Council with new laws that are being prepared and which relate to daily operations, and feedback on the challenges that foreign companies face in pursuing their business in Serbia, in terms of economic and legal processes, on the other hand.

14 |



Mixed Council Should Represent a Truly Open Forum



As Serbia is progressing in the process of preparing to enter the EU, in 2017 we expect further growth in bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries


s a consequence of growth, we expect some increase in the business activity between

Italy and Serbia, and some increase in our activity. The ISCC’s mission is to support bilateral economic relations between the two countries. Serbia has been, and remains, in the focus of Italian investors’ interest. We also observe increasing interest among Serbian companies in expanding their relationship with the Italian market, both as suppliers to local manufacturers or distributors to consumers. In both cases, the ISCC can support them with a wealth of contacts and experience. In order to be effective, the ISCC will focus on fewer “core” activities. In fact, in pursuing this ambition of developing relations between Italy and Serbia there is a risk of running after every idea. The focus will be on direct support to the business and commercial activities of our current members, Serbian and Italian companies and institutions. Then we aim to enlarge the membership base and include institutions located across the whole country, and not only in the more traditional development areas. Even before the formation of this Council, we have been cooperating for a long time with many mixed chambers operating in Serbia through a number of joint initiatives. The recently established Council of Mixed Chambers represents a very interesting opportunity to talk with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia and the Serbian Government in a more coordinated way. We expect a positive contribution, but we also know that we will need to contribute to that body ourselves. I hope this Council will really be managed with the aim of representing a truly open forum to discuss and make certain new pieces of legislation more suitable for our companies. However, it must also be noted that the ISCC will continue to build its bilateral relations with the other mixed chambers, as they reflect broader relationships that exist between our countries, as well as some excellent personal relationships among the respective representatives in Serbia.

Expertise – The Basis of Success



NALED has had stable and clearly defined goals for many years, which resulted in us step-bystep forming a serious group of experts with adequate resources as a precondition for successfully resolving identified problems


ur interests for the next year will continue to be predominantly linked to the fight against the shadow economy and the introduction of eGovernment. The Serbian Government has declared next year the Year of the Fight Against the Shadow Economy and all stakeholders have the major responsibility of successfully implementing the measures of the National Programme. Likewise, the great success achieved in the first year of the application of electronic building permits is proof that there is a willingness and knowhow to improve the efficiency, accountability and transparency of the administration. Ahead of us is a mammoth challenge in which we can only approach our goal through persistent and systematic work. We have broad support of both the citizens and the government, but in real life the fight against the shadow economy and efficient eGovernment represent an encroachment on someone’s financial interests, and that has never gone easily and painlessly. We will also work on certifying local governments with a favourable business environment in Southeast Europe (BFC SEE), because through this programme we see the promotion of good examples which need to use their efficiency to encourage those that are less successful, while on the other side we also see the possibility of re-establishing severed economic ties in the region, to the satisfaction of all programme participants. There is also work on our internal organisation, where we will gather in the forums of the alliance our members on the basis of their preferences, all with the aim of creating adequate proposals for improving Serbia’s business environment. NALED has some elements of a chamber, but it is not a proper chamber, so we are not members of the Council of Mixed Chambers, but we have very good cooperation with other organisations. We are all here on the same task, with some minor specificities, which enables us to coordinate our activities or conduct them jointly, and that will also be the case next year.

Building a Resilient Future Together




In 2017 we will provide a wide range of support activities to Dutch businesses operating locally and those seeking to expand on the markets of Serbia and Montenegro, as well as focusing on activities that should result in stronger relations in the fields of renewable energy and water management

he Dutch Embassy will continue intensifying the already good economic collaboration with Serbia and Montenegro, especially in the field of agriculture. In 2017 we will also provide a wide range of support activities to Dutch businesses operating locally and those seeking to expand on the markets of Serbia and Montenegro. Next year we are going to focus even more on activities that should result in stronger relations in the fields of renewable energy and water management. When it comes to energy, we would like to support Serbia in having a more independent and diverse energy sector and higher energy efficiency. The same goes for water, an area in which – also due to the geographical location of our country (below sea level) – we have lots of expertise and are internationally renow-




| 15

ned for our water management. We would like to help Serbia to be even more resilient to water-related natural disasters and to provide the necessary knowhow and technology to tackle challenges related to waste water treatment and other environmental topics (Chapter 27 of the acquis). Our Embassy strongly relies on partnerships and mutual collaboration. We often cooperate not only with other embassies, the World Bank, the EBRD and EIB, but also with domestic investor associations and chambers. We have close relations with the Foreign Investors Council, NALED, SKGO, the Serbian Association of Managers and, of course, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia. We believe that mutual trust and public-private dialogue are the essence of a sustainable and functional business environment, and we gladly contribute to that, together with our companies.

Dialogue for a Better Business Environment



Cooperation between the business community and governmental stakeholders remains high on the agenda of the Nordic Business Alliance for 2017. That includes our annual dialogue with the Prime Minister and cooperation with the Economic Caucus of the National Assembly


n 2017 the Nordic Business Alliance will maintain its strategic orientation to connect Nordic and Serbian companies and to bring more investments, but

also to promote Nordic values and good practices in Serbia. In addition, cooperation between the business community and governmental stakeholders remains high on our agenda. We plan to continue with our annual dialogue with the Prime Minister, in order to discuss innovations, the business environment and the legal framework. We will also continue cooperation with the Economic Caucus of the National Assembly. I am proud of the results of these initiatives, because together with the state we are managing to improve the business framework, which will generate shared value for the citizens and the entire business community. As in previous years, the NBA relies on high involvement and partnership with all Nordic embassies in Serbia. Their support is incorporated into our growth and success. For us, 2017 will be marked by ecology and sustainability development. We are planning some projects in this area aimed at raising awareness and implementing good solutions in in our community. The Nordic Business Alliance has good relations with other bilateral chambers and business associations and we hope that in the period ahead our cooperation will be expanded. There are a lot of chambers in Serbia that represent investors from different countries and regions, but all of these organisations are connected by the same goal – improving the business climate and enhancing economic cooperation and growth. I see diversity of experiences as a factor that is going to accelerate further development of the market economy. As an excellent example of cooperation, I would mention the Speed Business Meeting event that was organised jointly by the NBA, the Hellenic Business Association and the Slovenian Business Club. This networking event was attended by 35 companies, which had a chance to connect with potential business partners.

16 |



We also welcome the establishment of the CCIS’s Council of Mixed Chambers and the NBA is willing to play an active role in this body. My expectation from the Council is for it to become a platform that can bring synergy and increase the influence of bilateral chambers in the expected continuation of structural reforms.

Our Members’ Needs Are Our Top Priority




We are focused on securing added value for our members through the various activities of the club and joint work with other business associations on improving opportunities for the development of business

s has been the case to date, in 2017 the type and intensity of the activities of the Slovenian Business Club will depend primarily on the recommendations and wishes of its members, or the needs that have been identified as priorities. In our ranks are companies from a wide range of sectors, and from this diversity and number of members comes diversity and abundance of needs, wants and desires. The number of members of the Club has been increasing constantly in the last three years. That’s why it is essential to intensively monitor the reasons why companies join us, as well as additional efforts to respond to all of their demands. All those who are members of the Slovenian Business Club need to get additional value from their membership. Clubs like ours were created due to a need for companies to organise themselves on a market and to work together to improve conditions for doing business. Our members are of course aware that it is precisely working together that brings benefits for everyone and legitimises the existence of such a club. The task of the management is to constantly encourage members of the Club to share ideas and propose activities, to collect ideas and suggestions and implement them in practice or assist in their implementation. The Slovenian Business Club is in regular contact and cooperates very closely with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry and other institutions in Serbia. We also nurture honest partnerships and even friendly relationships with other foreign business clubs, chambers and associations operating in Serbia. We are signatories of the agreement on the establishment of the Council of Mixed Chambers, with the aim of strengthening cooperation and communication between state institutions and our members. The establishment of the Council brought us a step closer to achieving positive effects, both in terms of mutual cooperation between business associations and in communication and cooperation with Serbia’s state institutions. Unfortunately, there is still a practice whereby a large number of state institutions do not respond promptly to various queries from companies, so the only thing left for business leaders to do is to direct those same requirements for state institutions through their associations. The silence of the administration slows down and holds back the economy.




| 17



Supporting The Development of Sound Projects

Public-Private Dialogue in Focus

The main aim of the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Belgrade is to strengthen economic cooperation between Spanish and Serbian companies and institutions

In 2017 we will continue to act as the Voice of the Swiss-Serbian business community towards officials, to promote ‘’Swissness’’ and create new networking opportunities for members


n this regard, we focus on sectors where Spain has gained international recognition – these are the fields where we can support Serbia most effectively. The year 2016 has been an excellent one for bilateral exchanges, which growth at a monthly average of 15-20 per cent. In 2017 we will try to accelerate this pace even more with new efforts. Agriculture will have a special place in our activities. Spain is the world’s eighth largest exporter of agricultural products, thanks to our competitive edge in technologies like irrigation, greenhouses, crop protection or anti-frost techniques. We will have a national pavilion at the Novi Sad Agriculture Fair and will organise several other activities. The environment, and especially the water sector, is also dear to us. Spain is Euro-

Our aim is to facilitate Serbian and Spanish companies in finding and developing opportunities with cooperation that is mutually beneficial. In this regard, the new Council of Mixed Chambers will definitely prove a useful tool for enhancing cooperation between domestic and foreign companies pe’s leader in water management policies and technologies and we try to support Serbian municipalities in developing sound projects. We also help to form mixed Serbian-Spanish consortia to implement projects. In addition to this, we will keep sending Serbian companies and officials to Spain, in order to show them the opportunities for cooperation with our country in sectors as diverse as transport infrastructure, agribusiness and wine. Although we are not a mixed chamber as such, but rather the Spanish institution responsible for promoting bilateral trade and investment, we have longstanding cooperation with many domestic chambers and business associations. Our aim is to facilitate Serbian and Spanish companies in finding and developing opportunities with cooperation that is mutually beneficial. In this regard, the new Council of Mixed Chambers will definitely prove a useful tool for enhancing cooperation between domestic and foreign companies. 18 |






he Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce today brings together approximately 70 member companies. In 2017 we will continue to act as the voice of the Swiss-Serbian business community towards officials and to develop the public-private dialogue with both Swiss and Serbian authorities. In order to achieve this goal, the SSCC’s focus will be on maintaining effective communication with members as part of our efforts to contribute to the further improvement of the local business environment. The SSCC has also recognised the importance of the SME sector for strengthening Swiss-Serbian business relations. As such, we will continue to support local SMEs by providing them with adequate guidance to develop their business activities in Switzerland. At the same time, the SSCC plans to develop activities in Switzerland, with a view to raising awareness of the existing business potential on the Serbian market. In addition, the SSCC will strive to contribute to the development of dual education in Serbia. To conclude, in 2017 the SSCC will continue to implement activities orientated towards fostering Swiss-Serbian economic ties, towards promoting the concept of “Swissness” and creating new networking oppor-

We will continue to support local SMEs by providing them with adequate guidance to develop their business activities in Switzerland tunities for members. As always, our action plan will be defined on the basis of input provided by SSCC members in our annual survey, which will be conducted at the beginning of 2017. The SSCC cooperates actively with other bilateral chambers of commerce in Serbia. For example, in April 2016 the SSCC co-organised the “Speed Business Meeting” with AmCham Serbia and the Hellenic Business Association. With regard to the CCIS’s Council of Mixed Chambers, we were pleased to learn that the Council would be bringing together the international business communities that are active in Serbia, with the aim of attracting more foreign investors to the local market and better positioning Serbian companies on the international market. The SSCC is looking forward to working with the Council on a project basis and contributing to attracting more Swiss investors to Serbia.




| 19


Strategy is



Serbia has never had a defined strategy for cultural policy. The Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information is now finalising a cultural development strategy for the next ten years. When it is completed, the document will be proposed to the Serbian National Assembly for adoption


n many ways a key document for cultural life in Serbia, the Cultural Development Strategy will try to establish a value system, value judgements and deadlines for the passage of laws and regulations, and to define rules to help maintain, revitalise and improve the work of culture institutions. One of the most important topics, and a cause of legitimate concern worldwide when it comes to culture, is the protection of world cultural heritage, which is often threatened by wars or terrorist attacks. The strategy will therefore envisage the drafting of an entire set of laws to provide a more flexible and efficient 20 |



protection and conservation of our cultural heritage for future generations. One of the challenges for the Ministry of Culture and Information is to manage the Serbian cultural monuments designated as World Heritage Sites, especially those in Kosovo that have the greatest cultural value for Serbia. Over 1,300 churches and monasteries on this tiny territory are Grade I Serbian heritage sites. Serbian shrines in Kosovo are included on the List of World Heritage in Danger, which speaks volumes about the reality of the threat they face. I believe that the world must unite in the awareness that its immovable cultural heritage, regardless of who it was created by




One of the most important topics and a cause of legitimate concern worldwide when it comes to culture is the protection of world cultural heritage

Decentralisation in Serbian cultural policy is an imperative and one of the priorities of the Ministry of Culture and Information

Our cultural institutions alone plan some 150 programmes for international exchange, in as many as forty countries

or in which epoch, is humanity’s legacy and, as such, must be cared for by the entire global community. The devastation of cultural monuments, whether they are in Palmira, Kosovo, Sudan, Mali or Cambodia, or anywhere else on the planet, is an attack on the core of human civilisation that belongs to the entire world, regardless of race, religion or cultural area.

■ The 2017 budget bill provides more funds for culture than before. What will your priorities be? - Regarding the use of the budget funds allocated to our ministry, our main task is to finish the adaptation and restoration of the Museum of Contemporary Art and to continue the adaptation, rehabilitation and restoration of the National Museum in Belgrade. We expect work on the Museum of Contemporary Art to be completed in the summer of 2017, with a grand opening on the Day of Museums, 20th October 2017. The completion of work on the National Museum is scheduled for the end of January 2018. Of course, another of our priorities is to prepare the programme Novi Sad 2021 – The European Capital of Culture. One of the most important activities will be tenders to procure equipment and train staff in cultural institutions all over Serbia, as they are needed to digitise the research infrastructure in culture and art. The Ministry of Culture and Information will also focus on increasing the accessibility of culture and art, and on educating the public, especially vulnerable groups, and on systematic, all-round care for the preservation and development of the Serbian language and linguistic culture. Considerable budget funds are earmarked for building the capacity of the public media outlet RTV Vojvodina, whose facilities were badly damaged in the 1999 NATO bombing and have been out of use ever since.

There is no doubt that opening Chapter 26 as soon as possible is very important to Serbia, because both the country and our ministry are particularly interested in strengthening cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogue. We are well aware of the role that culture plays in encouraging creativity and innovation, and of its

I believe that the world must unite in the awareness that its immovable cultural heritage, regardless of who it was created by or in which epoch, is humanity’s legacy and, as such, must be cared for by the entire global community

■ Can we expect systemic changes in the field of culture in Serbia, and can we expect EU support? - The most important systemic change will be the adoption of the Cultural Development Strategy, a document conceived by the Ministry of Culture and Information and drafted by all cultural players in Serbia: the ministry’s departments, cultural institutions, associations, professionals etc.

importance in international relations. Serbia is a member of Creative Europe and the first country outside the European Union to join its MEDIA sub-programme, one of the most important European funds that supports the production, distribution and promotion of feature films and documentaries, TV dramas and new media. Serbia is one of the most successful beneficiaries of Creative Europe. We take pride in the fact that the European Commission often mentions the Creative Europe Desk Serbia as an example of good practice. Cultural organisations and institutions in Serbia are very successful in their applications for various Creative Europe funds, especially those in the MEDIA sub-programme. ■ How will you support cultural institutions outside Belgrade? Do you advocate decentralisation in cultural policy? JANUARY



| 21

- Decentralisation in Serbian cultural policy is imperative and one of the priorities of the Ministry of Culture and Information. Accessibility of cultural content, especially high quality content, has to be equally available to all and must not be a privilege of city dwellers. Local governments should play an important role in decentralisation. They have to be able to show that they are aware of their problems, to present them clearly and to start solving them in full cooperation with the ministry. In 2016 the ministry held a ‘Cities in Focus’ competition, the first of its kind. Over 1.2 million euros was allocated for the realisation of programme activities in six municipalities. While I

was visiting Southern Serbia I saw the great potential of cultural institutions there, their willingness to build capacity and interest in a wide variety of cultural programmes. We always remind them that the Ministry of Culture and Information is their partner, advisor and friend, and we encourage them to be active and take part in our competitions.

Whether national pensions should be awarded only to cultural workers is a question that deserves a thorough public consultation, because there are anonymous individuals in other fields, heroes of their time, who have worked hard and with integrity all their lives and who deserve some form of compensation from the state

■ There has been a lot of talk about the criteria for awarding national pensions. How will you resolve this issue? - First, we will try to establish a clear framework and give it the publicity it deserves considering the sensitivity of the issue. There is no doubt that there are people who have worked hard and who deserve compensation from the 22 |



state. But there is also no doubt that some past decisions have been quite controversial. National pensions may be regarded as society’s gratitude for a life’s work and achievements. Whether national pensions should be awarded only to cultural workers is a question that deserves a thorough public consultation, because there are anonymous individuals in other fields, heroes of their time, who have worked hard and with integrity all their lives and whose achievements have stood the test of time, making an impact on the development of social ethics and morale, being an example and deserving some form of compensation from the state. In any case, we will address this issue seriously and studiously. We will not make any rash decisions. ■ Which projects will promote Serbian culture internationally in 2017? - In 2017 Serbian culture will be presented on the international stage in various ways. Our cultural institutions alone plan some 150 programmes for international exchange, in as many as forty countries. Bilateral cooperation between cultural institutions and participation in important international events will be in focus. Cultural exchange with China, under the 16+1 cooperation mechanism, has given a new dimension to our cultural scene and opened new channels, not only in China but in Asia as well. Among other things, the exchange envisages visits to China of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Museum, the Yugoslav Drama Theatre and others. There are also events in which Serbia traditionally takes part, such as the Venice Biennial, the Beijing International Art Biennial, exhibitions of modern art in Shanghai, book fairs in Frankfurt and Leipzig, film festivals and many more. Cooperating with and meeting our obligations towards international organisations, such as UNESCO, the Council of Europe etc., are also important for Serbia’s international cultural cooperation and visibility. The ministry and culture institutions take notice of important dates. Since we commemorate the anniversaries of diplomatic relations with Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Israel in 2017, we will focus on these countries next year. For March, Francophone Month, we plan various programmes dedicated to fostering our historic and cultural connections with the French culture and language.

■ There are very few Serbian cultural centres abroad. What is being done to improve international cultural cooperation? - We are working to improve the legislative framework as a condi-

tion for establishing a new network of culture centres worldwide with a completely new management model. Providing we have the right conditions, in addition to the centre in Paris, we plan to open culture centres in countries with which Serbia has special relations and where there is a mutual interest, primarily in China, Russia and Germany. Opening new culture centres in Moscow, Beijing and Berlin would not only help to promote Serbian culture, but other sectors as well, improving the country’s image and increasing its diplomatic influence, which is the overall objective of cultural diplomacy. Culture institutions play an important part in the international representation of the country, as they participate actively in international cultural exchange with their homologous partners. Furthermore, the ministry encourages international cooperation through opens calls to support the mobility of artists and cultural professionals and to co-finance projects that have already received support from international funds, which are all open throughout the year. I must mention the ministry’s cooperation with foreign culture centres in Serbia. We have recently signed a new protocol agreement with the British Council and we plan to intensify cooperation with the French Institute, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Goethe Institute and other institutes that support the development of the culture sector in Serbia.

■ What are the most important cultural heritage digitisation projects? - A department responsible for the development of the digital research infrastructure in culture and art has been established within the Ministry of Culture and Information. The drafting of the necessary strategic and legislative framework has started with the aim of creating conditions for the realisation of priority goals of the Serbian Government. An expert committee responsible for the digitisation of the valuable cultural heritage of Serbia has been established. Digitisation will also include considerable library holdings, films and archives of our most esteemed institutions. One of the

■ How can the balance between the market and quality be achieved in modern creative work, and especially publishing? - In the modern world, or at least its most developed parts, culture and its main foundations are Opening new culture main projects is the digitisation of valgenerally thought to be threatened by an outpouring of entertainment and spectacle. There uable library holdings that have been centres in Moscow, is no doubt that the market should play a part designated a cultural good. As for cinBeijing and Berlin would in the evaluation of artworks, but if culture is ematography, the aim is to conserve not only help to promote film archives from 1904 to 1945 and completely left to market laws then, on the one Serbian culture, but also hand, we are exposed to the advantages of such digitise the flammable stock recorded principles, like for example the struggle for suron a nitrate film base. other sectors, improving vival, and, on the other, to the most banal comthe country’s image and ■ What, in your opinion, is the mercialisation. increasing its diplomatic role of the media strategy? It has As a business and creative industry, publishinfluence, which is the been adopted, but little has been ing has to take into consideration the market done since. and business rules. The offer of highly regarded objective of cultural - The Serbian Public Information works that often do not have commercial value diplomacy Development Strategy to 2016 was must be developed to the finest detail. This is adopted in 2011 and it expired on 31st done primarily through a cultural policy that enDecember 2015. All items in the accompanying Action Plan have courages the development of readership i.e. building the cultural been implemented or are in progress. needs of readers seeking timeless literature and scientific works A new media strategy is now being drafted. Its primary goal on the market. Another way is for the government to make a diis to try to establish a balance between the legislative framework rect impact by co-financing the publishing of capital and valuable and technological changes that happen in the media almost on a works, which the ministry has been doing for years now. daily basis. ■ JANUARY



| 23



“Loving those close to you is the most important tradition. There is nothing more important.”- Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation

2016 NOBEL LAUREATES AWARDED IN STOCKHOLM AND OSLO ▶ A grand Nobel Prize Awards issuing ceremony has been held

in the Stockholm Concert Hall by Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in front of over 1,000 scientists, politicians dignatories and royal guests. This year’s Nobel laureates include Professor David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz in physics, Professor Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa in chemistry, professor Yoshinori Ohsumi in medicine, and Professor Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom in economic sciences. They received their Nobel medals and diplomas from the hands of Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf. Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature, Bob Dylan, failed to attend the award ceremony, but his famous song “A hard Rain’s Gonna fall” was sung by Patti Smith. Earlier in the day Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos received his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.


president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office in 2005 the U.S. dollar was selling at 10,000 rials. Devaluation of the national currency brought the U.S. dollar to 30,000 rials when the eight-year term of the Iranian government came to an end in 2013.

SANTACON PUB CRAWL ▶ SantaCon is an annual mass gath-

▶ Iran plans to revalue its rial ten-

fold and revert to the currency’s old name, the toman, according to a bill approved on 7th December by President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet. The currency was called the toman until the 1930s and most Iranians still refer to it by that name. One toman would be worth 10 rials, or around 3,200 to a dollar at official exchange rates. The dramatic fall of the national currency dates back to the period of the former government, during which the rial lost 300 per cent of its value. When the government of former 24 |



ering and pub crawl in which people dressed in Santa Claus costumes or as other Christmas characters parade. It began in San Francisco in 1994, inspired by a Mother Jones article on the Danish activist theatre group Solvognen. In 1974, the group gathered dozens of “Santas” in

Copenhagen to hand out items from the shelves of a department store to customers as “presents” before they were arrested It has since evolved and spread to 44 countries around the world, with varying versions and interpretations. Events were scheduled in 300 cities, including New York City, London, Vancouver, Belfast, and Moscow. The New York SantaCon is the largest, with an estimated 30,000 people participating.

It has been variously also known as Santarchy, Santa Rampage, the Red Menace, and Santapalooza.

THERESA MAY TROUSERS ROW ▶ A bitter spat erupted between Ms Fiona Hill, a top aide to British Prime Minister Theresa May and Nicky Morgan after the former Cabinet minister was banned from a No 10 meeting in a row over the Prime Minister’s trousers.

DIPLOMATIC RECEPTION AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE ▶ It is the first time a photographer has been allowed to photograph the British Royal Family at an event normally shrouded in secrecy, for reasons that no-one in the royal household can quite remember. But now, in the Queen’s 90th birthday year, officials have decided to release an image of the family group as they prepare to welcome more than a 1,000 guests for the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace, one of the highlights of the royal calendar and one of the main social event of the year Each of the three women are wearing evening gowns and tiaras from the Queen’s collection. The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall are also wearing The Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II, an honour bestowed on female members of the British Royal Family by the monarch and worn on formal occasions. According to tradition, the Order is worn pinned to the dress of the recipient on the left shoulder with a watered silk ribbon in chartreuse yellow, formed into a bow.


“Nobody in Europe will be abandoned. Nobody in Europe will be excluded. Europe only succeeds if we work together.” - Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

CANADA CELEBRATES 150TH ANNIVERSARY ▶ This year, starting from the 1st January, Canada is celebrating it’s 150th birthday. Following several constitutional conferences, in 1867, 150 years ago, at the Charlottetown and Québec conferences, the Fathers of Confederation worked on a visionary project—to create a lasting democracy— which today serves as a model for the world. Many important people, milestones, cultural and political events have shaped Canada’s history and helped it grow into a Canada that is a strong model, proud of its identity, diversity, innovation, and natural beauty; and that is a free, open, diverse and pluralistic society. The 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation is a time for Canadians to celebrate their history, stories, accomplishments, innovations, and the collective values that continue to shape the country.

Nicky Morgan was publicly critical of Theresa May’s decision to wear £995 leather trousers during a photo shoot for a newspaper The joint chief of staff had previously met with Ms



Morgan and fellow Tory Alistair Burt and invited them to a meeting with Mrs May about their views on Brexit

▶ President-elect Donald Trump

next week. But after Ms Morgan spoke out about

plans to add a very personal touch to the Oval Office decor: a personal letter to him from former President Richard Nixon.

the premier’s decision to pose in Amanda Wakeleydesigned “bitter chocolate” trousers, Ms Hill texted Mr Burt to tell him “Don’t bring that woman to No 10 again”. Mrs May insisted she was not out of touch with ordinary people because she opted to wear costly

▶ Boxing Day takes place on 26th


December and is only celebrated in a few countries; mainly ones historically connected to the UK (such as Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) and in many European countries. In Germany it is known as “Zweite Feiertag” (which means ‘second celebration’) and also “Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag” which translates as Boxing Day (although it doesn’t literally mean that)! It was started in the UK about 800 years ago, during the Middle Ages. It was the day when the alms box, collection boxes for the poor often kept in churches, were traditionally opened so that the contents could be distributed to poor people. Some churches still open these boxes on Boxing Day.

In December of 1987, Trump received a letter from former President Richard Nixon informing him that his wife, former first lady Pat Nixon, predicted Trump had a bright political future, should he choose to pursue a career in the field. “Dear Donald,” the letter reads. “I did not see the program, but Mrs. Nixon told me that you were great on the Donahue Show. As you can imagine, she is an expert on politics and she predicts that whenever you decide to run for office you will be a winner!”




| 25


No Pressure to Change


Dr Oana-Cristina Popa arrived in Belgrade in September 2016 as the new ambassador of Romania. In this interview for CorD Magazine, she says that her first impressions were very good and she is looking forward to continuing cooperation and strengthening bilateral relations


esponding to the question that is most commonly posed to EU member states that have not recognised Kosovo’s independence, Ambassador Popa says that there will be no policy change regarding the issue. She added that Romania will continue to support Serbia’s EU integration process and will strive for that process to be accelerated. ■ During this November’s visit to Romania, the Serbian Prime Minister called for the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries. How was this visit perceived in Romania? - The visit was perceived in a very positive note, consistent with the Romanian Prime Minister’s message in which he mentioned that “we wanted to give a signal that this relationship between Serbia and Romania is a consistent, long-lasting one, beyond the duration of the Cabinets’ terms of office, beyond political hues. Serbia and Romania have potential and should also be economic partners in the future”. I would also like to point out another message offered by the Romanian Prime Minister on the same occasion and that is that, irrespective of the political persuasion of governments in Bucharest and Belgrade, our high officials should meet periodically.

26 |



■ A joint declaration on Romania’s support for Serbia’s EU integration was signed on this occasion in Timisoara. What would be the practical outcome of this declaration? - Romania has, from the very beginning of the process, been an active and strong supporter of the European prospects of Serbia. We will be consistent in our support for the opening of new negotiation chapters. We further support Serbia’s advancement on its path towards European Integration, through the effective and consistent adoption and implementation of reforms. We are ready to share our expertise, as well as lessons learned on the EU accession path. The Serbian authorities could take advantage of our similar understanding of the transformational changes and benefits that the EU integration process brings for citizens. Romania’s expertise can be useful in areas such as the fight against corruption, justice reform, administrative and capacity building, and environmental protection. The statement signed in Timisoara by Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lazăr Comănescu and Serbian Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic creates a framework for further cooperation and support through study visits, workshops and training, facilitated by dedicated instruments, such as TAIEX or the Mobility Fund for Governmental Experts, financed through Romania’s assistance for development policy. ■ Does Romania have concerns regarding the rights of the Romanian minority in Serbia that could possibly impact on Serbia’s EU accession negotiations? - We have a constructive position in line with our general support for Serbia’s European integration. Our open, constructive and principled stance comes from the objective of ensuring full reciprocity for the Ro-




Romania’s expertise can be useful in areas such as the fight against corruption, justice reform, administrative and capacity building, and environmental protection

We hope the implementation of the dedicated Action Plan for the national minorities will help to improve the situation

A positive aspect of cooperation between our countries is the constant growth of bilateral trade

manian minority throughout the whole of Serbia as regards access to education, mass-media and religious services in their mother tongue. We would expect the same treatment as is afforded to the Serbian minority in Romania. There are areas where this is happening, but between those areas and the rest of the country there are significant differences in the treatment of people belonging to national minorities. We hope the implementation of the dedicated Action Plan for the national minorities will help improve the situation. At the same time, I remind you that Romania and the Republic of Serbia also have a bilateral treaty regarding national minorities from both countries. Based on this treaty, a Joint Intergovernmental Committee was created. We do hope that, following a pause that has lasted a few years, the activity of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee will be resumed and will work productively in the interest of the national minorities in both countries. I would like to express our open and constructive approach towards the Serbian minority in Romania, particularly with regard to their full and free access to education, culture, political representation, freedom of belief etc. In fact, the Romanian government allocates consistent and constant financial support for preserving and maintaining the specific cultural, linguistic and ethnic identity of the Serbian minority in my country. As you well know, evidence of our approach can be found in the presence of a Serbian MP in the Parliament. ■ How would you assess the current perspectives of EU enlargement? - Enlargement is a powerful instrument of the European Union’s external policy. Romania has, thus, strongly advocated for the inclusion in the EU Global Strategy of a clear political message on the continuation of the enlargement, association and stabilisation process, as a sustainable tool for strengthening democratic institutions, boosting the economy and promoting regional cooperation. Although the EU is currently facing various challenges, the enlargement process is continuing and our role is to continue to help advance the accession processes in the region and maintain a positive message on enlargement within the EU. Romania will continue to lobby for Serbia’s European integration efforts and I would like to mention that the road to the EU will help Serbian society transform, as it did with the Romanian one. Soon we will celebrate 10 years since we became a member of the EU. Also, in the first half of 2019 Romania will hold the rotating presidency of the EU Council, at a very important moment for Serbia’s accession negotiations with the EU, and our intention is for enlargement to be one of our priorities. ■ The countries of Central and Eastern Europe have expressed their reserves on the common European migration policy. Could this migration policy impact on the future of Europe? - Migration is currently one of the biggest challenges for our region and international cooperation is of utmost importance for the proper management of the refugee influx. Therefore, good communication and cooperation between EU Member States and the neighbouring countries on this issue is of the utmost importance for the identification and implementation of the best solutions. Although Romania is not directly affected, the country fully acknowl-

edges the need for shared responsibility and solidarity, and participates in all EU measures aimed at dealing with the consequences of migration. Nevertheless, Romania appreciates that any reform of the EU asylum policy should be based on consensual solutions that are able to meet the objectives of all Member States. Any future asylum system should allow the Member States to decide voluntarily on the nature of their contributions to the EU’s common efforts for dealing with migration. Romania is committed to continue to act in this spirit of solidarity and cooperation, in order to avoid, through joint efforts, the reactivation of the Western Balkan route, which is currently closed. Romania follows this objective also at the EU level, where Romania lobbies in favour of

We do hope that, after a pause that has lasted a few years, the activity of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee will be resumed and will work productively in the interest of national minorities in both countries

further EU support for the countries of the region. Serbian authorities are very engaged in addressing the consequences of migration. Romania has fully supported Serbia’s efforts in this area by offering humanitarian assistance and operational assistance, either bilaterally or through EU agency FRONTEX. It is in our mutual interest to continue our close dialogue and cooperation in order to combat illegal migration. Last but not least, when we discuss migration it is essential to bear in mind the need to address the root causes of the phenomenon, which must be tackled together, in a joint manner, by all the members of the international community. Dialogue and cooperation with third partners, countries of origin and transit, is currently a major priority at the EU level, which is fully supported by Romania, as this would contribute substantially to a long-lasting solution on migration. JANUARY



| 27

■ What is the essence of the Protocol on joint Romanian-Serbian patrols along the common border? - The scope of the protocol signed recently in Timisoara is to establish mixed patrols along the common state border and to increase cooperation in order to prevent and combat illegal migration and cross-border crimes. It also has the objective of encouraging an efficient exchange of information and increasing the effectiveness of border surveillance and control. I think the results are already visible in the media.

■ What would be the practical effects of the recently signed declaration on cross-border cooperation in the fields of employment and social protection? - The two Ministers of Labour met twice this autumn, first in Belgrade, on 28th October, and then in Timisoara, on 10th November. In Belgrade they signed a bilateral agreement on social security, thereby giving Romanian workers in Serbia and Serbian workers in Romania similar rights to social security as their own citizens, from the moment of its implementation. The Joint Statement signed in Timisoara deals with further developing and increasing bilateral cooperation in various fields, such as cross-border labour mobility, social policies with a focus on vulnerable groups and communities, reducing unemployment, promoting entrepreneurship etc.

- Planning and designing the new highway between Timisoara and Pančevo was selected as strategic project by the IPA CBC Common Committee for Monitoring on 5th October. In this respect, we look forward to properly and wisely utilising EU funds in order to swiftly advance the project. It is clear to all of us that a structured approach to furthering the interconnection of both countries provides benefits to all stakeholders involved. Given Romania’s current transportation Master Plan, depending on the results of the feasibility study for this project, Romanian authorities will assess fitting adjustments as necessary.

■ Timisoara and Novi Sad will be joint European capitals of culture in 2021 and you have already discussed the possibility of the two cities organising joint activities to mark this occasion. How could this cooperation look? - Having both Timișoara and Novi Sad as European Capitals of Culture in 2021 will be an excellent opportunity for the further development of cultural and tourism ties between our two countries. As you have already mentioned, we have indeed approached the responsible officials in Timisoara and Novi Sad, in order to prepare a cooperation framework that would allow us to take advantage of this excellent opportunity in the most efficient and appropriate way. However, discussions on concrete steps on the respective cooperation are still ongoing, especially at the level of the local authorities in Timişoara and Novi Sad. I have been informed that many ideas are being discussed and indeed this is a unique occasion to promote our traditions and our natural and cultural heritage.

■ Romania will end 2016 with GDP growth of 4.8%, which ranks it among the EU’s most successful countries. If Serbia wishes, as has been stated, to follow the Romanian model, what does it need to focus on? - Indeed, Romania’s economic performance in the last few years has consolidated its profile as a factor of stability in the region. ■ In the EU we can often hear calls, or Both IMF and EU forecasts mark Romania some would say pressure, for Romaas Europe’s top performer regarding GDP Or position on the Kosovo nia to change its position on Kosovo’s growth in 2016. independence. Does the government Nevertheless, we had our share of status matter is well known, in Bucharest intend to do so? economic difficulties and results didn’t and it did not prevent us, or - I am surprised to hear this. We are not come overnight. Among the factors that the EU as a whole, from under pressure for anything within the EU. contributed significantly to Romania’s The EU does not function like this. Time positive economic evolution I would menapproaching the relevant might have passed, but one should retion reforms to ensure financial structural matters for all inhabitants of call that in 2008, right after the Unilateral stability and an overall attractive financial Declaration of Independence, the Council and fiscal framework, tangible results in Kosovo in a status-neutral (GAERC at that time) adopted a Conclusion the fight against corruption, stimulating manner stating that the EU Member States will take employment and internal consumption, a position on the UDI according to internaattracting foreign investment and striving tional law and national practice. As such, each Member State was able to to ensure the efficiency of our own investments, better absorption of EU state where it stands on this event. funds, a tight monetary policy, efforts for maintaining public debt within You may also recall that our position on the Kosovo status matsustainable limits, and supporting entrepreneurship and SMEs. We are ter is well known, and it did not prevent us, or the EU as a whole, ready to share our experience with the Serbian institutions on these topfrom approaching the relevant matters for all inhabitants of Kosovo ics as well. A positive aspect of cooperation between our countries is the in a status-neutral manner. The Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, which reconstant growth of bilateral trade. Last year we reached a historical high sumed and reached an important agreement on telecommunications of over a billion euros and we are hoping reports for 2016 will be similar. in recent weeks, is guided by the same principles and has proved its usefulness for the European integration prospects of both Belgrade ■ Do you believe that the two countries could implement the idea and Pristina. ■ of jointly constructing a highway linking Vršac and Timisoara? 28 |




Young Ambassadors of Dual Education The “Young Ambassadors” is a youth organisation from Niš whose task is to promote active participation in the development of local communities among their peers through the development of culture, sport and entrepreneurship


ore than 120 young ambassadors at primary schools, secondary schools and universities in Niš transfer knowledge to their peers thanks to informal training that they carry out during a one-year term, professional conferences in the field of creative industries, such as architecture, design, IT, photography, 3D scanning and advertising . They organise everything themselves, with the full support of the embassies of Austria, France, Slovakia, Sweden, the Netherlands and the U.S. “In the training that they go through, these young people work with different experts, who help them strengthen their leadership skills. With them it can be seen how they are progressing through this programme,

which is of particular importance because it’s difficult to motivate activism among the youth today. Here they have the possibility of choosing which lecturers they want to hear and see, and on the basis of that they divide into teams to organise conferences like “Culture for Knowledge” and “KreNI” from the domain of the creative industries”- says Snežana Andrić, Secretary General of the Young Ambassadors, who was in the first generation of young ambassadors in 2014. The “KreNI” conference was held in Niš for the second time and included lectures by an architect from New York, a designer from Graz, a photographer from Belgrade and an archaeologist from Bratislava. Tomislav Bobinec teaches Communication Design at the University of Applied

Sciences in Graz and he gladly accepted the invitation from Niš. His lecture and workshop on the subject of architectural barriers for people living with disabilities spawned a multitude of ideas among young people. “This is the first I’ve heard about the Young Ambassadors and when I see how they function I can say that this is even the best idea in this part of Europe, because young people need a challenge and if you do not offer them the possibility of a challenge then there will not be one. Of course, they cannot be great designers immediately, but this is one way of learning, and they are highly motivated. They chose their own tasks when we mapped out the problems of people living with disabilities in Niš, and now they are 140% into their topic, working hard.” - says Bobinec. JANUARY



| 29

MARION VIAU, of the Fench Institute in Niš

The embassies that have supported the work of this association consider that such initiatives for young people are very important and that their countries will always support the development of new technologies and the valuing of cultural heritage. Marion Viau, from the French Institute in Niš, says that France has participated in this kind of collaboration for several years already and brings experts in these fields who will transfer knowledge to young people. And Johannes Irschik of the Austrian Embassy in Serbia considers that these kinds of ideas are of great importance: “This is one of the rare opportunities for experts from around the world, as well as experts from Serbia, to work with young people and help them with regard to

TOMISLAV BOBINEC, Austrian designer

tor for high schools. She participates equally in the work of the organisation and claims that this also helped her in her personal development. “I’ve advanced a lot on a personal level as well, because you create experience through talking with successful people in your field. This helps us to expand our horizons regarding ourselves and The “KreNI” conference was our surroundings, to develop creheld in Niš for the second time ativity and be more active.” and included lectures by Alongside the support of various embassies in Serbia, the Young an architect from New York, Ambassadors are also supported a designer from Graz, city institutions, as well as the a photographer from Belgrade by ministries of culture & information and an archaeologist from and youth & sports. Along with the third generation of young ambasBratislava sadors in Niš, the Association also Architecture student Sonja Petković has its first generation in Novi Pazar was a young ambassador last year, and Kruševac, while the goal is to conwhile this year she is the coordinaquer Serbia and then Europe.■ the creative industries. Moreover, it is also a great opportunity for young people to demonstrate their ideas and work on social issues. The ideas are theirs, but they develop them with experts, so they also receive models and an incentive to continue”.


30 |



SNEŽANA ANDRIĆ, Secretary General of the Young Ambassadors





VLADIMIR NOVAKOVIĆ, CEO of Apatinska Brewery and Molson Coors Managing Director for Serbia and Montenegro

Digitalization is a Win-Win Process

Keeping Pace With Global Trends And Local Customs



MARINA DELEON Communications Expert, Advisor to Airport City Belgrade

DEJAN BOGUNOVIĆ MD Arriva Litas doo, Požarevac

Rhapsody in Airport City

Transport Solutions to European Standards



Boosting Competitiveness to Create Hundreds of New Jobs PAGE 44


MIRKO BUTULIJA President of the Auto-moto Association of Serbia

Reliability And Tradition PAGE 45

SVETLANA STOJŠIĆ, Regional manager of WIFI, Institute for Economic Promotion of the Austrian Economic Chambers

MIROSLAV PREŠERN Ceo At Oven Elektro Maribor D.O.O.

New Times, New Skills

Look to The Future




FERRY AGENT Experts in Road Haulage to & From The Uk

Advanced Programme in Business

Small Team, Big Jobs JANUARY



| 31


Digitalization is a Win-Win Process Enabling every citizen to have access to government information and services on their mobile phones, anytime and anywhere, would significantly save time and money. For Telenor, it could create more work and be a source of growth


elenor wants to be its customers’ favourite digital partner in this so-called fourth revolution journey. Some significant steps have already been taken, as we work hard to transform our business from traditional telco to become a digital service provider, says Ingeborg Øfsthus, CEO of Telenor Serbia. In this interview, Ms Øfsthus speaks about how digitisation may inspire more transparent communication between the Government and citizens, as well as promoting growth of the business sector. She also talks about Telenor’s expectations regarding the new Law on Electronic Communications. ■ When it comes to digitisation, as the fourth industrial revolution, which areas would you single out as being the most important for Serbia? - I would single out connectivity and people having the advantage of using its full potential. That is not specific just for Serbia - digitisation brings access, relevant services and growth everywhere in the world, and we are witnessing the immense impact that it has on people’s everyday lives. Let me share some examples – Telenor has covered the whole of Serbia with fast mobile internet. With the increasing penetration of mobile phones, more and more people are connected, having small PCs in their hands. This is significantly upgrading the efficiency of iterations between state institutions and citizens, with more being done on mobile devices instead of waiting in long queues. It also increases the transparency of the state administration and, furthermore, the trust of future investors. Other examples are methods of payment. Digitisation brings easier and simpler ways of payment and 32 |



opens trade towards the rest of the world. People make online transactions and accept it as a safe method of payment. This certainly has to be empowered by the education of people on this topic. But just imagine how a small enterprise from Serbia can benefit and grow from running its business online – from marketing and payment methods to product placement – much easier and cheaper than via physical distribution. ■ Alongside eGovernment, you recently also spoke about the development of mGovernment. Could you tell us how much the introduction of eGovernment and the development mGovernment would contribute to raising efficiency in the work of companies and in the everyday lives of citizens?

There are three specific areas that the new Law on Electronic Communications could regulate: cross border data, a predictable business environment and digital contracts and channels of communication towards the customers - It would contribute a lot, especially to a higher quality of life for citizens. We at Telenor see this issue as a way of running a country in a more efficient way and with the highest level of transparency. Today mobile phone penetration is 129%, which means that we already have a channel to reach all citizens, including groups that are traditionally difficult to reach, such as those in rural areas, senior citizens etc. Enabling electronic services on mobile devices – mGovernment – would give every citizen access

to government information and services, anytime and anywhere. If citizens could do everything via their mobile phones, that would significantly save their time and money. Wouldn’t it be truly amazing if they are able to pay all taxes, fees and public services in a way that ensures they are not obliged to provide paper evidence? Speaking from Telenor’s perspective, it would benefit us in two ways: it would be easier for us to run our business, but also it could create more work for us and be a source of growth. If we had easily-accessible relevant information and also digital and distance communication with the authorities, then businesses would have seriously reduced costs and increased profits. Additionally, with a central data registry, many of the present administrative procedures would be unnecessary, not to mention the savings in time and reductions in the use of paper. ■ What are your expectations in this context when it comes to the new Law on Electronic Communications? - We at Telenor have high expectations regarding the new Law on Electronic Communications. Its solid implementation could contribute to establishing a level playing field in the market and bring an end to some important challenges that telco operators face while doing business in Serbia. There are three specific areas that this Law could regulate: cross border data, a predictable business environment and digital contracts and channels of communication towards customers. Since we at Telenor have international experience on all of these topics, we have offered our expertise and knowledge to the regulatory bodies and have dynamic discussions on a daily basis. ■ Why does the cross-border transfer of data represent a challenge not only for Serbia, but also for other countries; and

what do you consider as being effective solutions in this area? - The experience we have from other markets shows that cross-border data transfer is an important enabler for future technology – like cloud technology – and it is vital to stay in technological development. Our recommendation is to follow the EU model on this issue and ensure that traffic data is not excluded from the definition of personal data. But the EU framework needs to be truly harmonised, down to its basic definitions. We currently have many limitations of what we can do, because of a different interpretation of what personal data is in Serbia compared with EU legislation. This proves that the devil is truly in the details. Our industry is moving more and more towards the cloud platform. However, there is a myth that you have better protection if data is stored in your country; that data is safer within the borders. This is incorrect. Hackers know no borders. We need to be able to utilise technology like cloud and regional solutions at a competitive cost in order to deliver competitive services – not only with our local competitors, but also with global players like Google, Facebook and Viber. We are ready to guarantee high privacy and security levels for data and network equipment that are in line with current EU practices. Still, we are aware of legitimate concerns regarding national security and customer privacy and we are fully prepared to address and discuss this with the authorities, for the benefit of our customers. That is also our responsibility. ■ To what extent is the telecoms sector exposed to the introduction of unpredicted charges and what does the new law offer in this regard? - I must say that we see improvement when it comes to unpredicted charges, especially in the telco sector. However, there are still too many parafiscal charges in place across all industries, 403 to be exact. And this is not just Telenor’s assumption – it is also one of the conclusions contained in the recently launched FIC White Book. We will continue to invest to develop new technologies and services for the growing needs of our customers. In order to do so, the business environment has to be predictable and so we are welcoming the new Law on Fees to control parafiscal charges. ■ In which areas will Telenor invest the most in the coming period? - In further digitisation of the society, as that is the only way for us to realise our ambition of becoming our customers’ favourite digital partner. That means we will continue our 4G roll out which is, undoubtedly, our future

technology. 4G is now available in more than 65 cities and towns across Serbia, and we will cover half of the population by the end of the year, which is basically very soon. We need a strong, seamless network backbone that will support all the digital services we are, and will be, offering our customers. And we need to continue seeking new solutions, stepping out of the box and experimenting. That creates new prospects for us and directs us towards new investments. One of the examples is the just recently achieved mobile internet speed of 1 Gbps on a 5G test – the highest speed achieved in Serbia. ■ You said recently that Serbia has a fantastic pool of talent in the IT sector, which Telenor has taken advantage of to staff its

Telenor contributes the most to the development of entrepreneurship in Serbia by enabling companies to run their business while at the same time challenging and inspiring them branches in other parts of Europe. Are those talented people sufficiently utilised? - To answer this question I will draw on my experience as CTO in Serbia for many years. This country has a strong IT talent pool and we have already managed to use this talent to support our sister companies in Europe, but not only by taking leading positions within the Group. Those people do very significant work for the company from here, especially in these times of uncertainty. Now, speaking from the perspective of the CEO, I am very proud to see our team pioneering new ways of work, such is agile methodology, for example. By being more agile, we are able to

bring our products to the market faster, by building a product or service according to customer feedback from the very beginning. And by being pioneers, we, as a team, represent a role model for other markets. ■ In which ways does Telenor contribute to the development of entrepreneurship in Serbia? - I would say that Telenor contributes the most by enabling companies to run their business, inspiring and challenging them at the same time. By offering connectivity, we are enabling the business community to concentrate on their core area of business. But we also dig deeper; we create offers and services that best suit their specific needs (Moja firma packages or Telenor safe service). The feedback we get from our business clients is great and we will continue to dig and create new prospects for them. At the same time, we try to inspire and, by pointing out successful examples, raise their voice and say: it is possible to run a successful business in Serbia. In the long term, that will definitely influence the overall development of the economy and we are happy to contribute. Having that in mind, we launched a unique portal,, where the business community has all the necessary information on how to run a successful SME. At the end, we challenge the business community and try to create possibilities for people with great ideas. We launched the Telenor Smart City Challenge Serbia 2016 – a competition for the development of mobile applications and smart city solutions. ■ How much has the Moja Fima (My Firm) portal succeeded in becoming a nursery for good entrepreneurial ideas? - A lot, especially considering the importance of SMEs – these companies account for 99.8% of all firms in Serbia. It is estimated that by 2020 the number of these companies will have expanded to 350,000, employing a million people. With that in mind, it was clear to us what job had to be done with this portal – to give SMEs strategic support by providing them with all the necessary info on how to run a successful business, whilst at the same time promoting successful examples and inspiring. Since its launch in 2015, there have been around 2.5 million of unique views and almost 100,000 downloaded documents. Also, 700 people directed their questions to us and, by responding, we empowered their work. Informational technologies represent a great opportunity for the development of entrepreneurship in Serbia and we at Telenor are happy to contribute in the future as well. ■ JANUARY



| 33



DIGITISATION “Digital Serbia, a body that will contribute to real and serious digitisation, is due to be formally established. Digitisation is the fundamental generator of global progress.” — ANA BRNABIĆ, Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government



Leader of the the Serbia’s Financial Leasing Market

UniCredit Declared “Bank of The Year”

SoGeLease has been the absolute leader of Serbia’s financial leasing market since the beginning of 2016, with a total of €49 million in new lease agreements. The results of research conducted on the finan- BORIS STEVIĆ, CEO Soleasing Serbia cial leasing market in the first three quarters of 2016 show that SoGeLease retained its leadership position, with growth of as much as 75 per cent in new placements over the same period in 2015. SoGeLease’s market share reached 22.6% in the third quarter of 2016, while it is also the leader in the financing of new passenger vehicles, with a share of 24.3%, light commercial vehicles and buses (market share of about 32 per cent), as well as construction machinery and agricultural vehicles. According to Boris Stević, Chairman of the Executive Board of SoGeLease, the leasing market recorded significant growth in 2016, which came as a result of growth in sales of passenger and commercial vehicles, but also due to the launch of major infrastructure projects, which required the purchase of new construction machinery. MCCANN


Synergy of Creative Ideas of The North And The South Managers and creatives from Nordic agencies that operate within I&F McCann Grupa visited the company headquarters in Belgrade to discuss further development plans, joint projects and exchange practises. Srdjan Šaper, the Founder of the company, said that this was the first visit since I&F McCann Grupa acquired agencies in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. “This meeting has turned Belgrade into an important point on the map of creative Europe. It’s up to us to take advantage of this huge potential for our countries, as well for the industry we represent,” said Šaper.

Hans Martin Megard, Nordic CEO for Scandinavian Design Group, a leading design company operating as part of I&F McCann Grupa, said, “Srdjan Šaper and his team have built a powerful system in Southeast Europe, and this is an inspiration for us and our goal is to do the same with agencies in the Nordic region,” said Hans Martin Megard, Nordic CEO for Scandinavian Design Group.

34 |

UniCredit Bank Serbia has been declared this year’s “Bank of the Year in Serbia”, a title that is awarded by renowned British financial magazine The Banker. Despite the local economic environment remaining unstable and turbulent, 2016 proved to be one of the most successful financial years for UniCredit Bank since it launched operations in Serbia. The award for the best bank in Serbia was presented to UniCredit Bank at a ceremony in London. UniCredit Bank Serbia CEO Csilla Ihász said: “We managed to further cement our position among the leaders in Serbia, despite all the challenges on the market. Our key success factors were growth in commercial business, both in retail and corporate, an increase in process efficiency and customer satisfaction, sound risk management and a focus on client acquisition. We are very pleased that The Banker has recognised all these efforts. This award obliges us to continue in the same direction.”



A Specialised Branch Intended For Small Businesses Has Opened in Belgrade The first branch office in Serbia intended exclusively for small businesses, the mts Premium Business Centre, has opened at 16 Bulevar umetnosti in Belgrade. The first Centre represents a new concept for the provision of services tailored to meet the needs of small businesses, with the aim of further improving their operations. “With the opening of the mts Premium Business Centre, Telekom Srbija has secured the best solutions for its business clients, which will enable them to manage their operations in a more efficient way,” announced Telekom Srbija CEO Predrag Ćulibrk. Through an advanced user experience, the mts Premium Business Centre sets new standards for our market, providing specialised services and sales channels that are fully adapted to business users. BREWERS’ ASSOCIATION OF SERBIA

Budget Contribution Of €235 Million Members of the Brewers’ Association of Serbia (BAS) contributed a combined total of €235millionn, or 3.3% of total budget revenue, to the Serbian budget via excise duties, taxes, social reimbursements and contributions in 2014. In other words, during the course of that year €0.30 per litre of beer sold was allocated to the national budget via excise duties and VAT, according to the results of the study “Economic Impact of the Brewing Industry in Serbia”, conducted by auditing firm Ernst & Young. Overall employment related to production in this industry totalled 17,219 jobs in 2014, while each production and distribution chain job was linked to the creation of nine new jobs. The brewing industry paid €21 million in gross salaries to its employees in 2014, while as much as €129 million was allocated for local procurements, accounting for 92 per cent of total raw materials required for production. Between 2008 and 2014, BAS members invested €236 million in the country, including €177mn in production. Despite recording positive results, the industry encountered a highly negative trend in the last eight years. “Our plan is to continue with the trend of strong growth, which will contribute to strengthening the Serbian economy, with responsibility and sustainability as the foundations of everything we do,” noted BAS President Alexandros Daniilidis. BAS operates with six members: Apatin Brewery (Apatinska pivara) – a member of the Molson Coors Group, Belgrade Beer Industry (Beogradska industrija piva) BIP, Valjevo Brewery (Valjevska pivara), Carlsberg Srbija, malt producer Maltinex and Heineken Serbia

ENERGY “Serbia wants to expand its power and influence in the energy sector. Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina are the most significant regional countries for Serbia in this regard.”— ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ,

Serbian Prime Minister


Announcing The 43rd International Construction Fair

Southeast Europe’s leading event in the construction industry trade show sector, the 43rd International Construction Fair, will be held from 19th to 23rd April 2017 at the Belgrade Fair. All segments of the construction industry will be represented: research and design, building construction and maintenance, civil engineering, housing construction, the latest materials, construction machinery, equipment and tools, information technology, the latest construction systems, the equipping of facilities and interiors. Companies from the region will present their products, including firms from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia, as well as firms from further afield – including companies from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy, China, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia and Turkey. The Construction Fair will also include the staging of the 9th International Fair of Stone, STONEEXPO SERBIA. AXA

VIG Completes Process of Buying AXA in Serbia The Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) signed a share purchase agreement with companies AXA Non-life insurance a.d.o. Belgrade and AXA Life Insurance a.d.o. Belgrade in July 2016, aimed at taking them over. Once the regulatory authorities provided final approval for the share purchase agreement, the transaction was completed on 30th November 2016. “On the basis of positive economic predictions, Serbia represents the right market for VIG’s growth and investment. Our goal was to increase our market share to at least 10 per cent according to the mid-term plan and we are very satisfied that we have already achieved that goal,” said Peter Höfinger, member of the Management Board of Vienna Insurance Group responsible for the Serbian market.

Placements & postings


New Turkish Ambassador to Serbia

H.E. Tanju Bilgiç (46) graduated from the International Faculty of Political Science at the University of Ankara, received his Master’s degree from the University of Padova Human Rights and Democratisation Programme and completed his PhD in International Relations at the Institute of Social Sciences of Gazi University. His previous posts include: Undersecretariat of Treasury and Foreign Trade - Assistant Expert (1994); Prime Ministry, Undersecretariat of Treasury – Assistant Expert (1995); Deputy Directorate General for North America– Attaché (1996); Deputy Directorate General for the Middle East – Attaché (1997-1998); Attaché, Third Secretary in Sarajevo (1998-2000); Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Copenhagen – Third Secretary then Second Secretary in Copenhagen (2000-2003); Second Secretary then First Secretary at the Deputy Directorate General for the Council of Europe and Human Rights (2003-2005); First Secretary , Counsellor at the Permanent Representation at the Council of Europe (2005-2008); Head of Section at the Deputy Directorate General for the north-eastern Mediterranean (2008-2010); Deputy Head of Department of the Directorate General for the north-eastern Mediterranean (2010-2011); Consul General in St. Petersburg (2011-2014) and Deputy Director General at the Deputy Directorate General for Information (from 2014). Mr. Bilgiç speaks English and French.


New Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Serbia

H.E. Hossein Molla Abdollahi (56) graduated from the University of Teheran with an MA in International Relations. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1985 and in 1988 he was apppointed Political Expert at the Embassy in Islamabad, then Director of the Secretariat of the Economic Cooperation Organization of the MFA (ECO) in 1993-1995. In 1995 he was appointed Political Counsellor at the Embassy in Cyprus and from 1996 - Deputy Consul General in Peshawar, then Consul General in Lahore. During 2000 and 2001 he was Deputy Director of the West Asia Department of the MFA and from 2001 Director of ECO. In 2013. Mr. Abdollahi was appointed Ambassador to Vietnam also accredited in Cambodia, and from 2003 to 2010 he was Advisor to the Deputy Foreign Minister for Africa and the Arab countries. In 2010 he was appointed Ambassador to Nigeria and from 2011 Advisor to the Deputy Foreign Minister for Africa and the Arab countries, then Director General of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013-2014). Before his appointment to Serbia he served as Director General for Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Abdollahi is married with five children and speaks English and Arabic.


New Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Serbia

H.E. Dae Jong YOO (53) graduated in French Literature at Seoul National University, prior to joining the Korean Foreign Ministry in 1988. He attended French L’École nationale d’administration for the promotion of René Char (1993-1994). His diplomatic career includes postings at the Korean embassies in Geneva (1997-1999), Senegal (2000-2002) and Vienna (2010-2011), as well as at the Korean Permanent Mission to the UN in New York (2004-2007 and 2012-2014). He also served as Secondment to the ASEAN–KOREA Centre in Seoul (Director for Development Planning and General Affairs) in 2009. Ambassador Yoo has also held various posts at the Korean Foreign Ministry, including serving as Principal Secretary to the Vice Minister (1995-1996), Director of the HR Management Division (2003-2004) and Director-General for International Organisations (2014-2016). Ambassador Yoo is a married father of two sons.


New President of the Executive Board of Sberbank Serbia

Marijana Vasilescu took over the position of President of the Executive Board of Sberbank Serbia as of 1st December. Vasilescu was previously the bank’s executive board member responsible for the segments of retail and micro clients, the network, partnerships and digital channels, as well as marketing and communications, where she was engaged from 2013. Marijana has rich experience in the international banking sector, gained working for the Royal Bank of Scotland in Romania and as director of the retail banking division at RBS (previously ABM AMRO Bank) in Moscow. She also served as a member of the Executive Board of Home Credit Bank in Kazakhstan. Prior to beginning her career in the banking sector, Vasilescu held managerial positions at various international FMCG companies in Central and Eastern Europe. Marijana holds a master’s degree in Marketing from the Faculty of Commerce in Bucharest, Romania.


New Director of Cryo-Save Srbija

The Dutch Esperite Group has announced a change in the leadership of its Serbian subsidiary Cryo-Save. Zoran Purković, who boasts more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals sectors, has been appointed as the company’s director. Prior to joining Cryo-Save, Purković held managerial positions at BELhospice, GlaxoSmithKline, MSD, Johnson&Johnson and Abbot Laboratories. “Our goal in Serbia, where we have been operating as Cryo-Save d.o.o. since 2007, is to remain the most reliable partner to future parents and doctors, not only in preserving stem cells, but also in the very important segment of prenatal testing,” said Purković.




| 35

CORPORATE VLADIMIR NOVAKOVIĆ, CEO of Apatinska Brewery and Molson Coors Managing Director for Serbia and Montenegro

Keeping Pace With Global Trends And Local Customs The fact that the Serbian beer industry keeps up with global trends and complies with international standards does not mean that it is turning away from its local customs and market. On the contrary


ladimir Novaković, CEO of Apatinska Brewery, is a former top athlete turned successful businessman whose past and present careers suggest that he has what it takes to lead a big company. ■ You took over as CEO of Apatinska Brewery only a few months ago but you have vast managerial experience in this sector. What do you see as the company’s greatest challenges in 2017? - Our objective for next year is the same as it always has been: to be the First choice for our customers and consumers. The drop in purchasing power has affected all trade. Over the past few years the beer market has seen a fall of 2.8 per cent a year, varying from a sharp 11 per cent drop in 2008/2009 to four per cent growth in 2014/2015. The offer of more affordable brands has visibly increased. The market is slowly recuperating and it will be interesting to observe how it develops in our country and in the region over the next twelve months. ■ Apatinska Brewery is part of Molson Coors, a Canadian-American company renowned for its high business standards. To what extent are 36 |



these standards applicable in Serbia and in the region? - When we became a member of the Molson Coors family we added over two centuries of international experience to our 260-year-old tradition. Although every country is different when it comes to consumers’ life style, consumption culture and habits, Apatinska Brewery, like all other members of the Molson Coors Group, adheres to the Group’s internal rules, high standards and business procedures and to local legislation. We don’t care only about what we do but also how we do it. We will always maintain the highest standards in our work.

When we became a member of the Molson Coors family we added over two centuries of international experience to our 260 year-old tradition ■ There is great competition on the regional beer market. What is your opinion of the market? Do you foresee any consolidation of brewers? - A concentration of capital has been happening for years both globally and regionally. This trend affects the local market in terms of product accessibility, consumer habits, product pricing. This is also a factor that makes this industry dynamic and innovative.

Until recently our market offered only a dozen brands of beer with almost identical characteristics. Today, we have over 100 active brands on the market and consumers are no longer indifferent when it comes to the type, taste, quality or price of beer. More demanding consumers, globalisation and international standards have boosted the development of craft brewing and the emergence of small craft breweries worldwide over the past few years. There is also an increasing demand for different and unique tastes characteristic of a specific region and that cannot be found everywhere. I believe the market will be developing in this direction in the future. ■ Molson Coors has been acquiring breweries worldwide over the past few years. Where does Apatinska Brewery stand in the Molson Coors system? - Each country has its place in Molson Coors and each company has its local beers and local brewing traditions. For us, it is important that we keep developing our 260-year-old tradition, our passion for beer brewing and the quality of our products so that we are the customers and consumers’ first choice. We want to continue to delight them. Although acquisitions do affect us, we have remained true to our values and I believe that our consumers appreciate this. ■

CORPORATE MARINA DELEON, Communications Expert, Advisor to Airport City Belgrade

Rhapsody in Airport City Last year the famous ACB calendar brought together modern dance, sophisticated graphic design and the architecture and concept of the most successful business park in a very unusual way. This year’s is different: it is inspired by musical instruments


CB is a dynamic environment, but with set scenery. Although it is a modern building complex that is not necessarily photogenic, ACB has been a fantastic inspiration for the eye of the camera, not just for the buildings, green areas and beautiful architecture but also for its vibrant atmosphere, the people and the vivacious avenue that inspires many creative people, says Marina Deleon, creative director of all ACB calendars to date and communications expert, advisor to Airport City Belgrade.

summer season themes, a woman’s step in Airport City, they all had the signature of Miodrag Trajković, our esteemed cinematographer and more than talented photographer. Apart from this, we made four very unusual calendars, from the one inspired by the fashions of Dragana Ognjenović, through the calendar that covers 15 months of the Jewish New Year dedicated to imagination and creativity, to the calendar that combined the virtuoso movement of modern ballet and Airport City façades...

fashioned method from 1851 called the Collodion wet plate process. When using this technique the negative plate is exposed in a large format wooden camera (in this case an English Underwood camera from 1890). The entire process is done manually using a number of chemicals that are usually applied on glass, metal or some other material. The entire process of photographing, developing and fixing has to be done in 10 minutes while the plate is still wet – this is why the process is called the Collodion wet plate technique. The process itself is fairly expensive and delicate, but the challenge of presenting a modern business complex such as ACB with this antique technique was a huge motivator. This is how Rhapsody in ACB, the calendar for 2017 featuring musical instruments, was created.

■ How many copies will be ■ Could you tell us a bit more printed? about the concept of the ACB - This is a small circulation, 2,000 calendar? copies intended for our busi- At the moment there are about ness partners. It is not intended 100 companies in Airport City and for commercial purposes and, in our traditional table calendar is our a way, this is our creative outlet gift to them. We all love photograwhen once a year we dotsomephy as artistic expression and we thing that is not directly related to wanted to find someone who will At the moment there are about our daily work. Every year we choose keep up with us and understand 100 companies in Airport a theme that at first glance does our sensibility, but also contribute not have much to do with business, with their own ideas. We were very City and our traditional table such as fashion in black and white fortunate to start our cooperation a calendar is our gift to them photographs, imagination, ecology, long time ago in 2005 with Miodrag and now a traditional photographic Trajković who takes the credit for all technique inspired by a virtuoso per■ For 2017 you decided to go a differthe amazing photographs of Airport City formance – musical instruments on our ent way? you have seen so far. After all these years Avenue. Seemingly incompatible but - This is not a Photoshop effect. The of experimenting with photography, findactually quite harmonious... ■ photographs were made using an olding inspiration in aerial photos, springJANUARY



| 37




“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later.” — RICHARD BRANSON, Entrepreneur BULGARIA


Over 16 Million Tourists in 2016

At the end of the year and still an influx of Christmas tourist expected, Croatia has set a new record for tourists in a year. In the first 11 months of 2016 Croatia recorded 16.6 million tourists, which was 10% more than in the same period last year, or 1.5 million tourists, the Croatian Tourist Board (CTB) announced.

Overnight stays, which measures the number of tourist nights in the country, grew even more in 2016. 90.7 million overnight stays were recorded in the first 11 months, 14% or 11.5 million more than 2015, according to data from eVisitor and eCrew. November has been a particularly successful month with 278,000 tourist arrivals, which is growth of 21% from November 2015. Overnight stays in the same month this year were up by 33%. Most tourists in 2016 came from Germany, Slovenia, UK, Poland and Austria.


Autoliv to Open Plant in Bacau County Swedish–American Autoliv, the largest automotive-safety parts company in the world, chose Onesti City (eastern Romania) to open a factory of seat belts and steering wheels. Stockholm- based Autoliv is the eighth largest exporter in the local economy, with five factories in Transilvania and Banat. Autoliv employs over 9200 staff in Romania where it also operates one of its three Regional Centers (the other two being located in China and Mexico). Autoliv officials stressed its confidence in Romania’s potential for economic growth and its decision to further develop its operations in Romania.

Sofia’s Property Prices up by €100 Prices of real estate property in Sofia have gone up by €100 per sq/m since the beginning of the year until October, announced Polina Stoykova, Executive Director of Bulgarian Properties.

According to data of, prices of real estate have increased to €900 per sq/m in the third quarter, compared to €800 per sq/m in the beginning of the year. With respect to new construction, average prices vacillate around €1000 per sq/m, while these are about €80-100 lower on the secondary market. “Decisions to buy a home are taken more and more quickly due to the insufficient quality of supply,” stated Stoykova. According to her, there has been 10% growth in the number of deals over the period.




French Le Belier Further Investment French automotive industry supplier Le Belier will invest an accumulated HUF 10 billion (€31.7million) in three of its Hungarian plants, for which the Hungarian government is providing a €7 million grant, Tibor Skobrak, financial director of Le Belier for Central Europe said. Through the investment the three plants in Ajka, Szolnok and Hohács will see a total of 350 jobs created, of which approximately 40% will be for engineers or people with tertiary education. The cash injection, which will focus on improving the company’s infrastructure, building a production hall and purchasing molding machines, should be wound up by 2018. Currently the company employs a total of 1,236 employees in Hungary and expects €170 million in revenue this year. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said Le Belier is investing in order to fill a big order for BMW.

38 |



When it comes to job satisfaction, financial rewards may be lower on the list than most people think. Many of the following recommendations may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many managers neglect to follow them

1. Clearly define your vision 2. Give employees what they want and need 3. Communicate well and often 4. Get everyone engaged 5. Coach for success, and practice random acts of kindness 6. Act fairly, respect, and create trust 7. Trust and verify, but also try to make work fun 8. Give special attention to high-potential employees 9. Be creative to avoid downsizing 10. Implement incentive programs



“The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

Among worldwide social-media users, 2.4 hours is the average amount of time spent on social-media activities each day.

— MARK ZUCKERBERG, founder, Facebook KOSOVO

Commercial Sector Leads in Kosovo Kosovo’s Agency for Statistics (ASK) has published the Results of the Structure of Enterprises Survey for 2015. According to the results of this survey, the largest number of businesses belongs to trade with 16 920 enterprises or 50,6%, processing industry with 4 528 enterprises or 13.5%, hotel and catering sector with 3 713 businesses or 11.1% and other businesses with 3201 subjects or 9.6%.

Meanwhile, the number of employees and self employed, including owners of individual businesses is 155 135, out of which, commerce employs 55 768 people or 35.9 of the total number of employees while processing industry employs 23 651 people or 15.2%. Meanwhile, average salary is around €350.  Source:


Dita Tuzla Goes on Sale in Early 2017?

Broadstone Defense CEO DENNIS PRATTE


Broadstone Defence to Open Plant in Southern Macedonia American ammunition company Broadstone Defence is planning to launch five production halls, an administrative building and a storing section on a 10-hectare area near Makedonski Brod in central Macedonia, investing around $5 million and creating 200 new jobs. The project is expected to be completed in late May 2017 with the production process being planned for July 2017. Speaking at opening ceremony, Defence Minister Zoran Jolevski said Broadstone Defence would transfer state-of-the-art technology in the small Macedonian town, from where the US army and NATO members would be provided with ammunition and personal defence weapons. The American company has picked Macedonia due to its excellent geo-strategic location and favourable business climate, according to Broadstone Defence CEO Dennis Pratte.

Dita Tuzla was almost shut down, but today the company operates positively, they employ 75 workers and is expecting to go on sale next year. “Complete facilities are put into operation and the production was started in all segments, both liquid and powder detergents,” said Almir Bajric, Head of the Economic and Financial Sector of Dita. He added that the sale of Dita’s products is in continuity, which allowed this company in bankruptcy to cover all the costs and work positively. Dita managed to align production system with international standards ISSO 9001: 2008, and after the main audit by a reputable certification company from Germany TUF Nord, received a certificate. The production system also meets all standards related to the protection of environment, and has a water and environmental permit issued by the relevant ministries.


Nexans Autoelectric to Open Plant in Korça German company Nexans Autoelectric will open its first Albania plant to develop cabling systems for leading car manufacturers. The plant scheduled to be built in Korça, southeastern Albania, is expected to create 1,000 jobs. “The Korça Mayor has successfully finalized its long-term deal with Nexans company working for Mercedes, Volkswagen, GM etc.,” said deputy Prime Minister Niko Peleshi Nexans autoelectric develops and produces cabling systems and electromechanical components for leading automotive and system manufacturers worldwide. The company employs about 9,500 people at 23 locations around the world. JANUARY



| 39

CORPORATE DEJAN BOGUNOVIĆ MD, Arriva Litas doo, Požarevac

Transport Solutions to European Standards Arriva, a part of Deutsche Bahn (German Railways), is responsible for growth and development of the DB regional passenger transport outside Germany ■ Arriva provides public transport services in Belgrade and Niš, and regional and international transport and bus rental in Požarevac. What international destinations do you offer? Do you perform other business activities apart from passenger ■ The company’s operation is based transport? on liberalisation of the European - Arriva has been present in Serbia since transport market. How do these 2013, when we purchased the companies benefits work in Serbia? Veolia Transport Litas and Veolia Transport - The freedom to provide services is a Luv. With the change of ownership came basic principle of the common transa change of company name from Veolia to “ARRIVA LITAS D.O.O. POZAREVAC.” The port policy and allows carriers from change of ownership didn’t affect busiall EU countries access to international n the global market Arriva operates transport markets without discrimination with 19,500 buses, 715 trains, 220 ness operations in Serbia therefore Arriva on the grounds of nationality or place of trams, 474 ambulances and 19 waterhas continued to build on the strategy, establishment. I hope that future Serbian business goals and obligations that were buses. In Serbia, Arriva Litas d.o.o. policy will be largely based on the 2011 already defined and has maintained the Požarevac deals with road passenger White Paper, covering 40 initiatives de70-year-old tradition of Litas Požarevac. transport through scheduled, unschedOur main operation is road passenger uled and contracted services. signed to generate growth and jobs, reduce transport performed through scheduled dependence on imported oil and cut the and unscheduled transport and bus ■ Arriva is one of the biggest transport rental. Scheduled transport includes companies in Europe with 1.5 billion Arriva provides transport urban, suburban, intercity and interpassengers per year. How is your solutions for local and national national transport. Arriva provides company organised and what means institutions and European of transport do you use most? urban transport services in Požarevac, - Arriva is one of the biggest road Belgrade, Nis and recently in Kragujeexperience in transport transport operators in Europe, with vac. Apart from that, intercity transservices, and creates over 60,000 employees in 14 countries. port is provided daily from any town in innovative systems to connect Braničevo County to Belgrade. In accorIt provides 2.2 billion journeys per year people and communities through urban, suburban, regional dance with its business development and international passenger transport policy, Arriva has recently opened two providing transport solutions for local and new routes from Belgrade to Zlatibor and sector’s carbon emissions by 60% by 2050. national institutions. Arriva has unrivalled Novi Sad. International passenger transIt is a long road in front of all of us in Serbia pan-European passenger transport experito reach these standards but Arriva will be port is carried out on the routes Požarevachere to help public bodies to adjust Serbian Vienna and Belgrade-Linz through Slovenia, ence and creates innovative systems to legislation to EU directives. Battle against which makes it a three-state route. connect people and communities. Arriva grey economy lead by the Serbian governArriva travel agencies also operate in Serworks as a team. We want our passengers to be satisfied with our top quality services ment will significantly improve compliance bia, with representative offices in Belgrade, but we also care about the community and with EU standards in the near future. Požarevac and Veliko Gradište.■ the environment and we are focused on continuous improvement and development of the company. These values are at the very heart of Arriva and make us unique.


40 |




Boosting Competitiveness to Create Hundreds of New Jobs Coupled with lower production costs and energy savings, Hellenic Sugar is on route to achieving sustainable development that will create conditions for new jobs and ensure higher revenue, more exports and a more significant contribution to the overall development of agriculture in Serbia


sugar and the amount of sugar that the Sombor – with the goal of achieving a Hellenic Sugar Industry Serbian sugar industry produces, the production level far beyond 10 tonnes is a regional group of conclusion is that there is a lot of room of sugar per hectare of land, which is companies from Greece for further development. comparable to the best performances and Serbia that owns This industry stands firmly on its in Europe. sugar factories in Crvenka and Žabalj. own feet and neither relies on any subThe aim of this project is to increase The Group now undoubtedly has the sidies nor receives any privileges. Apart both the yield and quality of sugar beet, potential to become one of the Balkans’ from completely covering demand on and to boost the competitiveness of the biggest sugar producers and suppliers. the domestic market, it also exports Our long history, accumulated experience, knowhow and skills This industry stands firmly on substantial quantities of sugar to provide Hellenic Sugar with enough its own feet and neither relies the EU and CEFTA countries. Sugar is the second biggest export comcourage to look to the future with on any subsidies nor receives modity after maize and a hectare of optimism and to plan our further any privileges. Apart from sugar beet accounts for much higher development. export than a hectare of cereals, During last year’s sugar beet completely covering demand campaign, Hellenic Sugar decided on the domestic market, it also which means that sugar has a much higher added value. to work on covering more land with exports substantial quantities In order to set off for this sugar beet plantations. The comof sugar to the EU and journey, we need to constantly and pany also increased the base purrapidly boost our competitiveness. chase price of sugar beet, involving CEFTA countries There is a lot of space for us to imscientific institutions in the process prove the yields and digestion, reduce Serbian sugar industry with the end reand investing in production facilities, the cost per tonne of sugar beet and sult of an increase in revenue for sugar in the hope that all of these efforts will simultaneously increase revenues and beet farmers. Another goal is to provide yield results. profits per hectare, which will create professional advice to sugar beet farmTo this aim, the company launched a hundreds of new jobs and ensure higher ers on how to increase sugar beet yields rather ambitious long-term project – in revenues, more exports and a more per hectare and to improve the quality cooperation with scientific institutions, significant contribution to the overall and quantity of yields. the agriculture faculties in Belgrade and development of agriculture in Serbia.■ Considering regional demand for Novi Sad, and the agricultural school in JANUARY



| 41




“The global trading regime must respond to the needs and priorities of developing nations. Global value chains must provide a playing field.”— NARENDRA MODI, Prime Minister of India CHINA


Start-up Boom Continues

The Stockholm start-up scene continues to go from strength to strength, with a record amount being invested in the city’s technology companies by international investors so far this year. During the first six months of 2016, more money

was invested in Stockholm-based start-ups than during all of 2015, which also was a record year. A total of $1.2 billion was invested between January and June this year, dwarfing the $892 million that was invested during the whole of 2015. At the same time, the number of investments swelled, from 90 in 2015 to 111 so far this year. The biggest difference in this year’s investments is the focus on healthcare and wellness start-ups. Media, ecommerce, recruitment, and sales and marketing startups also closed new investment rounds. Significant investments were also made by GV, the venture capital arm of Alphabet formerly known as Google Ventures, Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and Accel. The record investment is yet another sign that Stockholm has become the startup capital of Europe.


Debts to State Keep Growing Expired debts to the state keep growing by the month due to taxpayers’ inability to meet their obligations. In October taxpayers left taxes of €1 billion unpaid, while unpaid taxes amounted to €10 billion by the end of that month. Add to that debts to the state from previous years and the sum soars to €92.2 billion. In the first 10 months of the year the authorities conducted 108,000 confiscations of bank deposits and other assets, which means more than 10,000 each month.

The Most Important Growth Driver of The Global Auto Industry

China will continue to be the most important growth driver of the global auto industry in 2017 as it is this year, while new-energy vehicles and smart connected cars are set to become hot in the next decade in the domestic market, a report said. Sales in China’s auto market are likely to jump 14 per cent year on year in 2016, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted in the report. Last year, new-energy vehicle sales in China tripled that of the previous year to 330,000 units to top other markets globally. As subsidies are set to continue, the annual assembly of new-energy vehicles may exceed 1.85 million units by 2022, or up 28 per cent annually on average between 2015 and 2022, according to PwC.


Boeing Inks $16.6bln Deal With Iran Air


Turkish Airlines Increases Passenger Numbers

Turkish Airlines increased its total number of passengers by 3 per cent in the January-November 2016 period compared to the same period last year. The number of passengers carried reached 58.3 million, from 56.6 million in the same period of 2015. The increases in passengers carried in domestic and international lines were 4.3 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively. International-to-international transfer passengers also increased by 14.9 per cent in the first 11 months of the year compared to the same period of 2015. The rise comes despite a tough year for Turkey’s tourism sector, which has been roiled by domestic and international political troubles. The number of domestic destinations increased from 48 to 49 and the number of international destinations increased from 232 to 243. 42 |



Iran’s national carrier Iran Air and Boeing have finalised their $16.6 billion deal for the sale of 80 aircraft to the Islamic Republic’s airlines, paving the way for Iran Air to sign its $25 billion deal to buy 118 jets from Airbus. The signing of the Boeing contract marks the first multibillion-dollar contract with a US company since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Airbus and Tehran have also reached a provisional agreement on the sale of 118 aircraft, worth an estimated $25bn at list prices. Airbus and Boeing gained clearance from US authorities in September for their aircraft deals. Iran Air is expected to pay both Boeing and Airbus significantly less than the catalogue prices, however, as aircraft sales are often substantially discounted based on the volume ordered and on delivery dates.

CORPORATE MIRKO BUTULIJA, President of the Auto-moto Association of Serbia

Reliability And Tradition This year AMS Osiguranje, Insurance company has maintained its high market position demonstrating once again that it belongs among Serbia’s leading insurance companies. AMSS has at the same time proved itself a reliable partner of drivers, especially those with disabilities dio road traffic news. However, some individuals have recently been making false representations introducing MS Osiguranje, Insurance themselves as our partners and miscompany has had another leading both our members and our successful year. We talked partner associations’ members from to Mirko Butulija, President abroad who were driving through of the Auto-moto Association of Serour country. We have warned about bia (AMSS), about its future business this problem repeatedly. In cooperaplans and activities. tion with the German club ADAC we have taken comprehensive action to ■ What are your expectations remove bogus towing services from for 2017? the Serbian roads. Hopefully, our - The biggest asset of AMS OsiguHopefully, our government will government will understand the ranje, Insurance company is its severity of the problem and take extensive sales network, which will understand the severity of the help increase the number of insurproblem and take the necessary the necessary measures to curb fraudulent activities on our main ance policies sold next year. action to curb fraudulent roads and to protect drivers. We are committed to developing activities on our main roads various types of property insur■ The AMSS has an excellent ance and have now been sucand to protect drivers international reputation. How cessfully realising them for two does this help the development of ■ A story about bogus towing years. We have designed insurance motorsport in Serbia? services on our roads has recently plans with affordable premiums and - The AMSS has indeed a great reputacaused quite a stir. What can you introduced online shopping for home tion with international organisations tell us about it? insurance on our website. We want to such as the International Automobile - The AMSS is a member of the Incontinue investing in quality services Federation (FIA), the International ternational Automobile Federation and products and expand our sales Motorcycling Federation (FIM) ‒ (FIA) and it is the only internationally network while following European whose member we have been since its recognised motoring organisation business trends. establishment, ARC Europe – a market that provides roadside assistance in leader, standard setter and service Serbia. We offer various services to ■ The Centre for Motor Vehicles provider, and the European Road Asour members, including free towing founded by AMSS has carried out a sessment Programme (EuroRAP). We and vehicle repair at the roadside. number of projects to increase road share the vision of progress with our Throughout the year we provide free traffic safety. Can you tell us more international partners and direct our road traffic information to the milabout it? resources towards meeting internalions of citizens who dial our phone - The AMSS CMV is a unique laboratotional standards. ■ number 1987 or tune into our TV or rary that provides motor vehicle testing


and attestation services. We have also established the AMSS CMV Center for Driving Assessment and Training the only one of its kind in the Balkans. The Centre is intended for all drivers but it will be particularly useful for those with disabilities, as it will provide assistance with proper vehicle adaptation. This will improve the inclusion of people with disabilities in road traffic and improve general road safety in Serbia.




| 43

CORPORATE SVETLANA STOJŠIĆ, Regional manager of WIFI (Wirtschaftsförderungsinstitut) - Institute for Economic Promotion of the Austrian Economic Chambers

New Times, New Skills WIFI’s aim is to consolidate and promote competitive and international partnerships through innovative and efficient training


ustrian companies are increasingly investing in their own competitiveness with Marketing & Sales and technical expertise their top concerns. ■ Austria is known for its effective education system. What in your view are the main points of this system? - WIFI offers innovative and effective training for businesses of all sizes, to help them succeed. As the working world changes, so must the world of education. Education is thus the key to success. People today need active problem-solving skills, they need to think entrepreneurially and act innovatively. This is why lifelong learning is my particular interest. To stay on the ball, learning has to be fun. We achieve this with vibrant and sustainable learning methods that encourage people to develop knowledge itself. ■ What is the largest target group of business people that you work with? - We focus on executives, top management, project managers and their international strategies.

44 |



We live in a networked business world. To organise and run a business and make it sustainable, managers need ‘hard’ and ‘soft ‘ management techniques. Our management training courses offer practical orientation instead of dull theory, project work rather than pure memorisation. Our training experts come from top management positions in Austrian companies or are established consultants and lecturers. Young entrepreneurs especially need management skills to cope with their new responsibilities. The WIFI Contractor Academy offers continuous education and has an offer for all levels of knowledge.

Young entrepreneurs especially need management skills to cope with their new responsibilities WIFI International is also involved in carrying out international educational projects in North Africa, Asia and the Middle-East. It offers added value for the Austrian economy, especially in the field of dual training in cooperation with AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT AUSTRIA. ■ Where did the name WIFI come from, and what benefits do you offer world markets? - The name WIFI should be taken literally: the economy is powered by WIFI

with know-how that is relevant in practice. All Austrian companies and those in the CEE countries, CIS and Asia benefit because: • WIFI serves as a platform and knowledge broker - in the fields of advertising, public relations, internet, new educational products, technologies and innovation, • WIFI operates as an international interface - for knowledge transfer, international programs and new training concepts, • WIFI reacts to the demands of SME partners - whether in management and innovation issues, or issues of corporate governance, • WIFI personal certificates are transparent and reliable qualifications that attest clearly defined competencies and skills. They are renewed at regular intervals through recertification, • WIFI Recognised economic qualifications in the form of personal certificates are important indicators for actually acquired skills. The holder can perform competently according to national and internationally recognized market practice. Customers can rely on secure qualifications. The WIFI certification body is accredited by the Austrian Ministry of Economy and has certified more than 13,000 people, • Skilled workers - A sticking point for economies to function can often be the availability of skilled professionals. ■



Look to The Future The company “OVEN Elektro Maribor” specialises in generating electricity from renewable energy sources, but also in sales of electric bicycles, self-balancing scooters, IR heating panels and other forms of using and promoting renewable energy sources


lub Oven, which was founded by “OVEN Elektro Maribor”, is a project that brings together people who are interested in innovative solutions and the promotion of renewable energy sources, e-mobility, healthy lifestyle, green jobs, environmental protection, ecotourism, recycling etc.

inform the public about our key activities and current products. The third level is the Modri Salon (Blue salon), which is essentially an exhibition, sales and information centre at the heart of Maribor, where buyers and visitors can receive information about e-mobility and can also try out and buy some models of electric vehicles. We also occasionally publish promotional articles, especially in the print media. In 2017, the Klub Oven project will be radically changed and upgraded. The chosen event locations will be situated in more regularly frequented locations, with more potential buyers present. The contents will be more promotionally orientated and attractive.

smart vehicles, which will have their own autonomous electricity production source (hydrogen). The ecological awareness of people is at an enviably high level, but the problem mainly lies in the fact that all electric vehicles are still too expensive for the general population, despite state subsidies. Given the development itself, and largescale serial production, there is hope that electric vehicles of all kinds will be financially more accessible to a large circle of people in the near future.

■ What is the target group for your e-mobility products and what are their comparative advantages? ■ “OVEN Elektro Maribor” exerts great ef- Our electric bicycle and self-balancing forts in promoting its mission of highlightscooter are mainly intended for recreation ing the necessity of renewable energy and fun. However, they both also offer sources, energy efficiency and environthe possibility of traffic relief in cities The electric bicycle can be mental protection in the region. How and have no harmful emissions, which used by all generations and is consequently impacts on environmental do you do it? - Our company mainly promotes renewvery convenient for various city protection goals. able sources of energy efficiency and The scooter is mainly intended for public services environmental protection through the youngsters and will enable them to learn Klub Oven project, which comprises three about electrical mobility and develop levels. The first level covers monthly events their motor skills and core stability. ■ Electric vehicles are certainly coming in in interesting locations in the city of Maribor The electric bicycle can be used by all genthe near future. To what extent is the enerations and is very convenient for various vironmental awareness of citizens in our and the surrounding region, on the topic of city public services (security guards, mail region at the level where these innovarenewable energy sources, e-mobility, healthy carriers, police officers etc.). It is a high pertions are accepted? lifestyles, green workplaces, environmental formance Slovenian bicycle that can even - Electric vehicles are, of course, the big future protection, eco-tourism, recycling and other in establishing sustainable mobility. Neverconquer longer distances and demanding topics. Different guests from these fields are theless, we need to consider the challenge of paths. invited to present a certain good practice and subsequently higher demands for electrical Our activities, thus, will focus in particular their products. energy and therefore more investments, eson promoting sales of these two products The second level of promotion encompasses social networks. pecially in classical energy production sources and raising people’s awareness of the adThese are mostly Facebook and Twitter, vantages of this kind of more fun electrical and also, where possible, in renewable elecwhere we follow current news and events in mobility, as well as environmentally and tricity production sources. The development people-friendly products. ■ the field of energetics on a daily basis and of the vehicles themselves is moving towards JANUARY



| 45


Advanced Programme in Business Executive education programme for top managers. Challenge yourself with leading professors from harvard and stanford!


lobal research shows that top managers spend less than one per cent of their time on strategic thinking and challenging themselves and their company. Combined with the fact that strategic decision-makers directly influence a company’s future and its development, this puts things in a different perspective.

others. The professors that lecture at APB have published some of the most cited papers in the world and are editors of top journals. Thus, APB professors influence the past and the future of their respective disciplines. Apart from their academic achievements, they are also strategy consultants to some of the biggest global companies, like Google, Apple, Facebook, Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, 3M, Cialis and many more.

INNOVATON, STRATEGY, MARKETING & SALES, HR MANAGEMENT & FINANCE In these five areas, the world’s top professors will provide strategic perspectives on the key issues and challenges confronting top managers and their companies. Given that today’s complex environment calls for multifaceted leaders with a holistic business perspective on areas that drive their companies’ performances, APB is a crucial platform that enables knowledge creation and instantaneous implementation.

MEANINGFUL NETWORKING WITH This programme’s world-class LIKEMINDED TOP EXECUTIVES With lectures that are not designed faculty members will provide to be ex-cathedra, but rather to include CEE managers not only with lively debate, presentations, case studan overview of the current ies and teamwork to solve contemporary business problems, participants state of knowledge in each engage in meaningful networking that discipline, but also insight results in business proposals, cooperainto key trends that are the tion and partnerships with top managmost likely to shape future ers of regional companies. Diversity of industries allows for the inflow of competitive landscapes different perspectives and knowledge This programme’s world-class faculty from participants, which enables top manmembers will provide CEE managers not agers to explore opportunities and find only with an overview of the current state solutions that lie beyond their company of knowledge in each discipline, but also and areas of knowhow. insight into key trends that are the most APB LECTURERS – CONSULTANTS FOR Challenge yourself and your company, likely to shape future competitive landGOOGLE, FACEBOOK, APPLE… focus on strategic thinking and explore APB lecturers are world-leading pronew opportunities outside of your comscapes. As such, participants have the chance to interact with world-renowned fessors from the best business schools fort zones. ▪ professors and thought leaders: the auaround the globe, such as HARVARD, STANFORD, DUKE, YALE, THE LONDON thors of ideas that have redefined modern The programme begins in April 2017. Find BUSINESS SCHOOL, WHARTON and many management practices. out more and apply now at CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO AND YOUR OWN WAY OF THINKING That is why the Advanced Programme in Business was created. This education programme enables top executives from the CEE region to gain access to the latest global trends and research, to break away from daily routines and to focus on strategic perspectives, in order to challenge themselves, their company and their thinking. The goal is to challenge the status quo and question industry dogmas in order to create new value for a company and explore opportunities beyond that.

46 |






| 47

CORPORATE FERRY AGENT - Experts in Road Haulage to & From The UK

Small Team, Big Jobs Ferry Agent is a logistics company that specialises in road freight transport to and from the United Kingdom. It has been a success from the start range of institutions and support many humanitarian actions as part of our Corporate Social responsibility Programme.


fter years of work on the challenging British freight market, Ferry Agent is now among the leaders, maintaining international standards and procedures and broadening its product range and portfolio of distinguished clients. We pick up your goods from anywhere in the UK at 24 hours’ notice. The procedure couldn’t be simpler: just call Ferry Agent and place an order. Ferry Agent also offers warehousing for all types of goods, with customs clearance. The cargo is cleared by a registered customs agent within 24 hours of its arrival in Belgrade. These are the benefits of doing business with Ferry Agent: EXPERIENCE: Ferry Agent has been providing logistics services for over 10 years, organising international transport on the UK market. TEAM: A small, efficient team that operates like a family business. Our annual turnover is € 7,000,000 and counting what all prove our hard work and commitment. RESPONSIBILITY: Responsibility towards the client is the company’s guiding light, and a long-established mission. 48 |



INSURANCE: We are one of the few companies to provide All-Risk coverage in addition to the mandatory CMR insurance for the cargo we carry, for your additional security. DESTINATIONS: We provide the most rapid transport of goods from Serbia and other Balkan countries to the UK and vice versa.

The procedure couldn’t be simpler: just call Ferry Agent and place an order STANDARDS: Ferry Agent is a member of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce who have awarded us the Excellent Small & Medium Enterprise Certificate. We make donations to a wide

LOGISTICS: Our main warehouse is in East London where we rapidly consolidate orders and group cargos from all over the UK to distribute them to their destinations in the Balkans. Thanks to our excellent transit times your goods will arrive where you need them, quickly and at an affordable price. We specialise in express deliveries – your goods can reach their destination within 48-72 hours. Thanks to our commitment and professionalism we transport over 50 % of all goods from the UK. Our top-quality services and responsibility make us a serious player in the trade between Serbia and Great Britain. Our distinguished clients include: Carlsberg, AIR Serbia, Alltech, Agena Tehnology, The English Book, Hafele, Roma Company and many other renowned companies that do business in the UK. ■ Olge Alkalaj 10, 11050 Belgrade Tel: +381 11 2880-193/+381 11 3476-833 Email:


Communication – Business and Academic Challenge I’m a workaholic and a hedonist. I’m not sure if this thin line separating my professional and private lives even exists anymore, because I got some of my best business ideas while playing with my daughter, travelling or socialising with friends

TAMARA VLASTELICA Communications Professor at the Belgrade Faculty of Organisational Sciences and Consultant at Victoria Group


n the other hand, some business successes and satisfaction have become part of my personality, while the people with whom I have worked have become my closest friends. I love to learn. That’s also why I chose a profession in which you have to learn something new every single day, and I am glad I have the chance for someone to learn from me. For the last twelve years I have been lecturing at the Department of Marketing and Public Relations at the Faculty of Organisational Sciences. When learning from books was not enough for me, I got engaged in real business challenges. And I’ve learned a lot, something in a more difficult way and something more easily. I was Head of Marketing and Communications at Deloitte, Corporate Affairs Manager at Coca-Cola HBC, a member of the Management Board of the Public Relations Society of Serbia, Corporate Communications Consultant at Victoria Group, a Communications Expert for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, as well as a consultant for numerous corporate clients and international organisations. I like to read. And I also like to write. My experience, as well as my master’s and

doctoral research, I published in five books on communications, that I hope will be useful for future generations of professional communicators. Three key moments determined my professional development. At the age of just 20, I started working as a producer for foreign media companies ARD, WDR, The Guardian, Televisione Swizzera-Italiana and others. Producing a documentary reportage in Serbia for foreign journalists during the time when the country was under embargo raised my long-term resistance to work stress and redefined the term “hard and in-

My experience, as well as my master’s and doctoral research, I published in books on communications: “Media Strategy – Publicity and Advertising”, “Corporate Reputation and Social Responsibility” and “Examples of Good Public Relations Practices” tensive work”. Then I realised that I want to deal with communications, to create news, to produce information at the right time and in the right place. The following year I enrolled in the Belgrade Open School, which – in line with its mission – opened up new horizons for an entire generation after the darkness of the ‘90s and taught us to weigh and evaluate our successes in relation to European and world standards. Finally,

in 2006, while attending the programme “Corporate Responsibility and Global Business” at the London Business School, I was introduced to, and still remain interested in to this day, the additional dimension of business – corporate social responsibility. Communications remained the great challenge of my academic and professional career. Only when chapters on “Strategic communication planning” from books on marketing and public relations become your real responsibility in terms of developing, presenting and implementing the business plan of the company where you work; when “Stakeholders” become organisations and individuals with whom you communicate on a daily basis and whose expectations you manage; when the “Media relations” means meetings with editors, losing sleep because of a bad article, successful and less successful media appearances, monitoring clippings and ratings; when “internal communication” means you should relate good or bad news to all employees, to motivate them to fulfil the vision and mission of the organisation and to do so in accordance with “Corporate values”; when “Crisis communication” is unavoidable because crises feed the media and the public, and when you try in a few hours, or even minutes, to gather and place accurate and relevant information... I truly believe that it is only then that you can stand before students in a lecture hall and talk to them about marketing and corporate communications, and for them to come back to you years later and tell you how successful they are in what they do.  JANUARY



| 49

FACES & PLACES 30.11.2016

Romanian National Day

Ambassador Popa welcomes Serbian Defence Minister ZORAN ĐORĐEVIĆ

Romanian Ambassador H.E. Dr Oana-Cristina Popa and the Romanian Embassy to Serbia organised a formal reception at Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel to mark Romanian National Day. This country’s national day commemorates the date of 1st December 1918, when Romania achieved national unification. Speaking on this occasion, Ambassador Popa said that bilateral relations between Belgrade and Bucharest are growing each year and that the Romanian national minority in Serbia and Serbs in Romania represent the foundation for advancing cooperation. The reception was attended by Serbian Government representatives, members of the diplomatic corps and the Romanian community in Serbia, as well as business leaders, public figures and representatives of religious communities. 01.12.2016


New Greek ambassador Organises New Year’s Gathering with Media Representatives

UAE National Day The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Belgrade marked the country’s 45th National Day with a reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Emirates Charge d’Affaires, Ibrahim Ali Al Darmaki, noted that this date has great national importance for the UAE as it marks the creation of the UAE, the foundations of which were laid by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brothers, the rulers of the emirates, on 2nd December 1971. “The Emirates are interested in investing in Serbia, especially in the fields of construction, agriculture, industry, health tourism and military-economic cooperation,” said Ibrahim Ali Al Darmaki. In addition to a large number of business leaders, the reception was attended by senior representatives of the Serbian Government, members of the diplomatic corps, culture and public workers, as well as business partners.

H.E. ELIAS ELIADIS, Greek Ambassador to Serbia

IBRAHIM ALI AL DARMAKI (right) and representatives of the embassy

50 |



H.E. Elias Eliadis, the newly accredited Greek Ambassador to Serbia, hosted a gathering for media representatives at the Greek Ambassadorial Residence in Belgrade. Alongside embassy staff, the cocktail reception was attended by representatives of media and media agencies in Serbia, who celebrated the upcoming arrival of the festive season in an informal and friendly atmosphere.


Korean National Day Commemorated


The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Belgrade organised a reception at Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Korea. The reception was hosted by Kichang Park, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Serbia, who noted that this year has seen a series of exchanges of highlevel delegations between the two countries, while some tangible agreements have also been reached during 2016, particularly in the areas of cultural and economic exchanges. The reception also included the presenting of H.E. Dae Jong Yoo, the new ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Serbia, who should soon submit his accreditation to Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić.


AHK Christmas Party The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, AHK Serbia, organised its traditional Christmas celebration at club Fabrika, in order to celebrate the successful completion of another business year together with its member companies, associates and friends. A welcome speech was delivered by Ronald Seeliger, AHK Serbia President and CEO of Hemofarm, who also presented a short retrospective of everything done by the Chamber in the past year, with a special emphasis on the year’s central event – the establishment of the first bilateral chamber of commerce in Serbia – AHK Serbia. This occasion was also used to hand over a cheque in the amount of 133.300 dinars to Vesna Lekić, representative of the Foundation SOS Children’s Village – Kraljevo, from funds collected during this year’s AHK Oktoberfest.

AHK President RONALD SEELIGER hands over a cheque to VESNA LEKIĆ, of the Foundation SOS Children’s Village – Kraljevo 07.12.2016

Slovenian Business Club Holds New Year’s Reception The traditional New Year’s reception of the Slovenian Business Club began this year with the wonderful sounds of the “Felix Art” string quartet, which comprises young music professors, while Sladjana Adamović Ilić, leader and founder of company Media Skills, opened the official part of the reception at Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. Wishing guests a warm welcome, SBC President Danijela Fišakov thanked all attendees who honoured the club with their presence, adding: “Confirming that it’s nice for others with us is the fact that the Slovenian Business Club has recorded growth in its membership for the third consecutive year. We are especially pleased that we are also being contacted by our old members, who wish to join us again.” The event also provided an opportunity to present the new logo that will be used by the SloDANIJELA FIŠAKOV, President of venian Business Club in the future. the Slovenian Business Club JANUARY



| 51

FACES & PLACES 08.12.2016

“Russian Activity on The Territory of Serbia Within The Framework of Supporting Cocio-Economic Development”

H.E. ALEXANDER CHEPURIN, Russian Ambassador to Serbia

Russian companies in Serbia and representatives of Serbian state institutions and departments presented for the first time the complete picture of the contribution of the Russian Federation to the development of the Serbian economy during recent years, as well as prospects for the implementation of further joint projects. The seminar was opened by H.E. Russian Ambassador to Serbia Aleksandar Chepurin and Andrei Khripunov, Russian Economic Representative in Serbia. Speaking about the results of the activities of their institutions were Sergey Krupp, representative of the Russian Federal Agency Rossotrudnichestvo, Bojan Glamočlija, co-director of the RussianSerbian humanitarian centre, Evgeny Metelev, Director of the directorate of the largest Russian-Serbian oil company, “NIS” AD, Mansurbek Sultanov, Deputy Director of RŽD International, and Igor Katikov, director of ICL, one of the oldest Russian IT companies. Steliana Nedera, Deputy Head of the UNDP in Serbia, presented the donation target of Russia in the amount of $1.5 million for the development of agriculture and Serbia’s rural areas.


83rd Birthday of Japanese Emperor Akihito Celebrated The Embassy of Japan in Belgrade and H.E. Ambassador Juichi Takahara hosted a reception to commemorate the 83rd birthday of reigning Japanese Emperor Akihito. “I am impressed by the hospitality and natural beauty of Serbia during my travels to various parts of the country, and now I am even more determined to strengthen our cooperation, support for economic and social development, as well as for Serbia’s European integration, and to advance exchanges in many fields with the aim of creating better mutual understanding between our two peoples,” said Ambassador Takahara, toasting the friendship between the two nations. The reception was attended by the highest representatives of the diplomatic corps and the political, business, cultural and public life of Serbia. Emperor Akihito came to the throne in 1989 and is the 125th consecutive emperor according to the traditional hereditary system. The period of Emperor Akihito’s reign is called the Heisei period.


Canadian Christmas Reception H.E. Canadian Ambassador Philip Pinnington jointly hosted a Christmas reception at the Canadian Ambassadorial Residence together with CANSEE, the Canadian-Serbian Business H.E. Canadian Ambassador PHILIP PINNINGTON, CANSEE President ALEKSANDAR OBRENOVIC Association. Ambassador Pinnington and CANSEE Managing Director MIRJANA DONCIC-BEATON attended the reception on crutches, after having recently broken his leg. Alongside distinguished guests and representatives of CANSEE members, partners and potential members, the reception’s guests also included representatives of the diplomatic corps, Serbian political and economic leaders, as well as personalities from Serbia’s public and cultural life. The celebration marked the end of a successful year of operations for CANSEE in Serbia and the start of preparations for the celebration of 150th anniversary of the Constitution of Canada in 2017.

52 |




St. Lucia With a Diplomatic Chef And A Buffet The Embassy of Sweden in Belgrade celebrated the traditional Swedish holiday of St. Lucy’s Day at Mikser House and presented the book ”Swedish Culinary Diplomacy”, edited by the long-time chef of the Embassy of Sweden in Belgrade, Lars Ekberg. “When we understand one another, appreciate and reciprocally respect customs, traditions and holidays, then we strengthen the links between our two countries. I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about Serbia through holidays, customs and traditions,” said H.E. Swedish Ambassador Jan Lundin. St. Lucia’s Day, or St. Lucy’s Day, is celebrated in Sweden when the nights are at their darkest and the winter is at its coldest, with the holiday representing light during the long winter nights. The promotion of this book also marks the start of the celebration of 100 years of diplomatic relations between Serbia and Sweden, with a series of H.E. Ambassador JAN LUNDIN and Mrs LUNDIN activities to take place during 2017. 13.12.2016


Formal Opening of The Renovated Building of the Embassy of Turkey

Christmas Reception at The Embassy Of Croatia

The renovated building of the Turkish Embassy in Belgrade’s Krunska Street was officially opened with a ceremony attended by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz, Turkey’s newly appointed ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Tanju Bilgiç, Deputy Speaking of the Serbian National Assembly, Zoran Marinković, and numerous other guests from the cultural and public life of Serbia, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps. “I am proud that Turkey is represented in this way, and this also demonstrated the importance that Turkey attaches to Serbia,” said Yildiz. “Serbia is a very important country for the stability of the Balkans and the stability of the region is linked to relations between Serbia and Turkey,” noted Ambassador Bilgiç. The renovation of the building of the Turkish Embassy in Belgrade began in 2014 and it now covers an area of 4,200m2.



H.E Croatian Ambassador to Serbia Gordan Markotić hosted a Christmas reception at his ambassadorial residence in Belgrade. “Last year was filled with challenges, starting from Brexit, the migrant crisis, elections in many countries... I hope 2017 will bring prosperity and to that end I wish everyone a happy Christmas and New Year holidays,” said Ambassador Markotić. The evening’s friendly and unconventional atmosphere was enjoyed by Croatian Embassy staff members, representatives of Croatian companies in Serbia, as well as friends and representatives of cultural and public life.

AHMET YILDIZ, Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey




| 53


Kanda, Kodža i Nebojša 1 – Mikser House – 21.00 For the twelfth consecutive year, KKN is launching the new concert year with a performance in Belgrade, as always on the very first night. This tradition began with a concert at the Pazi škola Club on the first night of 2006 and continued in the following years at Akademija, Gun Club and the club Peron. It is also being extended on 1st January 2017, when Kanda,

Kodža i Nebojša will perform at Mikser House, the venue where they held one of their biggest ever concerts in March 2016. Kanda, Kodža i Nebojša have existed since 1991 and have to date recorded seven albums and one DVD edition (Prekid stvarnosti (Break in reality)). During a 25-year career the band has left an indelible mark on the local rock culture, while testifying to their quality is the fact that KKN is one of the few bands whose concerts are always attended by new young people who join the band’s army of admirers and fans each year.

The Barber of Seville 4 – National Theatre – 19.30 Rossini’s The Barber of Seville is perhaps the most famous ‘opera buffa’- an informal style of comic opera developed to appeal to the lower

Yuga, my Yuga-Gastarbeiter stories Throughout January until Mid-May - Museum of Yugoslav History

classes in the early 18th century. An adaptation of Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais’ play Le Barbier de Séville, it forms part of the dramatic trilogy that also inspired Mozart to produce Le nozze di Figaro. Rosina is confined to the house by her guardian, Bartolo. He wants to block all potential suitors so he can have her, and her inheritance, for himself. Wealthy Count Almaviva falls in love with Rosina, but he is consistently thwarted in his attempts to see her by Bartolo. Almaviva asks Figaro, a cunning barber in Siviglia, to help him. What follows is a whirlwind story of love, power, wealth and superb comedy.

Regional Children’s Philharmonic New Year Concert “Winter Musical Magic” 12 - Sava Centre - 20:00 Following the great success of the performance of the Children’s Philharmonic in front of more than 10,000 spectators at the 2016 summer concert in Belgrade’s Tašmajdan Park, another great concert is set to follow – “Winter Musical Magic” – the New Year concert of the Regional Children’s Philharmonic, which will take place on Thursday 12th January at the Sava Centre. The Children’s Philharmonic and Foundation “Deca deci” (Children for Children) invite you

Magical window displays - Space for dreaming Throughout January until 8th February – Institut Français If you haven’t done so already, take a walk to 31 Knez Mihailova Street, where the French Institute has enriched its windows for the eighth time with its now traditional Magical window displays. Institut Français and Crédit Agricole Serbia Bank invite you to a fantastical journey through the window displays of Institut français, which will shine thanks to the work of two French-Korean Artists: Min Jisook and Taegon Kim, whose creative projects merge nature,

54 |



travel, imagination and dreams, in short, everything implied by the festive seaon. This year’s project is being led by FrenchSerbia custodian Julija Rajačić. The project was implemented with the support of Crédit Agricole Serbia and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Serbia. With her installations that connect objects, images, sound and light, Min Jisook invites the audience to share moments that are not sufficiently obvious at first glance. Her favourite materials are intangible (water, air, scents) and lead us to explore lost moments. Her work offers us the opportunity to reflect on the dreams and fantasies that form part of our normal lives. Designer Taegon Kim expresses his emotions through light installations. He uses optic fibres and LED lightbulbs to create mysterious objects usually based on items of clothing. The intention of the artist is to prompt the viewer to imagine that they are “turning into a person who we love”.

The Exhibition Yuga, my Yuga-Gastarbeiter stories is about Yugoslav temporary workers in Germany and Austria. It forms part of a broader research project connected to two important anniversaries: 50 years of the Agreement on Hiring Workers with Austria, signed in 1966, and with Germany, signed in 1968. Leaders of the expert team of the Juga, my Juga exhibition are: Aleksandra Momčilović Jovanović and Tatomir Toroman, curators, anthropologistsethnologists (Museum of Yugoslav History) and Ljubomir Bratić, political philosopher and activist (Vienna). The project’s associates include Vladimir Ivanović, historian (Berlin), Rudiger Rosig, sociologist and journalist (Berlin), Vesna Đokić, historian (Archives of Yugoslavia), Boris Kralj, artist and photographer (Berlin) and Marija Dragišić, ethnologist (Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments). attend the Sava Centre concert, which will have a repertoire adapted to the youngest audience, with the programme including, in addition to the classical repertoire, recognisable tunes from cartoons and film classics in which, as always, audience members of all ages will be able to participate and enjoy. The conductor at this concert will be renowned Serbian artist and educator, and founder of the Camerata Serbica Orchestra and Lola classic, Ljubiša Jovanović. As of January 2017, the Regional Children’s Philharmonic New Year concert will become traditional and symbolic, representing a musical gift to Belgraders for the start of another successful and happy year, hopefully filled with as much music as possible. With this concert, the Children’s Philharmonic and Foundation “Deca deci” launch the year-long celebration of the tenth anniversary of their establishment, for which they announce a rich programme and the project “Year of Music”. All music lovers are invited to join the young virtuosos of the Children’s Philharmonic and Foundation “Deca deci” in starting 2017 in the best way, with winter and musical magic.

This is the first time on the local museum scene, through the exhibition Yuga, my Yuga - Gastarbeiter stories that this topic has been addressed, and it is being done in an effort to highlight this segment of the more or less negated history of those people who were stereotyped and whose role in the cultural and economic development of Yugoslavia was disputed. The museum interpretation was preceded by field and archival research, while numerous temporary workers in Austria and Germany facilitated the understanding of the complexity of this phenomenon by sharing their own memories and significant items.

Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra 13,20,27 – Kolarac Foundation – 20:00

13th January Conductor: Cristian Mandeal Programme: A. Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 20th January Conductor: Daniel Raiskin Soloist: Akiko Suwanai, violin Programme: W.A. Mozart: Symphony No. 32 W. Walton: Concerto for violin and orchestra J. Brahms: Symphony No. 1 27th January Conductor: Alexander Vedernikov Soloist: Lise de la Salle, piano Programme: G. Verdi: The Force of Destiny - Overture F. Chopin: concerto for piano and orchestra No.2 in f minor S. Prokofiev: Cinderella, excerpts

Ana Popović 14 - Mikser House – 21:00 Following her legendary concert in January 2014 that was sold out in advance and the repeat performance for the opening of Mikser

Festival in June 2015, famous blues guitarist Ana Popović will once again delight the home crowd with an unforgettable performance at Mikser House on 14th January. Ana, one of the most renowned world blues musicians, arrives in Belgrade straight from Los Angeles, where she has lived and worked for the past few years. It was from the Serbian capital that she embarked on a musical journey that would take her via the Netherlands and as far away as Memphis, the world capital of the blues.

The only European ever to be nominated for the title of Debutant of the Year within the WC Handy Awards, the Oscars for the blues, she was also the only female guitarist to be included in the 2014 all-star tour “Experience Hendrix”. Ana has received numerous nominations and won many awards in Europe and America, while she has also performed with various music legends, such as Solomon Burke and B. B. King, and has for years been the face of Fender, the world’s largest manufacturer of guitars. This time Ana will present to the Belgrade audience her latest and most ambitious project to date “Trilogy”, which will see her release three albums in one!

Traditional New Year’s Eve Gala Concert 13 – National Theatre – 20:00 Each year on 13th January the National Theatre in Belgrade hosts its traditional New Year’s Eve gala concert. The gala concert of the National Theatre’s soloists, orchestra and choir brings much joy to the audience. This year they will once again perform popular arias, duets and choral performances


17 – Instituto Cervantes – 19:00 “Medianeras” (Walls) is a film by Argentinian director Gustavo Taretto. In order to show alienation in personal relationships in an interesting way, this Argentine used the metaphor of the walls of large skyscrapers in Buenos Aires, with the homes inside popularly referred to by residents as shoe boxes, due to the small space. In this film the director decided to resolve the crisis being experienced by both characters in a positive manner. This is a story about the search for love and the problem of alienation in the modern age. In Buenos Aires, a city of three million people, two young people spend their time locked away in their own apartments. Martin is a web designer who does not leave the house unless it is absolutely essential. Mariana is an architect who has not produced anything since graduation, except a couple of scale models. After ending a four-year relationship, she returns to her apartment and begins working as a

Viet Thanh Nguyen 1499 rsd

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Sympathizer is the story of a captain, a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America and then returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story.

decorator of shop windows in a boutique. Mariana has a room full of unpacked boxes, dolls from boutiques and a personality disorder. The end of a loving relationship can be ranked among her losses. The lives of Martin and Mariana progress simultaneously, without them knowing of the existence of each other. The Belgrade screening is being organised by Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Argentina in Belgrade.

The Voice of Yunnan

from the rich oeuvre of the world’s greatest composers - Georges Bizet, Giuseppe Verdi, Gaetano Donizetti, Giacomo Puccini, Mozart, Francesco Cilea, Richard Wagner, Franz Lehár, Pietro Mascagni et al... The repertoire will cover excerpts from the operas “Carmen”, “Othello”, “Un Ballo in Maschera”, “Lucia di Lammermoor”, “Manon Lescaut”, “The Magic Flute”, “Adriana Lecouvreur”, “Tristan and Isolde”, “Cavalleria Rusticana” etc.

60 years of the Cultural Centre of Belgrade 26 - Assembly of the City of Belgrade - 20:00 A series of concerts is being organised in the Ceremonial Hall of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade to mark the jubilee 60th anniversary of the founding of the Cultural Centre of Belgrade. Once a month, in the special atmosphere of the Old Palace, musicians who have significant cooperation with the CCB will perform. The cycle begins with the concert of the Anime Piano quintet on Thursday 26th January at 20.00. The Anime String Quartet, which comprises violinists Dušica Mladenović and Mina Mladenović, violist Marina Popović and cellist Teodora


Medianeras (Walls)

Nikolić, will be joined especially for this concert by pianist Tea Andrijić. The concert will see this quintet perform piano concertos by J. Brahms and G. Mahler.

22 – Sava Centre – 20:00 Chinese music boasts a history dating back several thousand years. The province of Yunnan is noted for its very high degree of ethnic diversity and among all of China’s provinces it has the largest number of ethnic groups (of China’s 56 recognised ethnic groups, 25 are located in the province of Yunnan).

THE WOMAN WHO WALKED IN SUNSHINE Alexander McCall Smith 1499 rsd

Mma Ramotswe is not one to sit about. Her busy life as the proprietress of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency gives her little time for relaxation, but Mma Ramotswe finds it impossible to resist the temptation to interfere with the agency’s cases. This leads her to delve into the past of a man whose reputation has been called into question, and also to an orphan named Samuel. Meanwhile, Violet Sephotho, Mma Makutsi’s arch-enemy, has had the temerity to set up a new secretarial college - one that aims to rival that great institution, the Botswana Secretarial College. Will she get her comeuppance?

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD - PARTS ONE AND TWO (Special Rehearsal Edition) J. K. Rowling 1999 rsd

‘The Voice of Yunnan’ was founded by famous Chinese soprano Jin Xiaofeng, while its musical director is famous Chinese composer Zou Hang. In order to best present the ethno songs and folk art of Yunnan Province’s ethnic groups, the creative team of ‘The Voice of Yunnan’ has spent a lot of time researching and collecting the folk songs and original stories of the people of Yunnan. The variety of musical forms presented at the concert – from pop to world music – is derived from the original ethnic music of the minority groups of Yunnan Province. ‘The Voice of Yunnan’ represents ethnic minorities with the nationalities Han, Dai, Yi, Wa, Bulang, Jingpo, Naxi, Tibetan and Achang. Apart from performing at Belgrade’s Sava Centre, these Chinese artists will also stage concerts at the Novi Sad Synagogue, on 21st January, and at the National Theatre in Niš, on 24th January.

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later. It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son, Albus, must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted.

THE MOUNTAIN SHADOW Gregory David Roberts 1399 rsd Shantaram introduced millions of readers to a cast of unforgettable characters through Lin, an Australian fugitive, working as a passport forger for a branch of the Bombay mafia. In The Mountain Shadow, the long-awaited sequel, Lin must find his way in a Bombay run by a different generation of mafia dons, playing by a different set of rules. JANUARY



| 55

Creative Heart





There is no ordinary working day at Mikser House. A rehearsal for a punk concert takes place at the same time as business meetings, and just a night after the premiere of Mikser’s own theatrical production, the space is being rearranged for some lecture or weekend festival. There are programmes here 365-days-a-year


he goal is to develop both Mikser House and Miksalište towards the model of a cultural integration centre,” says Maja Lalić Mikser House has existed on the culture map of Belgrade since 2013, as a unique venue for culture that has become the epicentre of the Savamala creative district. The most prominent art centre in Belgrade, as it was recently presented by The Guardian, Mikser House is a true mixture of various activities that connect people of diverse interests. It is dynamic to live in the Mikser rhythm, says Maja Lalić, Creative Director of Mikser House, recalling how it all began: 56 |



“Four years ago it seemed that the greatest and only challenge was to launch an independent culture centre and make it sustainable. Stepping in a continuous cycle of daily scheduled activities and production was a very bold move, especially in our current economic and social context, but also a necessary step towards opening a physical and mental space that blurs the barriers within the polarised elite cultural ecosystem, with the goal of emancipating the audience, but also culture workers. We did that with great sacrifice and enthusiasm, never dreaming that life and work in Savamala would see us confronted by far more serious tasks, beyond the reach of cultural activities, as we then believed.”

After just a few months, Mikser House became the meeting point for Savamala residents, local artists and world experts in the field of participatory urban practices. The goal was to highlight among the general public and city officials the necessity of including citizens in planning the future development of Savamala. Lalić adds that it was equally important to advertise the specific authentic ambience and cultural values of this city quarter. Savamala is today recognised as a neighbourhood of creativity, active cultural life and entertainment in Belgrade, Serbia and the region, but also as one of neighbourly solidarity.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMANITARIAN WORK According to our interlocutor, the summer of 2015 brought a global moral dilemma to Mikser House’s doorstep – whether to skip the mass of refugees on the way to work or to look back on the mothers and children torn from their homes and give them a helping hand.

Mikser House is developing a strategy for integrating the humanitarian work that they have experienced with refugees into other spheres of culture activity

“There was no dilemma at all. We built the Refugee Aid Miksalište in Mostarska Street, with the help of thousands of solidly united volunteers and citizens, as well as twenty local and international organisations. The turbulent history of the first centre for helping refugees from the Middle East in Savamala chronicled, in just a year and a half, the transformation of an abandoned warehouse into one of the most humane shelters for refugees in the region, its demolition within 48 hours, and the raising of a new Miksalište at 15 Gavrila Principa Street. Those experiences changed our perspectives.” Changes are yet to come. Lalić says that Mikser House is developing a strategy for integrating the humanitarian work that they have

Platform for young designers

experienced with refugees into other spheres of culture activity. “The goal is to develop both Mikser House and Miksalište towards the model of a cultural integration centre that adapts to the needs of the local community and today provides a response to the refugee

Young Balkan Designers (YBD) is a regional talent platform dedicated to identifying, promoting and developing the creative potential of the Balkans in the field of conceptual and product design. The two-year programme consists of a regional design competition, an international touring exhibition of the winning projects and a series of residency workshops and practical training courses around the region, tailored by the final three winners of the project, in cooperation with the leading regional design manufacturers. As a result of the evolution of the project, two regional partner organisations are joining Mikser to co-organise and manage the YBD project, creating a cooperation network among equal partners: the Croatian Design Association, Public Room from Macedonia and the Mikser Organisation from Serbia. The greatest success of the YBD platform to date has been raising public awareness of the need for cooperation between rich local talent and manufacturers. The most recent examples and concrete results of this campaign are projects of design residences during which winners of the Young Balkan Designers competition participated in the development of prototypes for companies Metalac, Prostoria, Regeneracija, Spin Valis, Dizajn DN, Urum, We and Nature. The development of this platform for young designers and increasing awareness of the problems of the sector at the regional level led to the formation of the Balkan Design Network. This regional network aims to articulate and provide strategic support to the development of Balkan design, and to promotion within the region, Europe and at the international level. As Maja Lalić told CorD, next year will be dedicated to deepening cooperation with regional manufacturers – through a special edition of the regional YBD competition. The point is to seek solutions to the specific needs of manufacturers and present the winning solutions at one of the largest international festivals of design in Cologne in early 2018.




| 57

crisis, and which in the future will enable the inclusion of various vulnerable social groups in the process of exchanging knowledge and skills in the field of creative work and social entrepreneurship, using the valuable experience we have gained through the struggle to ensure the survival and sustainability of Mikser House.” So far, Mikser House has found a sustainable model by promoting quality commercial activities that are not its primary content.

top creators - thanks to now long-standing cooperation with the embassies of the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Italy and Belgium. These friendships open new doors to Mikser in the international arena – through the positive personal experiences and recommendations of our previous guests, thanks to which we are gaining increasing international visibility.” Audience development represents a necessity for any modern cultural institution. Diversity is again the key word. The Mikser House team is trying to bring different creative fields closer to a very wide range of people, with a particular emphasis on members of the younger generation and the local community, which consists of a mix of people with very different interests and education. “We don’t keep the “holy grail” of culture as an exclusive right of the intellectual elite. This is a certain freedom that the provincial culture scene does not forgive easily, but you need to have it if you are truly committed to changes in society and the emancipation of every member of the audience.” The struggle for a new, better audience is a process and a major challenge, especially in the context of the model of culture predominantly represented in the Serbian media. As such, Mikser House pays great attention to building its own channels of communication and fostering a large creative community gathered around Mikser. Social media represent the main chanThe team carefully chooses which nel to do that today. events to host. Some of them include The reputation and marked impact Representatives of the the Balkan Cheese Festival, Mikser that Mikser House has on the local international community in Kids Market, Business Café etc. Supcreative scene represents an inspiraport to innovative practices repreSerbia have supported Mikser tion and a successful model for other players in independent culture, such as sents the main objective and by leasHouse from the very Dorćol Platz or different spaces in Ceting out this inspiring conceptual space beginning to third parties they are conveying a injska Street. “I believe that is exactly certain message. the point that good ideas are transmitted, developed, connected and give birth to something new, in STRONG SUPPORT FROM THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY line with the challenges of the new era. Lately, I often hear similar Representatives of the international community in Serbia comparisons with Mikser House and I see that as some kind of evihave supported Mikser House from the very beginning. As Lalić dence that young people from Belgrade needed us. This hunger for explains: creating, learning and developing is still unfulfilled.” “Despite the lack of institutional support from the relevant inMaja strongly believes that a mature attitude towards the “competition” significantly determines the survival of initiatives in stitutions responsible for culture in the country, Mikser has been culture, especially if one has aspires to be a catalyst for a humane, recognised by the international community in Serbia as a stratesustainable social environment. This is certainly an incentive for gic partner for cooperation. The projects are very different. They further development of the Mikser platform, as Belgrade and Serrange from vital support to Miksalište, through projects in cooperation with the Norwegian Embassy or the Embassy of Switzerbia obviously need a lot of different culture centres or spaces that will provide a “first chance” for young creatives. ■ land, to cultural exchange programmes and hosting the world’s

58 |



Luxury Real Estate Guide


We’ve Got the Wheel of Development Turning JOVANKA ATANACKOVIĆ Assistant Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure


favourable legislative environment and efficient administration have significantly accelerated the issuance of building permits and are attracting investors who undertake high-end construction. The government does not only focus on luxury building, but also on providing affordable housing for the most vulnerable groups of citizens, says Jovanka Atanacković, Assistant Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure. • To what extent is Serbia today an attractive location for constructing luxury commercial and residential buildings? - The biggest commercial and residential project in Serbia and the region is certainly the Belgrade Waterfront, a joint project of the Serbian Government and the United Arab Emirates. As the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Construc-

2 |


The government has done everything to encourage construction and make Serbia more attractive for investors. The results are visible, both in terms of the number of issued permits and in the volume of work on big and small private projects tion, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlović reiterates, this government wants to leave a legacy for future generations. This project will be a symbol of our country and a driving force of growth. The plan is to build over a million square metres of residential buildings, some 750,000

Belgrade Waterfront, a joint project of the Serbian Government and the United Arab Emirates, will be a symbol of our country, a driving force of growth and a legacy for future generations square metres of commercial buildings, nurseries, schools, cultural institutions, green spaces, etc. Other big projects are the construction of Airport City, site of the old Belgrade airport, and the construction of a residential complex where the Federal Ministry of the Interior used to be. Some smaller high-end residen-

tial and commercial development projects have been completed by private investors in response to the market demands. The role of the government is to encourage construction and make Serbia a more attractive destination for investors by cutting waiting times for building permits. We have adopted a law on planning and construction and introduced the electronic issuance of building permits so that investors now only have to wait about a week for their permits. In some municipalities permits have been issued in a day or two. On average, though, the shortest waiting times are in Čačak, Vranje and Sombor, where the procedure takes three days. It is no wonder that since 1st January, when the law entered into force, we have been breaking records in the issuance of building permits from one month to the next. For example, 1,377 building permits were issued in September, which is nearly 30 per

cent more than in September 2015 and the best result since 2007, when the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia started monitoring the data. The projected value of works is six per cent higher. The greatest construction activity was recorded in Belgrade, in September, and then in the South Bačka region. • What are your expectations when it comes to investment in exclusive building construction? - As the standard of living starts rising, the demand for this type of construction will start to increase too. Serbia is on the right track. This year our gross domestic product will increase by around three per cent, instead of the projected 1.8

Many properties were built by Serbian companies in compliance with the EU standards. This is the best proof that there is an increasing number of Serbian companies that comply with the highest standards in the industry per cent, and it will probably be even higher next year. The unemployment rate in the third quarter of this year has dropped to 13.8% compared to 24.6% in 2012. These are all indicators of economic recovery, which is the first condition for this type of construction. However, it should be pointed out that the government does not only focus on this type of construction but

also on public housing. We do very much care about our underprivileged citizens. • Does Serbia recognise new standards in construction? How much have foreign investors risen the bar here? - Serbia applies the high standards of construction, some of which are on the same level as those applied in the European Union. • Are Serbian companies ready to comply with those standards? - Judging by the quality of work and furnishings, many properties on the Serbian market conform to EU standards and many of them have been built by Serbian firms. This is the best evidence that there is an increasing number of Serbian

 Your real estate. Our business.

We are providing a wide range of services to our clients: • Residential sales and lease • Market Research • Office and commercial sales and lease • Property valuation • Development projects • Consulting and Marketing

Dositejeva 1a ,Belgrade Serbia T:+381 11 2626 021 M:+381 65 8828 000 +381 65 8828 004 LUXURY REAL ESTATE GUIDE

| 3

companies that comply with the industry's highest standards. • Are developers in Serbia interested in smart construction and are you considering encouraging it? - Construction companies in Serbia are becoming increasingly aware of smart building, primarily of how

much they can save by using smart systems. One of the first steps in the introduction of smart systems was to improve the long-neglected energy efficiency sector. However, there has been a lot of interest in this area and a lot has been done. Energy saving and environmental protection are among the priorities in architecture, especially in residential building. The law on planning and construction prescribes that from now on all new builds will have to have energy passports with information on the energy properties of the building. So far, we have issued 1,275 energy passports. The Housing and Building Maintenance Bill, which is currently being presented in the Serbian Assembly by Deputy Prime Minister Mihajlović, for the first time sets out energy efficiency as a public interest. This will help us better understand the need to

4 |


improve this area and housing quality. • To what extent has energy efficiency become a broadly adopted standard? - To the extent that it is not possible to build a new building or restore an old one without it having an energy passport. The law on planning and

it is important that we continue to raise awareness of the importance of reducing energy consumption so that our citizens understand that all these measures are in their best interest construction prescribes it. This is the first time that a Serbian law has introduced an institute aimed at improving energy efficiency. In addition, the Central Register of Energy Passports (CREP) has been established, and we plan to support local governments. The National Typology of Residential Buildings has been completed, defining the structure and typology of buildings and system characteristics to increase the efficiency as

much as it is currently possible. The new law has created conditions for the application of energy efficiency measures in construction and introduced a method we can use to calculate how energy efficient a building is. Serbia is meeting its obligations under the agreement with the European Energy Community by training and licencing engineers that specialise in energy efficiency in buildings, issuing decisions on applications for energy passports and producing the National Typology of Residential Buildings (project TABULA). Of course, in addition to legislation, it is important that we continue to raise awareness of the importance of reducing energy consumption so that our citizens understand that all these measures are in their best interest. • Are you satisfied with how health and safety standards are complied with on building sites? - Compared to the period before the situation is improving but we still cannot be happy with the health and safety situation on construction sites. We can never be completely satisfied with the achieved level of safety because, unfortunately, most injuries and fatalities are caused because health and safety rules are not complied with. In this respect, in cooperation with the inspectorate responsible for occupational health and safety with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, we will do our best to improve this area further through legislation and more frequent inspections. Since the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure understands the gravity of the problem, one of the criteria for getting a construction company on a black list or a white list is occupational health and safety.■


| 5

CORPORATE TIJANA OBRADOVIĆ, Founder and Partner, Stefial d.o.o.

Quality Has

No Alternative

With its residential and commercial buildings Maison Royale has reached the highest standards of metropolises worldwide and enriched Belgrade with beautiful, efficient buildings in the most prestigious sites in town


he founders of Maison Royale have brought years of international experience to Serbia, proving that quality, design, functionality and a prestigious location have no alternative when it comes to luxury residential and commercial building. These are some of the reasons why Maison Royale buildings are exclusive and recognisable at first glance. • Maison Royale builds luxury residential and commercial buildings in Belgrade. On what criteria and standards do you base such a demanding concept? - Maison Royale is a lifestyle created in response to our clients’ high standards. It is based on our

6 |


impeccable knowledge of the luxury real estate market and commitment to the quality and aesthetics of the living space. Our apartments are built and furnished luxuriously without compromising on functionality. Everything has to be high-spec, from the location to the design, materials and contractors. When we build in Belgrade we draw on our vast international experience. What sets us apart are our large surface apartments where we combine the look of traditional stylish city apartments with the latest technologies and furnishings. We make sure that our clients feel safe and comfortable in our buildings.

Our clients have high standards: they expect premium locations, exquisite buildings, all mod cons, privacy and security We maintain the trust earned over seventeen years of doing successful business with integrity and discretion, communicating directly with our buyers. We believe that good communication is the best way to reach the common goal –

complete satisfaction with the result achieved. • In the world’s largest cities the location of the property is often more important than its square footage. What is your experience? Which locations do you usually consider before starting a project? - To us, location is an absolute priority. A project, and everything else, hinges on whether we have found an ideal location. We don’t compromise on location any more than we do on functionality. We build in Vračar, Dorćol and in the city centre. We also build in Dedinje and we are likely to build in Senjak. Wherever in Belgrade we build we choose premium locations and often the most expensive ones. • What is your target market and are you planning any projects for 2017? - Our clients have high standards: they expect premium locations, exquisite buildings, all mod cons, privacy and security. Next year we are starting a new residential and commercial building in the heart of Vračar. Another one will be in the very centre of Belgrade. There are other ideas and plans but we are in no hurry. ■


| 7

CORPORATE VLADIMIR ŠOJIĆ, Sales and marketing director, Galens Invest

Expertise in the Service of Quality Galens is run by young and ambitious professionals who, with the help of a carefully selected network of various experts, build structures in the most attractive locations


alens is a company that is increasingly spoken about when it comes to attractive projects, flexible contracting options, prime locations and high-quality, innovative materials. The company also received the 2015 Business Partner national award. • There is a lot of talk about Galens Invest’s Pupin’s Palace – not only in Novi Sad, but also further afield, because this a unique residential and commercial complex built in accordance with the latest European standards. How much is this investment worth and how has its financing been achieved? - Projected investments in Pupin‘s Palace exceed more than €30 million. Financing for this exclusive commercial and residential complex was secured via the project financing of UniCredit Bank, which recognised our vision of building this kind of facility in the very centre of the city and confirmed the seriousness, solvency and efficiency of Galens Invest on the real estate market. • Despite being under construction as a “smart building”, with a lot of modern software and applications, Pupin’s Palace blends into the centre of Novi Sad’s old town excellently. What contents do you plan to install and what target group of buyers and tenants do you have in mind?

8 |


- The projected contents are planned to be incorporated on the basis of the needs of future tenants in the best location at the heart of Novi Sad, as well as those of clients who will buy/lease business premises that have been designed as the first Class A open space offices, in accordance with appropriate LEED standards, which implies the application of all modern construction systems and the installation of materials according to the highest international standards in construction. The project has been recognised by relevant Serbian companies from the sectors of the economy, various representative offices, banking, insurance

For the IT sector we have envisaged in particular the exclusive application and installation of fibre optic cables, a predicted server room space, the possibility of personalising workspaces for employees in their company and especially the IT sector, which have submitted requests to lease and purchase this office space, which is ideal for companies with quiet activities. For the IT sector we have envisaged in particular the exclusive application and installation of fibre optic cables, a predicted server room space, the possibility of personalising work-

spaces for employees in their company, as well as the most advanced VRF system of central heating, cooling and ventilation of the premises. Simply maintaining such a business system as this will be a challenge in itself, and we have envisaged serious facility management that will be at the service of those in commercial and residential areas, taking care of every detail, as well as three layers of security for all tenants and users of Pupin’s Palace. • When do you expect the first tenants will be able to move in and what benefits can they expect? - We have predicted the completion of this project, according to working dynamics, for the end of 2018. The new tenants of the complex, either the residential or the commercial part, will have all benefits in terms of being resident and doing business in the very centre of the city, in close proximity to all administrative, civil, cultural and sports facilities, as well as the benefits of not having to worry about parking, which is provided on three underground levels covering the entire surface area of the complex. An investment in commercial or residential space in this building is a sound investment in itself, and we are certain that potential buyers and tenants will recognise the potential of this project. ▪


| 9


Young Company,


Possibilities Novaston offers a wide range of professional services in the field of commercial real estate, from support in the development of projects and Property and Facility Management, to intermediary services in the sale and issuance of real estate and property value appraisals


espite being a relatively young company, Novaston succeeded in creating its own market space in a short period of time, which is based on professional people, a high quality service, the complete monitoring of the flow of investments, timely responses and global standards and procedures.

• You have an enviable portfolio of companies, funds and investors with whom you work on the real estate market in Serbia. After several years of depression, how wold you now evaluate this market in Serbia and the region? - Even though the countries in the region are often perceived as one market, it is important to stress that countries in the region are at different levels of development. Serbia is now finally at the level where the market is open enough to attract foreign investors and new brands. There are still significant obstacles

10 |


and challenges (purchasing power is still low, property relations, legislation still needs improvement), so knowing all of the market factors is essential for the successful realisation of projects. In comparison with developed countries, Serbia offers a relatively high return on investments in the real estate sector, and that is what brings higher interest among foreign investors. • What specifically can investors interested in investing in real estate in Serbia expect from “Novaston Asset Management”?

We offer both foreign and domestic investors a comprehensive platform for the development and management of commercial real estate, which connects the best world standards in this area with deep knowledge of the local market

- We offer both foreign and domestic investors a comprehensive platform for the development and management of commercial real estate, which connects the best world standards in this area with deep knowledge of the local market. That means that investors can, in one place, receive good, high quality support in all phases of the “life” of their investment. From the very concept of the project, which needs to be adjusted to local conditions and requirements, through construction project management and space leasing services, all the way to managing the final project. Working together, our teams form a synergy and enable our clients to get a quality product that is ready to respond to all market challenges from the start. • What have your results been like this year and what are your plans for the period ahead? - We are very satisfied with what we accomplished in the previous

in the process of conversion is enabled can we expect investments to grow significantly, because that will enable the development of some investments that are dependent on this process, along with the entrance of new investors – those who still don’t want to invest in land that is in the process of conversion. • In Serbia you are developing the extremely popular global concept of a network of retail parks, places for gathering, shopping and entertainment. How does this system operate in Serbia? - We work with our clients on the development of retail parks, but also period. Novaston is a relatively small company, but we managed to gain a unique position in the market, precisely because of the services we offer to our clients. Through the year we helped or client IMMOFINANZ to open two very successful STOP SHOP projects in Niš and Valjevo, and we will continue with new projects in the coming year. We continued our cooperation with Vivo Shopping Park – a very attractive project in Jagodina. Alongside the NEPI investment fund, we participate in some of the biggest acquisitions in Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria. We have open cooperation with one of the biggest consulting firms in the world – Cushman & Wakefield, which rely on us in covering the local market. We also consider cooperation with banks, which hold a huge number of real estate properties in their portfolios, as being of great importance. Throughout the year we developed a professional marketing team, which enables us to also offer this type of service to our clients. We are satisfied with our company’s growth dynamics, but we are primarily focusing on continual improvement of the quality of our services. • Serbia probably made one of the biggest breakthroughs in the eco-

nomic reform process precisely in the area of regulating planning and construction. How has this shift impacted on increasing interest in investing in Serbia and, in your opinion, what else has yet to be regulated in this sector? - The shifts that have been made are really important, but the majority of the work is still ahead of us. Legislation for obtaining permits has been improved greatly, but it is still necessary to improve the use of new legislation at the local level. The main obstacle is still property laws, especially as they relate to the problem of land conversion and the problem of restitution. Only when certainty

Novaston is a relatively young company, but we have managed to gain a unique market position, precisely because of the services we offer our clients shopping malls. The concept choice is conditioned by the needs of the local market (local population, purchasing power). Shopping malls are more suitable for larger cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš, while somewhat smaller cities require a different approach. The retail park concept is taken from other markets, but it is significantly improved and adjusted in Serbia, so its contents and offers do not deviate much from shopping malls, which are a more complicated product. We have recognised that people from small cities also want a complete experience and not just a place to shop. That is why our projects are intended and realised so that they contain not just shopping options, but also entertainment, restaurants and cafés. We have organised marketing events and try to give our customers all the services that they can usually find in shopping malls, although here that is under the open sky. ■ LUXURY REAL ESTATE GUIDE

| 11

Bulevar Kneza Aleksandra RENT Karađorđevića Street, Belgrade FOR

• Semi-detached house • Ground floor + floor • Total floor area of 250 m2 • Living room connected to the kitchen and dining area • Three bedrooms (one with en-suite bathroom) • Two bathrooms • Guest toilet • Two parking spaces in garage

Contact us and find out how we go the extra mile

Belgrade Office: Hyatt Regency Belgrade, Milentija Popovića 5, Belgrade 11070, SERBIA t: +381 11 301 1161 e:

Generala SALE Nikodija Stefanovića TO LET Street, Belgrade FOR

• Penthouse • Total floor area is 220m2 • Living room with dining room and kitchen • Three bedrooms • Three bathrooms


Full Focus on the Client

Expats, members of the diplomatic corps, corporate clients and the like trust our team's professional expertise when choosing the perfect family home or modern business property


e spoke with Ljiljana and Srđan Teodosijević of Best Real Estate about the Serbian real estate market and the range of services available to their clients. • How would you describe Best Real Estate and what are the main characteristics of your method of doing business? - We are what our name says: BEST REAL ESTATE. Best Real Estate encompasses both the local business expertise of real estate professionals and the skills of each of our team members. Understanding our customers’ individual needs is at the heart of everything we do. When it comes to doing business, our mantra is “focus fully on the client.”

14 |


• How would you define Best Real Estate´s target market? - Our business caters to a discerning clientele, who place great emphasis on the highest of standards when choosing a property to rent or buy. Expats, members of the diplomatic corps, corporate clients and the like trust our team´s professional expertise when choosing a property, be they seeking the perfect family home or a modern business building to reflect their corporate image. • How does your portfolio compare to that of your competitors? - Our portfolio has grown along with our clients, by listening closely to their needs and suggestions. We work with property owners and investors on every aspect of their property strategies and assist them in developing, buying, selling, leasing, evaluating and managing their properties. Our real estate listing comprises a wide range of properties located in attractive parts of Belgrade, all built according to the highest standards.

We provide best in class brokerage services to all those seeking to rent or buy real estate in Serbia This tailor-made approach has enabled us to include among our portfolio such esteemed clients as embassies, members of the diplomatic corps, various project-based experts implementing governmental or company projects, multinational corporate offices, middle- and sen-

ior-management expatriates et all. • Which services do you offer your clients? - Whether they are looking to invest, buy, sell, lease, evaluate or manage property, we are here for them. • residential and commercial real estate brokerage, mediation in leasing and sales processes, legal assistance following the confirmation of the Transaction Agreement, tax procedures, procedures in public companies; • real estate advisory services for developing and controlling property rentals, advice on the sale and purchase process, property analysis when leasing or buying property; • consultancy and support for new projects; • property and evaluating advisory services with certified property evaluations for various uses, legal advice, due diligence reports; • property and facility management services. • On the basis of your expertise, what do you think will be the major trends in supply and demand for the market in 2017? - In 2017, we will witness a further stabilisation of the market in terms of the supply and demand ratio, as well as in terms of sale and lease prices. With large projects coming to completion in 2017, the supply of quality properties will be on the rise, while further stabilisation of the country’s economy will continue to influence the real estate market´s recovery trend. ▪


| 15

Phone: +381 11 3622 637 +381 65 200 4003

Feel Belgrade travel is an incoming travel agency working through its own travel portal, which offers you a wide selection of services making your stay in Belgrade perfect. The Feel Belgrade team consists of highly educated professionals with more than 12 years' experience in tourism. Our mission and goal is to provide the best possible service to our clients and guests.

The primary activity of the Feel Belgrade travel agency is working in incoming tourism by organising different types of accommodation (hotels, apartments etc. ) in Belgrade and Serbia, sightseeing tours and excursions, transfers in or out of the city, placements for the best cafes, restaurants and clubs in Belgrade, and also providing all necessary information about Belgrade and Serbia.

Our tourist portal, www.feelbelgrade. com, allows you to choose one of our services (sightseeing, excursion, accommodation, transfer) or information for a particular place you want to visit in Belgrade or Serbia. The Feel Belgrade team gives you the possibility of top quality accommodation in Belgrade and an enjoyable overall experience in the Serbian capital.

Feel Belgrade – Feel the Difference

NjegoĹĄeva 41, Belgrade, Serbia Phone: +381 11 630 5500 +381 11 2459 536 The Dream Land Travel Agency launched operations in the travel industry in 2012. Since then, our small and ambitious team has amassed huge experience, enabling us to broaden the scope of our work and become a renowned travel agency in Serbia. Dream Land travel offers you the best possible prices for hotels in Serbia and abroad, the best possible rates for air fares and much more. We are highly specialised in M.I.C.E. and have built a strong reputation in organising conferences, team buildings etc. Our team of highly motivated, young and professional experts in the field of tourism and hospitality are on hand 24/7, ready to answer any question and requirement, and to make smart suggestions. They will be of the greatest assistance to every client at any given moment and in any situation. We are aware REALis ESTATE 16 | LUXURY that a satisfied client our GUIDE best recommendation.



Galipoljska 3, 11000 Belgrade, ÄŒukarica Phone: +381 11 239 02 02, +381 63 884 08 28, +381 69 684 082


| 17


The Smartest Building

in the World


day at the Edge in Amsterdam starts with a smartphone app developed with the building’s main tenant, consulting firm Deloitte. From the minute you wake up, you’re connected. The app checks your schedule and the building recognises your car when you arrive and directs you to a parking spot. Then the app finds you a desk - because at the Edge you don’t have one. no one does. Workspaces are based on your schedule: sitting desk, standing desk, work booth, meeting room, balcony seat, or “concentration room.” Wherever you go, the app knows your preferences for light and temperature, and it tweaks the environment accordingly. The Edge is also the g­ reenest building in the world, according to British rating agency BREEAM, which gave it the highest ­sustainability score ever awarded: 98.4 per cent. The building of the future necessitated invention. Several stand out. The super-efficient LED panels, made by Philips specifically for the Edge, require such a trickle of electricity they can be powered using the same cables that carry data for the internet. The panels are also packed with sensors—motion, light, temperature, humidity, infrared—creating a “digital ceiling” that wires the building like synapses in a brain. The Edge is packed with some 28,000 sensors. The atrium is the gravitational centre of the Edge’s solar system. Mesh panels between each floor let stale office air spill into open space, where it rises and is released through the roof, creating a loop of natural ventilation. Slight heat variations and

18 |


It knows where you live. It knows what car you drive. It knows who you’re meeting with today and how much sugar you take in your coffee (at least it will, after the next software update.) This is the Edge, and it’s quite possibly the smartest office space ever constructed air currents make it feel like being outdoors. Even on a stormy day, the building remains opalescent with natural light and angles of glass. The atrium and its iconic slanted roof, which looks from the outside as if a wedge has been sliced off the building, floods the workspaces with daylight and provides a sound buffer from the adjacent highway and train tracks. Every workspace is within seven metres of a window. About 2,500 Deloitte workers share 1,000 desks. The concept is called hot desking and is supposed to encourage new relationships, chance interactions, and, just as important, efficient use of space. Desks are only used when they're needed. Some tiny rooms at the Edge contain just a lounge chair and a lamp (no desk)—perfect for a phone call. There are also gam-

Central dashboards track everything from energy use to when the coffee machines need to be refilled. On days when fewer employees are expected, an entire section might even be shut down, cutting the costs of heating, cooling, lighting and cleaning. The digital ceiling was one of the most expensive innovations; Deloitte wouldn’t disclose the cost, but Erik Ubels, chief information officer for Deloitte in the Netherlands, says it will take 8.3 years to earn it back. The smartphone is your passport to the Edge. Use it to find your colleagues, adjust the heating, or manage your gym routine. You can even order up a dinner recipe, and a bag of fresh ingredients will await you when the workday is over. All desks are equipped with built-in wireless chargers, so your phone can keep itself charged.

The Edge is also the ­greenest building in the world, according to British rating agency BREEAM, which gave it the highest ­sustainability score ever awarded: 98.4 percent ing rooms and coffee bars with espresso machines that remember how you like your coffee. Since workers at the Edge don’t have assigned desks, lockers serve as home base for the day. Find a locker with a green light, flash your badge, and it’s yours. Employees are discouraged from keeping a single locker for days or weeks, because part of the new philosophy is to break people away from their fixed locations and rigid ways of thinking.

When you arrive at the Edge, garage entry is automated. A camera snaps a photo of your licence plate, matches it with your employment record, and raises the gate. Even the garage uses sensorequipped LED lights, which brighten as you approach and dim as you leave. It’s the Netherlands, so a separate garage for bicycles and free chargers for electric vehicles aren’t surprising. The Edge is wired with a vast network of two

different kinds of tubes: one that holds data (ethernet cables) and another that holds water. Behind each ceiling tile is a massive coil of thin blue piping that delivers water to and from the building’s subterranean water storage for radiant heating and cooling. During summer months, the building pumps warm water more than 400 feet deep in the aquifer beneath the building, where it sits, insulated, until winter, when it's sucked back out for heating. The system developed for the Edge is the most efficient aquifer thermal energy storage in the world, according to Robert van Alphen, OVG's project manager for the Edge. The southern wall is a checkerboard of solar panels and windows. Thick load-bearing concrete helps regulate heat, and deeply recessed windows reduce the need for shades, despite direct exposure to the sun. The roof is also covered with panels. The Edge uses 70 per cent less electricity than the typical office building, but it wasn’t until OVG installed panels on the rooftops of some neighbouring university buildings that the Edge was able to boast that it produces more energy than it consumes. Sensors in the LED light panels report detailed temperature and humidity readings across a floor (above). A Deloitte survey found that while fewer than

a quarter of employees actively use the app’s thermostat features, three-quarters say they love it. A coming app upgrade will boost efficiency further by suggesting desk locations to employees based on their temperature preferences and meeting locations throughout the day. A massive concrete tub in the back of the parking garage gathers the rainwater used to flush the building’s toilets and water the gardens. It’s a loud room on a rainy day. The water rushes down from collection systems on the roof and outdoor balcony. For smarter cleaning, activity is tracked by

your progress. Some of the e­ xercise stations here will actually harness the energy from your workout, sending hard-earned watts back to the grid—as if you didn’t already feel like a hamster on a wheel. The Edge watches you in the bathroom, too (but not in a creepy way). A normal-looking towel dispenser provides a spool of cloth for hand-drying. Unlike a typical hand dryer, though, this one is connected to the internet. It lets the cleaning staff know when a busy bathroom is probably ready for a cleanup. Birds, bats, bees, and bugs. These are the building’s neighbours on the north-facing terrace. OVG

About 2,500 Deloitte workers share 1,000 desks. The concept is called hot desking, and it’s supposed to encourage new relationships, chance interactions, and, just as important, efficient use of space sensors built into light panels, so at the end of the day, the people and robots responsible for cleaning can focus on the areas that have been used most heavily that day. The on-site gym encourages employees to break for a midday workout. Flash your phone at the checkin station and the gym’s app automatically tracks

worked with Amsterdam officials to establish a continuous path of vegetation that supports beneficial insects throughout the city. Birdhouses and bat boxes are tucked discreetly into the landscaping. These pockmarked towers support various species of solitary bees, which buzz about the flowers on the public terrace. ■

Looking for office space? Come visit us in New Mill!

Boulevard Vojvode Misica 15, Belgrade I I +381 11 3699LUXURY 802REAL I ESTATE GUIDE | 19



I’ve Had Countless CHANCES TO FAIL


His name is mentioned with great respect. Milena Dravić and Dragan Nikolić remain unsurpassed as a couple in his series Cheek to Cheek, Zoran Radmilović was at his best when acting in his series More Than a Game. His film Zona Zamfirova was watched by 1.2 million people, which is an unparalleled record in Serbia. Now we are awaiting his series Santa Maria della Salute, depicting the life of great Serbian poet Laza Kostić and his love for the young Lenka Dunđerski. And to all of this he says simply: All my life I have loved only that which I do. And I barely understand a little about that! 78 |




the interests of his people, but who was above all a great It is enough that he made the series More than poet. He became an MP, but soon realised that he was not a a Game and Cheek to Cheek. But his signature is politician in his soul, rather that he was doing this work out also attached to dozens of television dramas that of a desire to help his people. And if he’d only written the have been trademarks of Television Belgrade over poem Santa Maria della Salute he would have been a great the past five decades. He has also directed around poet, because it ranks high in the poetry world. 20 films, achieving the absolute record for viewership with The Gallery of Historical Figures from the cultural, poZona Zamfirova, which recorded a total of 1.2 million viewers. The public also swarmed to watch Ivkova Slava and litical and public life of Serbia, Montenegro and Vojvodina his second film, after Zona, made on the basis of a work by will contribute to the credibility of this exciting story, whose Stevan Sremac. Her earned the most prizes and awards at main characters, Laza Kostić and Lenka Dunđerski, are ininternational festivals with his films Idemo dalje, Držanje za vazduh and Braća po materi. He resurrected the forgotten Mir Jam, whose Wounded Eagle as a TV series adaptation showed how the Serbs discovered and fell in love with melodrama. He didn’t relax until he had made a screen adaptation of Milovan Vitezović’s Šešir profesora Vujića, in which Aleksandar Berček played one of his greatest roles. He delighted audiences once again at the end of last year with the feature film and television series entitled Santa Maria della Salute, which has been broadcast on RTS since March this year. As he himself explained, this televisionfilm endeavour aims to affirm the highest national, cultural and social values. The series brings to ZDRAVKO ŠOTRA WITH WIFE NEDA TODOROVIĆ life an exciting picture and history of Vojvodina and Serbia during terpreted by Vojin Ćetković and the Zdravko Šotra was born the second half of the 19th cenyoung Tamara Aleksić. Ćetković reas the seventh child of Mara tury and the early 20th century, veals that his favourite Kostić poems and Đorđe Šotra in the village are Santa Maria della Salute and Beas well as the tragic platonic love of Kozica, in the area called between poet Laza Kostić and the tween wakefulness and the dream, as young Lenka Dunđerski: the two most beautiful poems written Dubrava, which forms a “The story of Laza Kostić conin our language. Tamara Aleksić also triangle between Stolac, has great respect for Laza Kostić and tains important elements that Čapljina and Mostar. This his poetry. comprise our national identity Herzegovina native grew up Colleagues and film artists speak and cultural history, from which the name of Zdravko Šotra with we should learn. The very appearin Kosovo, where his family great respect. Young actors aspire ance of poetry refines the viewers moved on the eve of the to perform under Šotra during their during this time when values have outbreak of World War II careers. Some greats, such as actor been lost. The area is lagging beZoran Radmilović, made their bighind and we must push it up from the bottom – notes this famous director, adding that this is gest television achievements precisely with Šotra - Slohis career’s “most complex and most demanding project”. bodan Stojanović’s series More than a game is considered Šotra spent three years investigating the details of the Radmilović’s best achievement in front of the TV cameras. poet’s life, after which he wrote a screenplay that will show The last major role of Dragan Nikolić was a touching interviewers that Laza Kostic was a versatile personality in many pretation of Chekhov’s character Uglješa Knežević in Šotra’s ways, who wrote poetry, dealt with politics, slaved to defend series Wounded Eagle, while forty years earlier Milena JANUARY



| 79

Dravić and Dragan Nikolić formed a unique couple in Šotra’s Cheek to Cheek, which remains an unsurpassed template for a successful show on Serbian television to this day. A few years ago, Šotra (83) summarised his life in the biographical work Hanging on for air (published by Vukotić Media), in which readers discover how this boy from Herzegovina survived World War II in Kosovo, and what it was like for him to be left on his own at the age of 12, being more hungry than full? What was recorded about the greatest Serbian actors, Milivoje Živanović, Mija Aleksić, Pavle Vuisić, and

brava, which forms a triangle between Stolac, Čapljina and Mostar. This Herzegovina native grew up in Kosovo, where his family moved on the eve of the outbreak of World War II: “By sheer coincidence, my father came to Kosovo in 1938 and we survived there. But ending up in the pits were my 82-year-old grandmother, who gave birth to 13 children, and my aunts and uncles ... 38 of them from the Šotra family. As a child, I was not fully aware of that horror. Many years later, just before the wars of the ‘90s, the government finally allowed those cemented pits to be opened and for the bones to be buried according to human customs. One of my colleagues received an order to film that, but I begged him to let me go instead. So I spent days and nights filming the opening of the six Stolac pits from which the bones were extracted. I found that truly distressing. Then several years passed, the war started, and the crypt that was made as a collective tomb for the slain Serbs was blown up.” Asked what is left of his Herzegovinian origins, he answers: “Everything. I’ve been living in Belgrade for so long, but I haven’t managed to change anything of that mentality I brought from Herzegovina. And for my whole life I felt better as soon as went there. Now it is almost impossible to go to the area of my birthplace, but I often SHOOTING FOR THE TV SERIES “MORE THAN A GAME”, went to Trebinje, the most beautiful WITH ACTORS PAJA VUJISIĆ AND NIKOLA SIMIĆ place where Serbs live. I began gomost of all Zoran Radmilović, by the direcDue to my genetic and ar- ing there intensively when I made tor who loved them. What forms the greattistic impulses, I was pre- a film about the transfer of the bones of Jovan Dučić and followed ness of Bata Živojinović, Dragana Nikolića occupied by the thought the construction of the church in and Milena Dravić, and how the entry into of making a film about which he was buried. My countryhis life of Professor Dr Neda Todorović also marked the end of years of loneliness? Šotra Jovan Dučić. This is a love men often asked when I will make a has a son Marko, a director, and grandchilfilm from my area. Not only for this story through which his reason, but also due to my genetic dren Luka (18) and Petar (2). life and extraordinary per- and artistic impulses, I was preocThe Šotra family are from the part of sonal and artistic Herzegovina where the Serbian population cupied by the thought of making was killed in the last three wars. They have biography refract. And he a film about Jovan Dučić. This is a been left in pits, while those who survived was handsome, talented, love story through which his life mostly abandoned their native region as and extraordinary personal and arrenowned, wealthy… refugees. Today they are in Herzegovina the tistic biography refract. And he was least. A close relative of Zdravko, namely his handsome, talented, renowned, first cousin on his father’s side, is Branko Šotra, an excepwealthy ... He lived in the most beautiful places in Europe, was educated in Geneva and Paris, was celebrated for his brilliant tional graphic artist who founded the Academy of Applied poetry and was also a diplomat and a beloved man. The whole Arts in Belgrade after World War II and served as its dean topic is very delicate, but primarily challenging. However, and professor. now viewers can see the no less interesting and challenging Zdravko Šotra was born as the seventh child of Mara and story of another giant of poetry, Laza Kostić.” Đorđe Šotra in the village of Kozica, in the area called Du80 |



Šotra has tried to avoid politics all his life, but it has tic television, waited two years to be approved for screening, scratched at him in many ways. A story remains that he made because Šotra had filmed it on the basis of a screenplay writthe film The Battle of Kosovo during the period of Slobodan ten by his dear and early departed friend, writer Slobodan Milošević’s rule in order to mark the 600th anniversary of Stojanović. Was it because of that that he was in a bunker the Battle of Kosovo in a dignified way, but also because that during the 1970s? was what the then president of Serbia wanted? “The answer to that question is better known by those “I’ve also heard that nonsense. Slobodan Milošević had who prevented the broadcasting of that series. I know that no idea what I, in my thoughtlessness, had embarked upon. they were approaching some Tito jubilee, do not ask me Some Italian journalist came to talk to me, because he had which, because they were always happening, and they did clearly been instructed that I was one of the creators of not dare, on the eve of a great jubilee, to allow the emitting the Greater Serbia project and the celebration of St. Vitus Day in 1989. I explained to him that the Battle of Kosovo was the defeat of the Serbian people, aftyer which began centuries of Serbian slavery. And there is no reason for any glorification of that battle and that disaster. Otherwise, the truth was that the then director of TV Belgrade, Nenad Ristić, asked me to film one great poem by Ljubomir Simović, entitled The Battle of Kosovo, with actors siting in a studio in tuxedos reading the text. And I wanted to improvise with that a little, in short, to create a historical spectacle on this basis which I had a month to do. It was only when I started working that I saw the kind of nonsense I had gotten into and I had to force it to the AT THE PREMIERE OF THE FILM ZONA ZAMFIROVA, WITH ACTRESS KATARINA RADIVOJEVIĆ end. Milošević did not appear at This hardened Red the premiere, but the man then of a series that addressed the preStar supporter has long since war bourgeois world in Serbia, which presiding over Yugoslavia, Slovene Janez Drnovšek was there, ceased to attend the matches. gained a large area during World War II. This, until that time, was not noras were members of the diploJust as football is at a low matic corps and various other mal. How could a single officer of the ebb, so he says that many invitees, and I after the premiere Serbian Army be more prominent values in society have I collapsed and ended up in the than the party secretary? We finished emergency room. the series in 1975 and it was aired been greatly degraded: “Otherwise, I was in Kosovo 1977. I don’t believe that the se“There’s nowhere left to fall” in for the first time on St. Vitus Day ries was prohibited by someone from 1939, when I was six years old. the outside. That was done by people My father rented a car and drove us to Gazimestan, where from the company who feared for their position.” they were celebrating the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Asked what party comrades criticised about that series, Kosovo. We went to the funeral service in Gračanica, where Šotra today recalls: I first saw the Nemanjićs on the walls. If I was someone, I “There were 36 specifically listed things that had to be would now say that back then, as a six-year-old boy, standremoved or changed. I accepted three or four. For examing there before the Nemanjićs, I promised myself that over ple, I removed a scene in which a German soldier enters the next fifty years, to mark the occasion of 600 years since a pharmacy and whispers something to the pharmacist. the Battle of Kosovo, I would make a film.” The pharmacist responded to this by saying: Sorry, we only Few people know that the series More than a game, one have our sizes, and they will be big for you! If we assume of the best projects of its kind ever implemented on domesthat the German soldier wanted to buy condoms, I removed JANUARY



| 81

One year, prior to the breakup of Yugoslavia, Šotra had an interesting dialogue at the film festival in Pula with Azem Vlasi, a then politician from Kosovo who wanted to explain to this director why his film The Conquest of Freedom was no good: “That was my first film, made on the basis of a screenplay by Gordan Mihić, and it was accepted into the official selection of the festival. The reasons were of a political, ideological nature, and the fact that it was not included in the official programme because of this provided reason enough to cause more of a hullabaloo over this film than its quality deserved. The film was not worth as much as the praise it received. Otherwise, that Pula festival, like many others, appeared tragicomic when it comes to the jury’s decisions. Delegated as jury members were members of the republican central party committees, who were tasked with packaging the award for films from those republics, because then the producer of the award-winning film would receive money from the SIZ for culture. Thus, one of the jury members that year was Azem Vlasi, from Kosovo. There were a total of 13 jury members, including two or three directors and the odd actor, who crucially could not influence anything. In order for there to be as little competition as possible for ŠOTRA WITH MILENA DRAVIĆ AND ANTON MARTI IN THE SHOW CHEEK-TO-CHEEK awards, they removed films that I’ve been living in would bother them unnecessarthe League of Communists of Yugoslavia in Belgrade: Belgrade for so long, but ily, and thus I was removed from “That was the time when we Sloba the game at the start, because it I haven’t managed to Stojanović and I, as members of the League was best to stick a label of politichange anything of that cally unsuitable to the film. I saw of Communists of Yugoslavia, launched mentality I brought from in the later report that Vlasi was the slogan: I ask the Party to release me from its ranks. Someone pushed me into at the forefront of that. And then it Herzegovina… Now it is that combination at that moment. Ivan happened that he approached me almost impossible for Stambolić was then president of the Genat the bar. We otherwise did not me to go to the area of know each other, but he pointed eral Committee of the League of Commumy birthplace, but I often his index finger at my face and said: nists of Belgrade and he wanted to change the composition of the Committee a little, went to Trebinje, the most I will explain to you what’s wrong with your film! I retorted: You unso I probably found myself in that package. beautiful place where However, I went out, said something that derstand film like Marica underSerbs live did not fit in any way with expected party stands a bent dick! Vlasi turned activities, and they played dumb as if they red, turned around and left.” had not heard. They didn’t get any kind of fortune from me.” From the great Milivoje Živanović, via Zoran Radmilović, Other parties also didn’t have any luck with this director: Dragan Nikolić and Aleksandar Berček to Nikola Đuričko, “Other parties weren’t very interested in me. They only Vojin Ćetković and Ivan Bosiljčić... there is almost no actor called if they needed something. They mostly left me alone, who has not performed in some of his dramas, TV serials or which also suited me fine.” films. And this is why we should believe him when he says from the series the glorification of something Serbian, which was big, and it was not good to glorify anything Serbian, even if, as in this unproven case, that was the Serbian member! And so I did not want to give up and they did not give in, until the appearance of a reasonable man, named Filip Fića Matić, who saw the series and said from the position of President of the Belgrade TV Council - Broadcast it, immediately!” At one point, Šotra received support from Ivan Stambolić and was briefly a member of the Municipal Committee of

82 |



that great actors are, as a rule, easy to cooperate with: “The bigger they are, the easier they are; the weaker, the tougher. They often know how to say to me: “it’s easy for you when you work with good actors”. Well, which other should I work with?! There are directors who shy away from acting greatness, worried that they will not be able to tame them. I did not even shy aware from the greats when I was young. I did two dramas with Milivoje Živanović. He would be the first come to rehearsals, the first to learn the text. And standing next to him would be an acting student who would do everything the opposite of him; who would arrive last and would be the last to learn the text. So I also worked with Pavle Vujisić, Zoran Radmilović, Slo- With VOJIN ĆETKOVIĆ on the set of Zona Zamfirova bodan Aligrudić and Slobodan Cica a Romanian poet when they brought down their president Perović. The latter found it very difficult to learn the text, Ceausescu. He more or less said: “We headed to one side, but he was capable of overcoming that with many surprises went astray, and saw that nothing exists there. Now we are in his acting creativity. All of them generally drank a lot, but coming back and we can explain to everyone well no to head that could never be felt and was not reflected on the job.” to that side because there’s nothing there. You could pay us This hardened Red Star supporter has long since ceased something for that report, as we brought you very important to attend the matches. Just as football is at a low ebb, so he information.” says that many values in society have been greatly degraded: “And now I think we could also sell that kind of infor“There’s nowhere left to fall. That situation in which we lived and are still living was described ingeniously by mation; that great discovery of ours that there is nothing in that place where we have been in recent years.” And when a reporter thinks that we could now continue talking about politics, Šotra replies ironically, in that Herzegovinian way, but primarily in accordance with himself: “I don’t understand anything in politics. All my life I have loved only that which I do. And I barely understand a little about that.” As in every life, Šotra concludes that his has included all sorts of things: “In my twelfth year I ventured out into the world and into life without any real view to survival. There were countless chances for me to fail, but given that I survived nevertheless, made something of myself and forced my way to these years, I have to be satisfied. There have been worse cases.”. ■ With TAMARA ALEKSIĆ, actress JANUARY



| 83


HARBIN ICE FESTIVAL 2017 ▶ The Ice Lantern Festival, commonly known as Harbin Ice Festival (25/12/2016 – 25/02/2017), was the precursor to the current festival, which started in 1963 but was put on hold during the Cultural Revolution. A few hundred years ago, during the Qing Dynasty, local fishermen would hollow out pails of ice and put candles in them for light at night. Over time, lanterns went from being strictly functional to being an aesthetic fixture. Today it’s a combination of art and science that creates the elaborate and ornate ice and snow spectacle. Deionized water is used on some pieces to produce ice as transparent as glass, and multicolored lights add multi-dimensional depth and beauty. Over the course of a hurried half-month, more than 15,000 people carve (by hand or laser) more than 113,500 cubic meters of ice. From scaled-down versions of the Forbidden City and the Great Wall to simpler student-created pieces, the sheer volume of beauty is staggering. GERMANY



JESUS CHRIST'S TOMB OPENED FOR FIRST TIME IN 500 YEARS ▶ For decades debate has raged over whether the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem really is the site of the most famous miracle of all. The shrine is supposed to contain the tomb where Jesus Christ ’s body lay for three days after his crucifixion. It has been sealed in marble since at least 1555 to protect it from pilgrims who kept stealing pieces as holy relics. Now the tomb’s marble lid has

been removed for the first time in five centuries. It was opened in the presence of leaders from the Greek and Armenian Orthodox churches and the Franciscan monks, who share responsibility for the church. “We went in, looked into the tomb, and saw a lot of rubble. So it wasn’t empty, even though there were no artefacts or bones. Without bones or artefacts we’ll never be able to say for sure this was the tomb of Christ,” said archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert of National Geographic. The key to the Church is kept by a Muslim family who have unlocked the building every morning for the last 500 years.

▶ A massive Christmas cake, known as Stollen, is served every year in December in Dresden as part of its annual Christmas tradition. Stollen is a German specialty that’s related to panettone, fruitcake, King cake, babka, and dreikonigsbrot.

All these cakes were developed in medieval times and were reserved for the holidays because they were expensive to make. The most common and most famous stollen are from Dresden, Germany. It is a yeast bread made with nuts, raisins, currants, candied orange and lemon peel, and lots of butter. Some people choose to soak the dried fruit in brandy or rum before adding it to the dough, but that’s entirely optional.


TAKANAKUY - PERU'S CHRISTMAS FIGHTING FESTIVAL ▶ Takanakuy, which means “when the blood is boiling” in Quechua (the indigenous Peruvian language) is an annual an annual c and ancient eremonial celebration in the Chumbivilcas Province of Peru. Community members dine, drink, and dance together, dressed up in one of five character costumes based on historical cultural symbols, and everything culminates in a Christmas Day trip to the local bullfighting ring where people, both men and women, take turns pairing off to settle the year’s disputes. Chanka culture, that gives hundreds of Andean villagers the chance to solve their love, honour and property problems through the force of blows as a way to put differences behind them before the New Year.

84 |




SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE ▶ 5th December marked the 37th anniversary of the unique Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree. The 20.5-metre-tall tree holds 240 of the 275 singers from the Mona Shores High School Choir, joined by 50 members of the Orchestra. The person at the top of the Tree is known as “The Tree Angel” and is always a high school senior, selected by the director. The tree was made up by parent volunteers from the choir association. Over 850 pieces of unistrut steel form the superstructure which was manually assembled by volunteer crews who begin to build the giant “erector set” on 3rd December. Over 460 metres of electrical wiring runs throughout the tree to more than 25,000 coloured lights, and over 1530 metres of special greenery imported from Germany is “fluffed” and put on the tree prior to the decorations. CHINA

A FULL-SIZE REPLICA OF THE TITANIC ▶ A shipbuilder in China has

started work on a full-scale replica of the Titanic, the doomed ship that hit an iceberg and sunk on its maiden voyage in 1912. Construction on the project began beginning last month and


when it’s finished, the tourist attraction will offer simulations of the infamous disaster, which killed more than 1,500 people. There’s no danger of real icebergs, though. The Titanic replica will be permanently docked at a reservoir in Daying County, in the landlocked Sichuan province. Visitors will be able to eat on the ship and stay overnight.


EARTH'S 'TECHNOSPHERE' WEIGHS 30 TRILLION TONS ▶ An international team led by

University of Leicester geologists has made the first estimate of the sheer size of the physical structure of the planet’s technosphere - suggesting that its mass approximates


MUSEUM TO AUCTION WAX FIGURES OF PRESIDENTS ▶ The Gettysburg, U.S. wax museum that features the like-

ROD STEWART’S MANSION UP FOR SALE ▶ Like its famous owner, Sir Rod Stewart, the Wood House is a one-of-a-kind English classic: a late 19th century home on a private 25-acre estate near Epping Forest. Rod Stewart, who has lived in the home for 30 years, is selling the property with a heavy heart. The veteran rocker previously said he expected to live in the mansion for the rest of his life, but now, he and his wife, Penny Lancaster, are moving to Durrington House in Harlow Essex to be closer to their two children’s school. The asking price is around €10 million.

ness of every U.S. president and first lady has closed and the figures are up for auction. The Hall of Presidents and First Ladies Museum had been in business for about 60 years. Owners say more than 1 million people had visited the museum since 1957. The collection features life-sized figures of the presidents and one-third-scale figures of the first ladies in reproduction inaugural gowns. The museum is located near the retirement home of President Dwight Eisenhower. The home is now a national historic site. The auction of the wax figures is scheduled for 14th January.

to an enormous 30 trillion tonnes. The technosphere is comprised of all structures that humans have constructed to keep them alive on the planet -- from houses, factories and farms to computer systems, smartphones and CDs, to the waste in landfills and spoil heaps. In a new paper published in the journal The Anthropocene Review, the team suggesting that it represents a mass of more than 50 kilos for every square metre of Earth’s surface. JANUARY



| 85


Jewish New Year On Sunday night, 2nd October 2016, Jews celebrated one of their most important religious holidays, Rosh Hashanah, which is considered as the Jewish New Year. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means the “head of the year.” It is also called the Feast of the Trumpets. The blowing of a ram’s horn, a shofar, proclaims Rosh Hashanah, and summons Jews to religious services


Honey is spread on challah. Tzimmes, a be performed over two loaves of bread, ews used the ram’s horn as a trummixture made from carrots, cinnamon, known as challah. The round shape pet in Biblical times to announce yams, prunes, and honey, is also tradisymbolises a crown, a reminder of the the new moon, holidays, and war. tional. kingship of God. Challah also stands for Today, a variety of horns are used, Sephardic Jews—those of Mediterthe circle of life, and the hope that our including curved antelope horns. ranean or Middle Eastern origin—serve lives endure without end. While it does have its festive side, a whole fish as a wish for prosperity, Challah is sometimes baked with a Rosh Hashanah is not one big party, fertility, and good luck for the coming ladder on top in recognition that only like the New Year’s celebrations of 31st year. Some Jews also present fruit basGod decides who climbs up or down December tend to be. Rather, Rosh Hakets covered to hide the contents, shanah is a time for personal introsymbolising that no one can know spection and prayer, while many Jews what the new year will bring. may also visit graves. It is thought While it does have its festive Rosh Hashanah observances that the prayers or good wishes side, Rosh Hashanah is not one vary. Orthodox Jews celebrate Rosh of the dead can help the living. By big party, like the New Year’s Hashanah for two days. Reform wishing each other well and sending st Jews often observe it for only one cards, people let friends know what celebrations of 31 December happened in the past year and what tend to be. Rosh Hashanah is a day. In Biblical times it was the moon, not the calendar, that deterplans lie ahead. Christmas cards and time for personal introspection mined the dates for festivals. Witget-togethers fill a similar role for and prayer nesses watching the sky proclaimed Christians. the new moon. Since Rosh HashaRosh Hashanah is part of a pronah falls on the first day of the cess of spiritual growth. The Hebrew month, people living far from Jerusalem the ladder of life. Forming challah in the month preceding it, Elul, is a time for did not have time to learn the exact shape of a bird is also done. The Torah charity, tzedakah. Rosh Hashanah falls date. Even those living near Jerusalem says that God will protect Jerusalem in on the first and second days of the sevcould miss the festival if the witnesses the same way a bird hovers. enth month, Tishri. did not arrive on time. So, two days Apples dipped in honey are another FOOD FOR THOUGHT were set aside for observance so everyRosh Hashanah tradition. This symbolTraditional Jewish foods accompany one would have time to participate. ■ ises the hope for a “sweet year” ahead. Rosh Hashanah. Typically, a blessing will 86 |




Care 2017

INTERVIEW DR VERICA LAZIĆ, Director of The National Health Insurance Administration

By Saving the Patients Also Get More


t the end of 2016, Dr Verica Lazić, director of the National Health Insurance Administration, welcomes with satisfaction the results of the institution that she has headed since last year. As she says, she is proud of the achievements, especially the fact that for the first time in Serbia the practice of placing medicines on the list of medicines with the signing of special contracts has been established, thanks to which part of the costs of new medicines for the needs of insured people is borne by pharmaceutical companies. - Thanks to that the NHIA will, through the three-year duration of the special contract, allocate significantly less additional funds for new medications than would be allocated for the same medicines to be placed on the list of medicines without any special contract – says Dr Lazić at the beginning of this interview for CorD Magazine.

For the first ten months of 2016, the NHIA sent 544 insured individuals for treatment abroad, free in-vitro fertilisation was performed at as many as 16 health facilities, availability of drugs is at a satisfactory level, while patients' rights have been extended when it comes to rehabilitation

2 |


• How many innovative medicines have been added to the list of medicines in this way? - The NHIA has submitted requests for innovative drugs for years, and the guidelines, which recognised models of special contracts, entered into force during 2014. Under the auspices of fiscal consolidation measures, funds in the financial plan of the NHIA were reduced in 2015, and in such a situation it was not possible to add innovative new medicines, which represent extremely expensive therapy, to the list of medicines. In 2016, 996,5 million dinars has been allocated for these medicines. Intensive work was undetaken on the elaboration of models of special contracts and defining the list of priority medicines by the competent expert commission, in order for special contracts to be introduced for the

first time in Serbia, all with the aim The NHIA Management Board adopted a new List of medicines1st of securing as many new medicines December 2016. It contains 23 innovative medicines that are as possible in the context of limited resources. Thanks to this, we were secured for the first time as a right from the resources of able to add to the List of medicines mandatory health insurance 23 new drugs at the expense of the compulsory health insurance, which cines in 2015, which represents about 20 per cent of means a larger number of drugs than would be secured the total budget available to this institution. This year for those funds without special contracts. that amount will be even higher, primarily due to higher growth in spending of medicines from the C list of medi• Do you succeed in securing continuous supplies of cines, which are particularly expensive. It is important to medicines for health facilities? know that the NHIA settles all obligations for medicines - This is our main goal as an institution. As medicines in promptly and pays special attention to regularly paying Serbia are secured through public procurement, it is of all of its obligations towards all health institutions. vital importance that there is constant communication • There has also been plenty of controversy about rebetween the competent services of the NHIA, the Minplacing health booklets with cards. How much progress istry of Health, medicine wholesales, medicine permit has been made with that? holders, manufacturers of medicines and medical institutions or pharmacies. In this regard, in the case of - The project of replacing health booklets with health timely notifying of possible problems in supplying the cards is still continuing. In April 2016, with the new annexing of the Agreement on Donations with the National medicine market, we undertake activities to secure Bank of Serbia, it became possible, in addition to newgreater amounts of appropriate therapeutic alternatives from other manufacturers or, in exceptional casborn children and vulnerable insured people, for free es, if necessary, unregistered medicines are also placed health cards to be received by victims of domestic violence and children with special needs. The legal deadline on the List of medicines. Considering the complete picfor replacements is 31st December 2016. So far more ture of the medicine market in Serbia and the number than 4.5 million requests to replace health booklets with of medicines on the List of medicines, I can say that the availability of medicines for insured people is at a sathealth cards have been submitted. isfactory level. • What is the situation like when it comes to referring patients abroad for treatment? • How much of the NHIA’s total budget is earmarked for - In 2016 the Ordinance on conditions and methods for medications? sending insured people abroad for medical treatment - The NHIA allocated about 43 billion dinars for mediwas amended. The Gamma Knife Centre at the Clinical


| 3

there have also been additions to the list of foreign medical institutions with which we cooperate. For the first ten months of 2016, the NHIA sent 544 insured individuals for treatment abroad, and the amount paid on this basis during the mentioned period exceeds 307 million dinars. Of this number of insured people, 449 were children. • You have also expanded some of the rights of insured people when it comes to rehabilitation. - That’s right. In 2016 the NHIA adopted the Ordinance on medical rehabilitation in health institutions specialising in rehabilitation. This ordinance has extended the duration of rehabilitation for children with diabetes, children with oncological diseases, as well as obese children, while it is also stipulated that psychiatric patients will have the right to rehabilitation, except in cases when the disease is in the acute phase. This right has also been extended for severe neurological diseases accompanied by paralysis. • Insured people can once again undergo in-vitro fertilisation procedures at private health institutions at the expense of the NHIA. At how many institutions is that now possible? - In order to shorten waiting times for the provision of in-vitro fertilisation services, the NHIA, on the basis of a public call, Shorter waiting times for cataract operations concluded contracts with private health institutions and secured - When it comes to cataract surgery, the National Health Insurance Administration, via the concluding of contracts with ten private health institutions, has secured an additional capacity of capacities until year’s end. So now, 3,080 services. Since the beginning of 2016, when insured people began being directed to these in addition to five state medical ininstitutions, of the 2,995 insured people who opted for surgery at private facilities, 2,323 have stitutions, insured people can also been operated on – says Dr Verica Lazić. opt for one of 11 private institutions. Since the beginning of the year, the Centre of Serbia began working, which freed up financial NHIA has directed in the process of in-vitro fertilisation resources that have for years been spent on referring 2,426 insured people - 1,364 to state facilities and 1,062 patients abroad for gamma knife treatment and which to private health institutions. Patients now that right can now be used for other indications. The Ordinance has to make three attempts at in-vitro fertilisation at the an expanded list of indications for referral for treatment expense of the NHIA, instead of two, as was the case to abroad for indications that impact on the youngest segdate, and under the same conditions as the first and secment of the population, children and adolescents, while ond attempts. ■

Trust in experts • Magnetic resonance • Ultrasound diagnostics • Specialist examinations: internists (cardiologists, endocrinologists, rheumatologists, immunologists), neurologists, gynecologists

4 |


+381 11 78 57 555; +381 62 288 470

CORPORATE PROFESSOR ALEKSANDAR N. NEŠKOVIĆ, Chairman of the Clinic for Internal Medicine and Chief of the Interventional Cardiology at the Clinical Hospital Centre Zemun

Every Other Citizen of Serbia Dies of Cardiovascular Disease! In Serbia nearly 60 people per day experience a heart attack and, on average, 16 of them do not survive! According to official indicators of the Dr Milan Jovanović Batut Institute for the Public Health of Serbia, in 2014 some 53,993 people in Serbia died of heart and blood vessel diseases. That is more than half of all deaths. Not counting other cardiovascular diseases, myocardial infarctions alone are suffered by 16,000 to 18,000 residents of Serbia annually, and the impression is that the number of heart attacks is increasing constantly – warns professor Aleksandar N. Nešković, chairman of the Clinic for Internal Medicine and Chief of the Interventional Cardiology at the Clinical Hospital Centre Zemun, speaking in this interview for CorD


rofessor Nešković says that in most cases myocardial infarction, or heart attack, is the result of atherosclerosis and rupture of the unstable atherosclerotic plaque. This results in the formation of clots in the coronary artery, which leads to the partial or complete blockage of blood flow. Acute myocardial infarction represents the death of the heart muscle, which occurs as a result of reduced blood flow through the coronary arteries.

laboratories with or without stent implantation. Widespread use of this intervention in Serbia has has resulted in a 50 per cent reduction of deaths after heart attacks. To achieve the maximal potential benefit of this lifesaving intervention, it is mandatory to plan and ensure additional employment of a significant number of doctors, nurses and x-ray technicians in the catheterisation laboratories, because currently employed staff is insufficient. Also, financial issues related to running this programme, which are unresolved for more than two years, must be solved, and, finally, there a need for new angio equipment at the majority of cardiac catheterisation laboratories. It is also necessary to introduce innovative drugs to cardiovascular medicine, which have long been widely used in the countries of Europe and the region and which significantly reduce

• How high is the risk of patients who have experienced a heart attack suffering a repeat occurrence? - Compared to the general population, patients who have already suffered myocardial infarction are certainly at a greater risk of developing re-infarction and even death. About 20 per cent of those who have survived a heart attack experience a repeat cardiovascular events, including In Serbia over the last decade the most advanced methods have new heart attacks and strokes, which become available to patients in the treatment and care of acute are associated with high risk of death. myocardial infarction, which are conducted at larger regional centres Today it is possible to significantly reduce these risks and improve quality of life through so-called secondary prevention measures, consisting of damage to the heart and mortality risk after myocardial infarction lifestyle changes and the use of modern medical treatment. and are very effective in secondary prevention. These medicines are currently available to our patients in limited amounts, due to the • Do patients in Serbia have access to modern treatments and fact that they are not on the National Health Insurance Association’s therapies, compared to the other countries of the region, or Eupositive list of medicines. rope, when it comes to acute care and secondary prevention of heart attacks? • However, it often seems that innovative therapy is reserved only - In Serbia over the last decade ate larger regional centers the most for oncology patients and sufferers of rare diseases. advanced therapeutic options have become available to patients - That is not true. Considering that most deaths in Serbia are a result suffering from acute myocardial infarction. These options include of cardiovascular disease, if some of the key innovative medicines in re-opening of coronary artery occluded by thrombus using percuthis domain are made widely available to cardiac patients, they will taneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the cardiac catheterization suffer less and live longer, with better quality of life. ■


| 5


Major Surgeries, Minor Incisions Bel Medic General Hospital is the only hospital in Serbia that has a complete centre for minimally invasive surgery. The goal of the centre is to eliminate the need for conventional surgery through the development, testing and implementation of less invasive procedures. Bel Medic provides surgery in all medical fields: VATS, laparoscopic surgery, arthroscopy and endoscopic spinal surgery


e spoke with professor Đorđe Bajec about the advantages and opportunities of minimally invasive access in abdominal surgery. Dr Bajec is a general surgeon at Bel Medic and president of the Serbian National Association of Bariatric Surgeons. • What is the difference between open abdominal surgery and laparoscopic surgery? - Laparoscopic surgery, or keyhole surgery, is minimally invasive surgery that is associated with several advantages over traditional open surgery. In an open procedure, one large abdominal incision is made to expose the tissues and structures inside for examination and surgery. In a laparoscopic procedure on the other hand, only a small incision of up to 1.5 cm in length is made in the abdomen, usually around the belly button area. Scars from open surgeries are not only an aesthetic problem, but also a health problem, because they significantly distort the struc-

laparoscopically. This includes all urgent conditions such as gall bladder inflammation, ulcer perforation, appendicitis and so on. • How is it possible to remove organs such as the spleen, or a gallstone through an incision of just a few millimetres? - There are special instruments that can mulch tissue of the different organs or gallstones. Small tissue parts are then easily removed through a incision of less than 12mm.

• You are one of the leading experts in bariatric surgery in this part of Europe. What are the results of laparoscopic bariatric surgery? - The World Health Organisation has recognised extreme obesity as a disease, because it seriously threatens health, primarily as a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes and other diseases. In recent years extreme obesity has reached epidemic proportions, as confirmed by the fact that bariatric surgery is ranked in second place in the U.S. among all operations in the abdominal cavity. ExTechnology and the experience of surgical teams today have reached treme obesity is the result of complex interactions between genetics and the such a level that the majority of procedures in abdominal surgery can environment. It is usually very difficult be done laparoscopically for extremely obese patients to lose weight with conventional methods, ture of the anterior abdominal wall. Since the overall trauma to such as diet, physical activity and medication. Bariatric surgery the skin and muscles is reduced, less post-operative pain and has proved to be very effective in this case. Reducing stomach voldisability, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker recovery period ume and consequently the food intake mass can be permanently are major advantages that laparoscopic surgery offers when reduced, and the risk of comorbidities is significantly decreased. compared to traditional operations. • How much weight can be lost after bariatric surgery? • What kinds of operation can be performed using laparoscopic - Patients who have a BMI (body mass index) more than 60 can surgery? reach an ideal weight within a year or two, while those with a lower - Twenty years ago indications for laparoscopic surgery were reBMI can do it even faster. Most people are aware of gastric bypass lated exclusively to gallbladder operations. Technology and the surgery and gastric banding as popular options for bariatric surexperience of surgical teams today have reached such a level gery. However, gastric sleeve resections have grown in popularity that the majority of procedures in abdominal surgery can be done over the last five years. ■

6 |


CORPORATE Atlas General Hospital, Belgrade

Global Standards in Serbian Private Medical Practice Osmana Đikića 3, Belgrade Phone: +381 11 785 88 88

Atlas General Hospital is the first private hospital in Serbia focused on surgical services with the most complex and demanding surgical procedures


tlas General Hospital is the first private hospital in Serbia focused on surgical services with the most complex and demanding surgical procedures. It has placed itself among the top private healthcare providers in Serbia by investing in state-of-the-art equipment to perform the most complex surgical procedures. “Our success lies in our knowledge, experience, commitment, effort and constancy.” Atlas hospital is headed by the founders, Dr Igor Georgijev and Dr Lazar Pajevic. The Hospital has highly trained medical experts who keep up with current global trends, experts who attend training courses and search for professional development in order to provide patients with the most advanced treatments.

DR LAZAR PAJEVIĆ, specialist in aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery (left) and DR IGOR GEORGIJEV, specialist in aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery

“Our patients are from all over the world who are in need of surgical treatment”. The hospital consists of two modern, luxurious buildings covering an area of 1,600 m2. It has a Diagnostic Endoscopy Centre, a Spinal Surgery Centre, an Arthroscopic and Sports Surgery Centre combined with Bioregenerative medicine. Atlas General Hospital provides professional and secure patient transport across Serbia and worldwide, accompanied by highly qualified doctors and medical staff trained in emergency medicine, traumatology, cardiology, paediatrics and neonatology. Atlas General Hospital has successful cooperation with the largest insurance companies from Serbia and abroad, and also is the first private hospital in Serbia that has ever signed a contract with the national fund - The Health Fund of Republika Srpska. ■“We provide 24/7/365 services.”


| 7


Another Year Older, But Younger Why shouldn’t the New Year bring with it a new and fresher face? It’s still not too late for that to happen


r Tanja Radenkov Micić from the specialised beauty enhancement centre Eterna is a champion of so-called instant youthfulness and has some advice for how to achieve it.

• What do you first recommend to obtain young, fresh skin? - On the basis of my rich experience I would recommend Ellansé bioresorptive collagen stimulator. This dermal filler not only repairs the appearance of wrinkles, it also stimulates the production of collagen in the skin, which gives a natural and lasting effect. Ellansé is different from all other fillers on our market, because it offers a completely personalised treatment with a reliably lasting effect from one year (Ellansé-S), up to as much as four years (Ellansé-E). • How does Ellansé work? - Collagen is very important for our skin, as it helps maintain its firmness, elasticity and tension. With time, the skin loses collagen which leads to its relaxing with deep fissures and wrinkles as a result. Ellansé works in a completely different way from traditional dermal fillers, which just correct shallower and deeper wrinkles. Thanks to its unique properties, Ellansé not only repairs the appearance of wrinkles and deeper fissures on the face, but rather by stimulating the production of collagen in the skin removes the main cause of ageing, leading to a long-lasting, natural skin appearance. The treatment takes about 30 minutes, after which you can freely return to your everyday activities.

• How long does the result of the treatment last? - The results in terms of a natural and beautiful appearance are immediately visible, and the uniform effect lasts from one to four years, depending on which form of Ellansé you choose. Ellansé’s advantage lies in the fact that with just a single treatment you will see visible and lasting results, which makes it a very economical and comfortable treatment. After the treatment, a visit to the sauna or intense physical activity is not recommended for the first 24 hours. It is also advised that you avoid sunbathing or the solarium for the first week after treatment. • Why do you think Ellansé is the perfect choice both for women and men? - For several reasons. The immediate visible effect, the revitalisation of the appearance and firmness of the skin through the stimulation of collagen, the natural, fresh look, the long-lasting effect that comes after just one visit to the doctor. And I should repeat that we are talking of a very economical treatment.

• Apart from Ellansé dermal fillers, what else do you recommend to reduce the effect of wrinkles and freshen the facial skin? - CellularMatrix combines autologous conditioned plasma enriched with thrombocytes with growth factors and hyaluronic acid. The wellknown PRP treatment is a safe and effective way of stimulating endogen regeneration and healing capacities. The growth factor from thrombocytes in the deeper layers of the skin activates the process of regeneration. Hyaluronic acid has been used in dermatology and aesthetic medicine for over 25 years. It is a natural constituent of our organism and is marked out by its large capacity for binding water, which gives The results in terms of a natural and beautiful appearance are our skin back its hydration, volume and immediately visible, and the uniform effect lasts from one to four support. CellularMatrix combines hyaluyears, depending on which form of Ellansé you choose ronic acid with the stimulating effect of autologous growth factors. This revolu-

8 |


tionary method carries a reduced risk of undesired reactions, since it is a product of autologous origin. The procedure involves a combination of derivatives of the patient’s own blood with unmeshed hyaluronic acid.

Eterna is dedicated to its patients The specialised centre for enhancement of beauty Eterna is a centre that indulges its patients and improves the modern way of life. Eterna works to develop the vision of being known as a centre that is a modern, high quality and trustworthy partner in treatment and the improvement of health. Eterna is dedicated to its patients and provides timely, high quality and modern services every day, respecting ethical and leading best practices. The exceptionally professional Eterna team has acquired its knowledge both in Serbia and abroad.

• How is the procedure carried out? - One procedure lasts a short time, between 30 minutes and at most an hour. And it is important to remember that the patient can return to everyday activities immediately after the treatment. The procedure involves taking a blood sample, separating the blood’s components by centrifuge, mixing hyaluronic acid and PRP and application of CellularMatrix on the desired area. • How many treatments of CellularMatrix are required? - The application protocols depend on the depth and prominence of the wrinkles, hypertrophic scars, keloids… According to the examination the doctor decides on the required number of treatments for each patient individually, to achieve the best result. The treatment is safe, but precautionary measures must be born in mind. To be more precise, taking blood and applying CellularMatrix must be carried out in a sterile environment to avoid the possibility of infections.

• When are the first results visible? - This is one of patients’ favourite questions. An immediate effect in terms of hydration and increased volume is visible immediately after the first treatment. The gradual freeing of growth factors brings visible results over a period of two weeks after treatment. • What would you say are the advantages of CellularMatrix treatment? - There are many advantages of this treatment. I could mention the completely natural look with no effects of over-filling or frozen facial features, the stimulation of regeneration of the skin, its rehydration, the long-lasing freeing of growth factors thanks to the interaction of thrombocytes and hyaluronic acid, the insignificant undesired effects as the autologous product is 100 percent biocompatible. Thanks to such treatments and products I can tell all our patients: “Welcome to the future!” ■ 


| 9

CORPORATE NAĐA STUPAR MD, Clinical biochemistry specialist, Aqualab

NIPT – Next Generation

Pregnancy represents one of the most beautiful experiences for women, which carries with it a great sense of responsibility. Support is needed from loved ones, but also professional people who should provide all necessary information related to this complex condition, which in Serbia is referred to with reason as the “second state”. Women who have been informed and sure of themselves have had positive experiences


lthough pregnant women are expected to make numerous visits to the doctor for mandatory inspections and controls, they should approach that positively and try to dispel normal fears about their health, and especially the health and development of the child. Undoubted asssistance in this is provided for both pregnant women and doctors by the latest generation Panorama non-invasive prenatal screening tests, produced by American company Natera. Aqualab Plus laboratories are exclusive representatives of these tests for Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. • What is NIPT? What sorts of tests exist? - Non-invasive prenatal screening test which detects congenital anomalies caused by disorder in the number or structure of a baby’s chromosomes. A large number of tests exist on our market and use the method of counting, but only Panorama uses patented SNP technology of the latest generation.

• Who is advised to take the test? Are there any limitations? - All pregnant women, regardless of their age, who want to eliminate doubts about possible genetic disorders of their baby, especially pregnant women over the age of 35; pregnant women referred for amniocentesis following an ultrasound test and/or common test from maternal serum (Double, Triple, Quadruple); pregnant women who already have a child born with a genetic disorder. Apart from in these cases, this test should also be carried out when there is evidence of previous miscarriages or with carriers of genetic disorders, especially when there is increased risk from invasive diagnostic methods (amnio and cordocentesis). The test is not carried out in the case of twins and multiple pregnancy.

• What needs to be done to obtain a test result? - The test is simple and easy to perform and implies providing data and taking sampling of venous blood of the mother. The process doesn’t take long to perform. Consumption of food or Aqualab Plus laboratories are exclusive representatives of medicine, or time of day, do not influence the test results.

these tests for Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina • What is Panorama and what are the advantages? - Panorama represents the next generation of NIPT’s. That is the only non-invasive prenatal test that distinguishes available fetal DNA from available maternal DNA. It has the lowest percentage of false negative (0.7%) and false positive results (0.35%). It detects conditions that other tests cannot detect: triploidy, mosaicism in the mother, molar pregnancy, vanishing twin syndrome. Another important advantage is the most competitive price on the market, with the possibility of payment in six monthly installments. • In which week of pregnancy can the test be done and what is revealed by this test? - Already after 9+ weeks of gestation. Panorama in three panels reveals trisomy of the 21st (Down), 18th (Edwards) and 13th (Patau) chromosomes, Monosomy X (Turner Syndrome), triploidy of all chromosomes / Vanishing twin, 22q11.2 microdeletion syndrome (DiGeorge), Angelman, Cri-du-chat, 1p36 and Prader-Willi syndrome.

10 |


• Is it possible to determine the sex of the baby? - Yes, gender determination is 100% accurate. It is an integral part of the test and the result is only shown if expressly desired. • When are test results received? How reliable is the test? - Results are obtained within 3-5 days of the sample being received at Natera (USA). Due to the transportation, we issue the result within a deadline of 7-10 days. The accuracy of the results exceeds 99%. • What if the test is positive? Where can the Panorama test be done? - In the case of a positive finding, amniocentesis and analysis of amniotic fluid is free of charge, as is consultation with a genetic advisor. It is necessary visit Aqualab Plus laboratories or one of the collaborative clinics. All information can be obtained at the information desks of any of our laboratories, as well as by calling the contact numbers that you find on the Aqualab Plus laboratories website: ■


Trends In Modern Dentistry Many of us have bad memories of dental treatment some years ago. Dental treatment did focused on the patient, but on removing the patient’s immediate problems, mostly pain


day but certainly within 48 hours. Our patients receive an mplant dentistry was developed with the idea of rehabiliimmediate prosthesis that is fixed with retention screws tating the chewing function, so that patients without teeth that can only be removed by the dentist in the clinic, which could eat well without removable dentures, since these provides a great opportunity for cleaning on a follow-up were usually uncomfortable and fitted badly. Implants bevisit. In some cases, due to a lack of bone, patients require came the most natural replacement for missing teeth, when grafting procedures to be able to receive dental implants. one or just a few teeth were missing. Restorations with imWith techniques like All-on-4® that we began using 11 years plants don’t require grinding or damaging neighbouring teeth, so they cause the least biological trauma. However, the time ago, our patients avoid aggressive and traumatic procerequired for patients to receive final restoration meant that dures of bone grafting, and are still able to receive a fixed many of them reverted to a different type of treatment. And restoration on 4 implants. as additional procedures were often needed, the time needed The use of digital techniques also shortens the treatment to finish treatment was prolonged, sometimes even more time and increases the quality of rehabilitation with dental than a year. implants. Thanks to the Cone Beam CT, or to use a popular exIn the last 10-15 years, as a changing society brought about pression the 3D x-ray, and in combination with planning softcertain trends and heightened demands, implant dentistry ware, we are able to predictably plan implant positions, so that became focused on patients’ needs. Research, development, and advanceThanks to the Cone Beam CT, or to use a popular expression the 3D ments in technology and clinical techx-ray, and in combination with planning software, we are able to niques enabled us to offer treatments predictably plan implant positions, so that restoration on implants that allowed patients to function and aesthetics to be rehabilitated immehas a more natural appearance diately. For example, when a patient comes into our clinic with a fractured tooth that has to be restoration on implants has a more natural appearance. The removed, she leaves the clinic with a temporary crown fixed use of digital intraoral scanners like Cerec allows us to create on an implant, and this provides a satisfactory functional and a crown on a single implant within 45 minutes, without having aesthetic result. The NobelActive® implant provides excepto take uncomfortable impressions. For bigger restorations, CAD/CAM machines give us the ability to produce very pretional results in such a situation, and the Adent dental clinic cise restorations that are attached to implants with screws, was part of the prelaunch group for that implant. making them reliable, safe, and aesthetically superior rehabiliWe often face patients that are about to lose all of their tations for our patients. teeth. Besides functional and aesthetic considerations, The Adent dental clinic has 25 years of experience with patients are faced with the psychological concern of losing Cerec, 22 years of experience with Dental Implants (Nobel teeth and wearing dentures. However, these patients can Biocare) and 11 years of experience with All-on-4®. ■ be treated with immediate restorations, usually the same


| 11

12 |



Samoa: the First Country  to Welcome 2017




esidents and tourists on Kiritimati, which is also known as Christmas Island and has a population of more than 5,500, were among the first to ring in the new year. Other parts of Kiribati’s Phoenix Islands, including Tabuaeran and Teraina, were also among the first to see the date change to 1st January. For the fifth time, residents of Samoa were among the first in the world to welcome the New Year. This is because the island country changed its timezone in December 2011 by moving to the

The island nation of Samoa and parts of Kiribati, located in the Pacific Ocean, were the first places in the world to welcome the start of the new year on Saturday 31st December at 11:00am. New Zealand’s Auckland was the world’s first major city to enter 2017, followed by Sydney


west of the International Date Line in an effort to boost its economy by doing business with Australia and New Zealand. Samoa and parts of Kiribati are now in the world’s most forward

Samoa and parts of Kiribati are now in the world’s most forward timezone, 13 hours ahead of Serbia and in the same time zone as Hawaii, although a day ahead

timezone, 13 hours ahead of Serbia and in the same time zone as Hawaii, although a day ahead. Fifteen minutes later, New Zealand’s Chatham Islands and its 600 residents also welcomed 2017. Auckland was the world’s first major city to mark 2017 at 1100 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), along with places such as Fiji, Tonga and Antarctica. It was followed at 1300 GMT by New Year’s celebrations in Australia, with a spectacular fireworks display over the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. ■ JANUARY



| 99


Corporate Gifts Reasons for gift giving range from thanking long-standing customers for their business to recognising a valued employee for working on a weekend. The basic reason is the same: to affirm relationships and enhance the personal connection between giver and receiver. Corporate gifts are not given as part of any defined arrangement between giver and receiver. It is important to understand that the gift recipient doesn’t consciously set goals in anticipation of a reward. Here are some ideas for corporate gifts.

According to numerous surveys, most business gifts are given to major clients. After that comes employees, then prospective clients

Salvatore Ferragamo Silk Tie Exquisitely crafted in Italy from pure silk, the playful design will instantly lift a crisp white shirt and sharp suiting. Price: €154

Executive Newton's Cradle The Newton's Cradle is aptly named after Sir Isaac Newton. It is also known as an executive ball clicker, Newton's balls, or balance balls. Price: €33

Tateossian Silver Globe Cufflings

Bosca Leather - Partners Brief

A luxury statement to sharp looks, they make the perfect gift for globe-trotting businessmen. Price: €350

Corneliani Silk-Cashmere Herringbone Scarf Woven in a luxurious silk-cashmere blend, the Italian-made scarf is finished with fringed trims and an embroidered logo. Price: €291

Motivational Desk Dice Clever metal dice set can be rolled or turned to display 36 different phrases. Includes matching metal alloy cradle. Price: €10.40

100 |



The distinguished Bosca Leather Partners Brief with Zip Computer Pocket is a sleek, updated version of a corporate briefcase, subtly shaped for simple elegance Price: €467

Givenchy Wool Scarf Givenchy wool scarf features a geometric eye print and striped border. Price: €427

Max Mara Snakeskin Belt Wide belt crafted from glossy snakeskin. Price: €495

Woven Square Scarf A modern square scarf trimmed in eyelash fringe. Price: €27

Automatic Sand Drawing Machine Design mesmerizing sand drawings with your own magically magnetic zen garden. Price: €47

Deluxe Handbag of Holding

Chanel’s Eau de Parfum Spray 200ml Floral-aldehydic, a bouquet of abstract flowers with an indefinable femininity. Price: €337

Black vegan leather handbag with 15 different places to tuck all your stuff. Price: €57

Burberry Scented Candle This candle is presented in a hand-glazed ceramic holder. Burn this to fill your home or office with a warm luxurious scent. Price: €83

Candy Universe After receiving a business gift, 85% of people establish cooperation with the company which sent them the gift! Sweeten your cooperation. Price: €2,2




| 101





Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of Greece’s New Democracy Party, has made an official visit to Belgrade during which he met with members of the Hellenic Business Association of Serbia (HBA) for a working breakfast. The meeting was attended by 50 Greek business leaders based in Serbia, as well as representatives of Greece’s political and diplomatic corps. The event was opened by HBA Serbia President Georgios Papanastasiou, who presented the association’s goals and activities to Mr Mitsotakis, as well as familiarising him with the key business segments of Greek companies operating in Serbia. During the constructive dialogue that followed, Greek businessmen had the opportunity for discussion with Mr Mitsotakis, who presented his policy ideas for returning the Greek economy to robust growth, as well as voicing his support for the operations of Greek companies in Serbia and elsewhere abroad.






Blazing to Serbia, a charitable organisation set up by the Fire Brigade in the Welsh town of Caerphilly, under the leadership of their chief, Steve Logan, has made another visit to Serbia. Arriving in Belgrade and staying in the city of Ruma for four days, they once again organised the distribution of gifts and aid to the people of Serbia. The British Society of Serbia held a welcome party for the members of this organisation at Ruma’s Café foRUm.

AJA JUNG, Director and Founder of the Belgrade Dance Festival, BRANKICA JANKOVIĆ, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, and H.E. JULIA FEENEY, Australia n Ambassador to Serbia

The Belgrade Dance Festival and Vip mobile organised a reception at Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on the occasion of the presentation of the “Vip Calling” Award to Branislav Henselmann. According to the decision of the five-member jury comprising representatives of the Belgrade Dance Festival and Vip mobile, the prestigious “Vip Calling” Award went to Branislav Henselmann, Executive Director of Vancouver-based Ballet BC and Chair of the Canadian Dance Assembly’s Ballet Companies Standing Council. Henselmann will make his first appearance in front of the Belgrade audience with Ballet BC on 24th March, at the opening of the 14th Belgrade Dance Festival, when this award will also be presented to him.




An exhibition entitled “Poles and Germans – the History of Dialogue” has opened at the National Library of Serbia to mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Polish-German Agreement on good neighbourly relations and friendly cooperation. The goal of the exhibition is to present Polish-German relations from the outbreak of World War II to the present day. The exhibition was formed on the basis of the permanent exhibition “Courage and Reconciliation” in Krzyżowa near Świdnica, which was prepared by the Museum of Polish History, in cooperation with the Krzyżowa Foundation for European Understanding, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the holding of the Mass of Reconciliation. The patron of the “Courage and Reconciliation” exhibition is the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. The exhibition follows the history of relations between Poles and Germans in the 20th century and was opened in Belgrade by H.E. Polish Ambassador to Serbia Tomasz Niegodzisz and H.E. German Ambassador to Serbia Axel Dittmann. 102 |







Initially organised in 2011 in the Macedonian capital of Skopje, under the slogan “Co-existence of Cultures in the Balkans”, the academic gatherings entitled International Balkan Annual Conferences (IBAC) aim to bring experts and prominent scientists together to assess the past and future of the Balkans from various perspectives, mainly historical, cultural, literary, administrative and economic, in order to diagnose problems and offer possible remedies, thereby contributing to peace and stability in the region. This year’s gathering, under the heading “TURKEY AND SERBIA: Changing Political and Socio-Economic Dynamics in the Balkans”, was held in the Ceremo- AHMET YEŞIL PH.D., President nial Hall of the University of Belgrade. of the IBAC Conference Series








Hemofarm, the regional leader in the pharmaceutical industry, rounded off the 10th anniversary of its operations within the framework of the STADA international concern, record production levels, with investments worth tens of millions of euros and the enormous trust of customers in more than 38 countries on three continents. The formal reception, organised for the company’s friends, partners and associates, provided a good opportunity to summarise the annual results of this pharmaceutical giant. The end of the year also saw Hemofarm become STADA’s hub for Southeast Europe and open a new Quality building, which is the centre of the most upto-date equipment and the best educated experts. “This is not only confirmation of the continuation of STADA’s investment in its business in Serbia, but rather a huge argument that the generic industry is not a copy, but rather an innovator in the production of accessible, safe and high quality products that are exclusively in the function of serving the nation’s health,” said Ronald Seeliger, Hemofarm CEO and Vice President of the STADA Group for Southeast Europe.


In the presence of numerous guests, media agency “Direct Media” celebrated 15 successful years of doing business that have been marked by regional expansion, expanding the boundaries of the advertising industry and corporate social responsibility, with which this agency succeeded in setting the highest standards of media advertising across the entire region. “This company comprises multidisciplinary communication professionals who, by constantly working on themselves, create quality and contribute to the success of our partners, whilst simultaneously working together with the media to move the entire market forward. This is a celebration of that joint leadership,” said Direct Media Serbia director Jovan CELEBRATION OF 15 YEARS OF DIRECT MEDIA Stojanović.




Company Star Import, the general distributor of Mercedes-Benz and Smart vehicles in Serbia, organised its traditional dinner for representatives of the media. Star Import CEO Rolf-Juergen Seyerle expressed his great gratitude to the media for showing support and professionalism, stating on this occasion: “This year we celebrate 20 years of successfully doing business in Serbia. We have achieved a 23 per cent increase in sales of passenger vehicles in Serbia, thus we expect to end the year as the leader in the premium segment. Sales of trucks and vans also increased compared to last year. We are confident that we will, with the application of quality and the highest level of professionalism, ensure the further success and advancement of our operations,” said Seyerle. The greatest attention of those in attendance was undoubtedly attracted by the models on display.





| 103




A Serbian-Greek Business Forum has been held in Belgrade, bringing together representatives of more than 40 Greek companies and 100 Serbian companies from the sectors of food, energy, environmental protection and construction materials. The business forum and bilateral meetings of busi- PANAGIOTIS PAPADOPOULOS (left) and ness leaders was organised MARKO ČADEŽ by the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia (CCIS) and the Embassy of Greece in Belgrade, as part of the official visit of a Greek state-economic delegation to Serbia, led by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Georgios Katrougalos. The forum began with CCIS President Marko Čadež and first vice-president of the Union of Chambers of Commerce of Greece, Panagiotis Papadopoulos, signing a Protocol Agreement on cooperation between these two business associations.

06 CONTEMPORARY ARGENTINA FILM CYCLE DEC The Embassy of the Republic of Argentina and the Cervantes Institute have presented a review of one of the most dynamic and productive Latin American film industries, contemporary Argentine film. The aim of this cycle is to show the prominent place occupied by Argentinian cinema on the contemporary film scene through the presentation of four recent films with storylines that reflect the richness and diversity of Argentina’s social and cultural reality. December saw ENRIQUE CAMACHO GARCIA, DIRECTOR OF THE CERVANTES the organizing of two screenings within INSTITUTE IN BELGRADE the Contemporary Argentina cycle - Mi Primera Boda (My First Wedding) and El Ultimo Elvis (The Last Elvis). Attendees were addressed by Enrique Camacho Garcia, director of the Cervantes Institute in Belgrade. The cycle continues in January 2017.

104 |



6-9 15TH FESTIVAL OF ITALIAN FILM HELD DEC The Festival of Italian Film, held this year at the Yugoslav Cinematheque Film Archives, has once again offered a selection of the best Italian films produced in the last two years. Film lovers had the opportunity to see five films of different genres, with the festival opened by Alessandro Aronadio’s comedy Ears, in which one of the roles is DAVIDE SCALMANI (left) and played by Milena Vukotić, an Italian actress MARJAN VUJOVIĆ, Director of the of Montenegrin origin. Next were shown The Yugoslav Cinematheque Film Archives Legendary Giulia and Other Miracles and They Call Me Jeeg Robot, by Gabriele Mainetti, and Vincenzo Salemme’s Se mi lasci non vale, while the festival closed with Claudio Caligari’s drama Don’t Be Bad. The festival was opened by Davide Scalmani, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Belgrade.

08 4TH “BELGRADE DIALOGUES” CONFERENCE HELD DEC Belgrade has hosted the 4th “Belgrade Dialogues” two-day conference, organised by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence and Forum Serbia Germany, in cooperation with the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and with the support of the Balkan Trust for Democracy and the CounJADRANKA JOKSIMOVIĆ cil of Europe. A large number of eminent speakers from Europe and elsewhere in the world discussed the fate of the EU, the rise of nationalism and populism, the impact on the European idea and the issue of EU enlargement under current circumstances. The first day of dialogue was opened by Serbian Minister without portfolio Responsible for European Integration, Jadranka Joksimović, H.E. German Ambassador to Serbia Axel Dittmann, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Oscar Benedict, and President of the Managerial Board of Forum Serbia Germany, Bojan Predojević. Speaking about Europe between nationalism, populism and expansion was Adam Fagan, Head of the School of Politics and International Relations and Professor of European Politics at Queen Mary University of London, with a panel discussion following on the impact of these trends on the European idea and expansion as a possible response to the crisis.



The Embassy of France in Belgrade, the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the French Institute jointly organised the visit of H.E. French Ambassador Christine Moro to the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Organisational Sciences. This occasion saw the staging of the Day of France and the presenting of the academic, economic and culture projects that France implements with Serbia. Ambassador Moro held a lecture on the topic: “French strategy of exporting innovative technologies to Serbia and the Balkans”. Following the lecture, representatives of three French companies operating in Serbia – Schneider Electric, Societe Generale and Atos IT Solutions and Services – spoke about the innovative technologies that they apply in their operations globally and on the Serbian market, while the French Institute introduced a new competition for French government scholarships to study in France. The event also included the presenting of the mobility programmes of this faculty’s students at the Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne.




Following the invitation of Serbian Health Minister Zlatibor Lončar for an official visit to Belgrade, the Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, H.E. Prince Dominique de la Rochefocauld-Montbel, visited Serbia and was welcomed by Deputy Health Minister Zoran Mihailović and Ambassador of the Order, H.E. Alberto di Luca. This visit is a matter of the utmost importance and significance, given that it was the first official visit to Serbia of a member of the Government of the Order, testifying to the positive development of relations and bilateral cooperation. The meeting between the two Ministers took place in a friendly atmosphere at the Palace of Serbia, with the reciprocal purpose of studying various topics of common interest in depth.



Telekom Srbija organised its traditional “mts academy”, a ceremonial event dedicated to its largest and most loyal business clients and partners, who contributed to the success and financial performance of Telekom Srbija during the current year. “Last year was a record one for the company in many ways. As is known, Telekom Srbija is the most profitable company in our country. I thank all of you for this result, but also the millions of our users who have contributed to Telekom Srbija becoming the pride of the Serbian economy,” said Telekom Srbija CEO Predrag Ćulibrk. The winners of Telekom’s 2016 Business Partner Award are Public Enterprise Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS), Post Serbia, NIS, Banca Intesa, Komercijalna Bank, Pink International, Mercator-S, the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Serbian Ministry of Defence and the Internal Revenue Service. Telekom Srbija also awarded special recognitions for cooperation to the Serbian Ministry of Health, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Academic Network AMRES, Huawei and Tigar Tyres.


H.E. Prince DOMINIQUE DE LA ROCHEFOCAULD-MONTBEL (left), Dr VLADIMIR ĐUKIĆ, State Secretary at the Serbian Ministry of Health, and H.E. ALBERTO DI LUCA





Under the patronage of the German Embassy and the Karađorđević Royal family, and in the presence of H.E. German Ambassador Axel Dittmann and Mrs Dittmann, as well as HRH Crown Princess Katherine Karađorđević, the Children’s Culture Centre hosted an interactive children’s New Year’s programme. The programme included the participation of 50 children from the German School in Belgrade and the Drinka Pavlović Primary School, who prepared rich theatre, ballet HRH CROWN PRINCESS KATHERINE and music content for their peers KARAĐORĐEVIĆ (LEFT), H.E. AXEL DITTMANN AND MRS DITTMANN from the Belgrade Orphanage. JANUARY



| 105





Ambassador H.E. Kyle Scott gave a lecture in Niš on the topic Relations between the U.S.A. and Serbia in the era of Donald Trump, with the talk organised by the Club of Serbian-American Friendship and the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade According to Ambassador Scott, despite the fact that Donald Trump did not mention the Balkans in his H.E. AMBASSADOR KYLE SCOTT campaign, he doubts there will be any change in the policy towards Serbia, because the interests of the United States have always been based on the stability of the region, economic growth, the modernisation of the economy and the EU integration of Serbia and the surrounding countries. However, the U.S. Ambassador considers that we should await the formation of the government, especially given that it is still unknown who the Secretary of State will be, which will certainly determine relations between the two countries in the future. He added that our countries have been allied throughout history, and that Serbia will have a good partner in the United States if it is ready to advance towards Europe.




The tenth Belgrade International Science Festival opened on 15th December and ran until 18th December at the Belgrade Fair, bringing together more than 600 scientists and scientific demonstrators over four days, who presented 53 applied science settings to six visiting groups from abroad and 62 scientific and SCIENCE FESTIVAL – educational institutions from Serbia. NEUROSCIENCE Through interactive settings under the title ‘Science without stopping’, visitors to the Science Festival had the opportunity to learn how the presence of biological evidence is proved, how to uncover forgeries, detect drugs and try real detective work as CSI investigators, as well as to find out about the food of the future, discover which are the most dangerous places to live in the world, whether plants are really intelligent and what it is like to feel the difference between equatorial, desert and sub-polar climates on their skin.


106 |






The presentation of the “Giuseppe Maria Leonardi” Award to company Valy d.o.o. was organised by the Italian-Serbian Chamber of Commerce and held at the Ambassadorial Residence, with the supported of H.E. Ambassador Giuseppe Manzo. “This evening is another sign of the healthy and friendly relations between Italy and Serbia, and this year also confirms the leading position of our country in economics and trade,” said Ambassador Manzo. The gala evening’s special guest was Serbian Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, Ana Brnabić. This year’s winner “Giuseppe Maria Leonardi” Award, Valy d.o.o., and the company’s CEO Albert Gras, were awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to employment, education and employee training, as well as for contributing to the growth of Serbian exports and investing in new technologies and innovation.




The formal lighting up of the decorated fir tree in the city’s Tašmajdan Park was attended by Belgrade Mayor Siniša Mali, H.E. Norwegian Ambassador Arne Sannes Bjørnstad, Telenor CEO Ingeborg Ofsthus and a large number of Belgraders. Speaking on this occasion, Ambassador Bjørnstad noted: “Christmas is the favourite time of year, a time of giving and sharing within the family and with friends, and the Christmas tree is a symbol of light, hope and love, and a sign of Norway’s true friendship with Serbia and Belgrade”. “The end of the year is an opportunity for people to connect with their memories, but also with their wishes for the future,” said Telenor CEO Ofthus, who helped to decorate the Christmas tree with festive decorations.


New Special Offer for 2017

1 2 3

NOW! Subscribe NOW! You can now subscribe online: Get a year of CorD and receive your copy each month in addition to all special editions FREE

and Receive a Special Gift! ONE COPY €39.oo p/a


THREE COPIES €85.oo p/a

Contact Us Without Delay

011.2450-508 011.2450-122 011.2450-204

CorD Magazine No. 147  
CorD Magazine No. 147