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Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development




Writer and academic

MARCH ’17 / ISSUE No. 149

Ambassador of Israel

interviews opinions news comments events

No. 149.. PRICE 300 RSD


Restoring Faith In Globalisation CLEMENS FUEST

2017: The Year Of European Populism?


Reforms Are Our






COMMENT CARL BILDT, Sweden’s foreign minister from 2006 to October 2014 and Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994





I must confess that I am a firm believer in the benefits of globalization. To my mind, the gradual interlinking of regions, countries, and people is the most profoundly positive development of our time


Dušan Vujović, Ph.D., Serbian Finance Minister



H.E. Alona Fisher-Kamm, Ambassador of Israel


March 2017



24 IT AND INNOVATIVE BUSINESS KNOCKING ON SERBIA’S DOOR Darko Vidić, Founder and Director, Green Design, Internet Entrepreneur


44 I’M MY OWN HARSHEST JUDGE Svetlana Bojković, dramatic artist




Dušan Kovačević, writer and academic





88 DON’T’ UNDERESTIMATED YOUR PERSONAL 42 ENDLESS INNOVATION: BUSINESS STYLE FROM BELGRADE Fashion: Spring 2017 TO SILICON VALLEY Damjan Stanković, Head of the LinkedIn team for users experience



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



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Restoring Faith In Globalisation I must confess that I am a firm believer in the benefits of globalisation. To my mind, the gradual interlinking of regions, countries, and people is the most profoundly positive development of our time CARL BILDT


ut a populist has now assumed the United States presiquarters in the eurozone, and all European Union economies dency by campaigning on a platform of stark economic are expected to grow in the next few years. Meanwhile, the US nationalism and protectionism. And in many countries, economy is already doing well – unemployment is below 5% public discourse is dominated by talk of globalisation’s and real incomes are rising. alleged “losers,” and the perceived need for new policies to stem Of course, many societies are undeniably experiencing a growthe rise of populist discontent. ing sense of cultural insecurity, not least because many people When I was born, the world’s population was 2.5 billion. I vivhave been led to believe that external forces such as migration are idly recall a time in my life when many people feared that starvaeroding traditional sources of peace and stability. They are told tion would soon run rampant, gaps between the rich and poor that a return to tribalism in one form or another is a readily availwould grow ever wider, and everything would eventually come able coping mechanism. Their mythical tribe was great in some crashing down. mythical past, so why not try to recreate it? We now live in a world with 7.5 billion people, and yet the share Such thinking poses a serious threat to the world’s most vulnerof people living in absolute poverty has declined rapidly, while the able people. The UN Sustainable Development Goal to eliminate gap between rich and poor countries has extreme poverty worldwide by 2030 is ensteadily closed. Around the world, average tirely dependent on continued economic At the World Economic life expectancy has increased from 48 to 71 growth through trade, technological inForum in Davos this year, novation, and international cooperation. years – albeit with significant differences between countries – and overall per capita Erecting trade barriers, engaging in digital Chinese President Xi income has grown by 500%. mercantilism, and generally undermining Jinping was the one Just looking back at the last 25 years, the liberal world order will severely harm one could argue that humanity has had its the extreme poor in Africa and other unextolling the virtues of best quarter-century ever. Since 1990, the regions, while doing nothglobalisation, while many derdeveloped share of people living in extreme poverty ing to help coal miners in West Virginia. Western business leaders in the developing world has fallen from The strong will always manage, but the 47% to 14%, and child mortality – a critical weak will bear the burden of a nostalgic wandered the halls trying indicator – has been halved. The world has protectionism that erodes the benefits of to sound concerned for never seen anything like this before. globalisation. At the World Economic FoThis spectacular progress has been rum in Davos this year, Chinese President the supposed losers of driven partly by advances in science Xi Jinping was the one extolling the virtues the process and technology. But it owes at least as of globalisation, while many Western busimuch to increased economic interaction ness leaders wandered the halls trying to through trade and investment, and to the overarching liberal sound concerned for the supposed losers of the process. order that has enabled these positive developments. In short, The communists are keeping the globalisation faith; but the globalisation has been the single most important force behind capitalists seem to have lost theirs. This is bizarre – and entirely decades of progress. out of sync with past performance and current facts. We have evFor most people around the world, life before globalisation ery reason to be confident in a process that has delivered more was poor, brutal, and short. And yet today’s anti-globalists have prosperity to more people than anyone could have dreamed of turned nostalgia into a rallying cry. They want to make America – just a few decades ago. We must not be shy in defending globalior Russia, or Islam – “great again.” Each may be rallying against sation and combatting reactionary nostalgia. the others; but all are rallying against globalisation. We can have a brighter future – but only if we don’t seek it in the past. ■ Economic conditions were certainly less favorable in the years following the 2008 financial crisis, but now employment Project Syndicate: The author was Sweden’s foreign minister and economic growth are rebounding pretty much everywhere. from 2006 to October 2014 and Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994 Real (inflation-adjusted) GDP has been rising for 15 consecutive 6 |




Reforms Are Our


The upcoming elections, whether just presidential or presidential and parliamentary, will be a new test of whether people in Serbia are willing to accept reforms which will lead to the establishment of the cornerstone of a modern Serbia with a sustainable economy that is able to create new jobs and attract foreign direct investments. This should be the backbone of the pro- reform and pro-EU campaign in Serbia



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erbia has received many compliments for the reforms so far implemented. However, the list of things to be done is still quite long and, more than anything, very demanding. In fact, quite often electoral cycles have disrupted the pace of reforms and some of the toughest challenges facing the government have persisted for some time. In this interview with Serbian Finance Minister Dušan Vujović,




During 2017 we will have two formal reviews: the first would be concluded based on end-March and the Second based on end-September data and conditionality

A comprehensive public expenditure review will soon be launched to assess the quality, efficiency and efficacy in achieving set immediate and broader development objectives

Fresh thinking is needed to demonstrate dynamic trade-offs where everybody wins in the medium run if reforms are completed, and most everybody loses if reforms are stalled or abandoned

following the announcement of new presidential, and possibly several times before, Vujović again noted that what makes these parliamentary, elections, we discussed the tasks ahead for the reforms tough is the resistance of “managers and trade unions” in government, the challenges posed by the elections when it comes state-owned loss-makers, who “insist that restructuring requires to scheduled obligations and the willingness of the society to the observation of procedures and programmes”. proceed on the road leading to sustainable economic growth and prosperity. As we have witnessed many times, this road is often rocky and seeks – not just from the government, but also from the municipal-level administration and public companies – different actions, the streamlining of their operations and that they become much more efficient than they used to be. On top of that, it also seeks understanding from citizens in term of deciding responsibly on the options proposed during the election cycle. What seem to be behind us are tough austerity measures. As noted by this minister in late 2016, too much belt tightening would be counterproductive and halt Serbia’s prospects of reaching a sustainable level of public debt and deficit. The reason things look promising is mainly due to the government having accomplished more than it planned. At present, it seems that we are closer to a sustainable level of public debt, with the economy continuing to grow. According to the official forecast, there will Later in the year the focus will be economic growth of 2.7% to 2.8% in 2017, For many Serbian governwith a record low budget deficit of 1.7% of GDP. ments, that kind of resistance shift to improvements in the The share of public debt in GDP is predicted to became an insurmountable financial sector (assessment mountain. In this case, the fall to 72.8% by the end of this year. That is as of the Development Fund and government needs clear backlittle as 0.7% less compared to 2016, but it’s the export promotion agency, ing from the electorate if it important that Serbia is on its way to reducing it to 60%, in line with the Maastricht rules. wants to finish the job in the and privatisation of Dunav However, there is still no space for tax and correct way. Insurance), the closure of contribution cuts, and the ban on hiring in the Vujović himself recognises inefficient power plants in EPS, that the success so far achieved public sector must remain intact. orderly transformation of tax could also be endangered if the Many factors can change the picture. As Minister Vujović noted recently, the most serious administration, and adoption envisaged reforms in educaglobal challenge Serbia is facing is an extremely tion and social services, in wage system legislation for complex and unpredictable situation in Europe cutting administration and local governments and and the world, but what matters far more for surplus employees in the public services Serbia is how to boost investments, finalise public sector, are not carried the restructuring of state-owned, loss-making out properly. “Despite good companies and revitalise production. progress, we still have a long list of ongoing reforms that need Indeed, this is an important question, and one which proved to monitoring and support,” says Vujović. be the toughest for many governments prior to this one. As stated Summaries in the sixth review of the three-year engageMARCH



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ment of the IMF in Serbia say that the programme of reforms has remained on track and the economy has continued to strengthen. Significant fiscal over-performance and renewed efforts to address structural weaknesses have helped boost confidence. This, along with a healthy credit recovery on the back of substantial monetary policy easing, has helped restore robust growth, while persistently low inflation has reinforced recovery in real incomes. However, the IMF remained cautious when it comes to public enterprises, even warning the government of the possible new accrual of debt. These reforms are crucial, as they prevent possible downside fiscal risks (caused by the assumption of public enterprise debts) and the creation of an efficient business environment that would attract investments, create jobs and generate exports.

the privatisation of Dunav Insurance), the closure of inefficient power plants in EPS, orderly transformation of the tax administration, and the adoption of wage system legislation for local governments and public services.

■ Although undisputed results have been achieved in fiscal stabilisation, it seems that the government still faces a long road in order for all expenditures at the state and local levels (including indirect budget beneficiaries) to be integrated and subjected to sharper and more consistent controls. What does 2017 bring in this regard? - Indeed, we will continue to improve the budget process, better manage (plan and implement) public expenditures, especially capital expenditures. A comprehensive public expenditure review will soon be launched to assess quality, efficiency and efficacy in achieving set immediate and broader development objectives. The objective is to set up a permanent capacity in the Ministry of Finance and all (or at least key) line ministries to permanently monitor implementation based on measurable performance indicators. These efforts will yield results only if they are applied across the board, at all levels of government and to all users of budget resources. The impact will be quite limited if the improvements are applied only to the public administration serving the central government. beginning of this

■ You asked the IMF to switch to half-yearly reviews of the programme, which would constitute a tacit sign of confidence in the way the government is implementing reforms. In your opinion, have you thus far fulfilled all of the most important expectations placed before Serbia by the programme? - Formally, we did request a move to a half-yearly review schedule, but that reflected the joint position of both teams, based on very good macroeconomic and growth performances, and the restored momentum of structural At the reforms. During 2017 we will have fiscal consolidation two formal reviews: the first will be ■ To what extent are the results program we postulated concluded based on data from endachieved so far in fiscal stabilisaMarch and the second based on endtion a product of one-off “miracles”, that half of the September data, and conditionality. government proceeds should and how much are they a product A growing share of staff time and of the core stabilising of budget go on the repayment of the resources will be devoted to finalising revenues? Do you calculate that most expensive debts and ongoing reforms and analysing key the sale of Komercijalna Banka aspects of sustainability beyond the at year’s end could have a serious half channeled to the most end of the programme. efficient investment projects. impact on this result? Despite good progress, we still - Indeed, we have had many one-offs None should be allowed to leak during the first two years of the fiscal have a long list of ongoing reforms into consumption that require monitoring and support. consolidation programme. But they Hence, performance criteria will conwere by no means miracles. Some were tinue to be observed quarterly and new structural benchmarks quite predictable (public company dividends, revenues from will be introduced to foster reforms in education and social the new digital agenda etc.). Some fit the concept of “inevitable services, right size public administration and the public sector, surprises” (advanced by P. Schwartz) and some just reflect our and resolve problematic enterprises. Later in the year the focus limited capacity to forecast revenues and expenditures. On a net will shift to improvements in the financial sector (assessment basis, one-offs have had a very limited impact. of the Development Fund and the export promotion agency, and During 2016 the actual general government fiscal balance 10 |



(1.4% of GDP) was 2.6 percentage points better than planned (4% of GDP). One-off revenues contributed almost a third of that improvement (0.85% of GDP), but one-off expenditures took away most of it (0.75% of GDP). On a net basis, one-off elements explained only 0.1%. We look realistically at all one-off elements and eliminate them from our projections in order to control the risks. We do not plan any privatisation revenues in our budget projections. In the case that proceeds from privatisation do materialise, we follow a rule-based approach in utilising additional resources. At the beginning of this fiscal consolidation programme we postulated that half of government proceeds should go on the repayment of the most expensive debts and half should be channelled into the most efficient investment projects. None should be allowed to leak into consumption.

■ In a letter of intent addressed to the IMF at year’s end 2016, you stated clearly that it is necessary to speed up reforms if lasting success is desired. Does this represent indirect acceptance that holding elections too often takes a toll by slowing down the resolving of some key issues? - I have already emphasised the importance of reforms, both in terms of preventing possible downside fiscal risks (caused by the assuming of public enterprise debts) and in terms of creat-

■ You announced in recent statements that we could also hope for a surplus by the end of 2017. Does a surplus, which we once more achieved during the time of your colleague Mlađan Dinkić, even make sense and how much can that actually be counterproductive when it comes to economic growth? - There has been a lot of incomplete, inconsistent or even erroneous information on historical deficit figures. The confusion is caused by many different concepts of budget and fiscal deficit ing an efficient business enLast year Serbia had a being used. Untangling this debate goes way primary surplus equal to 1.8% vironment that would attract beyond this interview. third generation investment of GDP and the interest So, I will try to answer this question with (regional hubs), create jobs payments (about 130 bn RSD) and generate exports. Frereference to the broadest and most reliable concept: the fiscal balance of the general govwere smaller than the increase quent elections divert attenernment. Based on official Ministry of Finance tion away from reforms and in GDP (about 160 bn RSD). and IMF figures on budget implementation, we problem solving capacities at Accelerating the pace of had fiscal deficits of the general government all levels. I hope the election debt-GDP reduction at the in all years after 2001 with the exception of outcomes foster ownership of 2004 (when the balance was zero) and in 2005 reforms and at least partially expense of GDP growth (due (when a surplus was recorded at the level of to overly tight fiscal policy) and compensate for the lost energy 1.1% of GDP). and focus on reforms and busiinfrastructure projects (as a Fiscal deficits are acceptable as long as they ness promotion. basis for future GDP growth) are consistent with longer-run debt sustainability and secure efficient use of public resources. ■ Likewise, you have does not seem like a smart Debt sustainability is secured if a country has choice at this stage of economic also acknowledged that a primary fiscal surplus and the cost of debt regulating the situation development in Serbia is equal to, or lower than, the GDP increment. in large enterprises, like Last year Serbia had a primary surplus equal to EPS, Srbijagas, Petrohe1.8% of GDP and the interest payments (about 130 billion RSD) mija, Azotara, MSK and RT Bor, actually represents a were smaller than the increase in GDP (about 160 billion RSD). very difficult task. So difficult in fact that it seems not Accelerating the pace of debt-GDP reduction at the expense of enough has changed in this respect since the start of GDP growth (due to overly tight fiscal policy) and infrastructure the programme with the IMF. How does this institution projects (as a basis for future GDP growth) does not seem like view the apparent shortfall in realising their restructura smart choice at this stage of economic development in Serbia. ing and privatisation? MARCH



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- Progress has been made in reforming large public enterprises. In the initial design of the reform programme we emphasised that the restructuring of public enterprises is at the core of structural reforms. In our last discussions with the IMF we focused on speeding up the implementation of reform plans, including those for large energy and transport companies, as well as the portfolio of the former Privatisation Agency. The fiscal policy objectives set out in the 2017 budget need to be supported by strengthened implementation of public ad-

ministration reform and SOE restructuring to safeguard the achieved fiscal adjustment and preserve public debt sustainability. Successful fiscal consolidation and macroeconomic stability will only be sustainable in the longer run if they are supplemented with structural reforms and lead to strong inclusive growth.



■ Relatively recently another former fellow finance minister, Božidar Đelić, said that he was concerned for the Western Balkans, including Serbia, because at a time when investors are literally sitting on huge amounts of money they are continuing to bypass this region and our country. In your opinion, what is hindering the greater inflow of FDI, which is far below the previous, but also modest, $2.5 billion? - In order to be able to attract large investors, Serbia needs to complete the ongoing reforms, clean the banking system of NPLs, restore the capital market and focus the bulk of political attention on creating and respecting market institutions, securing the highest standards of governance, the rule of law and ownership and creditor rights.

The fiscal policy objectives set out in the 2017 budget need to be supported by strengthened implementation of public administration reform and SOE restructuring to safeguard the achieved fiscal adjustment and preserve public debt sustainability. The successful fiscal consolidation and macroeconomic stability will be sustainable in the longer run only if they are supplemented with structural reforms and lead to strong inclusive growth

■ In that context, what do you consider as being the key watersheds in 2017 that will determine whether or not Serbia is moving towards sustainable fiscal stabilisation? - Past and expected fiscal performance, along with planned reforms within the Ministry of Finance based on detailed functional reviews completed last year, and the completion of the managerial, organisational and financial restructuring of SOEs and public utility companies, 12 |

provide a solid base to consolidate the already achieved fiscal results and get the economy on a sustainable growth path.

■ Will the legislative changes being introduced by the Ministry of Finance, as an important factor in controlling large projects in public-private partnerships, finally push forward this form of financing in Serbia? - The Ministry of Finance has gate-keeper, risk and quality control roles in these processes, which are driven by economic/market potential and best managerial skills. PPPs are one of the possible forms of creating value, jobs, economic growth and exports. PPPs have both advantages and disadvantages. We need to develop the necessary institutions and risk mitigating mechanisms to promote and enable win-win propositions and halt risky non-transparent deals.

■ How would you assess the effect of expected presidential elections and possible parliamentary elections? How, for example, have previous parliamentary elections impacted on your work as finance minister? - We hope that these elections will confirm the will of the people to accept difficult reforms as the cornerstone of a modern Serbia, capable of generating sustainable economic growth, creating new jobs and attracting foreign direct investments (which already exceed the current account deficit). As I said on a similar occasion last year, fresh thinking is needed to demonstrate dynamic trade-offs where everybody wins in the medium term if reforms are completed, and almost everybody loses if reforms are stalled or abandoned. This should be the backbone of the pro-reform and pro-EU campaign in Serbia. One can only hope that Serbian voters will see or feel that other political, economic and social alternatives are inferior. ■


Partnership Against Terrorism,


I come from a region that understands very well that, behind pure political interests, there are deep emotions of national identity, history, religious attachment and cultural factors that should be taken into account. Despite sporadic tensions which challenge overall stability, I strongly believe that the Western Balkans has entered an era of development and progress, as it is decisively orientated towards the EU – says Israeli Ambassador to Serbia, Alona Fisher Kamm


ust a few months in Belgrade were sufficient to confirm that her “high expectations” when it comes to Serbia had been fulfilled. This is how the story of the start of the term of new Israeli Ambassador Alona Fisher Kamm begins. In this interview for CorD Magazine she talks about plans to encourage stronger economic cooperation between Israel and Serbia, as well as plans to present her country as an interesting tourist destination for travellers from Serbia. The two countries will also strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, while Israel, as a country at the top of the world rankings of innovative economies, is ready to help strengthen the IT sector in Serbia, announces Fisher 14 |



Kamm. According to her, Serbia can serve as an example to other countries with its adopted Law on Restitution, according to which properties will be returned to the heirs of Jews killed in the Holocaust, which she expects to be applied in practice. ■ Your Excellency, you arrived in Serbia only recently. How are your first impressions? - I feel very much at home in this beautiful, vibrant city, although I’ve been living in Belgrade for only six months. Before coming here, my expectations were very high, since I had the privilege of speaking with all previous Israeli Ambassadors to Serbia and to Montenegro.




Our Embassy is very active in the start-up community in Serbia and well positioned

In the years ahead, we hope to see the level of bilateral trade growing, as well as investments in the IT sector, agriculture, renewable energy and clean tech and tourism

The number of Israeli tourists visiting Serbia, mainly Belgrade, increased by 70 per cent in 2016

Just like them, I immediately felt the generosity and great energy of your people. I’m very happy to be here. I applied for this post knowing that I’d be working in one of the most fascinating regions, with lots of potential for further strengthening our great relations.

Jewish Property, which was adopted by the Serbian government last year and rendered justice to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. In this respect, Serbia should serve as an example to all other countries. This is why it’s important for us all, Israel included, to guarantee its successful implementation and results. I would like to thank the Agency for Restitution, the National Assembly of the

■ You utilised the occasion of late January’s International Day of Holocaust Remembrance to call on all states to use education, but also laws, to prevent denials of this crime. In your opinion, what would the most efficient system for this look like? - Holocaust denial, as well as Antisemitism, is not an exclusively Jewish concern. This should concern the societies where they prevail the most, since they are a syndrome of deep illness. They reveal the existence of intolerant and radical elements in society which, given the freedom to act, will raise their head and sabotage the democratic and liberal values of society itself. The WWII Holocaust was a unique and unprecedented phenomenon of extermination, based on racism, but its denial might have severe consequences over a society, since there are lessons to be learnt in order to avoid such crimes and atrocities in the future. Due to the fact that recently we have been witnessing denial of the Holocaust, Antisemitism and hate crime in general in many countries, I believe we have to first fight against these phenomena We in Israel highly collectively. The first step would be to adopt in appreciate the Law on international fora a sole working definition of Restitution of Heirless Antisemitism that will be broad enough to cover Jewish Property, which a large variety of syndromes. Then every country should establish its own laws and, no less imporwas adopted by the tantly, the right mechanism to enforce them. The Serbian government most efficient system should combine legal, instilast year and rendered tutional and educational efforts, i.e. adoption and justice to the victims and implementation of relevant laws, the creation of memorials and long-term teaching programmes survivors of the Holocaust. that would encompass all levels of education. In this respect, Serbia

Republic of Serbia, the Government, as well as municipal officials and all parties involved, for their tireless efforts.

■ You have worked at your country’s embassies around the world – in Buenos Aires, Madrid, Paris. Now you have arrived in Serbia, which is located at the centre of a region that is increasingly written about as a place of political and inter-ethnic tensions and, according to some analyses, even possible conflicts. How do you should serve as an ■ A process that is of great importance to see the Western Balkans? example to all the Jewish community in Serbia is underway, - I come from a region that understands relating to the resolution of ownership rights very well that, behind pure political interother countries ests, there are deep emotions of national over property that belonged to Jews who identity, history, religious attachment and cultural factors that should were killed in the WWII Holocaust. Are you monitoring that be taken into account. The Western Balkans is a melting pot of fascinatprocess and do you agree with assessments that the Serbian ing variety of nations, cultures and religions, which unfortunately in government’s proposed legal solutions are satisfactory? the last decades have faced ethnically motivated turmoil and conflicts. - We in Israel highly appreciate the Law on Restitution of Heirless MARCH



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Despite sporadic tensions that challenge overall stability, I strongly believe that this region has entered an era of development and progress, as it is decisively orientated towards the EU.

more than a billion euros and is mainly focused in the real estate sector, which made us the top investor in that very sector in Serbia. We do notice a trend of expansion in developing retail parks outside of Belgrade, which is a good sign for more balanced urban development. ■ This region is also confronting the consequences of the In addition, we have a few investments in manufacturing, where global crisis, while Serbia cooperates with partners in the I believe there is much more ground to explore together. Besides, fight against terrorism. Can you tell us something about there are Serbian companies representing Israeli companies in IT and cooperation between the Serbian Interior Ministry and agricultural technology, but also clothing and jewellery. Israel in this field? However, the gap between the trade balance and potential is huge, - In the past, unfortunately, Israel was left although trade figures for last year are very alone in its fight against terrorism. At that encouraging. Bilateral trade rose by 50 per time, the dominant concept was that tercent and amounted to 66 million USD. The rorism should be fought individually, by Embassy plans to exert more efforts into countries that suffer from. Globalisation boosting trade and support activities, business matchmaking, sharing best practices has spread terrorism all over the world. and similar activities. For instance, this People have learnt that no country is safe year we’ll have a national booth at the in an era where there are no borders and Novi Sad Agriculture Fair, where we’ll that extremist Islamic groups have waged present Israeli agro-technology. Israeli war against the West and its values, and agro-tech companies are also present and not against any particular country. International cooperation at bilateral and ready to invest here. multilateral levels has become crucial in In the years ahead, we hope to see fighting terrorism. Preventing terrorism the level of bilateral trade growing, as means not only detecting a potential attack, well as investments in the IT sector, but countering the whole phenomenon, agriculture, renewable energy and clean starting from fighting against incitement, tech and tourism. closing economic sources that finance terIt is our intention to complete the rorism, dealing with recruitment etc. Both legal framework with agreements that of our countries understand the danger of would ease and stimulate economic relations between our countries. Last year terrorism very well and are doing their we finalised the text of the Agreement utmost to fight one of the biggest threats of on Avoidance of Double Taxation, which today, uniting its forces in this fight as any we hope will be implemented next year like-minded, friendly countries would do. The level of overall investment and benefit business from both countries. ■ You’ve assessed political relaover the years totals more tions between Israel and Serbia ■ The recently held World Economic than a billion euros and is as being at the highest level, while Forum included the revealing of the mainly focused in the real in your first media appearances Bloomberg Innovation Index, which you repeated that recognising the ranks the most innovative economies estate sector, which made independence of Kosovo is not an in the world for 2017, and where us the top investor in that option. Are there any diplomatic Israel was ranked high, occupying very sector in Serbia. We do attempts to persuade the Govern10th place. What would you say notice a trend of expansion in about how an economy can focus ment of Israel to change this stance? - I would not be lying if I said that not evedeveloping retail parks outside in this direction and to what extent rybody is satisfied with our position, but is the education system important? of Belgrade, which is a good in this aspect nothing has changed. Israel - Israel based its economy on the export sign for more balanced urban of knowhow. Due to the very specific stays firm in its position of non-recognition. development geopolitical surroundings and scarcity ■ Media here in Serbia have reported of natural resources, after the macroeconomic crisis we faced in the ‘90s, our government made a for more than a decade about the great interest in doing business in Serbia among Israeli investors, with investments in strategic decision to invest in R&D and make hi-tech the driving construction and trade and services most often mentioned. force behind our economy. It is a matter of national priority and, Where do you see room to expand cooperation? despite internal political change, our level of investment in R&D - The main Israeli investors came following the democratic changes remains stable. The rest is history, with Israel being recognised as of the year 2000. The level of overall investment over the years totals a “start-up nation” all over the globe. 16 |



There are a few pillars of the Israeli start-up ecosystem: academy, military, private sector, local municipalities and the government, via the Office of the Chief Scientist, which provides grants for start-ups. The education system is definitely important in this chain, especially universities that should be nurseries of creativity and innovation with their own hubs.

As Israeli Ambassador to Serbia, I would like to see these figures increase significantly, especially for the Serbs to discover Israeli cities and landscapes, as it’s only three hours away. We hope Serbian agencies will be able to create packages that would meet the purchasing power of the population. Furthermore, individual travellers have a range of accommodation possibilities to stay in 4-star hotels, which are dominant in the Israeli hotel offer. From Airbnb to Couchsurfing, various hostels, all can bridge the gap of an expensive hotel stay. Since Israel is a small country, within a week or a few days’ stay, one can travel from the green of the north, the Sea of Galilee and Haifa Bay, to the Dead Sea, Massada, Eilat and the Red Sea, in the very south, or to visit Jerusalem, with its religious sites. With additional PR activities and adequate travel packages, both countries have much more to offer in terms of tourism exchange, which adds to general bilateral relations.

■ Could Israel and Serbia also cooperate in the field of new technologies? - Our Embassy is very active in the start-up community in Serbia and well positioned. Every year we organise with partners the Start Tel Aviv competition for Serbian startups in seed phase, where the winner takes part in the DLD Festival of Innovation in Tel Aviv and gains the unique experience of working in one of the world’s start-up capitals. Moreover, we also work closely with all stakeholders on the Serbian startup scene by supporting a broad range of initiatives and events. Besides this, through our Mashav Courses, which is the educational and training aid agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we share Israel’s best practices in entrepreneurship, innovation, and start-up accelerators, agriculture, the empowerment of women, clean tech and other. On an annual basis, we have around 50 different courses attended by at least one candidate from Serbia. With regard to the newly adopted strategy of IT development and measures that the government will undertake to We have many plans for encourage education in IT, we will be cooperation in the fields of happy to take an active part.

■ Apart from Serbia, you are also Israel’s ambassador to Montenegro. What are your priorities in relations with this neighbouring country? - Israel has excellent relations with Montenegro, which are constantly on the rise. Being a non-resident ambassador, I am doing my best to be present there as much as I can. In all my visits to Montenegro I feel warm feelings and the sympathy of the people towards Israel, and I can assure you that these sentiments are mutual. We have many plans for cooperation in the fields of culture, tourism, economy, education etc. Israeli tourism to Montenegro increased more than 100% in 2016 culture, tourism, economy, compared to 2015, and I believe this education etc. Israeli tourism flow of tourism will contribute to better ■ Belgrade and Tel Aviv were recently linked via direct charter flights, to Montenegro increased more knowledge and understanding, as well while your embassy was honoured than 100% in 2016 compared as closer economic and cultural relations late last year with recognition for between the two countries. to 2015, and I believe this flow cooperation with the Serbian tourDuring my recent visit to Montenegro of tourism will contribute ism industry and for strengthening I had several official meetings. We agreed cultural and economic ties between that the level of bilateral trade is not to better knowledge and the two countries. Do you believe satisfactory and there’s a gap to bridge. understanding, as well as that cooperation in this area can Cooperation in the areas of agriculture, closer economic and cultural be enhanced further? energy and tourism is most promising. relations between the - There is an upward trend in Israeli Despite the fact that bilateral trade tourists visiting Serbia. Things changed shows a growth trend, still the absolute two countries dramatically after the Israir and Arkia amount of 2.74 million euros in 2016 is charter flights were launched in October last year. The number of Israeli far below the actual potential. tourists visiting Serbia, mainly Belgrade, increased by 70 per cent in In this regard, we plan to organise a business forum with the 2016. These figures will continue to grow in line with the announced Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, to exchange delegations, to increased in the number of flights of both charter airlines. However, bring Israeli speakers to conferences of interest and to relay all relevant information on investment potentials to Israeli businesses. ■ the number of Serbian tourists visiting Israel doesn’t follow this trend. MARCH



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“I am a true believe in multilateralism, in the need for countries to come together and to use multilateral institutions to be able, in a spirit of solidarity, to advance the enormous challenges of today’s world.” - Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

WHY THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE DON’T HOLD HANDS IN PUBLIC? ▶ With exception of official photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge holding hands as they climbed to Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan, there are few images of them being physically affectionate. Since then, Kate and Will have kept public displays of affection (PDA) to a minimum. The couple are still young, in love and clearly have a great time together. Then again, they are Royal so they live by a different set of rules to us mere mortals. Interestingly, should Kate and Will feel the urge to hold hands, there are no rules which say they can’t do so when on public engagements. “There is no actual etiquette or royal protocol that says the couple must refrain from PDA. The likely reasoning is more that while travelling on a tour, technically the couple are working representatives of the British Monarchy,“ said Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette.


Just 1 per cent of participants always said that they wanted to know what the future held for them.

FEST 2017: OPEN YOUR EYES ▶ The inaugural FEST, under the

▶ Despite the popularity of horo-

scopes, most people don’t really want to know their futures, a new study from Europe suggests. That’s particularly true if future events are negative, such as the person’s death, the study found. The research, which surveyed more than 2,000 adults in Germany and Spain, found that 85 to 90 per cent of participants said they wouldn’t want to know about certain future negative events in their lives, and 40 to 70 per cent said they wouldn’t want to know about certain future positive events. 18 |



slogan “A Brave New World”, opened on 9th January 1971 with a screening of Robert Altman’s hit Mash. Envisaged as an annual review of the season’s best films, the Belgrade International Film Festival – FEST – evolved to become one of the most important festivals on the continent and a central event of Belgrade’s cultural life. To date, FEST has amassed four million visitors and screened almost 4,000 relevant international films, which have had their Yugoslav/Ser-

bian, and often regional, premieres at this festival! This year (from 24th February to 5th March) FEST will bring Belgrade closer to the world and the world closer to Belgrade. Many interesting films have been included in the programme, among them several Oscar-nominated films, but also some classics. The main competitive programme includes 15 films, competing for the Belgrade Victor Prize, worth €10,000.


in North Iceland President Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson was asked how he felt about pineapples as a pizza topping and replied by saying if he could pass laws he would ban the topping throughout the country. The pizza topic was the question

NICE CARNIVAL 2017, THE KING OF ENERGY ▶ The theme of Nice’s 2017 Carnival this year (February 11, to February

26) was “energy.” From interpersonal energy and technological energy to economic and ecological energy. For its 133th Carnaval, Nice went with the spirit of the times. Energy is more important than ever, the headline of every front page, especially with the implementation of resolutions made at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. The Nice Carnival was the “Roi de l’Energy,” or the King of Energy, dancing through the streets of the capital of the Côte d’Azur. The 2017 edition of the Nice Carnival, as usual, was made up of two distinct spectacles: the Carnival Parade (or the Corso Carnavalesque), which continued from the daytime into the night, and the Bataille de Fleurs. Storytelling and burlesque floats were processed through the Place Masséna, accompanied by a mix of street arts shows and mini-concerts by international music groups.


“Within Europe, there are serious unresolved, protracted conflicts, while new threats and challenges are emerging. Populism, nationalism, xenophobia and violent extremism are both causes and effects of conflict.”- António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

NASA FOUNDS 7 EARTH-SIZED PLANETS ▶ Late February saw NASA reveal that, using the Spitzer Space Telescope, it had found seven new Earth-sized planets orbiting a star just 40 light years away, or about 235 trillion miles from us. This is the first time that astronomers have discovered another solar system with seven planets roughly the same size as ours. NASA figures that with the right atmospheric conditions, all seven could contain liquid surface water - though the chances of that are highest on the three Goldilocks. “Should further observations uncover oxygen, methane, ozone and carbon dioxide in their atmospheres, it “would tell us there is life with 99 per cent confidence,” Michael Gillon, lead author of the paper and the principal investigator of the TRAPPIST exoplanet survey, said during the event. This newly discovered Trappist-1 group lies in the Aquarius system and all seven planets are thought to be terrestrial planets like ours, rather than gas giants like Jupiter or icy dwarfs like Ceres.


to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don’t like. I would not want to live in such a country,” he said. “For pizzas, I recommend seafood,” said President Johannesson.

that gained the most attention and prompted the president to release a statement. “Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want

▶Germany’s parliamentary as-


bility for the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders, arrived by bike to a news conference to promote cycling, only to find it had been stolen when he left half an hour later. He unveiled a plan to invest €300 million in cycle lanes until 2019, as part of a wider program to promote alternative modes of transport. But when he got back half an hour later, his bike was gone. The minister had to call his driver to pick him up from the station in Halle, just south of Brussels, the spokesman said, and hoped police would discover the bicycle thief with the help of security camera footage. Source: Reuters

sembly has elected Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, as the country’s president. The position of president in Germany is largely ceremonial, because the chancellor is the official head of government and has a higher profile on the world stage.

Steinmeier previously served as vice chancellor and foreign minister under current Chancellor Angela Merkel. He was elected by the vast majority of the assembly, receiving 931 of 1,253 votes. His predecessor, Joachim Gauck, did not seek another term and will step down on 18th March.




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2017: The Year Of

EUROPEAN POPULISM? After the shocks of Brexit and Trump in 2016, what should we expect for 2017? Many people fear that populism and nationalism will continue to spread, undermining international cooperation and economic exchange as well as political integration, particularly in the EU


ndeed, the upcoming elections in various European countries, including France, the Netherlands, Germany and possibly Italy, all have the possibility to bring populists to power. While unlikely, it is certainly possible that Marine Le Pen could win France’s presidential election – a victory that would trigger a political earthquake and rock the very foundations of the EU. In the Netherlands, the Geert Wilders-fronted Party for Freedom may yet emerge as the strongest party in the Dutch parliament. Germany is probably less vulnerable to the populist influence due to its favorable economic situation, but Angela Merkel has lost a lot of political support, especially in her own party, due to her spontaneous decision to let over a million refugees

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Moderate political parties will need to explain to the electorate what the populist agenda is and why populist policies lead to bad outcomes. Furthermore, they will need to convince the electorate that they themselves have something better to offer. This will be no easy task

enter the country. The looming conflict between Merkel and the conA second characteristic of the populist agenda is that it overemphasizes servative wing of the CDU and the Bavarian CSU may turn out to be a the negative effects of globalization. Populists reject immigration and major weakness in her re-election campaign. That could help the social are opposed to political integration and the international institutions democrats, but the right-wing populist AfD may also benefit. Surveys underpinning and regulating economic exchange among countries. show that electoral support for the AfD is currently far from levels that would allow it to enter governPopulists offer simple strategies to deal with ment. But that could change, and as we have seen, complex problems and, in most cases, those opinion polls can be misleading. Another political strategies do not work. The claim that our risk is that early elections might be called in Italy, societies reflect a conflict between the people where the Five Star Movement could seize power. What can be done to halt the advance of populism and a corrupt elite ignores the fact that different and populist economic policies in Europe? Moderate groups of the population have different interests, political parties will need to explain to the electorate and that there is neither a homogenous will of what the populist agenda is and why populist policies the people nor a homogenous elite lead to bad outcomes. Furthermore, they will need to convince the electorate that they themselves have something better to offer. This will be no easy task. They reject institutions that restrain national sovereignty, such as the What are the key features of populist economic policies? Firstly, World Trade Organization and the EU, and they dislike any checks and populists usually describe society as being divided into two homogenous balances that may prevent them from implementing their policies. and antagonistic groups: the people are often juxtaposed with a ruling Thirdly, populists favor expansionary fiscal policy and tend to brush elite that is seen as corrupt. Populists claim that, once in power, they aside the bothersome existence of government budget constraints. will implement policies that reflect the will of the people, rather than Why do populist policies lead to bad outcomes? Populists offer simple strategies to deal with complex problems and, in most cases, those the elite. In his electoral campaign, for instance, Donald Trump argued strategies do not work. The claim that our societies reflect a conflict that a corrupt “Washington elite” had captured the US government and between the people and a corrupt elite ignores the fact that different that he wanted to hand back the power to “the people”.




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groups of the population have different interests, and that there is neither a homogenous will of the people nor a homogenous elite. Our societies consist of different groups with diverging interests. Democracies need institutions to balance these different interests by way of compromise. The populist answer to economic difficulties such as stagnating wages or unemployment for low skilled workers is to limit immigration. This entirely overlooks the fact that the labor market impact of immigration depends on the type of immigration in question, and it ignores that immigration is usually not a major factor driving unemployment. Populists seek to protect those who lose their jobs through foreign competition by restricting imports, regardless of the fact that protectionism drives up domestic prices and triggers countermeasures

port in bad times, but what is the best way to address these issues? This leads to the second point: moderate politicians should be open about the limits to what national governments and the EU can achieve. The forces of economic development will always create new jobs and wipe out existing ones. The promise that this process of change can be halted by restricting international economic exchange is an illusion, as is the idea that those who lose out as a result of change can be fully compensated. But what governments can do is offer a welfare state that prevents those who lose their jobs from falling into poverty and offer education systems that enable people to adjust to change and seize new opportunities. What can the EU realistically hope to achieve? By developing the European internal market, the EU offers a wealth of opportunities. Firms can trade or invest across borders, people can seek employment in other countries and students can attend universities throughout Europe. The EU also helps its poorer members to develop their infrastructure, thus supporting economic convergence. Key elements of economic and social policy, however, remain the responsibility of the individual member states. If countries have excessively high taxes, if they elect ineffective administrations or if their labor markets are too rigid to allow young people to find employment, there is little that the EU can do to fix this. Yet it is common for national governments to blame the EU for domestic economic difficulties. This is a form of populism often employed by mainstream politicians. Thirdly, the mainstream political agenda needs to do more than defend the status quo: it needs to demonstrate that it can bring about change for the better. A plausible strategy, for instance, is needed to deal with the biggest challenge in European economic Voters in Europe will hopefully resist the lure policy, namely the ongoing euro crisis. The problem is that Europe is deeply divided. In most Northern of populism; especially bearing in mind that, European countries, the prevailing view is that the throughout Europe’s history, nationalism Eurozone needs flexible labor markets and hard govand xenophobia have always done far more ernment budget constraints. The current economic harm than good difficulties in the Eurozone are seen as reflecting the lack of competitiveness among Southern European countries. In Southern Europe, by contrast, the dominating view by other countries. Populists want to overcome the limitations of public denounces restrictive fiscal policies as the main obstacle to economic funding by increasing public debt, irrespective of whether or not this recovery. Finding compromises that reconcile these two opposing views undermines the sustainability of public finances. will be a hugely challenging task. Progress may be easier to achieve in While populist parties usually give simplistic answers and support other areas, such as the plans to formulate a common European security harmful policies, this of course does not imply that mainstream parties policy or EU policies to protect external borders. always offer balanced and rational views. Populism may creep into their It will be an uphill struggle to convince the electorate that the policies and rhetoric, such as when UK Prime Minister Theresa May recently mainstream political agenda, with its emphasis on compromise and denounced what she called the members of the “rootless international elite” trade-offs, is more attractive than the simple, emotional and radical as “citizens of nowhere” who lack the “spirit of citizenship”. More generally, messages of populists. In the end, however, voters in Europe will this illustrates how populism should be seen as a particular political agenda, hopefully resist the lure of populism; especially bearing in mind that, rather than the property of individual politicians or parties. throughout Europe’s history, nationalism and xenophobia have always What is the alternative to the populist agenda? Three factors are of key done far more harm than good. ■ importance. Firstly, there is no point in denying that populists sometimes address key issues. Immigration, the Eurozone crisis and the fact that not The author is a member of the Institute for Economic Research, everybody benefits from globalization are all important and relevant issues. Many people are justifiably angry about banks that distribute high Munich, Germany and scientific advisers to the Commission on the bonuses to their managers in good times and rely on government supMinimum Wage at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs 22 |






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IT And Innovative Business



Robots are conquering the world, changing people, snatching jobs. There is talk of introducing a guaranteed income. How can we survive in times where there is ever more work for robots and ever less for people? There is also talk about self-driving cars. Tesla paved the way, and the way is being followed by Uber, Ford and many others...


ccording to some statistics, cars remain parked for over 90% of the time. Owners drive them mainly to work and back, and then spend a good part of their time stuck in traffic congestion. And parking is a huge problem all over the world, and one that’s growing. Creators of the future go so far that they will enable each owner of a Tesla car to work, enjoy and relax in their self-

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driving car while driving to work, and then, like a chauffeur, the car will drop them off in front of their company. Then, with one click of their mobile phone, the owner switches the car to “earn mode”, in which the car acts as a city taxi, driving and charging those who don’t have a car and require transportation. This is another in a series of blows against the workforce. Thousands and thousands of taxi drivers will lose their jobs. This would

even hit Uber. Tesla is already working on a self-driving truck. after many decades, we are talking about the disappearance Like Uber, which is following Tesla closely, because it knows of the car as we have known it until now; about a time when what awaits it. Uber must adapt, otherwise it will “disappear” no one individual will possess a driving license, because their as a taxi business. What do you think will happen when the driving licenses will be registered to vehicles and not people. first truck of that kind appears on the market? An unbelievable When it comes to communications, once thousands of employees number of haulage drivers will lose their jobs. in telecommunications companies manually switched connections And where is IT in all of that? Everywhere! IT has been, is and and brought people together across countries and around the world. will be the biggest part of our future, alongside food. But even Today that is done by computers. And maybe you’ve forgotten that there, in the food business, IT is very important. No business can the refrigerator destroyed the businesses of ice manufacturers. We function today without some kind of ICT programming support. can also recall typists – a profession that has disappeared entirely. From a standard car mechanics business where the owner has Today there is almost nobody who doesn’t know how to use a coma program for managing, controlling and invoicing and CRM, puter keyboard and personally type a document – a task that was through an agribusiness, where there are existing high-quality once performed exclusively by typists. Times change, and people platforms for connecting buyers and sellers of livestock and poultry, all the way to space travel. Simply, nothing can be done without IT. That may sound like a cliché, but it’s true. Until only around ten years ago, banking - at least in Serbia - was based on a manual human labour. Foreign currency payments were carried out through communication with foreign banks, sending documents by fax and manually posting accounts. Today, business processes in a bank, which were performed by teams of people, are now done by a man with the support of a computer and an entire IT system. And that is maintained by… guess who? Programmers. In principle, everything is done by computer: automatic processing and control of foreign exchange deposits, automatic accounting and automatic displays of lists of errors. One person monitors and controls that process, and responds when needed. And what about the cash register on the counter? Once The price per hour for upon a time, employees manually counted with them. Whoever has recognised thousands of dinars, carried out controls and changes and adapted to them has sucprogrammer’s work has ceeded. As for others, well, life will not wrote on paper. Today, with one-click, a bank’s grown so much, not only be easy at all for them. program sends instructions to an ATS device, in the world but also in We live in times that are faster and which is located at the other end of the counSerbia, that it has reached more disruptive than ever before, and ter from the employee, which automatically counts the money, issues it and releases it to unimaginable levels. While to which it is not easy to adapt. But the client. That is all IT. Someone had to write IT is a secure future. IT is there to some people work 16 a program. A program that will do something support any business, whether offline hours a day for a monthly or online. IT also supports marketing, to ease and speed up business processes, all total of 20,000 dinars, a which is necessary for every business, with the aim of reducing errors and risk. Retraining is of crucial importance. Jobs because every business should have a web designer can make that existed 5 to 10 years ago do not exan average Wordpress site website. The easiest way to enter the ist today. “If I’d asked customers what they world of IT is to learn Web design, PHP in a few days and charge and Wordpress. The price per hour wanted, they would have told me - a faster twice as much horse”, said Henry Ford. He destroyed entire for programmer’s work has grown businesses and an industry with one stroke. so much, not only in the world but His automated production line for cars destroyed the horsealso in Serbia, that it has reached unimaginable levels. While drawn cart business and the transport business, even the rail some people work 16 hours a day for a monthly total of 20,000 business. Everybody started buying and owning cars. Market dinars, a web designer can make an average Wordpress site in losers complained and protested, but the car remained. Today, a few days and charge twice as much. MARCH



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Serbia has long since surpassed the export of raspberries, crossing a border, without a stamp and without bureaucracy. of which we are so proud. Exports of the IT sector in Serbia Many countries offer excellent conditions for business with have now tripled compared to the 2008-2015 period, when the modern laws that enable companies to do business in a modern overall volume of ICT services was worth €680 million, despite way. Because of that, some of the biggest “Serbian” companies the constant shortfall of experts. It is estimated that Serbia is in Serbia have only “cheaper” labour in Serbia, in the form of lacking between 10 and 15 thousand IT professionals. Educaarmies of programmers. Salaries of programmers in Serbia tion, particularly higher education, are less than their counterparts in is still not aligned with the trend Europe and America. But for local of supply and demand in this area, conditions they are extremely high which is why private courses and incomes, which enable individuals private schools offering IT programs and families to live very well and in are flourishing. The problem is that harmony with their profession. And people are generally not accustomed so, like a jigsaw puzzle, the parts come to changes, particularly Serbs. While together in order to optimise operain the West, especially in America, it tions. Representative offices of firms is somehow normal for employment are located abroad, where they can purposes to result in a change of control payments via cards, PayPal and residence not only in a city, but in other online payment methods, without bureaucracy, torment, constant entire countries, while in Serbia that inspections and outdated laws, while is almost unthinkable. Doctors are not in Serbia they engage high quality IT prepared to move from Belgrade to personnel for less money. Kikinda for the sake of employment, Just imagine what would happen if which means Kikinda has a shortage the state decided to modernise laws? If of professional medical staff. On the other hand, other types it changed the outdated and inadequate of changes are required for IT, tough Law on Foreign Currency Operations; psychological ones. Programmers, if it enabled PayPal within the country; web developers and others in the if it introduced progressive taxation? IT field are fortunate that, in addiIf it introduced freelancers into laws tion to earning huge salaries, they and enabled them to operate and work can also work from home. Nobody normally? If it eliminated business forces them to relocate hundreds of stamps, inflow reporting and all the kilometers away. The world is hugely other regulations that increase buglobalised and IT workers can operreaucracy and push our people into ate on the global market from home, opening companies abroad? Then wearing slippers and a dressing nobody would open a company abroad, Exports of the IT sector in gown, never needing to leave their tax would be paid in Serbia, and the Serbia have now tripled house. Due to the permanent lack of situation would be better for everyone. compared to the 2008-2015 professionals in the IT sector, there Moreover, we would create such an is plenty of work available in almost enabling environment that ever more period, when the overall all major cities in Serbia, from Niš, foreign companies would come to our volume of ICT services was Novi Sad, Subotica, Kragujevac and and open their representative worth €680 million, despite the county Kraljevo, to the country’s smaller offices here. As such, the mentality of constant shortfall of experts. towns and cities. the whole country must be changed, Of course, in addition to changnot just people. It is estimated that Serbia is ing the awareness and mentality of And to end – one great example. A lacking between 10 and 15 citizens, there must also be changes young man graduated in journalism, thousand IT professionals in the mentality of the state, laws and worked for a long time at a sport regulations. There is a huge imbaljournal, then quit and took a job in a ance between modern legal practise in advanced countries and bank. There he did a job that had absolutely nothing to do with in Serbia. There are many laws that hinder operations in this journalism and sport, nor with IT. Then he spent a year and a sector. Some of the largest IT companies that are presented half secretly attending IT courses, resigned from the bank and as Serbian aren’t Serbian at all, nor do they work in Serbia – took a job as a programmer in one of the largest insurance comrather they are based in Ireland, Bulgaria or Romania. They panies in Serbia. We can achieve everything when we want to, carry out procedures via the internet, in five minutes, without or, to quote great men: If you want to win – you mustn’t lose! ■ 26 |






DEJAN VUKOTIĆ, Director of the Export Credit and Insurance Agency of the Republic of Serbia

BOGDAN LABAN Mayor of Subotica

Launchpad For Export

A Host For All Investors



Making Painful Problems Simple MARCH



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Launchpad For Export The services of insuring and financing exports that AOFI provides to Serbian exporters represent a powerful and important instrument that impacts on the country’s overall economic growth and development. And in 2017 we will continue to work on supporting businesses

as the responsible Ministry, contributed greatly to promoting and increasing Serbian exports in the previous period by increasing its activities. ■ To what extent did incentives applied during the Year of Entrepreneurship, coupled with your efforts to support SMEs, bear fruit in the form of increased exports of SMEs? - If we analyse export-orientated companies in the sector of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the Republic of Serbia, we

grammes, exerted maximum efforts that resulted in an increase in the share of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the Agency’s portfolio by over 30 per cent, which also resulted in increasing the exports of these companies.

■ What kinds of goals have you set for yourself for 2017? - Considering the good results achieved by the AOFI during 2016, as well as the fact that we successfully implemented all incentive programmes envisaged for the Year of Entrepreneurship, the targets during 2017 will not change The AOFI will get involved “dramatically” compared to the previin the process of supporting ■ Serbia is recording ever better ous period, with the exception of the export results. How much does the part related to stronger support for SMEs and will thereby join AOFI contribute to these results, SMEs and entrepreneurs by broadenforces with the Ministry of the measured according to the volume ing its existing product portfolio and Economy of the Republic of of its activities? revising current interest rates that Serbia, which is planning to - As an economic category, export should provide Serbian exporters carries with it a number of positive declare the period ahead as the with a strong competitive position effects for the economy, thus the reon existing markets and enable them Decade of Entrepreneurship to possibly conquer new, primarily sults achieved by the economy of the fast-growing, markets. Republic of Serbia in this segment contribute to creating conditions for can conclude that the biggest problem ■ Are you considering new incentive sustainable growth and development. faced is represented by a lack of access instruments under the auspices of Organised institutional state support for to sources of funding. A lack of funding your mandate? export is of great importance, because it sources, both for working capital and - Considering that the SME and entreprestrengthens the competitiveness of the investment, prevents their continuous country on foreign markets. The sergrowth and development, and thus the neur sector is recognised as a generator growth and development of the Serbian of economic growth, and in particular vices of insuring and financing exports economy as a whole. The importance of the export-orientated part, and that the that AOFI provides to Serbian exporters this segment of the economy was recogMinistry of the Economy of the Repubrepresent a powerful and important instrument that impacts on the country’s nised by the Government of the Republic lic of Serbia plans to declare the period overall economic growth and developof Serbia, which declared 2016 the Year ahead as the Decade of Entrepreneurof Entrepreneurship, and the AOFI, while ment. I can say that AOFI, with great supship, it is certain that the AOFI will also implementing the government’s probe involved in this process. ■ port from the Ministry of the Economy,


he Export Credit and Insurance Agency of the Republic of Serbia (AOFI) will this year continue to stimulate exports, especially when it comes to small and medium-sized enterprises, says AOFI director Dejan Vukotić.

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Authorized distributor for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro




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“The construction sector accounts for 5.1% of Serbia’s GDP. The plan is to make it at least 7%. These figures show how much has been done, that we have a better environment for investors, and a developed real estate market.” — ZORANA MIHAJLOVIĆ, Deputy PM and Minister of Construction and Infrastructure AIRPORT NIKOLA TESLA

Economic Growth Will Accelerate Further

Bid For A 25-year Concession The Serbian government and the Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport have published an invitation to bid for a 25-year concession for the airport.

National Bank of Serbia (NBS) presented its February inflation report. According to Jorgovanka Tabakovic, NBS’s governor, Serbia’s economic growth will accelerate further to around 3 pct this year and around 3.5 pct in 2018, the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) said in its February.


Serbian And Foreign Investors Interested in Privatisation

The Bank has been striving to strengthen the capacity of banks to resolve the NPL issue and to encourage the development of the NPL market. As a result of measures taken under the NPL Resolution Strategy, the share of NPLs in total loans declined significantly – according to preliminary data, from 21.6% at end-2015 to 17.0% at end-2016, their lowest since 2011. Growth is expected to accelerate by investment and exports (which posted an exceptionally high growth rate in 2016).

Eight investors from Serbia and abroad have declared interest in the privatization of Belgrade-based farming company PKB. They include “one natural person from Kovin, two companies from Serbia, companies from the United Arab Emirates, China, Singapore and two from Great Britain,” the agency said, adding that it learned from the ministry the letters of interest - that are not binding - arrived from Matijevic and MK Commerce companies from Serbia, as well as Al Dahra from the UAE. The potential investors from Great Britain, Singapore and China “requested confidentiality and their names could not be disclosed.” The Ministry of Economy will propose an optimal model of privatization to the government - either selling of capital or property, strategic partnership, or a combination of those models. “After the government’s decision on the model of privatization, the Ministry of Economy will announce a public invitation, within a deadline that depends on a series of activities that have to precede it, which are different for every privatization model,” the Ministry of Economy said in a statement quoted by Beta.

The notice, published on the airport’s web site, says that the concession allows the concession holder to finance and expand the airport through new construction and reconstruction projects, maintain and run the airport infrastructure, and act as an operator. The concession contract cannot be signed by companies running airports lesser than 450 kilometers from Belgrade.



One of The Top Employers Europe 2017 Japan Tobacco International in Serbia has been officially awarded with Top Employers Europe and Top Employer Serbia certificates for 2017 by the Top Employers Institute headquartered in Netherlands. Because of its exceptional employee offerings JTI in Serbia is among the best employers for the second year in the row. The Top Employers Institute recognizes those that provide excellent employee conditions, nurture and develop talent throughout all levels of the organization, and which strive to continuously optimize employment practices. Crucial to the Top Employers Certification is completing a stringent research process, and meeting the required standard in order to achieve Certification. “I deeply believe that people practices, especially the best ones, can be implemented only by collaborative action, driven by top team, HR, line managers and every employee in this company,” said Didier Ellena, Vice President and GM, JTI Adriatica.

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Certain phrases carry special power— they make you look bad even when the words are true. There are some things you simply never want to say at work. These phrases are so loaded with negative implications that they undermine careers in short order.

1. “This is the way it’s always been done.” 2. “It’s not my fault.” 3. “I can’t.” 4. “It’s not fair.” 5. “That’s not in my job description.” 6. “This may be a silly idea …/I’m going to ask a stupid question.” 7. “I’ll try.” 8. “This will only take a minute.” 9. “I hate this job.” 10. “He’s lazy/incompetent/a jerk.”

SUPPORT “Thanks to the World Bank for supporting the efforts of the government to formulate and adopt an Action Plan for the Implementation of the Programme of the Government, on the principle of so-called management based on expected results.” AIK BANK

— IVICA DAČIĆ, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

ECB Approved Acquisition Of Shares Of Gorenjska Banka

The European Central Bank (ECB) has reached the decision approving the acquisition of shares of the Kranj-based Gorenjska Banka by AIK Bank, owned by businessman Miodrag Kostic. Based on this decision, AIK Bank can acquire up to 100% of the assets and voting rights in Gorenjska Banka. By purchasing the shares of Gorenjska Banka, AIK Bank intends to keep strengthening its business influence and expanding its operations and client and partner pool outside Serbia, i.e. to the EU market. Activities such as this do not only result in expanding the cooperation of AIK Bank with the local and EU market in the field of banking operations, but in creating conditions for the expansion of operations to other industries, thereby strengthening the economic competitiveness of the entire region, AIK Bank reported. AIK Bank bought 13.9% shares of Gorenjska Banka in January 2016 and became its second biggest owner after Sava Osiguranje, which holds 37.7% of the assets. AIK Bank has been recognized as a strong, stable and reliable financial institution in the entire region, considering that the European Business Council acknowledged it to be the best regional institution at its International Socrates Award Ceremony. TELENOR

Telenor Leads In Mobile Data Traffic In Serbia

Placements & postings


New UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia/UNDP Karla Hershey holds an M.B.A in Management from the American InterContinental University and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the Southern Methodist University, Texas. She also completed post-graduate courses at the London School of Economics and Political Science in Sociology, Middle East studies, Nationalism and Foreign Relations. Prior to joining the UN, she served in various capacities with World Vision Relief and Development in Angola, Rotary International in Evanston, Illinois, the American Employee’s Association in Rwanda and the U.S. Peace Corps in Rwanda. Hershey began her UN career with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as Humanitarian Affairs Officer (OCHA) in Angola (1998-2000). She served as the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative and Designated Official in Maseru, Lesotho (2012-2017), in addition to serving the World Food Programme as Representative and Country Director in Swaziland (2009-2012). Other posts have included WFP’s Deputy Country Director and Head of Programme in Malawi (2006-2009), WFP Country Director a.i. in Syria (2007) and the Head of Resource Mobilization, Food Procurement, Pipeline Management, Public Information and Sub-Office Focal Point in Tanzania (2003-2006). She also served as WFP Regional Affairs Officer, Bureau for Eastern and Southern Africa, in Johannesburg (2002-2003) and as Programme Officer in Ethiopia (2000-2002).

NEBOJŠA PANTELIĆ, New Director of the Network and Retail Management Function at Vojvođanska Bank

Nebojša Pantelić (41) was appointed as the new director of the network and retail management function at Vojvođanska Banka, effective as of January 2017. Pantelić possesses a wealth of professional experience and knowhow, which will further improve the quality of services and the creation of products tailored to meet the needs of existing and future clients of Vojvođanska Banka. He took on his current position after spending many years working as director of financial market functions at Vojvođanska Banka, a position he held from 2007. A member of the Financial Markets Association, he graduated from the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Economics, Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance. A fluent English speaker, Pantelić was born in Belgrade and is a married father of three children.


New CEO for Carlsberg Srbija Group Vladimir Vava has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer of Carlsberg Serbia Group, which encompasses operations in Serbia, BosniaHerzegovina and Montenegro. Vladimir took over his new function on 1st February this year, after spending three years in the position of Vice President of Sales at Baltika Breweries, a Russian company that is also owned by the Carlsberg Group. Prior to deciding to continue his career within the Carlsberg Group, Vava held the position of vice president of sales and operations at company Makro Cash & Carry, part of the Metro Group retail chain, in Spain and Portugal. Born 1968 in Romania, Vladimir graduated in Hydromechanics at the University of Timisoara, before advancing his education with an MBA from the UK’s University of Sheffield. He is a married father of two children.


President of the Serbian Association of Managers (SAM)

Serbia’s Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services shows that more than half of mobile internet traffic goes over the Telenor network. Out of 11.5 million GB in Q3 2016, more than 5.9 million GB was used by Telenor customers. According to Telenor Serbia CTO Kai Gulbrandsen, 8.5 million GB were transferred through Telenor network last year only for watching clips on YouTube. Over the next five months, the operator will enable high-speed internet for 80 percent of the population with 1,600 4G base stations.

Stanka Pejanović has become the fourth president of the Serbian Association of Managers and will hold this post for the next three years. A graduate economist, since November 2014 Pejanović has held the position of general director of company Gorenje d.o.o., part of the Gorenje Group, Slovenia’s largest producer of home appliances and the eighth largest manufacturer of white goods in Europe. Prior to Gorenje, this experienced economic expert dedicated her twenty-year professional career to building the commercial brands “Roda” and “Mercator”. Upon taking over the position of SAM President, Pejanović thanked members for the trust placed in her, saying that for her this is primarily a great responsibility, but also an honour and a pleasure.




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A Host For All Investors The City of Subotica continues to invest in infrastructure this year, first of all to improve the business climate, but also to realise the “Park Palić” project


xcellent geographical location, proximity of the EU and Corridor 10, major infrastructure potential, rapid permitting procedure for investors, educated and qualified workforce, opportunity for business in the free zone - these have all contributed to Subotica’s being recognised for its strategy for attracting foreign direct investment and creating new jobs. ■ Subotica is one of the best places for attracting new investors. What do you expect in this regard by the end of the year? - In 2017 we plan to expand production capacity and create new jobs in the Mali Bajmok business zone. The company Contitech Fluid Serbia plans to hire 250 people. A production plant with a surface area of 10,000 square metres is being built in the business zone for Ametek; we expect them to make good on their intention to hire around 200 staff. We shall soon welcome another new company that will operate in the Mali Bajmok business zone and that will hire 100 people. ■ How are the works going on developing the site at Palić with the 34 |



aim of establishing a well-deserved place on the regional tourist map? - Palić is a famous tourist gem of the region, officially declared by the Government of the Republic of Serbia a tourist area of special importance. This has generated a number of activities to make the area even more attractive. Palić is a destination that can meet the demands of guests for recreational, sports, business, congress and cultural tourism. The Palić area is rich with thermal mineral water, which makes it a spa with a 170-yearold tradition.

Subotica was the winner of a special award presented by NALED for the best result in issuing electronic permits among city administrations in Serbia in 2016 In 2017 alone we plan to realise investments of over 120 million dinars in facilities and infrastructure, which will result in a higher quality tourist offering. Funds are provided by the Republic of Serbia and AP Vojvodina through public tenders, and the projects are implemented by the company Park Palić as the official manager of

the tourist area, which was founded by the Republic of Serbia, the Province and the City of Subotica. ■ Subotica has recently received a special award from NALED for the best result in issuing electronic permits among city administrations in Serbia in 2016. How much has this project improved the city administration? - A year after the introduction of the unified electronic procedure, 1,197 requests had been submitted in Subotica in 2016, out of which 97 percent had been processed and 90 percent of these were granted. The value of the average success rate defined by NALED was 93.6 percent. The staff of our city administration understood a long time ago the importance of rapid issuing of building permits, and welcomed the introduction of the unified electronic procedure as one more challenge to rise to. This was a highly professional approach and contributed to a better quality of service for all citizens. Other local governments in our country also handled the introduction of the unified electronic procedure responsibly, as a particularly important economic reform for the Republic of Serbia. ■




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NEGOTIATIONS “When it comes to candidate countries for membership in the European Union, there are no negotiations on the rule of law, because it must be applied without exceptions” — JOHANNES HAHN, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations



Military Exports To Middle East Booming AccordingtotheBosnianForeignTradeChamber, the country’s arms producers achieved profits in 2016 that were between 15 and 20 per cent higher than the year before. The Chamber’s data shows that the value of arms exports in 2016 amounted to €87.4 million, compared to €70 million in the previous year. In 2016, Bosnian military exports to Egypt amounted were worth about €22.8 million. Exports to Saudi Arabia were worth about €17.2 million, and to the United States, €12.8 million. Other major importers of Bosnian-produced arms and military equipment in 2016 were Serbia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Malaysia.

Hungary’s Real Wages Up 7.4% Real wages in Hungary were up by 7.4% in 2016, compared to the preceding year, along with a 0.4% rise in consumer prices compared to the same period.


APS Enters Croatian Market Czech APS Holding entered the Croatian market by purchasing a portfolio of non-performing loans (NPL) with a nominal value of €142 million. The company plans to hire over 40 staff in its new location. The investment includes non-performing corporate loans, both secured and unsecured, those secure coming in particular from the residential, commercial and industrial property segments. The nominal value of the portfolio stands at €142 million, was purchased from Hrvatska Postanska, with the approval of the National Bank of Croatia. “Our purpose is to assist banks that hold receivables with problems and to help debtors aliminate debt, in fair and mutually advantageous conditions,” said Martin Machon, APS Holding CEO said. The new acquisitions add up to the current receivables owned by APS Holding, which include 75 NPL portfolios with a total nominal value of over €4.7 billion.

Albania Launches E-Inspections Albania has launched e-inspections into businesses in a bid to increase transparency, reduce corruption and improve the climate of doing business in the country. Albania’s general tax administration has recently made available a hotline to assist businesses with tax related enquiries. Starting Feb. 1, businesses can phone to get information of electronic filing, tax legislation and services offered by the tax administration. Relations with tax authorities are considered problematic by more than a third of businesses in Albania, according to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce. FYR MACEDONIA

First Responsible Businesses Club Formed First Responsible Businesses Club in Macedonia was formed late last month at the British Ambassador’s residence in Skopje. All interested Macedonian companies regardless of their size can become members of the Club, whose aim is to provide intensive and substantial cooperation between businesses and civil society in promoting the principles of social responsibility. The Club is founded by Konekt civic association while 50 Macedonian companies supported the initiative for its formation. 149





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Full-time employees’ average gross monthly nominal earnings according to the national concept amounted to HUF 263,200 (€856) at corporations employing at least five persons, budgetary and designated non-profit institutions.

Some days your office life is boring. Bosses can be annoying, co-workers can be overwhelming and the overall demands related to being awake, coherent and productive can be totally draining. Here are 10 things employees can’t stand about their workplace.

1. Do not take things off of my desk 2. Do not leave things on my desk 3. Leave me alone, part one 4. Leave me alone, part two 5. Leave me alone, part three 6. Leave me alone, part four 7. Don’t touch my a/c, fam 8. I don’t know anything 9. Administrative assistant does not mean errand-girl or intern 10. I just really hate clothes

SECURITY “NATO is committed to the security of the Western Balkans, and we are playing our part in building security with our regional partners. Some countries in the region have already joined our Alliance, and more aspire to do so.”— JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO Secretary General BULGARIA

Seeking South Stream Project Revival With Russia considering a move to suspend gas transit via Ukraine, southern Europe and particularly Bulgaria would like to renew the South Stream gas pipeline project, Andrey Listovski, who heads the Energy Development Fund, is quoted by UA Regnum as saying. Listovski’s Energy Development Fund is a non-governmental organization “involved in the designed of Russian energy sector development”.In his comments he has recalled the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who earlier in February said South Stream could be renewed if Bulgaria could give rocksolid guarantees the project will not fall through. “Everybody is theoretically ready to renew activities on South Stream. But Russia... is ready to renew [it] in case of clear guarantees that the money will not be wasted.” This position is very rational, advisable economically and well-founded from the political point of view, Listovski has said. His remarks follow a statement from the Russian commercial attaché to Bulgaria, who recently said it was likely for the project to be revived.


Airbus To Set Up Helicopters Production Airbus Helicopters, the helicopter manufacturing division of Airbus Group, will open a Centre of Excellence in Romania for H215 Puma helicopters production. This comes after Airbus inaugurated in September 2016 a helicopter plant in Ghimbav, Brasov County, an important investment for the aeronautic industry. Airbus Helicopters presence on domestic market will have a positive impact on the trade balance by adding an exports volume of almost 80 percent


Ryanair To Launch New Podgorica Flights Europe’s largest low cost airline, Ryanair, will launch flights between Stockholm Skavsta Airport and Podgorica this spring, marking the carrier’s fourth destination from the Montenegrin capital. The new service will operate twice per week, each Thursday and Sunday, starting April 2. Tickets are already on sale through the airline’s website. “We are delighted to introduce new flights out of Podgorica for the 2017 summer season, which includes Stockholm and the recently launched flights from Berlin, for a total of four destinations from this airport. As a result, we will handle 110.000 passengers to and from Podgorica this year and create eighty local jobs at the airport”, the no frills carrier said in a statement. Podgorica is preparing for an extremely busy year following a record 2016 during which it managed to overtake Sarajevo to become the former Yugoslavia’s ninth busiest airport. So far, Wizz Air has announced plans to launch flights from Budapest to the Montenegrin capital starting April 3, while LOT Polish Airlines will commence seasonal operations between Warsaw and Podgorica from May 13.


Supporting SMEs In Serbia, Kosovo And FYR Macedonia

of company’s turnover. The new plant in Ghimbav will host the production of H215, a twin-engine and versatile helicopter, which provides advanced avionics in a reliable and sturdy platform capable of performing a wide range of missions. It offers long-range capabilities, power, speed, an excellent useful payload as well as an availability rate of more than 95 percent.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and three ProCredit group subsidiaries have signed guarantee agreements to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Serbia, Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. This was made possible via the Western Balkans Guarantee Facility, funded by the European Union under the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility. The Western Balkans Guarantee Facility agreements aim to facilitate access to finance for SMEs in Serbia, Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia by providing credit coverage on a total of €70 million of loans over the next two years. SMEs will be able to access €35 million from ProCredit Bank Kosovo, €25 million from ProCredit Bank Serbia and €10 million from ProCredit Bank Macedonia. MARCH



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Making Painful Problems Simple The trick is to create something that solves the most painful problems and saves time, but is simultaneously fast and user friendly. Although the construction sector proved to be a tough nut to crack, Buildcon Inc. thinks it may change that


uildcon is a management web and mobile app that strives to revolutionise the way building project managers and engineers in the construction industry organise their work, by rendering their communication and collaboration instant, with all data in one place. We spoke with Buildcon Inc. CEO Janko Stojanović about the prospects of this promising start-up.

tracking the same metrics and viewing the same reports. Buildcon is a mix of a lean construction approach with some of the best and proven project management methodologies, and by using it basically anyone can deliver their projects on time and yield higher profits. Besides that, companies also create a huge amount of useful data that is analysed and used for reference on future projects. This needs to happen in construction so that we can minimise misunderstandings and focus on important things.

than the money they put in. Our investors are not focused on the development of our product. They are more helpful with the growth and scaling of our company, basically everything business related. Fast development of technology is also bringing new sales and marketing approaches that we are constantly testing and implementing with our business model.

■ Today you operate from two addresses, one in Silicon Valley and the other in Belgrade. What are your future plans? -By working closely with our clients and beta testers, we are constantly We are actively seeking ■ With your application you found developing new Buildcon modules partners in the form of major a niche – in the construction and features. We are actively seekconstruction companies across ing partners in the form of major industry – that was not previously Europe, the Middle East and the construction companies across investigated by many start-ups. Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. What is the situation like today U.S. We want them as our We want them as our clients, but and how are you positioned on the clients, but also as evangelists also as evangelists of the values market? of the values that Buildcon that Buildcon is bringing to con- Construction tech is an extremely is bringing to construction struction projects generally. interesting domain today. Considering that the construction industry is We are still focusing strongly on projects generally one of the least digitised industries the product; we want Buildcon to ■ Early last year you simultaneously in the world, and that productivity and be something that field engineers and entered two great world seed funds profit margins are way below other project managers couldn’t imagine and accelerators. How much has that industries, it is not that hard to realise working without on their projects. It’s helped you in developing your apthat construction needs to change and easy to build complicated software, but plications? actively adopt innovative solutions. the trick is to create something that - Working with some of the best menOur vision for Buildcon is as an solves the most painful problems and tors and serial entrepreneurs in Silicon ultimate cloud-based system for saves time, but is also fast and easy to Valley was an eye-opener for us. For construction projects with all project use. That rarely happens in construction me personally, it was more valuable shareholders on the same platform, software and we want to change that. ■ 38 |




Greening Digital Finance Digital finance has turned out to be an unexpected revolutionary, simply by enabling low-cost financial inclusion. Thanks to new financial technologies (fintech), consumers can shop seamlessly, small businesses can access credit in minutes through Big Data-driven profiling, and savers can shape their own investment destinies


ut if fintech is to reach its potential to advance the global public good, another factor must be accounted for: the environment. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently published a report, “Fintech and Sustainable Development: Assessing the Implications,” exploring how digital finance can be leveraged for environmental gains. As the report points out, by reducing costs and boosting efficiency, fintech is already mobilizing green finance, enabling poorer people to access clean energy through innovative payment systems and facilitating green savings for rich and poor alike. The Swedish start-up Trine, for example, enables savers in downtown Stockholm to fund distributed solar-energy systems in rural areas thousands of kilometers away. Other experiments highlight the green potential of block chain and cryptocurrencies. The rewards of such initiatives could be substantial – for households, financial-services providers, economies, and the environment. With this in mind, a coalition of digital-finance companies, the Green Digital Finance Alliance, was launched at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. One of the alliance’s founders, ANT Financial Services has a mobile-payments platform with 450 million users in China alone. The organization is now working with UNEP to offer an experimental “green energy” app that rewards users for reduced carbon use. Fintech is part of a broader digital revo-

lution, which also includes Big Data, the Internet of Things, block chain, and artificial intelligence. Such technologies enable us to record and trace the lifecycle of products – even money itself – thereby determining precisely how they were used, how they were financed, and what impact they had on the environment. So ANT’s new green energy app translates financial-transaction data into implied carbon emissions. This approach, if extended across more payments platforms, could engage hundreds of millions of individuals in factoring carbonsavings into their daily lifestyle choices. All revolutions carry unintended costs, and are susceptible to diversion, if not outright

With the right approach, fintech can be harnessed to strengthen economies and societies, while helping to preserve the environment. Fortunately, this could well be the year that green digital finance comes of age corruption. The fintech revolution is no different. Loss of privacy is the most obvious risk; indeed, despite efforts to create safeguards, it is all but inevitable. But there are also less visible risks, stemming from the disruption of existing markets. The risks created by high-frequency trading on the financial returns of our lumbering, twentiethcentury pension funds are far-reaching.

Another casualty will be regulation, at least for a while, as policymakers struggle to figure out how to manage an increasingly complex, dynamic, and virtual financial system. There is also a risk that the commoditisation effects brought by speed and Big Data will undermine the conditions for sustainable development. Though these risks cannot be eliminated, they can be mitigated. Regulators, in particular, will need to work fast to keep up, as best they can, in a fast-changing financial milieu. But their goal should not be only to protect against fintech’s risks; they should also aim to guide it, so that it can reach its full potential. For example, fintech should be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals – an effort that demands new standards, market innovation, and collaboration. Countries worldwide should integrate digital finance into their sustainabledevelopment financing plans. Multilateral measures will also be important. This year, the G20, under Germany’s leadership, will focus on building resilience, improving sustainability, and assuming responsibility for climate change – all areas where digitization must be part of the solution. Likewise, the G7, under Italy’s leadership, will explore how to finance “green” small and medium-sized enterprises, taking advantage of fintech-powered innovations. With the right approach, fintech can be harnessed to strengthen economies and societies, while helping to preserve the environment. Fortunately, this could well be the year that green digital finance comes of age. ■ MARCH



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MANIFESTO “There are many of us who stand for bringing people together and connecting the world. I hope we have the focus to take the long view and build the new social infrastructure to create the world we want for generations to come.”— MARK ZUCKERBERG, Facebook CEO



Direct Overseas Investment Hits Record High Last Year

4G Users Total 770 Million China had 770 million 4G users at the end of 2016, double the number from a year earlier, data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology showed.More than 58 percent of China’s mobile phone users were 4G subscribers at the end of 2016 (there were 386 million at the end of 2015).

According to Korea’s direct overseas investment in 2016 released by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance on February 15, Korea posted $49.24 billion in direct overseas investment in 2016, up 18.7 percent from a year earlier. The amount of remittances added up to US$ 35.25 billion, a record high, jumping 14.2 percent year on year. UK

Unilever Rejects Kraft Takeover Bid

“It is expected that global direct overseas investment will grow thanks to a recovery of global economic growth, fiscal stimulation by the United States, and a rise in raw material prices this year” said an official of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

Unilever, which owns some of the UK’s most famous household brands, has strongly rejected a takeover bid from US food giant Kraft Heinz. The maker of Marmite and PG Tips said it saw “no merit, either financial or strategic” in Kraft’s offer, worth about $143bln But Kraft, which makes Heinz ketchup, indicated it would continue working on a deal for the Anglo-Dutch firm. The deal would be one of the biggest in corporate history. It would combine Unilever’s dozens of household names, which also includes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Dove soap, and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, with Kraft’s own wide range, such as Philadelphia cheese and Heinz baked beans.

China has the world’s largest 4G network and is aiming to add 2 million 4G base stations, mainly for townships and villages, by 2018. China is also researching and testing 5G technology with a goal to commercialize it by 2020. GERMANY


Turkey And Azerbaijan Agreed Preferential Trade Deal In order to boost mutual economic cooperation, Turkey and Azerbaijan have agreed to make a preferential trade deal. “We hope that the deal would be online soon and help to boost our bilateral trade ties,” said Turkish Minister Faruk Özlü. He noted that Turkey wants to improve its economic and trade ties with Georgia. Some $1.3 billion was recorded in 2016 with a 4.2 percent of increase compared to 2015, adding that Turkey had remained at top places in the country’s imports and exports since 2009. Özlü also emphasized on the significance of joint projects by Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia especially in the field of energy, including the TransAnatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku Railway. NETHERLAND

Amsterdam Promoting Green Driving Amsterdam set a new record last year, with 28,889 people charging electric vehicles in the city. This is an increase of 53% compared to 2015, which saw 18,815 people charge their vehicles in Amsterdam. In 2016, drivers of electric cars in the city also loaded enough energy to travel almost 25 million kilometres, which is more than 600 times the circumference of the world. The number of public charging points in the city also grew substantially, from 1,550 to 2,030.

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Economy Expanded In Q4 Of Last Year The German economy grew at a faster pace of 0.4 percent in the final quarter of 2016, the national statistics office, Destatis, reported.The figure marked a decent pickup from the 0.1-percent expansion rate logged for the previous quarter. Destatis also confirmed its previous estimate of full-year growth, saying that Europe’s largest economy grew by 1.9 percent throughout 2016.

TECHNOLOGY “I have always believed that technology should do the hard work - discovery, organisation, communication - so users can do what makes them happiest: living and loving, not messing with annoying computers! That means making our products work together seamlessly.”— LARRY PAGE, Co-founder of Google Inc CANADA

Enbridge To Invest $1.7bln In Wind Farm

Canadian giant Enbridge Inc. is making big inroads into renewables even as changes in government policies are paving the way for the rapid expansion of its traditional oil and gas pipeline business. The company said it was investing $1.7 billion for 50 per cent of the Hohe See wind energy project off the coast of Germany, which follows last year’s $282-million buy of a 50 per cent stake in a group of French offshore wind projects. For the company’s new German wind project, it expects to spend $600 million this year and invest the remaining $1.1 billion through 2019, when the project is expected to be in service.


Carnivals To Register Worst Revenues In 3 Years The 2017 Carnival festivities around the country this year are expected to move €1.76 billion in tourism activities this year, according to a survey conducted by the National Confederation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC). The revenues generated during this time of year in the transportation segment are expected to total around €296.7 million while the accommodation segment expects revenues of around €197.8 million.


Peugeot To Keep German Jobs If It Buys Opel French automaker PSA has pledged to keep Opel plants in Germany running if a planned merger goes forward, and to refrain from layoffs until at least 2019, a newspaper report said.


Iran Finds 2 Billion Barrels Shale Oil Reserves

Iran has found shale oil reserves of 2 billion barrels of light crude in its western Lorestan province. “Based on studies, it is estimated that the shale oil reserves in Ghali Koh in Lorestan amount to 2 billion barrels of light oil in place,” said Bahman Soleimani, NIOC’s deputy director for exploration. Soleimani said exploration was also being carried out for shale gas reserves in the area, and the studies were expected to be completed by October, 2017. Iran’s proven oil reserves of about 160 billion barrels, almost 10 percent of the world’s total, rank it fourth among petroleum-rich countries.

PSA, the parent company of France’s Peugeot, Citroen and DS, has confirmed it is interested in taking over Opel, the German arm of US giant General Motors.But the plans have sparked fears in Germany that Peugeot will cut jobs that overlap with existing positions in France. Olivier Bourges, who sits on PSA’s executive committee, had assured Chancellor Angela Merkel that existing contracts would be respected. Founded in 1862 as a sewing machine maker, Opel has long been a familiar sight on German and European roads.But in recent years, the company has booked repeated losses, costing Detroit-based GM around 14 billion euros since 2000. It sells more cars in Britain, under its Vauxhall brand, than in any other European country. Opel has some 10 factories in Europe spread across six countries.


Over 160 Countries Import Mexican Products Food services which account for 57.3 percent of all revenues during this period should total €1 billion. Carnival period, which in some cities extends up to a week, is considered the largest holiday in the national calendar for tourism related services. Rio de Janeiro is the state expected to register the greatest movement of resources, with an expected circulation of €728 million, followed by São Paulo, with €452 million.

More than 160 countries are consuming products made in Mexico, a result of 120 million Mexicans who do a great job, in which the preparation of professionals dedicated to food production is the main tool. Among the products that Mexico exports are honey, pork, beef, poultry and pasteurized egg, the head of the National Service of Health, Safety and AgroFood Quality (Senasica), Enrique Sánchez Cruz, described. He stressed that all national foods meet the health and quality requirements of markets as demanding as Australia, Japan, China and the Belgian Congo, among others. In addition, Mexico is currently negotiating with Arab countries to market a wide variety of foods, since they import 90 percent of what they consume. MARCH



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Endless Innovation: From Belgrade To Silicon Valley DAMJAN STANKOVIĆ Senior User Experience Designer at LinkedIn


ince my earliest childhood, I was interested in mechanics and design, being able to play with LEGO bricks for a whole day, creating new combinations. In primary school, I gradually started working on graphic design on computers and uploading my work to the internet. It was at this point that more experienced professionals in the field noticed me and contacted me to cooperate – that’s how I became a freelancer as early as 8th grade. I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and specialised in different fields, like interface design, interaction design, user experience etc. Working on various projects for more than 15 years, I had a chance to rethink and redesign vastly diverse concepts. In 2009 I decided to focus on innovative solutions for everyday objects that had the potential to act in a subtle way to make a big difference in people’s lives. I took some time to work on my ideas and applied for one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for design concepts – the Red Dot Design Awards. In that one year, among thousands of other entries from many countries around the globe, my designs received four different awards. The awarded concepts that I created were indeed innovative solutions for everyday objects that had the potential to act in a subtle way to make a big difference in people’s lives. For example, Eko – 42 |



Damjan Stanković is the mind behind five projects that have (to date) received the Red Dot Design Award. He is currently in charge of the LinkedIn team responsible for the user experience, working on redefining ways for the more than 450 million users of the world's biggest social network for professionals to interact with the platform. A need to create new concepts, rethink products and combine technology and art led him on an exciting adventure from playing with LEGO bricks in early childhood in Serbia, to working in Silicon Valley, the epicentre of world innovation ecological traffic light, which causes less pollution and creates safer and more efficient traffic dynamics, or Letout Outlet – a concept for a unique pop-up, 5-in-1 electricity socket hidden inside the wall, which you can easily release and push back to act as a “normal” single outlet, depending on your needs. After this, I continued working on innovative designs for mobile apps and solutions for different clients, collabo-

My passion for innovation and design led me to Silicon Valley, one of the world’s most important centres of development and research, and home to thousands of high tech companies rating with multidisciplinary teams to design and develop products and an online community for people passionate about different things. Just a few years later, my own passion led me to turn to industry design once more…

Experimenting with different concepts and materials, building something from scratch with my own fingers, I made Rhei in collaboration with Marko Pavlović and many great people. It’s the world’s first and only clock that combines analogue and digital, creating an endless rhythmic flow, capturing the flow of time itself and never showing the same shape twice. Rhei attracted international attention and was also awarded the Red Dot Design Award, my fifth. That might have been the spark that ignited my new success and took me to Silicon Valley, where I continued to follow my passion. I worked on various projects in the Valley, finally settling at LinkedIn, the world’s leading network for professionals, as a Senior User Experience Designer. I work on reimagining how the network’s 450+ million users interact with the platform, having an impact on shaping their experience and connecting them to make them more productive. Silicon Valley is a creative environment where I thrive, together with some of the world’s brightest minds, working in the area for many high tech companies – 39 of which are Fortune 100 companies. 


The Fastest-Selling Exhibition In Tate History David Hockney, one of the most popular and influential British artists of the twentieth century returns to Tate Britain for his most comprehensive exhibition yet



idely regarded as one of the most successful and recognisable artists of our time, David Hockney celebrates the artist’s achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video. The show explores Hockney’s witty and brilliant challenges to conventional picture making, from his portraits and images of Los Angeles swimming pools, through to his drawings and photography, Yorkshire landscapes and most recent paintings – some of which have never be seen in public before. This exhibition gathers together an extensive selection of David Hockney’s most famous works celebrating his achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across six decades. In the vibrant world of David Hockney, there is always light. It illuminates the fields of Yorkshire, casts shadows across the bodies of lovers, gives ethereal beauty to the Hollywood Hills and, most of all, it bounces off the shimmering blue surface of swimming pools. Now six decades of these paintings, drawings and collages have been brought together under one roof for the first time at Tate Britain, in the most extensive retrospective of Hockney’s career. Across 13 rooms with more than 100 works, the show runs chronologically through Hockney’s life, from his 1960s

Love paintings through to his move to LA, where he documented the indulgent bohemian lifestyle that swept up the workingclass boy from Bradford, and back again to Yorkshire. It ends with his new iPad drawings and the paintings he continues to make of his succulent garden in California. Hockney, 79, and still prolific, has called it “a beautiful show”. It unites in a single room his most recognisable portraits, including the 1977 painting of his parents, the 1968 portrait of the playwright Christopher Isherwood and his partner Don Bachardy,

which has not been seen in the UK for 30 years, and Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy. In an adjacent room hangs A Bigger Splash and the 1966 picture of his former lover Peter emerging naked from a pool. According to Chris Stephens, who cocurated the show, Hockney’s main hope is that people leave it with a feeling of joy. “He told us that he hopes that they leave looking more closely at the world, because there’s a lot of pleasure to be had from looking at what is around you,” he said. David Hockney’s retrospective—which has already sold over 20,000 advance tickets, making it the fastest-selling exhibition in Tate history— was opened to the public on February 9 (until May 29) at the Tate Britain in London. ■





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I’m My Own



Photo by Vukica Mikača

In school I was the best pupil. I was raised to seek the most from myself. I would sometimes say to myself, and within myself – Oh God, will I ever be able to deliver any line like Mira Stupica, like Ljiljana Krstić, like Olivera Marković?! When I thought about this, I implied that I would be as natural in acting as them, or as natural as a fish in water. It took me 16 years of playing to get to that, to play Madam San Zhen on the stage of the National Theatre, and then afterwards to say to myself loudly: Oh, Svetlana, now you’re an actress, now you’ve succeeded in what you wanted!


he television series called Bolji život (A Better Life) is repeated very often on TV Belgrade, and its main star, Svetlana Bojković (69), proves again and again that she did such a good job that even today, thirty years after filming, her acting prowess and her specific beauty still hold the attention of viewers. Born as an only child, she felt enormous happiness when she found herself surrounded by other children in her first year of primary school. That’s because she had everything except the company of other children. And there, in her first class, she immediately fell in love with a certain Miloš Bojanić, who sat in the front row. She looked at him constantly, and after three or four days of school, when the children returned from the main break, 44 |



Svetlana ran to that beautiful little boy who was sitting on the first bench in the middle row, kissed him and cried: “You’re so beautiful, I love you!” At that moment, the whole class started yelling, and the teacher, who had just entered the room, asked what had happened. They all shouted in unison that I had kissed a boy, but the teacher calmly passed over that by stating that that was nice and that we should love and socialise with each other. However, from the last bench a tall boy jumped to his feet. He started to explain that I had not kissed that boy in the way the techer had said, but rather in another way! And with that the whole class started to howl with laughter. I covered my face with my hands, and so my first love turned into a major embarrassment and shame.”

Responding to the criticism that this was her first public After two or three months at Dadov, actor Miloš Žutić appeared lesson in acting, that this was more of an act than actual, she for rehearsals for a play in which I had the lead role at Dadov. explains today: Then I only played Shakespeare and that was the comedy Much “In acting terms, that was sincere! I ran to him because he was Ado About Nothing, and here we are now”. so sweet to me, and to this day I remember how that boy’s hair This ‘now’ refers to the fact that Svetlana is currently rewas cut. I’ve never met him again, never in my life. If he reads this, hearsing Shakespeare’s Richard III, on the stage of the National let him know. Otherwise, I’ve never before spoken about this.” Theatre, where she plays the Duchess of York, who is the mother That which Svetlana Bojković has usually spoken about for the of Richard III. Svetlana never yearned to play Ophelia or Juliet, last forty years relates mostly to her rich professional life, which somehow that all seemed like a cliché to her, while Desdemona has provided her with the glory of being a great actress. She has really didn’t attract her: performed hundreds of theatrical roles and slightly fewer film “Still, it is strange that this writer has evaded me completely and television roles, received all of the major awards presented for film and theatre, and she is equally loved and harshly criticised among the general public. She has acted and carried the repertoires of the most prestigious theatres in Belgrade – the Yugoslav Drama Theatre, the National Theatre, Atelier 212 etc. For her role in Goran Paskaljević’s film Pas koji je voleo vozove (The dog that loved trains), she won the Golden Arena award, while she possesses the greatest Žanka Stokić theatre award, the Dobrica’s Ring Lifetime Achievement Award... And when it comes to acting, everything started when she was just a little girl: “I’ve always loved to act, I also even sang. When the primary school teacher asked if anyone knew a little song to sing, I immediately raised my hand and said that I know the song Procvala je trešnjica , and I sang it using a microphone, which was very important to me. After that I With daughter KATARINA ŽUTIĆ in the play Selected Stories (Sabrane priče) recited at school events and that continued at In Finland I saw how uncomplicated those people the XIV Belgrade High School, where I led the are, how uncomplicated the politicians are who drama department and directed a recital - Rarun the country, and the Government in general; bindranath Tagore’s Gradinar, with the poetry how close their relationship is with the public… recited by Predrag Ejdus, Goran Sultanović and me. We entered into competition with this proGreat trust exists between the people in power gramme, won numerous awards and all together, and the nation; a common desire exists to work with no auditions, were accepted by the Dadov for the good of their country and that’s why youth amateur theatre: everything progresses in that country “Thus began my acting life, but also my private life because, as I have already told you, that was the first time I saw my second husband, then my first husband, not until today. Regardless, I’m a little sorry that I never came across knowing at all what life would bring me. There I first saw Muci from those beautiful verses of his.” the sidelines. He didn’t see me, of course, because he had come to Asked whether she had a desire as a young actress to perform see a play of Zoran Ratković, who was his godfather, and was then alongside some great actor as a partner, she answers: an actor training to be a director, and he later became a director. I “I grew up in a time of great respect for authority, and my upwas actually there as assistant director and, since they no longer bringing was especially like that, as was my character, so that kind needed, when the premiere was performed I asked if I could be a of thing did not even cross my mind. I just wanted to act, I don’t prompt. But they didn’t even need that, and it was very difficult even know what, just to act, but I was completely unarticulated. for me to step away, so I crouched down behind the curtain, which It was only important to me to stand in the light of the stage, like was quite unnecessary, but necessary to me. I saw Muci through a bug on a lamp.” the open curtain. He was scratching his beard, and next to him was Throughout her entire career, and even today, she has been very his wife Maja. I was then 16-17 years old. I didn’t see him again for hard on herself and to her it was less important what other people the next 7-8 years, until we did some work together for television. would say and more important how she felt and what she would say: MARCH



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would follow you and would always follow you. Pera and I also “Of course, what they would say about me was important socialised privately; that was more than 40 years of joint work to me, but that was really of secondary importance. I grew up and friendship.” pampered and I was perhaps spoiled. At school I was the best During her successful career, Svetlana has constantly learned, pupil. That was expected of me, but I had no desire whatsoever constantly engaged in her craft, because she believes that it is her to compete with anyone, rather I was raised to seek the best from task as an actress to become aware of her craft. This resulted in myself. I would sometimes say to myself, and within myself – Oh slowing down her her intimate internal development. She never God, will I ever be able to deliver any line like Mira Stupica, like regretted becoming an actress, nor has Ljiljana Krstić, like Olivera Markovic?! she considered that she could have When I thought about this, I implied done something else. She went from that I would be as natural in acting as job to job, with no time to think about them, or as natural as a fish in water. something else: It took me 16 years of playing to get to “Perhaps now, when you ask me if I that, to play Madam San Zhen on the could have done something else, I think stage of the National Theatre, and then that something else would also have to afterwards to say to myself loudly: Oh, be related to an audience. I could either Svetlana, now you’re an actress, now have been a professor and someone you’ve succeeded in what you wanted! who lectures in front of an audience. I From her first marriage, with actor also think I’m a good organiser and I Miloš Žutić, Svetlana has a daughter, have the characteristics to be a leader Katarina Žutić, an actress at Atelier 212, of something. Of course, only in no way while her second marriage, to director in politics.” Ljubomir Muci Draškić, lasted from 1985 Regardless of how much she has until his death in 2004. What did they avoided politics, during her career she mean to her; how important were both accepted many social engagements of these artists and husbands to her? which contributed to improving her “I had great help from both of them, standing and her profession. And she and they are two very important figures. did all of that pro bono, organising the I don’t know what my development collection of funds for retired actors and would have looked like without them. various other events at which money Miša was kind of my Pygmalion, though was collected for her colleagues who not a strict Pygmalion, and he heavily were in need. She did all of this during influenced my formation of self. When the 1990s, when nothing went her I met Muci and when my life with him way – neither the government nor her started, I was already an established financial situation: actress. Muci had no need to lead me, PORTRAYING QUEEN ELIZABETH I IN THE PLAY MARY STUART “We looked like Hollywood, but we nor did I have a need for anyone to lead didn’t even have anything for a dog to me like Miša had done. Thus, Muci and My husband Slavko has taste, bite. Television broadcast for free, tickets I collaborated in this sense more or less a simple aesthetic sense for were sold for 100 Deutschmarks for one like equals, even though he was older those things, which is very seat, and for that they received dinner than me. I never interfered in his direction, and he left his actors, of course important to me. Because of and a programme, and everyone was myself inclded, to create their own roles. formally dressed. One man taught me that, and due to many other That was his great advantage.” to do that and I executed it very reasons, because of the many how Svetlana is among those actresses well. In this way we were also able to things we share together, I that partners are very happy to choose, encourage the Ministry of Culture to if they can, because she is very adaptable can rightfully say that he is my participate in that. There Nada Popović and extremely valuable on the stage or Perišić, the then culture minister, showed calm and happy port in front of cameras. And throughout herselft in the best light. She recognised her career she often performed two partners who are no longer what we were doing and helped us.” among the living and who she particularly loved: With her current husband, diplomat Slavko Kruljević, Svetlana has “I got a lot from my partners in the mature period of my life, spent the last five years in Helsinki, where he served until recently as from Petar Kralj and Đuza Stojiljković. They are the people who I Serbia’s ambassador to Finland. Here Svetlana also took her obligations felt best performing alongside on the stage. I was somehow closer seriously and was able in her interviews to talk about that country to Pera, because he also choreographed me on stage. Đuza was while selecting words in order to describe as accurately as possible not a man who would ever correct me; he was again one who the life and culture of that nation. Today she explains for CorD: 46 |



“In that country I saw how uncomplicated those people are, and I definitely wouldn’t be able to live abroad ... But it is travel how uncomplicated the politicians are who run the country, and that just gives you a chance to actally understand how everything the Government in general; how close their relationship is with is internally, inside a person. It’s nice to go, it’s nice to see and you the public. These people have an awareness that whoever works should see the world, but I always have the thought that travelling well for their own good best contributes to their society and is actually a journey inside you.” their country. Great trust exists between the people in power and It was quite natural when Katarina Žutić, the daughter of acthe nation; a common desire exists to work for the good of their tor Milos Žutić and actress Svetlana Bojković, enrolled in acting country and that’s why everything studies, although Svetlana was shocked progresses in that country. That’s in all sorts of ways and scared. However, why in that country there is no rift, she explains: regardless of individual complaints “I didn’t want to oppose her decision. regarding politicians and so on. But It was always incomparably easier for there is no rift between those who me to overcome all my own fears and run the country and the nation, nor trauma than her troubles with acting. between the government and the opThat’s twice as hard, more than twice, position. Corruption is at the very and you cannot use your own experience minimum there.” to help your child, because your child When asked what she missed the has to go through all of that on their most in Finland, we were primarily own and gain their own experience. thinking that she would have missed Fortunately, Katarina overcame all of stages and cameras. However, those that, formed herself as an actress who who know Svetlana know that she is has mastered her craft and received the very thorough in everything she does. Sterija Award, and I have no more fears And that’s also how she behaved in about what she will do. However, I still the role of the wife of an ambassador, have the kind of fears like every mother a role she performed successfully knows what her child is going through throughout those five years: in a job that they share.” “In the beginning I didn’t miss Svetlana’s current husband is a lawyer and career diplomat who has just anything, because I got to know that ended his working life. Regardless of country and became familiar with the how much it appeared that their careers people, though it is a major handicap were running on different tracks, this to live in a country whose language popular actress reveals that during their you do not know. Although they all life together they have found several comspeak English, not knowing the FinnWhen you ask me if I could ish language is still a handicap. That mon interests when it comes to works in have done something else, language is very difficult. I tried to the artistic domain: I think that something else learn it through everyday conversa“It is very interesting that Slavko once tion, but that was not enough. I spent passed the entrance exam for the Faculty would also have to be related a lot of time visiting cultural monuof Dramatic Arts and was shortlisted for to an audience. I could either ments and theatres, and I read a lot. the directing class. However, he then have been a professor and In short, I interpreted that as some opted to give up and he now says that it someone who lectures in front is better that he did, because there is a kind of holiday, as distancing myself from my former life. That was fine for of an audience. I also think I’m questionmark over whether he would have three years, then a routine started to had the nerves to withstand everything a good organiser and emerge that began to bother me. And implied by that job. However, he is very I have the characteristics to be susceptive, sensitive, with a delicate and when something starts bothering you, a leader of something. that’s the time to change. And where refined taste when it comes to art. He is are you going to change other than by very good at feeling what is good in acting Of course, only in no way going back to where you came from. and directing. If that were not so, a lot in politics And so it was.” would be missing in our relationship. In This actress has never had a probthis way we also understand each other very well in this regard; he has taste, a simple aesthetic sense for lem adapting to the environment in which she has worked. She may those things, which is very important to me. Because of that, and have left, but she never wanted to change Belgrade for another city: due to many other reasons, because of the many things we share “I have that adapatability to be able to live wherever you put together, I can rightfully say that he is my calm and happy port.” ■ me and however you put me there. Of course, I would never stay MARCH



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Commemorating The 10th Anniversary Of EU Membership For Bulgaria And Romania The embassies of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania to the Republic of Serbia, in cooperation with the Delegation of the European Union, organised a reception to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the membership of Bulgaria and Romania in the EU. This reception marked the launch of a series of joint events and debates that will be organised throughout Serbia during the course of 2017 by the embassies of Bulgaria and Romania to mark the 10th anniversary. Guests at the reception were addressed by H.E. Radko Vlajkov, Ambassador of Bulgaria, H.E. OanaCristina Popa, Ambassador of Romania, H.E. Michael Davenport, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation, Jadranka Joksimović, Minister without portfolio responsible for European integra- H.E. RADKO VLAJKOV (left), tion, and Maja Gojković, Speaker of the National As- H.E. OANA-CRISTINA POPA and sembly of Serbia. H.E. MICHAEL DAVENPORT 06.02.2017


Serbian-Greek Business Forum Held The Serbian-Greek forum, which included the participations of prime ministers Aleksandar Vučić and Alexis Tsipras, passed in a working and friendly atmosphere, with the conclusion drawn that the two countries have great scope to further improve bilateral relations, especially when it comes to economic cooperation. Greek PM Tsipras noted that Greek businessmen are ready and open for investments and increasing trade between the two countries, as well as noting that Greek businessmen “have been, now ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ are, and will continue to be, present and active in Serbia.” President of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, Marko Čadež, and his Greek counterpart, Constantinos Mihalos, jointly assessed at the opening of the forum that the trade exchange is below its potential and that work should be done to promote economic cooperation. The post-forum reception was attended by a large number of political, economic and business leaders from both countries, ALEXIS TSIPRAS as well as media representatives.

Dual VET In The Function Of An Efficient Labour Market

The Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia hosted a conference entitled “Dual VET in the function of an efficient Labour Market”, which was held in the context of the official visit to Serbia of Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, H.E. Dr Mauro Dell’Ambrogio. The aim of the conference was to contribute to strengthening cooperation in the field of dual education, while the conference also proved to be an opportunity to relate the good practice of Switzerland in this area, as well as to review the key elements of effectively implementing the dual education model. Alongside Dr Dell’Ambrogio, who gave a presentation on harmonising education with the needs of the labour market and ensuring mobility within the education system, as key postulates of the successful implementation of a system of dual education, participants were also addressed by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, Serbian Education, Science and Technological Development Minister Mladen Šarčević, CCIS President Marko Čadež and H.E. Philippe Guex, Swiss Ambassador to Serbia.


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Saša Janković Announces Resignation

SAŠA JANOVIĆ and H.E. JOHANNES EIGNER, Austrian Ambassador to Serbia

Addressing around a hundred participants in a ceremony at the Palace of Serbia marking the 10th anniversary of the institute of the Protector of Citizens (Ombudsman), existing Ombudsman, Saša Janković, announced that he was tendering his resignation, and called on his colleagues to do the same. The resignation comes following Janković’s decision to run for the presidency of Serbia. Speaking about the role of the Ombudsman, Janković said: “We’re protecting the Ombudsman, we will need him. I have finished my mission here”. Among officials in attendance were representatives of the diplomatic corps, leaders of opposition parties and representatives of the EU, NGOs and the media, as well as Janković’s friends and associates.


Zorana Mihajlović - Reformer Of The Year The National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) has declared Zorana Mihajlović, Serbian Deputy PM and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Reformer of the Year. The award went to the Deputy PM in recognition of the successful introduction of the e-government system for is- ZORANA MIHAJLOVIĆ and GORAN KOVAČEVIĆ suing building permits in 2016. The award was presented at Belgrade City Hall, as part of the 10th annual conference “Results and Direction of Reforms” 2016/2017. “The World Bank recognised this reform as being among the world’s 10 biggest reforms. NALED’s Reformer of the Year Award deservedly ended up in the hands of Minister Mihajlović for the implementation of, we can freely state, the reform of the decade, and we are proud that NALED played an important role in that,” said Goran Kovačević, Chairman of the NALED Board of Directors.


Iranian National Day Marked

Iranian Ambassdor to Serbia, H.E. Hossein Molla Abdollahi, organised a recpetion marking Iranian National Day and commemorating the 38th anniversary of the country’s Islamic Revolution. Welcoming guests, the Ambassador reminded those in attendance that 38 years have passed since the Muslim people of Iran, under the leadership of the late Imam Khomeini and under the slogan “Independence, Freedom and Islamic Republic”, stood against the tyranny of the shah and foreign colonisation. The reception at Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel was attended by a large number of guests, including representatives of the Serbian government and numerous representatives of the diplomatic corps in Serbia.


SSCC General Assembly


The Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SSCC) held its annual General Assembly at hotel Holiday Inn Express - City Belgrade. In her introductory speech, SSCC President Yana Mikhailova presented the association’s results achieved in 2016 and the plan of activities for 2017. On this occasion, Marko Kolenc, Country Manager at Adecco Serbia and Adecco Operations Director for Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Slovakia, was appointed as the latest member of the SSCC Board. Following this election, two SSCC member companies (Cash Back IMO d.o.o. and Telekomunikacije Računari Servisi d.o.o. TRS) presented their corporate activities to all participants. MARCH



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New AmCham Board Members Selected The General Assembly of AmCham Serbia included the presenting of this association’s results in 2016, as well as the adding of new members to the AmCham Board of Direc-tors. Vladan Živanović, from company NCR, was appointed as the second vice president of the board of directors and KPMG’s Igor Lončarević was appointed secretary and treas-urer, while the board of directors also welcomed Dragan Lupšić, from Coca-Cola Hel-lenic, and Nenad Vučinić, from TeleSign, as new members without portfolios. This occasion also saw the awarding of the prestigious AmCham Hero annual award, which was this year presented to Dr Magdalena Đorđević from the Institute of Physics, in recognition of her efforts aimed at advancing and promoting science. “During 2016, AmCham – in cooperation with representatives of relevant state institutions and the Government – achieved significant results in improving the regulatory framework for business, particularly in the fields of health, tax regulations and the fight against the grey economy,” said AmCham Board Chairman Zoran Petrović in his welcome speech. Vera Nikolić Dimić, director of the executive office of AmCham, highlighted activities un-dertaken during 2016 and noted that, thanks to numerous workshops, this association has influenced the professional development and connecting of the personnel of member companies.

VERA NIKOLIĆ DIMIĆ, Executive Director of AmCham

DR MAGDALENA ĐORĐEVIĆ, winner of the AmCham Hero Awards, and SRĐAN OGNJA-NOVIĆ, director of the Mathematical Gymnasium High School in Belgrade


Russian Defence Of The Fatherland Day Celebrated The Russian Embassy has commemorated the country’s Defence of the Fatherland Day, and Russian Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Alexander Chepurin used the opportunity to stress that the good relations between Serbia and Russia are an example for all who wish to cooperate, after which he added that Russia will continue to support Serbia. Ambassador Chepurin, who addressed guests in Serbian, said that he agrees with those who say that today, after many years, Serbia is a truly independent and sovereign state, as evidenced by the fact that the reception was attended by representatives of different political groups and parties. The reception was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, government ministers Zoran Đorđević and Zorana Mihajlović, director of the Office for Kosovo Marko Đurić, representatives of political parties and organisations, Dragan Marković, Vojislav Šešelj, Boško Obradović and Vuk Jeremić, Serbian Patriarch Irinej, as well as other representatives of religious organisations, members of the diplomatic corps and figures from Serbia’s cultural and public scenes.


56th Anniversary Of Kuwait’s Independence Marked


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Kuwaiti Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Yousef Ahmad Abdulsamad held a reception at Belgrade’s Hotel Metropol Palace in honour of the 56th anniversary of Kuwait’s independence and the 26th anniversary of the country’s liberation. “Cooperation between Serbia and Kuwait has gained another new and wonderful symbol. That new symbol of ours is in the form of two bridges built in the municipality of Krupanj in western Serbia, which sustained great damage during the flooding of 2014,” said Ambassador Yousef Abdulsamad. Alongside many friends and associates of the Kuwaiti Embassy, the reception was also attended by members of the diplomatic corps and prominent figures from Serbia’s cultural and public life.


Private and State Education In Serbia 2017


We Have The Potential To Shine Researchers from British universities recognised Serbia as the only country in Europe that has a chance to be a superstar in higher education. Simultaneously, in terms of dual education we have not only caught up with Europe, but we will actually regulate the legal framework for this type of education before many other countries MLADEN ŠARČEVIĆ Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development


peaking with Serbian Education, Science and Technological Development Minister Mladen Šarčević, we discussed his ministry’s plans for the period ahead and the potential to improve the education system and ensure its more efficient connecting with the needs of the market. • What are your priorities in terms of catching our connections with the world? - We have grabbed our connections with the world in many areas. In the

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TIMSS survey, which covers the first part of primary school, Serbia is ranked 27th in the world, and is far above the world average. This testifies to some elements of the reforms being recognisable. In that part of schooling we are striving to make computer literacy mandatory, as opposed to an optional subject. Because of that we must influence the colleges that teach personnel to give them new and different competencies than the current ones. When it comes to PISA testing, we have a specific problem because, for some banal reason, we did not participate in the last cycle. Now a PISA council has been formed that also deals with the fourth literacy-financial component, which is not permeated through our curricula.

When it comes to colleges, many of them are high-ranking, not only the University of Belgrade on the Shanghai list, rather according to some other criteria the University of Novi Sad is also highly rated, as are parts of the University of Niš and the University of Kragujevac. Also testifying to the fact that we are a country on the rise when it comes to higher education is the fact that Serbia was identified by researchers from British universities as the only country in Europe that has a chance to be a superstar in education. This gives us the potential to, in accordance with our financial capabilities, have expansion of academic education and the academic community. In dual education we have not only caught up with Europe, but we will

actually regulate the legal framework for this type of education before many other countries. • You were in the state school system and then established a series of private schools. What do you see as the pros and cons of the two systems? - They are of course different, but not just because of who founded them, rather also because in a private school you can set a goal for which it was founded. There are many people who established schools just to make money or gain prestige. For me, those were secondary objectives, with my primary one being to establish ideas and quality that is measured through some high standards, such as the possibility of becoming part of the IB school system, recognisable and very highly rated, with children who achieve results that are achieved only by 0.2% of the world's school pupils. Not all institutions were established because of that. Both in the private and public sectors, there are good and bad schools. You'll see that in many parts of academic education we can quickly achieve great results only if laws are adopted and reform processes come to life, if the training of people is initiated, if efficiency is achieved and if the State envisages significantly more funding from the budget for 2018. • As a consequence of that, how do you see their future coexistence? - Only those best ones will exist excellently, because they will seek the best knowledge, and that knowledge must be confirmed by someone neutral. External assessment is the sole criterion to determine whether someone did something well or not. That goes for all schools. When it comes to state schools, in some subsequent stage of reform we will insist that

those better ones also receive more money. In Serbia there is regimentation when it comes to payments for good and bad schools, and good and bad teachers, and good and bad directors and managers.

• Education today, perhaps more than ever, has become one of the most important factors in the competitiveness of countries. What primarily needs to be done in this context in order for Serbia to utilise its potential? - Serbia is in the process of a new industrialisation, and the introduction of foreign companies creates the conditions for the employment of young people. At present the country is mostly turned towards the IT-sector and as a result of that we have increased the enrolment quotas for IT departments, because those students can immediately gain employment. A

I hereby call on ambassadors to consider granting a greater number of scholarships for our students, because it has already been proven that, especially in science, they achieve excellent results • What most concerns you and what instils hope in you when it comes to the equipping of educational institutions, their programmes and staff readiness? - When it comes to the readiness of personnel, I’ve already said that the training of all participants is necessary. When it comes to equipment, we have schools that are really equipped at the world level, while we also have those that we need to equip. We are now in the phase of equipping schools with IT equipment and raising IT maturity, both among students and teachers.

greater number of such personnel will represent a good factor in the competitiveness of the country, because that’s what companies recognise. It is important to involve the scientific diaspora in all of that, which we are considering these days. • To what extent are young people in Serbia today willing to consider their possibilities of finding a job when it comes to selecting their high school or college? - I think very few people in Serbia think in the direction: which school or university should I enrol in, in GUIDE TO PRIVATE AND STATE EDUCATION IN SERBIA 2017

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there is ever less of a desire for independence, and educating for that comes earlier. Because of that we are introducing entrepreneurial education, for children to learn how to think in a free and creative way. When choosing a school, children should first start by considering the needs of local governments, because the dominant thought in the world is - let me complete something that will immediately secure a job, and then after that I have the opportunity to continue with my studies and ultimately complete a doctorate. We will

Only the best private and state schools will be able to survive in a system in which we will impose qualitative and neutral external assessments order to more easily secure employment. And it seems that the biggest problem is troubling parents, who often direct their children towards some interesting, fine managerial occupations and nice office jobs. That doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. Elsewhere in the world work is respected, the labour market is respected. I did various jobs while I was a student and when I graduated I didn’t have a problem working in many other professions due to an inability to secure work in the profession for which I had studied. There is also a problem in that among children

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conduct campaigns on education for parents and children regarding the importance making the right education choices, and I believe we will resolve many of their misconceptions. • How many instruments and which ones should support equal access to education for all categories of the population? - Categorical access to all levels of education has long been present in our country, primarily through free primary and secondary education, while good students have possibility of using student dormitories at minimum

prices, while there are also scholarships and loans. A month’s residence in a student dorm costs 12 euros, which is less than a phone bill. These are very high quality conditions in a country like Serbia. That is the heritage of the old Yugoslavia, which we did not stop during the time of hyperinflation or even during the bombing. All of this is not only available to members of the majority ethnicity, but also to national minorities, while we are devoting special attention and exerting efforts, along with many partners, on the inclusion of the Roma people. • You’ve said that during your term you will take into the interests of teaching staff, because no reform can be achieved without them. What does that now mean in practical terms, given that there should now be a reduction in the number of employees? - Reducing the number of employees in education is a regular occurrence in a system characterised by depopulation and falling birth rates. This is a principle that applies in all countries. Reductions also occur when the reform process is introduced, when the system is being changed. When that is a large system, it does not automatically mean that you reduce the number of employees; you can also change something. For example, different types of instructors appear if you introduce dual education. The level of salaries for teaching staff has been declining over the last nine years. This government has finally turned around the direction of that movement. In the first increase they received one per cent more than others, and in 2017 that trend is expected to continue. There is an idea that we are agreeing with the unions whereby realised savings will be added to the fund for salaries. The aim is for salaries in education to be equal

to those for all other occupations in the public sector as soon as possible. This is the first time that the problem of the position of teachers has been approached systemically, and if that isn’t care then I don’t know what is. There are various categories that are hidden in education, including so-called personal school revenues that are generated by schools themselves, which are very rarely seen and can rarely be included in stimulating workers, mostly ending up in “black channels”. We will also prevent that with new laws. We will definitely take care of educators in all possible ways. • How much are education employees interested in advancing their own education and how much do they have opportunities for that? - I think there is a small number of employees who are not interested, but that will be imposed on them. I cannot believe that someone who loves their profession doesn’t want to see what’s new and innovative in the world. We must find money for their training, because t well-trained teachers represent the basis of reform. • To what extent has our schooling progressed in terms of adapting to new forms of learning brought by digitisation? - Digitisation helps to improve certain teaching processes, starting from information technology, or from the fact that a tablet is an interactive notebook. However we also have to be careful with that. Younger children must practice dexterity motor skills, must speak well, write well, learn their native language well, which provide the basis for all other knowledge and skills. When it comes to new forms of learning, I will repeat that it is important for us to switch to conceptual models of learning. Dig-

itisation is an important tool in that model, but it is not sufficient in itself. • Today there are many embassies in Serbia that award scholarships to Serbian students. How important

providing as many scholarships to us as we give them. I’m sorry about that to an extent, because our students are very good. On the other hand, I don’t think that a Cambridge Scholarship is exceptionally good, because most of them remain in the UK, which thereby gains very good experts. We cannot prevent young people from leaving, but part of what Serbia has invested in their education should be returned to Serbia. I hereby call on ambassadors to consider granting a greater number of scholarships for our students, because it has already been proven that, especially in science, they achieve excellent results. • When they return to the country, these people still

There are various categories that are hidden in education, including so-called personal school revenues that are generated by schools themselves, which are very rarely seen and can rarely be included in stimulating workers, mostly ending up in “black channels” is this kind of assistance when it comes to raising the level of knowledge in the country? - There aren’t quite that many scholarships. This is a misconception. I have spoken with all ambassadors and told some of them openly that there is declining interest in learning their language, with more students interested in other foreign languages – those of countries that provide more scholarships, have more investors and more job opportunities. Apart from Hungary, all other countries work on the level of reciprocity,

face the problem of their diplomas being recognised and validated. What are the chances of serious progress being made in this domain? - We have significantly improved processes for recognising diplomas. For many Ph.D. students from our universities we have recognised the role of reviewers for the appropriate level of studies, made models and budgeted part of the funds for reviewers for areas that were previously not covered. Our Enik-Narik Centre is now working at full capacity. ■ GUIDE TO PRIVATE AND STATE EDUCATION IN SERBIA 2017

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Innovative Industry – Key To Serbia’s Development The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering can and must be the driver of the new industrialisation of Serbia


new form of industrial development, founded on knowledge and new technologies, is only possible to achieve in the triangle of education - economy - state. In this sense, the academic community as a whole, and in particular the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and allied colleges that deal with information technology, are the creators of ideas and tangible proposals that will act as a guideline for policymakers in defining new strategies and policies for the industrial development of the country.

possible. We are aware that the most developed countries keep these technologies and production for themselves, while low accumulative branches are left for developing countries, so the gap between them is gap. That’s why the essence of our approach is for the share of newly created values, based on knowledge, innovation and research, to be as big as possible. I am convinced that in the new international division of labour, Serbia can earn an adequate place even with just a small share of top HI TECH products. These considerations are a result of the joint work of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and representatives of the business community and the relevant ministries of the Serbian Government. In the context of the upcoming negotiations with the EU on Chapter 20, which relates to industrial policy and innovation, it is very important to formulate new strategies of industrial development and to define the interests of Serbia. That’s why

I am convinced that in the new international division of labour, Serbia can earn an adequate place even with just a small share of top HI TECH products • Where do you see the role of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in the industrial development of Serbia? - In the area of technological development there are very fast changes happening around the world. That’s why Serbia must find room to develop its high-tech production as soon as

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we organise a large number of meetings and conferences, including the International Conference “U.S.-EU-Far East-Serbia”, which brings together the world’s leading experts in this field. • Do you agree with the assessment that Serbia neglected industrial and technological de-

velopment and scientific research in previous decades? In which segment can the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering help? - Searching for accountability will not lead to change. Our goal is to make a turnaround and offer tangible solutions. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering can help with its own experience, because that is the nucleus of creating new industries based on knowledge. As a result of a large number of projects, previous Faculty of Mechanical Engineering improved technical solutions, new technologies, modern testing methods and the like. All staff members, through classes or projects, today train students to take on innovation and entrepreneurship. The establishment of business incubators is envisaged, in which teachers and graduates can establish companies, work on the commercialistion of their ideas and develop innovations. Our Centre for Lifelong Learning has great cooperation with leading companies like NIS and EPS. We offer competence and the latest results of our own and international research, and knowledge that engineers in practice are lacking. We are part of the Business-Technical Incubator of the group of technical colleges. We reflect with great dedication on the further improvement of cooperation with the Scientific-Technological Park in Belgrade. We also plan to establish a research and development centre of educational-economic excellence. With that we will attract foreign companies.

• To what extent is Serbia able, in these circumstances and considering the state of the economy, to create a new industrial policy that would significantly improve overall development? - This is a great political and economic issue. Open global issues include internationalisation (globalism), but also sovereignty. Do countries decide independently on their own technological and industrial development, or are they under the influence of the owners of capital and multinational companies, which is a dominant trend in the world today. I am of the opinion that Serbia has a right, but also an obligation, to decide on its own development itself and for our actions to be in the interest of the development of our state. It is essential that our decisions are based on our resources. For example, Serbia should not only be orientated towards primary agricultural production, for which it has excellent conditions. The emphasis should be placed on the further processing of raw materials. Through much greater quantities of valuable high-quality products on the global market, along with competitive prices, we will achieve a GDP growth rate of seven per cent or more. • From your perspective as the dean of a higher education institution, what would you include in the reform process in Serbia? - In the next decade, one of the priorities is certainly the continuation of reforms launched in our education system and its harmonising with the needs of the market economy. That is a complex, lengthy and gradual process. It doesn’t depend only on the relevant ministry or educational institutions, and it also includes all other interest groups, primarily businesses. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is focused on raising the quality of teaching, scientific research, cooperation with industry and international cooperation. We have undertaken a number of activities: we have improved organisation, modernised the content, introduced the

visualisation of theoretical teaching, better and more extensive laboratory exercises, expanded and improved professional practice, improved the quality of textbooks and applied modern teaching aids. We carefully monitor world events on the ground. In accordance with good global practice, as of this academic year we have included introductory courses in mathematics and physics in the teaching process, as well as the institution of mentors. The aim is to facilitate first year students attending classes and improving their efficiency throughout their studies. Experience through scientific research is also very important for the quality of teaching. That’s why we stimulate the writing of scientific papers and their publishing in prestigious scientific journals. It is very important to us that the results of

our scientists-professors are a good as they can possibly be. Patents and technical solutions are especially important to us. All theoretical, technical and scientific knowledge is best translated into practical values through cooperation with the economy in concrete projects. Through the developed cooperation that our professors and associates have with business, we realise 30 per cent of our revenue. We also devote great attention to international cooperation through EU projects (Horizon 2020

project or projects within the framework of the Erasmus+ programe). There are also significant bilateral cooperation projects that are financed by the relevant ministry through cooperation with foreign universities, international scientific and professional meetings and the like. • Have novelties and innovation in the teaching process yielded the expected results? - We will only have a serious analysis of the results after the January-February test period. The positive assessments of teachers who teach freshmen are undisputed, especially those who participated in the implementing of introductory lectures. According to them, a different approach to teaching is noticeable among students, as well as much greater enthusiasm for studying. • All of the aforementioned is conditioned by considerable financial resources. To what extent is the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering materially equipped to procure modern teaching aids and ensure training in new technologies? - The Faculty possesses a large number of well-equipped laboratories dedicated to scientific research and work with students. Also, within its composition, alongside the Innovation Centre, there are numerous accredited testing laboratories and inspection bodies. That equipment is modern and compatible with that found at prestigious universities elsewhere in the world. We carry out procurement on the basis of several factors: from projects funded using the financial assistance of the EU through pre-accession assistance (IPA), Erasmus and other international projects; from the budget of the Government of the Republic of Serbia; and, in no small part, with funds resulting from cooperation with the economy. ■

Student-centred education The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering nurtures and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit among students through lectures of our former students who are now owners of highly successful companies. Formula Student - Team “Road Arrow” has become a brand, not only of our faculty, but of industrial engineering in general. For the past six years, our students, in cooperation with colleagues from other faculties, have independently made racing cars and successfully participated in prestigious international competitions. Apart from the “Road Arrow”, the Euroavia-Belgrade Students Association also operates, competing in the Air Cargo Challenge. The

formation of other student sections is underway, such as in modelling and other areas that are subjects of mechanical engineering studies. Through the encouraging of entrepreneurship, we expect our graduate masters of engineering to acquire both theoretical and practical skills that are increasingly valued and sought in the world. When it comes to student issues, important roles are played by the Student Parliament and the Student Vice-Dean. Thanks to their good organisation and the tradition that we inherit as professors – paradigm: “Student at the learning centre” is greatly brought to life at this faculty.


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An Education That Provides Direct Entry Into The Job Market According to Jovana Pejčić, Regional Manager for the Swiss Education Group, the success of the Swiss education system lies in it having the right balance between practical and academic learning


ince graduating from the Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS) in 2010 and Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM) in 2011, Serbian born Jovana Pejčić has dedicated her career to promoting the Swiss education system across Eastern Europe to students ready to jump-start their careers. • In your opinion, what makes Switzerland’s education system unique in the world? - What makes Switzerland’s education system unique is how it has mastered the balance between practical and academic learning. A strong focus on professional education and training programmes is what helps ensure access to the job market. Around the world, the university experience traditionally focuses on academia. But in Switzerland, in addition to academics, students are also provided with the opportunity to learn real life job skills starting from inside the classroom! • As someone that came through the Swiss Education system gainfully employed, what was the game-changer for you when it came to education? - My Swiss education was a true school of life. At the end of each academic year, we were required to undergo an internship that provided

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us with the opportunity to immediately apply in practice what we learned in the classroom. I completed internships in different departments in the hotel industry in the United States, in Paris, France, and on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Each role I had allowed for the opportunity to learn from other professionals and reflect on what type of position I wanted for myself in the future.

• Can you tell us more about the Swiss Education Group and its approach to education? - The Swiss Education Group is a Swiss alliance of five leading hospitality management schools. We offer a tailored, five-star education experience unlike anywhere else in the world. Switzerland is renowned for its world-class hospitality schools and choosing to study hospitality management here is a natural choice, given its heritage, tradition and reputation in the industry. But what I think truly sets us apart is the direct access to the industry that our students are given.

• Why is working hand-in-hand with industry so important for education providers? - Working directly with the industry helps ensure that courses are tailored to meet the evolving industry’s needs. Swiss Education Group invites the industry right into the classroom, offering a platform to participate in the education and recruitment of their future employees. Close ties and strong partnerships with top international players, like Hublot, Ritz Paris, UBS, Four Seasons and many more, ensures the education is current, relevant and always ahead of the curve. • Why do you think the hospitality industry has been able to remain a prosperous industry, even during tough economic times? - The hospitality industry currently represents 1 in 11 jobs worldwide. As an extremely dynamic industry, I think it has remained successful thanks to its capacity to be flexible and adapt to the constant changes all around. A good hospitality education needs to reflect this and, when done well, the career prospects are endless. I believe a hospitality education with the right combination of practical and academic elements is a perfect choice for young students interested in exploring their options and securing a promising international career. ■


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Fewer Words –More Deeds The nonexistence of sufficiently adequate criteria to measure the quality of higher education institutions, colleges and universities, leads to less attention being paid to deeds and more to words


he most important parameter for gauging the quality of higher education institutions is the employment of students following graduation and their ability to cope in a turbulent business environment, both in the country and abroad. A large number of our students have secured employment and are now successfully building their careers in the prosecutor's office, the legal profession, industry, in the public and private sectors, but also abroad, which represents confirmation of our quality. • In your opinion, what does the work of private higher education institutions mean to the overall modernisation of the education process and why is the quality of private institutions still uneven? - I divide colleges into high quality and low quality, and not into private- and stateowned. There are state universities that are top quality, but also those that are unjustifiably forced and privileged. The same goes for private colleges. Some colleges represent only an instant boiler for the production of diplomas. I hope young people will realise that it is not only a diploma that is important. The credibility of the institution where they received their education is im-

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portant; it is important to gain knowledge and skills, as well as the ways of thinking that they have adopted. A diploma is just an entrance ticket, and not a goal. • In your opinion, to what extent is the institutional framework in the field of further and higher education conducive to advancing the quality of teaching and overall operational conditions for private and state universities? - Each higher education institution should develop the quality of its teaching, and the education system should provide the basis for something like that to be done. Apart from that, it is also necessary to harmonise the curricula of higher education institutions with the real needs of the economy. It is already a clear necessity for students, in addition to theoretical and professional knowledge, to acquire business skills, in order for them to be able, as graduates, to apply their knowledge. The quality of higher education in Serbia is not bad, it just lacks the practical component. We strive to ensure that our students are able, during their studies, to gain a certain vision of their future direction, and they will only be able to do that if they have encountered practical achievements from theoretical issues.

The priority is to awaken a desire to succeed in young people, for us to teach them how to set their goals and how to work on achieving them each day, and then for us to build up their awareness of the fact that knowledge is important and studying pays off. Without synergic action of the state and all educational institutions, our prospects of achieving that are poor. The time has come to end the divisions between private and public colleges, because young people and the future of Serbia depend on all of us and the quality of knowledge and skills that we can provide for them. The success of society depends on the success of individuals, and it is up to us to do our best to create successful individuals. • How much has the Bologna Process enabled better cooperation between local and foreign higher education institutions and eased fluctuations of students between higher education institutions in the country and elsewhere in the world? - Internationalisation, the mobility of students towards world universities and joint projects with foreign countries are generally indicators of the quality of work of every college. The Bologna Process primarily eased the process of enabling students to

be mobile, but it also enabled the easier creating of joint programmes between higher education institutions in the country and abroad. University Business Academy has very well-developed international cooperation with higher education institutions in the world, which also opens the door for our students to more easily gain employment or train abroad. International cooperation gives our students the opportunity to spend a semester abroad at one of Europe’s top universities. Our graduates can also continue their master’s and Ph.D. studies at universities abroad. The internationalisation of universities and colleges is very significant not only for students, but rather we as a country will advance quickly and more easily, develop and integrate ourselves into global flows. • We are witnessing the fact that many universities in our region, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, are attracting foreign students, including those from the EU, thanks to the high quality of their teaching. Why is Serbia not among them? - Serbia is among the countries that are attractive to foreign students. Specifically, we have interested students from Africa and Asia, as well as individual EU countries, and even Mexico. However, the number of students interested in studying with us is not nearly equal to the number of those who have actually enrolled. The reason for that is not in the quality and conditions that we offer, because that’s why they contact us in the first place, but rather in the visas that are very difficult for interested students to obtain. Our country should be more receptive to foreign students, primarily in terms of granting visas for them, because these foreign students bring foreign capital into our country and strengthen it, and afterwards they become kind of promoters of our country and the universities they attended. • We recently received the first education minister with experience in the private sector. What are your expectations when it comes to levelling out the positions of private and state education? - I believe that the new education minister,

given that he proved professionally a long time ago that he is one of the few ministers to have recorded significant results, will be able to help equalise the positions of private and public education, and thereby improve the overall education process in Serbia. This is a man who knows what is required for the high quality functioning of private educational institutions, and I’m sure he is familiar with all the pros and cons of both private and state education. It’s good for this position to be held by a man who is aware of the privileges that state colleges attribute to themselves, as well as the discrimination against, and often unen-

there is unfair competition, which is completely counterproductive and creates a bad climate in the field of higher education. • You are an example of a man who lives the concept of lifelong learning. How accepted is that concept in our country and how ready are people to constantly invest in their education? - Education is a continuous process that requires continuous improvement of quality. The purpose of education – not only for our students, but also for students of other universities – is to receive an education that will help them accomplish their business goals, but also many other life goals. Our goal is not only to enable them to study, but also to enable them, through their studies, to clearly consider their wishes and preferences, define their priorities, discover their talents and improve themselves further in that direction. Everyone should constantly work on improving and educating themselves, and thus improving the quality of their lifestyle, because breathers are not characteristic for people or institutions that always want to be better tomorrow than

I believe that the new education minister, given that he proved professionally a long time ago that he is one of the few ministers to have recorded significant results, will be able to help equalise the positions of private and public education, and thereby improve the overall education process in Serbia

viable position of, private higher education institutions. I hope that the Minister and his team will focus on the new draft law that should represent global interests, and not individual ones. In this sense, private universities should choose among themselves who will be representatives in the Commission for Accreditation, the National Council for Higher Education and the like, and in accordance with the number of students they have compared to state-run colleges. However, private universities aren’t completely unanimous in their views either, and

they are today. Unfortunately, I am of the opinion that people generally do not find enough time for themselves and do not invest enough in their own advancement. However, we have been able to develop a positive attitude towards learning among our students, and through numerous extracurricular activities – such as competitions, specialised courses, forums, public debates and similar activities – contributed to heightening their desire for new knowledge and bringing them closer to the importance of the concept of lifelong learning. ■ GUIDE TO PRIVATE AND STATE EDUCATION IN SERBIA 2017

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European University Founder and Chancellor, Professor Doctor Milija Zečević

Belgrade, Carigradska 28, Cetinjska 2; Tel: +381 11 322 11 18; E-mail:;


Faculty of European Business and Marketing Vojvode Dobrnjca 15, Belgrade Tel: +381 11 339-29-92, 339-29-96 Email:, - Graduate academic studies - Master academic studies - Doctoral academic studies

College for Trade, Hospitality and Marketing Vojvode Dobrnjca 15, Belgrade Tel: +381 11 339-29-96 Email:, - Graduate professional studies ART

New Academy of the Arts Topličin venac 11, Belgrade Tel: +381 11 328 6118

Email: - Graduate academic studies - Master academic studies - Doctoral academic studies TECHNICAL-TECHNOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Faculty of International Engineering Management

Carigradska 26, 28; Budimska 33, Belgrade Tel: +381 11 322-88-21, 322-93-92 Email:, - Graduate academic studies - Master academic studies - Doctoral academic studies

College for Electrical and Computer Engineering Carigradska 26, 28, Belgrade Tel: +381 11 324-87-02 Email:, - Graduate professional studies European University graduation ceremony 2016

THIRTY YEARS OF TRADITION All our graduate students and students who acquired Master’ s degrees are employed in leading positions as managers, executive managers, marketing managers, account managers and PR managers in the fields of banking, tourism and hospitality, marketing, culture and media, pharmaceuticals, the automobile, fashion and nutrition industries, sports etc. They work for domestic and international companies, such as Mercedes-Benz, L’Oreal, Knjaz Miloš, the Belgrade Fair, UNICEF, Delta Holding, Hypo Alpe Adia Bank, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Eko Serbia, the National Bank of Serbia, Ford, the OSCE Mission to Serbia, the Council of Europe, Pertini, Jela-Jagodina Ltd., Coca-Cola, Radisson Blu Hotel, Raiffeisen Bank, Oriflame, Laguna Bookshop, Hotel Splendid, Zider Hotel, the Government of Serbia, McCann Erickson and other marketing agencies.

European University Members

Institut Franco-Americain de Menagment Sales Manager Akademic The European Academy of Informatization Institute of European Studies London Diplomatic Academy Albert Schweitzer International University MIM – The Centre for European Master's and Doctoral Studies

CHANCELLOR’S MESSAGE The European University guarantees and affirms the quality of teaching, while its study programmes are harmonised with the standards and curricula of universities in America and Europe. Our strengths are organising and maintaining the quality of teaching in small groups, the learning of three foreign languages, the level to which buildings are equipped and a certain job after graduating. Colleges organise visits to companies, banks, advertising agencies and trade fairs. The greatest advantage is that all students, after completing their undergraduate studies and during the fourth year of studies at the European University, can spend between three months and a year in New York, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Brussels... They also attend cultural events in Belgrade and Serbia. The University has visiting professors from almost all EU capital cities. This year we are also introducing studies of the Russian and German languages in order to keep pace with the development of the Serbian economy and foreign investment flows. The European University has been completed by more than 3,000 students, all of whom have gained employment in Serbia, Europe and the wider world. Milija Zečević Ph.D., Rector/Chancellor of the European University I I I I


Great Contribution Of IT Use In Education

Jagodina’s Academy Filipović, with its professional work and the great efforts of all staff members, has become a synonym for informal education in Serbia and the state. I consider that this needs to be worked on in the future. The awareness of teachers, and therefore education as a whole, has to be raised to a higher level.


cademy Filipović’s main activity is informal education. More than 20,000 participants have so far passed through its seminars, courses and training. In accordance with the times in which we live, and the identified needs of educators and educational institutions, this Academy has fused services of professional training with modern interactive software and programmes, all of which, together with other applications of its own, raised the academy to an enviously high level. • You deal with the training of teaching staff in scientific fields. What are the main goals of the training you conduct? - Academy Filipović has for 14 years participated in the education of educators in all

• To what extent is informatics represented in your programmes? - It is evident that computer literacy among teachers in Serbia and the neighbouring countries is not at a satisfactory level. Insufficient knowledge of IT and its sporadic application in teaching places us among the ranks of ICT illiterate, which is why we must make an effort to encourage creativity and innovation, to modernise the learning process and take advantage in the best possible way of the opportunities that new technologies offer us. We have accredited 12 programmes, five of which are in the field of information technology. We actively implement our seminars in a large number of schools in Serbia and we receive high ratings among those who attend them. The most important thing is that the contents of our seminars are immediately applicable in teaching, which is confirmed by the reports from the seminars themselves.

We actively implement our seminars in a large number of schools in Serbia and we receive high ratings among those who attend them. The most important thing is that the contents of our seminars are immediately applicable in teaching, which is confirmed by the reports from the seminars themselves scientific fields. I have been trying for years, along with my team, to raise awareness and understanding among teachers of the importance of continuous development and work in accordance with current trends, in which they must act in the interests of students, society

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• You also deal in designing and developing web applications as assistance in the training process? - Yes, we are the creators of several web applications that together constitute a serious

information system that is applicable and very useful, and which significantly eases the work of employees in education, from preschool to university level. These are: the Electronic Journal, Portfolio of teachers and students, which won first place in the field of IT in education at DISKOBOLOS 2015 and which is now used by 189 schools in Serbia. There is als the Electronic teaching notebook (Interface for parents, annual plan of professional development at the school level, self-evaluation, printing testimonials etc.), our e-library is supported by the Federation of School Librarians of Serbia and was the winner of the special award DISKOBOLOS 2013 (83 schools use this application), then our platform for developing school websites, (217 schools use this platform), platform for distance learning (e-learning), our Electronic diary of program for PP service. In cooperation with renowned companies, we also enable schools to use the programme for creating teaching schedules and the presentation programme for 3D models - Mozabook and Moza-web. We equip schools with modern IT equipment and programmes that are definitely an imperative in the modern way of learning. We introduce teaching staff to the world of IT through various trainings and seminars. In our offer we also have portable and interactive devices/tablets, which our competition in this category does not have. They are precise, easy to use, do not require special computer literacy, are a favourite among teachers and students, and are used for teaching purposes in more than 250 schools. We fight against computer illiteracy with our strength and I believe associates of Academy Filipović have in these fourteen years provided a great contribution in this part of the education system. ▪



A Step Ahead Of The Rest John Naisbitt University is a leading private higher education institution in Central and Southeast Europe, with experience dating back almost three decades


oday it is a widely-dispersed and well-organised academic family comprising the following 12 colleges, one institute and two higher


1. Faculty of Business Studies (academic and vocational), Belgrade 2. Geo-economic Faculty (college of international economics), Belgrade 3. Faculty of Law, Belgrade 4. Faculty of Culture and Media, Belgrade 5. Faculty of Computer Science, Belgrade 6. Faculty of Civil Aviation, Belgrade 7. Faculty of Arts and Design, Belgrade 8. Faculty of Bio-farming (College of agricultural engineering), Pančevo and Bačka Topola 9. Faculty of Management (academic and vocational studies), Zaječar 10. Faculty of Business Studies, Požarevac 11. Faculty of Business Economics, Valjevo 12. Faculty of Business Studies, Pančevo and Vršac The higher education institutions of John Naisbitt University include studies of 71 study programmes at all three levels of studies (undergraduate, master’s and doctoral studies) in scientific and artistic fields: Business economics, International economics, Culture and media, Law, public administration and security, Management and business, Art and design, Aeronautics

(Civil aviation) and agriculture (Biofarming). The lecturers and teaching staff at John Naisbitt University include many prominent names in the fields of science and the arts who have been affirmed not only on the domestic scene, but also in international circles. Three of them have the title and status of academics, while at the head of the Council of the University is academic and prominent Serbian and world scientist Ljubiša Rakić. Through their scientific, artistic and media contributions, our teaching staff affirms the social, cultural and economic benefits that come from all forms of education, irrespective of the ownership type of the facilities and infrastructure of colleges and universi-

education and reduce the space for assumptions about the level of knowledge acquired at universities not established by the state. In the past 27 years the labour market has recognised the quality of education acquired at the colleges and higher schools of John Naisbitt University, especially the favourable ratio of theoretical and practical courses. Our graduates relatively easily secure employment, which is evidenced by the geographic breadth of our Alumni-Club, whose members remain connected with the university after graduation via liaising. In the past five years John Naisbitt University has used its own budget to provide free education for the schooling of about

In the past 27 years the labour market has recognised the quality of education acquired at the colleges and higher schools of John Naisbitt University especially the favourable ratio of theoretical and practical courses ties. The reception of the work of our teachers and students argues in favour of the generally accepted view in the modern world that public values are also created in the private sector, thus, consequently, our university, and others that are not under state ownership, carry out public work and submit to all forms of public control, contributing significantly to increasing the overall public values of society. These kinds of activities of our teachers and students destroy stereotypes about private

12,000 first year students, in the amount of 15 million euros. This is a unique example of corporate social responsibility in Europe and around the world. With this the University directly assisted 12,000 families in Serbia to more easily educate their children, as well as providing the Serbian economy and society with 12,000 highly qualified young workers of varying profiles. ▪ Until we see each other at John Naisbitt University! GUIDE TO PRIVATE AND STATE EDUCATION IN SERBIA 2017

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Maturang – An App That Graduates Love!

Company Infostud has launched a new application Maturang that enables high school graduates to prepare for an entrance exam for their desired faculty or college in an innovative way just by using their smart phones


he application Maturang was developed as a result of research by the website Prijemni. on the needs of generation Z, and supported by the Infostud group. The research clearly showed that social networks and smart phones are part of their everyday life, and that this generation is very IT literate. Because of this, attention was paid to every single detail so that the app would meet the sophisticated needs of future students.

students choose a specific school. Maturang will enable youths who are thinking about enrolling to prepare for the entrance exam in time, in a way adapted to their everyday life and habits. By combining the results of online tests and points based on their high schools grades, the app creates a potential ranking list of candidates for a specific faculty. In this way not only do the graduates test their knowledge in a specific field, but they can also compare their realistic competences with potential future colleagues who

Maturang will enable youngsters who are thinking about enrolling to prepare for the entrance exam on time, in a way adapted to their everyday life and habits • Maturang is the result of Infostud’s great experience in communication with the younger generation. What is the basis of this project? - The main goal of this app is to help young people who are thinking about enrolling to prepare themselves more easily with the help of tests provided by the app. It also ranks them in comparison with other high school graduates, and on the basis of a preliminary simulation of the entrance exam and ranking at a certain faculty/college, it helps future

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are thinking about enrolling at the same school, and thus better assess their chances of being accepted. • What is the basis of the Maturang app and what are the benefits for its users? - The app is designed in such a way that all users and schools have their own profiles. All information about entrance exams can be found under the schools’ profiles. Apart from that, Maturang provides an option for the schools to address a target group of graduates

who have shown interest in a certain field of study. The tests in the app are highly relevant and available for 268 faculties and colleges. The database contains over 7,000 questions in 22 fields, dowloaded from the official websites of the schools, and it fully simulates the entrance exam. • Where could users find more information about the app and everything it contains? - The test are active on the website, where visitors can test their knowledge in various fields. In addition, the website provides information on university education in the country and abroad, as well as the complete offer of university education in Serbia. Through this website, faculties and colleges have a more efficient and simpler way to reach future students. supports young people in their effort to continue their education and helps them to make the right choice and develop an active approach to their professional development. The university education team works continuously on improving and innovating its services and business operation to better meet the needs of visitors, clients and partners. Maturang is designed precisely by listening to our users, and it keeps up with modern times and the needs of generation Z, which in the digital age change at a dizzying speed. ▪



Learn From The Best


PwC Academy is the educational arm of PwC in Serbia. The education programmes are designed for professionals at a variety of organisational levels

wC Academy Serbia is a part of the PwC system that consists of a network of firms providing professional services, with over 223,000 staff in 157 countries worldwide. PwC provides services in audit, tax advice, human resources, business transactions, improving business processes and business risk management. They place their knowledge and experience at the disposal of students of the PwC Academy. • For whom are PwC Academy programmes designed? - PwC Academy has a clearly defined purpose: helping clients re-think how they do business. This means that our clients are mainly experienced people who wish to enhance their existing skills and develop new ones. As our ambition is to support personal and professional development in the context and strategy of the client’s organisation, we invest effort in recognizing the real development needs and work with clients to design educational programmes that increase the value of human capital. • Why is this type of education important for business professionals? - The business environment is rapidly changing, but the workforce is changing too. According to New York Times bestselling author Daniel H. Pink (Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us), money is no longer the primary

motivation factor. Daniel Pink came to the conclusion that for jobs that require cognitive skills, there are three new key motivators: Purpose: The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves Mastery: The urge to become ever better at something that matters Autonomy: The desire to direct our own lives. The answer to the question is therefore multidimensional: • lifelong learning and the constant development of a range of skills and knowledge is a

- I am happy to say that in many cases we have had client feedback on how working with PwC lecturers helped individuals to better understand their job requirements, solve important problems, or simply to be better at what they do. We consider a workshop successful if it leads to increased performance or to a satisfied and confident business professional. Your readers may also be interested to know that PwC has the second most powerful global brand, according to Brand Finance's latest ranking of the top 500 global brands. It also has the #1 most valuable professional services brand and

PwC has the second most powerful global brand, according to Brand Finance's latest ranking of the top 500 global brands. It also has the #1 most valuable professional services brand and the 59th most valuable brand overall condition for being successful in any job • education helps professionals to rethink, or to step back in order to come to new conclusions about the job they do • to become better at things that matter. In other words, education helps professionals to maintain their efficiency and grow professionally, but more importantly, it also helps them to stay motivated. • How can knowledge and certificates obtained at PwC Academy help in your clients' careers?

the 59th most valuable brand overall. I am mentioning this as it answers how a PwC certificate may help our clients' careers. Our alumni have told us about major career changes and a high level of trust by employers when they have been educated by PwC. • Who are PwC lecturers? - One of PwC Academy's mottoes is “Professional training by professionals”. So all the lecturers are experts in relevant areas, from the PwC network. ▪ GUIDE TO PRIVATE AND STATE EDUCATION IN SERBIA 2017

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Educated At ISB, Equipped For The World

Facts and Figures • Established 1948 • Students of 43 nationalities, aged 3 to 18: Pre–Kindergarten through Grade 12 • Average class size: 15 Academic Programmes and Curriculum •The only International Baccalaureate®World School in Belgrade, offering the highly regarded Diploma, Middle and Primary Years programmes (DP, MYP, PYP) • Academic excellence, artistic expression and international understanding • Challenging, student-centred, project-based learning environment International Faculty • 80 Faculty members, Specialists and Instructional Aides representing 11 nationalities • Over 60% Masters or Doctoral level degrees • Caring, committed and highly qualified educators • Inspiring, student-centred and individualised teaching Accreditation and Authorisation • International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) • Council of International Schools (CIS)

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• New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) • Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia After School Activities (ASAs) • Multiple opportunities to think, explore and develop outside the academic boundaries of the school day Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) Athletics and Activities • The only CEESA school in Belgrade • Home of the ISB Dragons • Active participation in academics, sports, performing arts and cultural activities • Opportunities for travel and forming friendships throughout Central and Eastern Europe College Placement • Experienced university counsellors on staff • Graduates accepted into competitive colleges/ universities around the world Scholarship Programme • Full high school scholarship for academically promising students from Serbia


• Celebrating diversity in student population, building strong community ties, and promoting academic excellence • Visit for more details Community and Service • Developing our students’ sense of community and participation in its improvement • Regular and meaningful engagements with senior citizens,orphans,migrantsandthelocalRomapopulation Other Highlights • 21st century instructional technology standards • Student excursions throughout Europe • Supportive parent community • Beautiful pastoral setting Open Day • Annual Open Day on 17th May 2017 • Email for invitation inquiries Mission ISB is a collaborative learning community that inspires, equips and empowers its students to succeed and contribute positively to society. ▪


Daycare Services With A Special Touch

Step by Step Daycare creates their own programme, which is planned very carefully and updated constantly to create a better environment for children every day


s the father of a child who attended Step by Step Daycare, I have to say that the commitment to children at this nursery is at the highest possible level… The Step by Step programme consists of a series of activities through which children learn and have fun at the same time. They return home happy and cannot wait until the next day to come back to the daycare. This kindergarten should be an example to all others!” – parent’s testimonial • Tell us a little about your daycare centre and how everything started? - Step by Step Daycare was founded when two professionals, native Belgraders who grew up and studied in Canada, decided to move back to Serbia and open a daycare centre where children can play and learn in a stimulating, engaging and creative environment that places an emphasis on all important skills and values. Step by Step is a daycare centre where children learn in English. • Does this mean that everything is in English at Step by Step Daycare? - Yes. English is the primary language used at Step by Step. Therefore, it is an environment that is suitable for native English speakers, as well as children just learning English. English at Step by Step is learned spontaneously, through various fun and engaging activities. Our

teachers are very skilled and experienced and they make sure to teach with a lot of care and patience, so that children always feel relaxed and comfortable, even if they are not English speakers. • What would you say sets Step by Step apart from other daycare centres? - To put it simply in a sentence: we care. Without it sounding like a cliché, we really do. We care about every aspect of our daycare services. We constantly invest in ourselves and our ideas to make this experience better for our children every day. • Is there a programme that you follow? - We create our own programme. Our pro-

gramme is planned very carefully and updated constantly. As you probably know, teaching is a profession that is constantly evolving. There are always new and different ways to approach children, to teach them about the world around them, to help them and guide them in achieving their full potential. We make sure that our programme provides children with the best learning experience we can provide, with a lot of hands-on activities that allow children to experience everything around them and have ownership over their own learning. Our carefully selected teachers make sure that the programme is followed, but also adapted and modified, enabling children to learn at their own pace and further develop their strengths, while addressing areas that require more attention. • And, finally, in a few words, tell us about the Step by Step Daycare experience? - Step by Step is about fun, play, exploring, constantly learning and expanding our horizons. It’s about art, science, music, dancing, books, stories, acting, laughing and enjoying the wonderful outdoors! ▪ Step by Step Daycare Pustorečka 7, Banovo brdo, Belgrade +381 11 301 77 90;


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Better Today

Than Yesterday Queen Victoria Education and Translations was founded 11 years ago. From the very beginning the goal was to become the leading language centre in Belgrade in terms of the quality of services they provide, not the number of students they instruct or the number of branches they operate


ueen Victoria Education and Translations takes a long-term view based on the notion that the most important rewards of being an educator are not financial but the satisfaction of being a human factor in others’ lives. They are a language one-stop shop and provide general and specialised courses, translation and linguistic consulting services for individuals and corporate clients,

is, however, no magic formula for learning a language in a fast and efficient way. How fast and how easily you learn will depend on factors such as: trust in the professionals you have chosen to guide you through the process, motivation, discipline, love for the language, exposure to it, hard work, and so on. Some people say it’s harder when you’re older. Children acquire language easily, while adults sometimes struggle to learn, but if a good teacher manages to combine acquisition and learning, it’s a win! Whatever happens, just enjoy the ride. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t manage to keep to the schedule. Don’t measure yourself against anyone but yourself.

This type of learning has been praised by foreigners who have taken our classes. We are therefore often foreigners’ first stop when they arrive in Belgrade meeting or exceeding all relevant professional standards offering premium services in a highly competitive market. Their goal is simply to be better than they were yesterday. • Can anyone learn a language? - Yes, everyone can do it. People with dyslexia manage, so why not you? There

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Just practice stick-to-itiveness. Your efforts will bear fruit and you will feel truly amazed at your accomplishment. • What are the most popular services you provide? - Definitely general conversation courses in English, German, and Serbian for foreigners. All courses are designed in

compliance with the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) standard. That doesn’t mean that learning has to be uniform! Learning a language should be entertaining. Textbooks are only guidelines, a place to start. It’s important to learn from real-world examples. We use role-play, magazine articles, YouTube, films, music and more to steep students in the living language as it is used by native speakers. Courses are taught only in the language learnt, with equal attention paid to the development of all language skills. Our Serbian for foreigners courses, with a focus on functional skills and contextual learning, introduce students to Serbian culture, traditions, and customs to help them embrace and enjoy life in Serbia. This type of learning has been praised by foreigners who have taken our classes. We are therefore often foreigners’ first stop when they arrive in Belgrade. • Do you offer international exampreparation courses? - We specialise in Cambridge exampreparation courses, for children and adult learners (YLT, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE), exams people take as a mandatory part of the immigration process (IELTS, TOEFL), GMAT, GRE and many more. We are members of the British

Council Addvantage programme, and we have recently partnered with the biggest college sports recruitment agency in the world – Athletes USA. Athletes who wish to study and compete in professional sports in the United States will come to our centre to prepare for American entrance exams – the SAT or ACT. All of them achieve flying colors at their SATs, which makes it possible for them to get scholarships at prestigious American universities. • Do you offer services to corporate clients? - We have recognised a growing need for specialised courses for both top management positions and lower-level employees. English has become the first language of communication in the business world, and thus in myriad companies in Belgrade as well. We have therefore created English-forspecial-purposes courses for professionals. You can learn both in our center and in-house. Instructors are mainly professor-translators who are specialists in the desired field. We also offer general business courses, BEC exam preparation courses, and more. Give us some rough guidelines and let us tailor a course for your company! Syllabus design is what we love! • What are your highest achievements in terms of translation services? - The agency is a bit young, yet we have

succeeded in standing out among our competitors. We have signed contracts with renowned public and private entities such as IKEA Serbia, Energoprojekt, Halkbank, IMC Worldwide, the government of the RS, and others – all thanks to our highly skilled, and devoted team of professionals. Some of the eager young professionals now work with those who used to be their trainers and professors, translating

involved in continuous professional development, both in Serbia and abroad. One of our teachers has just acquired a master’s degree at Cambridge. Another taught English to babies in Japan. A member of our team worked for the New York Times as a journalist ,etc. We know that none of those qualifications mean anything without skills and attitudes that make you a great professional and a great person – so

Learning a language should be entertaining. Textbooks are only guidelines, a place to start. It’s important to learn from real-world examples in booths at conferences worldwide. Some of us are official EU interpreters, and some of us have worked on some of the most complex laws in Serbia. One book we are especially proud of having translated is Peter McLaren’s Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy. It has been named one of the 12 most significant writings in the field of educational theory and practice. We translate everything from brochures to legal documents. You name it! • What are you especially proud of? - Our team, qualifications, achievements and our humanity. Our staff members are locals and native speakers who are devoted to their work and

we improve ourselves in other spheres too, praise and love each other. Empathy and a human approach guide us every day. Our ultimate goal is to make ourselves unnecessary to you. Your independence and confidence mean we did a great job! We are visionaries who ultimately want to be able to provide free-ofcharge courses to the socially and economically deprived, primarily young children and teenagers, so they can go out into the world and have an extra skill to offer. Education is the greatest gift they can receive and can never be taken away from them. It is a long-term tool to greater prosperity and a better quality of life. ■

P R E M I U M L A N G UA G E S O L U T I O N S Edukacija. Prevodi. Sudski tumač. +381 63 72 303 52



Embracing Innovative Technologies Our society still fails to recognise the most valuable products in knowledge, new ideas, science – the new economy, and that means a happier future


his is the main reason why our schools endure in old clichés of pedagogy, why they are indifferent towards major innovations in information technology and beyond.

• In the world today, more than ever, there is discussion about the most effective forms of education for young people. How do you see current education trends in Serbia and what needs to be done from, the perspective of a publisher, in order to improve the system? - Almost twenty years ago, the European Union adopted - in the context of the Lisbon Declaration - a decision on teaching strategies with the use of modern information technology, as a key direction of the modern development of education. This was also done by all of its members. Clearly, the focus of

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society must be on innovative schools: with this objective in mind, for Serbia's education it is first essential to have a strategy for internal changes that would be adopted at the state level. Changes are necessary for a systemic approach rather than leaving things to chance and improvisation. Innovative education requires new competencies among both administrators and teachers. • Your publishing strategy is based on the principles of monitoring modern pedagogical science and innovation processes. What are the priorities in implementing these processes? - Starting from the fact that resources for work determine the technology of all work, including the technology of education, as well as the fact that the textbook is the basic and most important resource for learning, publishing enterprise “Eduka” endeavours for the textbooks it produces to be a kind of sublimation of modern pedagogical sciences. Moving to embrace the intentions of modern science and innovative tendencies, the priority of “Eduka” is for the textbook to be a workbook,

which is to say in support of active independent, creative, developmental learning. To this end, the publisher’s attention is focused on various aspects of this source, especially on its: interactivity, multimedia qualities; for the text of the textbook to correspond with modern trends of innovation in education. A special priority of “Eduka”, as its sets out to embrace modern science, are its electronic textbooks and other materials, as well as sources of information for teachers on modern education technology and its application. • On the basis of which criteria do you make decisions about the content of textbooks, in order to satisfy the interests of teachers and students? - The phenomenon of disinterest (passivation) among students in traditional school is a phenomenon that has been known for a long time. The causes and consequences of that are known. Good textbooks can be one of the steps on the road to raising awareness and raising students’ interest in teaching content, without which there is no true knowledge.

The focus on the child – as the user of a textbook – is the first and basic criterion that forms the basis for selecting and didactically shaping the content of “Eduka” textbooks. This is a modern strategy of education that has the child as the starting point – his capabilities, age, interests, preferences and needs. Considering that a decision is made to include in the textbook content that is intellectually provocative, and which are experiential and emotionally activated. The motivational values of “Eduka” textbooks are also contained in: their interconnectedness with life, their readability, visual and graphic structuring, interactivity, multimedia qualities, communicative power and their applicability for the student, in the language the textbook and its other pages. We strive to raise the interest of students and teachers in teaching content to a higher level with our production of textbooks and other materials in electronic (digital) form. Electronic (digital) textbooks are focused on students, enable more interaction, learning through play, a higher degree of freedom, intellectual activity, creative expression and the like. • Your editions are equally intended for both students and teachers. What contents are today essential for teachers in the process of training students? - There is a wide list of what is necessary for teachers today and what will be essential in the future. Modern pedagogy education, schools, teaching/ learning requires a fundamental resetting of teacher training as a whole. It requires deeper knowledge about man, about new learning paradigms that offer more about new goals of education, about what and how to learn; about the development of learning – generally

about modern technologies of education. A teacher needs awareness about innovative schools, about schools of the future. He needs a digital culture, knowledge of all newer informationcommunication technologies. Apart from the textbooks we work on being a kind of manual for teachers, at “Eduka” we have also launched the “Teaching crossroads” Library for informing teachers about current issues in the field of pedagogical sciences.

Publishing enterprise “Eduka” Belgrade opted to follow this path. This publishing company has been working for a long time on textbooks, textbook supplements and other sources of learning which transmit the content of curricula via digital interactive multimedia technologies (internet, smart phones, tablets and laptop computers, interactive whiteboards and corresponding applications). Schools show ever increasing interest in electronically supported teaching/learning. This interest is precisely proportional to the digital culture of teachers in schools. It should be expected that electronic technology will develop rapidly in the future and that its use in learning will intensify in line with the intensifying of the digital education of teachers. • What impressions did you take away from the recently completed “New Technologies in Education” Fair and Conference?

Schools show ever increasing interest in electronically supported teaching/learning. This interest is precisely proportional to the digital culture of teachers in schools. It should be expected that electronic technology will develop rapidly in the future and that its use in learning will intensify • You’ve also paid attention to the development of interactive electronic content and textbooks that help knowledge to be acquired faster. How do schools respond to this innovative learning and how do you see their future development? - Electronically supported learning is, undoubtedly, an innovation that indicated much more complex implications for the future of education and human development.

- My impressions are very positive. Always in similar circumstances optimism awakens in me regarding the future of education. I have the impression that the model of the old school is really dead and that we are on the threshold of a new paradigm of education; education that is embedded in information technology. This fair affirmed itself as a powerful means of transferring new educational technologies, and thereby further improving education. ■ GUIDE TO PRIVATE AND STATE EDUCATION IN SERBIA 2017

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Textbooks Tailored To Teachers And Pupils Our publishing company strives to strike a balance between the traditional method of learning, which implies the use of printed textbooks, and modern technology, which enables us to enrich content, says Olivera Đikanović, Editor in chief at BIGZ školstvo


ontemporary trends in education require contemporary textbooks and teaching aids. Publishing house BIGZ školstvo is the first in Serbia to offer teachers and pupils e-textbooks and e-manuals, applications that contain multimedia accessories - photo galleries, audio and video records, 3D animation, links and presentations. To find out how modern technology can be of great assistance to teachers and lecturers in preparing lessons, and to students in coping with extensive materials, CorD spoke to Olivera Đikanović, Editor in chief at BIGZ školstvo.

and the investigative spirit among children. Various multimedia contents enrich lessons and provide the possibility to create textbooks tailored to teachers and pupils. • What do e-textbooks and e-manuals contain that makes them different to traditional printed textbooks? - An e-textbook is an interactive electronic version of an existing textbook that contains tools for students and teachers to mark parts of lessons themselves, to highlight and underline certain passages of text and to add their own content. Multimedia content can compensate for the lack of some

In parallel with its e-textbooks and e-manuals, BIGZ školstvo has also launched its School portal, dedicated to schools and education, where teachers, students and parents can read about innovations in the world of education, news from schools, various experiences from schools in Serbia and worldwide, the views experts etc. Testifying to the attention it has attracted is the fact that more than 15,000 users visit our portal on a monthly basis • How do you respond to the challenges facing schools as a result of digitisation? - It is a fact that modern trends in education are moving towards introducing modern technologies to schools. With the aim of supporting teachers and students, our publishing company was the first to make e-textbooks and e-manuals, as well as multi-media esupplements, which promote involvement

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teaching resources, such as equipment for laboratory exercises. This kind of lesson is more interesting, the kids are interested, can more easily follow the material and are able to learn quicker. Teaching through interaction and multimedia content makes the learning process more efficient and fun. In e-manuals teachers receive annual and monthly plans and preparations for lessons

in electronic format, which they can change and adapt to suit their needs, as well as tools that they can use, with the help of projectors and smart boards, in the actual teaching process (stopwatch, school writing board, calculator, markers etc.). It is important to note that the etextbook can never completely replace the printed version, but it can supplement it successfully. BIGZ školstvo has endeavoured from the very beginning for the right measure, for a balance between the traditional method of learning, which certainly implies the use of printed textbooks, and modern technology, which allows us to enrich its content. • How able are our school textbooks to follow changes in terms of content? - We live in times when everything is changing rapidly, thus it follows that there is a need to change textbooks. Although the procedure for preparing and approving textbooks is a lengthy process, it is our obligation to monitor the latest developments in science and the environment, and for that data to form the basis for us to update the contents of existing textbooks. A textbook’s contents are its most important segment, but also the manner in which that content is presented requires special attention and constant updating. In this sense, we are trying to be current and modern, to meet the needs of teachers and pupils, but also parents. ▪


According to the information we receive from teachers, students and parents, we can say that the textbooks of KLETT Publishing House became a favorite among many. The reason for this is certainly the fact that the writing and editorial teams of KLETT bring new solutions and new quality to the learning process with every new publication. Aware of the fact that it is difficult today to attract and retain a child's attention, and to motivate them to read and learn, our writing teams are always aware, as a focus in the creation of textbooks and additional materials, that content must be presented in an interesting and understandable way. When creating each set of books we also keep in mind the undisputed fact that our children were born in the digital era, and that is their natural environment in which they should also be given the opportunity to learn. It is precisely for that reason that we have developed our Interactive educational portal MAŠA & RAŠA. On the internet portal, teachers and students can expect didactically designed interactive tasks, animations, films, songs and other multimedia content. Within the framework of the SCHOOL STREET segment, contents are organised as an overview according to grades and subjects, providing an excellent supplement to textbook sets from 1st to 4th grade. Tasks are set at different levels of difficulty and encourage the development of different skills and knowledge. Using a modern approach to education, children actively learn through play. Access to this interactive “kingdom of knowledge” is available to teachers and students (alone or with the help of parents), and they can solve tasks everywhere - in school, at home, with friends ... Apart from games that help children master writing, mathematics, the world around us, nature and society, learning songs and the English language, this educational portal also contains educational films and additional contents.

Apart from here in Serbia, these innovations in education have also been recognised in Europe, thus in the past 12 years of its existence in Serbia, KLETT Publishing House has received exceptional awards for its work, including THE AWARD FOR THE BEST EUROPEAN TEXTBOOK at the Book Fair in Frankfurt, then THE AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN SERBIAN ART PEDAGOGY at the International Book fair in Belgrade, as well as THE SPECIAL AWARD FOR LONG-TERM CONTRIBUTIONS TO SPREADING THE CULTURE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES at the Novi Sad Book Fair. It is extremely important that the state and all those involved in education policy do everything in their power to harmonise teaching methods with the needs of the modern child and modern economy. It is essential to make every effort for schools to obtain the necessary equipment and for teachers to have the necessary training, thus ensuring that modern educational materials are available to everyone and are used in as many schools as possible.

It’s easier to learn with Maša and Raša


When You Export Brains,




We are a country that has seven million inhabitants, and we have Vojvodina, Mačva, Šumadija, Pomoravlje, and with all that we have a million hungry people. If we are not capable, we should immediately lease the country to someone to feed us. Lease it to someone and ask him to employ us, because we’re not capable of doing that for ourselves. We live in a country that imports beans. Miloš Obrenović is certainly surprised in his grave, asking: Where has the golden dinar gone that was there when I ruled the country? At one point we imported brooms from Albania and brushes from Bulgaria. When you “export brains”, then you import brooms




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“Those were rooms with good people, rooms with irritable people, ontinuing the tradition of Sterija, Nušić and Popović, rented apartments where my wife Nada and I lived, first alone, then and sometimes in co-vibrations with the poetic dramas with our first child – our son Aleksandar. When our second child was of Ljubomir Simović and the humour of Matija Bećković, born – our daughter Lena – we were finally in our apartment.” Dušan Kovačević has raised Serbia’s bitter comedy to the Kovačević has lived for a long time in Senjak, or on Topčider Hill, highest level and become a European value of the first as those who live there prefer to refer to it. He lives in the house where order – noted the members of the jury that recently presented the Ivo famous Serbian writer Isidora Sekulić was a tenant and where she Andrić Award to writer and academic Dušan Kovačević (69) for his entire spent the last 18 years of her life: oeuvre and the drama Hipnoza jedne ljubavi (Hypnosis of one love). “I’m glad that I managed to save the threshold of this neglected and “The Ivo Andrić Award is particularly dear and important to me, ruined house - everything else collapsed. because this is, I hope, deserved rec“During her lifetime this threshold ognition after almost half a century of was crossed by the likes of Crnjanski, work and that’s why it rightly bears the Crnjanski, Andrić, Meša Selimović et al, and Lifetime Achievement title. For me this is during my life by Mihiz, Bob Selenić, Matija all exciting and a little surreal, given that Bećković, Bata Stojković, Žika Stojković... more than sixty years have passed since and most important artists of the second I started school, when I learned the first half of the twentieth century. letters which I later wrote in my work. Like “Thus, this threshold has been crossed many generations, I grew up with Andrić’s by the history of Serbian culture in the books,” responded this athor of around twentieth century. twenty dramas and a dozen screenplays, “And I bought the house accidentally, this writer who authors stories and novels. and it was earmarked for demolition. Dušan Kovačević also wrote the screen“Of course, I am convinced that all of play for the best Yugoslav and Serbian that was not “accidental”; I was “brought” film of all time - Ko to tamo peva (Who’s to save it.” singin’ over there) – and is the owner of When he thinks about his childhood the dramas that gained the most populartoday, he says that one of his main fears ity among the nation - Radovan III, The in early childhood and adolescence was Marathon Family, St. George Shoots the the fear of death. As a five-year-old boy he Dragon, The Balkan Spy, The Professional, suffered from menegitis with lung compliThe Hilarious tragedy, Larry Thompson, cations, which was a serious disease that Five-Star Container and other works, all could have ended in tragedy and usually the way to his latest drama, Hypnosis of ended in such a way: “I rememdied that one love, which was recently performed fear by writing The Marathon Family, and with huge success at Belgrade’s Zvezdara it is no wonder at all that a 22-year-old Theatre and is currently invited for guest would sit down and write a story about performances in a dozen cities and at Mihiz was one of the most coffins, wreaths and a funeral home. That several festivals. He is a member of the precious people I met in was actually my release from and resistSerbian Academy of Arts and Sciences Belgrade, and the most ance against that accumulated fear. Writand director of Zvezdara Theatre. ing is personal psychotherapy. You treat Kovačević was born in the village important person to me of Mrđenovci near Šabac. He attended privately. If not every day, then yourself as you write, solve some problems and make a confession on that paper. primary school in Šabac and completed certainly a week doesn’t pass Sometimes that’s good and interesting to secondary school in Novi Sad, after which in which I don’t remember him. someone else, but sometimes it remains he came to Belgrade by train, clambered only for you, and you end up throwing up Balkanska Street, caught a bus at Zeleni And I always have the same Venac and reached the final terminal question: what would Mihiz say away most of those papers.” He authored his first text in the fourth in Zemun, then walked for another ten now, what would he do? year of high school for a Radio Belgrade minutes to reach his relatives, with whom competition in short story writing, received he lived in the Zemun colony: a prize for his work. When he graduated, he wrote a short story that “I spent a few months there, and then I found a room in New resembled a novel, with which he passed the entrance exam for the Belgrade. From that first room to my address today, I changed 20 Academy of Theatre, Film, Radio and Television, today’s Faculty of addresses. I say in jest that there isn’t a street where I haven’t lived. I Dramatic Arts. However, he explains: know that by chance, because I received letters and one day I looked “Immediately after passing the entrance I destroyed that manuthrough those letters that I preserve and compiled a list of my Belgrade script. And I destroyed everything I once did that I later didn’t like. I addresses during these fifty years that I have lived here. 80 |



many before them, leave to go work somewhere where their knowlstill do that today with things that I think aren’t the best. Writing is edge is valued... I don’t know if there are some other countries where erasing, while something worthy also remains.” there is the generally accepted characteristic: clever man, and a fool. One man who was important in Serbia’s 20th century culture, If we consider that politics stands behind everything said today, writer Borislav Mihajlović Mihiz, played a major role in the life of this that is not true, because today’s politics is merely the result of previous writer. As a student of dramaturgy, Kovačević was fortunate enough policy. That which happens in 2017 or will happen in 2018, is merely for his first play, The Marathon Family, to be read Mihiz, performed the result of the systematic destruction of the nation since 1944. If you at Atelier 212, and directed by Ljubomir Muci Draškić: arrive in “liberator’s” uniforms in a city like Belgrade, and in that city, “Mihiz was one of the most precious people I met in Belgrade, and the within a period of just a few months, you shoot between 9,000 and 13,000 most important person to me privately. If not every day, then certainly a week doesn’t pass in which I don’t remember him. And I always have the same question: what would Mihiz say now, what would he do? Whenever I was in doubt during his life, whenever I didn’t know what I would do, I would call him on the phone and would always repeat the same sentence: “Sir, I have a little problem. I would like to ask you what you think...” And he would always give the same answer: “And why does it concern you what I think?” “Mihiz was the first to read my new dramas, all the way until his departure. After his death, I had a major misunderstanding with myself. I could no longer take my texts to him; I could no longer hear the remarks that he would say to me. And I often recall how, after the first premiere, after The Marathon Family, while I stood at the bar in Atelier 212, attempting to figure out what was happening, he said: “Relax and rejoice. This is your first and last HYPNOSIS premiere.” of the most valuable and most I looked at him, according to that rule that advice They foster vulgarity and a educated people, and replace is listened to in order not to be accepted, as Mihiz lack of culture, contempt for them with semi-feral tribes that himself would say, and it was not quite clear to me everything that is human. It is have wandered into that city, what he meant by that. I realised it all a little later, that same year, when I had my second premiere at absurd, but unfortunately true, you have decapitated a nation, yo have killed what was best. Atelier 212, Radovan III. that it is today an insult to be That band came, brought by That was already a different feeling, only for an educated man. The more mindless commanders, led by everything to later turn into “already seen”. educated a man is, the more war criminal Josip Broz, who “I never again experience the excitement of that was never tried. This is immefirst premiere, neither in Belgrade nor elsewhere he is a nincompoop, because diately linked to the unfortunate in the world.” he has wasted his life converting of an agricultural, As a man who built a system of values, not only learning, reading, dealing agrarian country into a partyin his family but also among those who watched and with worthless things based, workers’, semi-industrial, remembered the monologues and dialogues of his semi-social creation that was plays, he now sees all the bad sides of life that is financed externally for as long as that was necessary. When Josip Broz lived ever faster and more superficially: died, if he died, he was succeeded by Milošević with the same arrogance, “People watch television mesmerised all day, with its increasingly but in completely different historical circumstances. We had two men destructive and morbid reality shows. They foster vulgarity and a lack who thoroughly destroyed Serbia. What we are living today is just a result of culture, contempt for everything that is human. It is absurd, but of the dictatorship of domestic and foreign powers. The bill arrived and unfortunately true, that it is today an insult to be an educated man. none of the debtors are there to pay it, so it is being paid by the people.” The more educated a man is, the more he is a nincompoop, because In order to be able to write his latest play, Hypnosis of one love, he has wasted his life learning, reading, dealing with worthless things. Kovačević spent 20 years collecting data that primarily relates to young In short, he has not managed to do anything great. And the term great people who have abandoned the country. When Tito first opened the today implies only grotesque material goods, the grief and misery of borders of the former Yugoslavia, a million of them left, about which vulgarity. I guess that’s why these young and brilliant mathematicians the writer says: of ours seem like a confusing incident. And that’s why they will, like MARCH



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regime does not hide his disappointment with the policies pursued in Serbia following the so-called democratic changes: “After 5th October 2000, everything that had been stolen during the nineties was legalised, which meant that the new democratic government legalised theft. Our many years of walking and protesting on the streets were, as it turned out, pure nonsense. Like clowns we participated in a circus called ‘let’s take down the government for things to be better for them’. And when we did, we found that those who were generally sitting in their houses and offices had already made businesses. They were capable, on the fly, of engaging companies and factories, privatising everything that was even remotely worthy. I know several people who came to the theatre in the ‘80s and ‘90s and had money only for one drink. But today they are among the wealthiest people in Serbia and the Balkans. How; where from? Well, it would be that they handled the situation. And handling (snalaženje) is our beautiful word for theft and crime.” Asked whether he believes in what Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić does and promises to do, Kovačević responds: “And what else is left for me? I’m certain that he wants to do what he says, that he wants to do things, but I don’t know whether of not he will be able to do that. I’m afraid that us and our fate is decided by major powers, as always. If he succeeds in bringing order to state institutions, creating trust in a fair, legally regulated state, he will have achieved a “revolutionary step” toward a better life. He is awaited by a large, tough and long job in the country of Serbia, where the greatest risk comes if you change something and work a lot.” Kovačević has no mobile phone and does not use the internet or a computer. Until fifteen years ago, he th same: when the best leave, the After 5 October 2000, typed his texts on a Pearl typewriter. However, its letaverageremain. Novak Đoković everything that had been stolen ter began to fall off, so he had to weld them back on: cannot cure all of our defeats, during the nineties was “A friend brough a welding iron during the bombeven if he won in other sports.” ing of 1999 and we welded the letter R, because for Claiming that we only legalised, which meant that the some reason that broke off first. Then I bought an have ourselves to blame for new democratic government electric machine. In fact, I write texts by hand, revise the bad moves that have been legalised theft. Our many years them, then retype them, do the corrections, then my made for decades by people of walking and protesting on wife enters that into a computer so I can again read in positions of power, CorD’s and correct them. And that happens a few times.” interlocutor explains: the streets were, as it turned Duško admits that the mobile phone is a fascinat“We are a country that has out, pure nonsense ing technological advancement, but his resistance seven million inhabitants, and to this miracle can be boiled down to the following: we have Vojvodina, Mačva, “I general have a bad relationship with technology. When I press Šumadija, Pomoravlje, and with all that we have a million hungry the light switch, the light bulb is bound to burn out. Electricity people. If we are not capable, we should immediately lease the contry eludes my world, though I love light and consider it the greatest to someone to feed us. Lease it to someone and ask him to employ of all phenomena in the world.” us, because we’re not capable of doing that for ourselves. We live in “And when it comes to mobile phones, this little freedom that a country that imports beans. Miloš Obrenović is certainly surprised I have, which is an hour or two a day, would be revoked by such a in his grave, asking: Where has the golden dinar gone that was there device in my pocket. I would be on stand-by and would constantly when I ruled the country? At one point we imported brooms from be in a pre-cardiac arrest condition due to the feeling that I am Albania and brushes from Bulgaria. When you “export brains”, then late. I am by profession paranoid, because I live from writing and you import brooms.” paranoia, and whenever I would hear that device I would search This member of the Crown Council and opponent of the Milošević “Gone are the young, the brave and the clever. Who’s left? Those who stayed are those who are scared and those who are party members. I once met 11 of our young people at the Hotel Sheraton in Montreal, half of whom were from Dorćol. One of them, who was not yet 30 at that time, was the hotel’s PR. And that’s what it’s like all over the world. In the nineties, under Milošević, 200-300 thousand of the most educated young people left, forever. And that’s why today you cannot create a serious company, enterprise, government. Simply, we lack the people. There is a Serbian football league, and a league of players who play abroad. The team that’s abroad is incomparably better. This with athletes is only symbolically more obvious, but the essence is the

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Photo by S. Ivetić

ent would want their children to be – they completed serious schools and look, and I would find that not one call would be important or and succeeded in fighting to achieve their existence, which is very urgent enough to replace that two hours. important. And that is one of our biggest successes as a home.” Look, for instance, at my character Ilija Čvorović from Balkan Spy. In recent years Duško and Nada have been enjoying themselves He, as a luckless person, had to carry a pair of binoculars, to torment as grandparents of three boys and one girl. himself, to fall from trees while following suspects. Today nobody With a lively interest in what is happening on the political scene in would send him to do this. He would be unnecessary, because the Serbia, but also elsewhere in the world, he comments on the election services now follow people through their mobile phones. Thus for me of Donald Trump as President of the United States: it is absurd to pay for some device that spies on me; to carry it with “I enjoy that story. I’m simply happy, because America deserves me and voluntarily announce myself, to report on myself.” Trump. He did not happen to them by accident. In this heavenly Since he first married, Duško has had one woman beside him story there is some justice. These protesters, especially the stars Nada. Nada is a lawyer, but since she married Duško she has taken care of her husband and children. Strong, intelligent, educated and interesting, Nada is the pillar of the home and is beyond the reach of the public. Duško travels exclusively to places linked to the sea. He likes to spend his summers in places where he can still dive. He also still plays football twice a week: “The four of us started playing football together almost forty years ago. We remained from the team from the times of Vračar during the early 1980s. And we actually started playing football at the Academy, as students, as actors had to have some physical activity so they decided that would be football. I joined them. Generations and generations havs passed through our football socialising... even Emir Kusturica played with us for a few years while he was resident in Belgrade.” During one football match at the Sports Centre in Zemun, on 16th January 2012 at 6.45pm, Kovačević survived a heart attack. He had two stents implanted, recovered and, after some time from Hollywood, I never saw had passed, continued as before: Since he first married, Duško on the streets threatening to “The fear and panic of surviving the symptons has had one woman beside him blow up the White House beand surviving the disease lasted for several months, - Nada. Nada is a lawyer, but cause of the bombing of Iraq. until I want to the seaside with my wife, put on my And these immense columns flippers, donned a mask and dived two meters, for no since she married Duško she reason, just to free myself from listening to my heart. has taken care of her husband of unfortunates, just in the last year several thousand of whom “And today I still play football with my friends, and children. Strong, intelligent, even drowned, are a result of the twice a week, as if nothing happened. Some doctors educated and interesting, Nada domino effect from Iraq. They say that’s crazy, while some, on the contrary, thinks it’s just fine, provided I don’t run like I did when is the pillar of the home and is all watched that calmly, having I was 20... I listen and respect both of them, and I beyond the reach of the public no problem with all the crimes committed by U.S. foreign policy, live as I have always lived – according to laws, rules, so Trump comes as something feeling and the will of the Almighty.” that is a kind of mild retribution for everything, which they actually As a father, Kovačević is very proud of his children. He is satisdeserve. Trump is now trying with some merchant’s rationality to see fied with what they chose to do in life and the way they live – his what will pay off and what won’t. And that is his policy. I would like daughter Lena graduated in jazz singing at the Music Conservatory for him to receive a second term. in Amsterdam, his son Aleksandar lives in San Francisco, graduated “This is not me cheering for the man called Donald Trump. This is from college and now works in finances: only my wish for the foreign policy of America to stop waging wars all “My children achieved the maximum from what they had as living over the world. They bombed Serbia twice in the 20th century: during conditions. They used everything they had at birth, and Nada and I considered that we should enable them to achieve what made them the Easter of 1944 and for three months in 1999. feel good as soon as possible, for them to go their own way without “Is that sufficient to explain why I said what I said about the new any restraints. Our daughter and son are actually just like every parpresident of America?” ■


YOUR WORLD OF MUSIC / Katharina Uhde, violin, Bruno Canino, piano

4, 5 – Kolarac – 20:00 Bruno Canino is certainly one of Italy’s most important living pianists. With an international career built as a soloist, chamber musician, pianist, harpsichordist and composer, his career has been marked by a large number of other musicians, particularly violinists. Among them, he enjoyed particularly successful cooperation with Perlman, Accardo, Mullova and Ughi. As someone who is devoted to contemporary creativity, many composers have dedicated their works to him - Luciano Berio, Mauricio Kagel, Iannis Xenakis and many others. He was the musical director of the Venice Biennale. Katharina Uhde was born in Germany, where she also attended school, before completing her doctoral dissertation on the topic of Joseph Joachim at Duke University in the U.S.. She is the founder of the Viktor Ullmann String Quartet, with which she has won numerous prizes in prestigious competitions. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed on numerous occasions in significant centres of music. She works as a professor of violin studies and musicology at Valparaiso University (Indiana, USA).

18th Guitar Art Festival 20-25 – Belgrade Youth Centre/ Sava Centre The 18th edition of the Guitar Art Festival begins with the concert “Fusion of Latin American Classics”, which will be held at Kolarac Endowment Hall on 20th March. This concert will present Roberto Aussel, bandoneon player Aleksandar Nikolić and the Anima Musicae chamber orchestra from Hungary. Living legend of world guitar, Tommy Emmanuel, will perform on 23rd March, at 8pm at the Sava Centre. This will provide a great opportunity for the audience to hear songs from his current album, “It’s Never Too Late”, for the first time. During his half-century career,

Emmanuel has visited Belgrade numerous times, with this famous guitarists last three concerts in the city all being sell-out events. This year will be an opportunity for the public to hear premiere performances of tracks from his latest album, “It’s Never Too Late”, with which this Australian virtuoso launched his world tour. The Guitar Art festival also brings to the Belgrade Youth Centre the group UHF – Ultra

Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra 10, 17 - Kolarac – 20:00 10th Conductor: Adrijan Prabava Soloist: Andrej Jonica, cello Programme: P. I. Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet, Overture-Fantasy G. Faure: Elegy for Cello and Orchestra K. Saint-Saens: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra no. 1 M. Ravel: Daphnis and Chloe, suite no. 1 and 2 17th Conductor: John Axelrod G. Maler: Symphony no. 6 High Flamenco – following its showcasing at the Picasso Museum in Malaga in 2016, under the organisation of the SGAE foundation. UHF is a project that has brought together four outstanding Spanish musicians whose joint work fuses different influences of flamenco, jazz and other musical styles. One of the greatest representatives of the modern Hispanic scene, Ultra High Flamenco will perform together in Belgrade with renowned flamenco dancer Rosario Toledo. This concert will be followed by the concerts of Giorgos Georgopulus and versatile, unconventional talent Bojan Ivanovski, with the premiere of his original project – “A whole new world”. After the traditional part of the classical programme, the festival will represent this year’s Guitar Integrations project, which will gather classical guitarists on the rise from the

six former Yugoslav republics. Italian composer Carlo Domeniconi is composing a premier piece for six guitars that will be performed by Mak Grgić, Srđan Bulat, Sanel Redžić, Nemanja Ostojić, Radoš Malidžan and Darko Bageski at the closing ceremony of the festival on 25th March 2017 at the Belgrade Youth Centre. For more information about the festival’s programme and schedule, visit:

2CELLOS 25 – Kombank Arena – 20.00

Belgrade Irish Festival 6-22 – various locations This year Belgrade will host coveted Irish dancer from the United States, Jean Butler (Riverdance), who will perform in Belgrade for the first time, at the city’s legendary BITEF Theatre. Also coming to these parts for the first time is David Caffrey, a talented Irish director, whose most recent work includes directing the third season of the hit series ‘Peaky Blinders’. Every day throughout the festival’s film programme, audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy an interesting selection of films and documentaries on the subject of music at the old Cinematheque Film Archive (Kosovska Street). A special 3D listening event will be organised with talented singer-songwriter Dylan Tighe, the Serbian capital’s old Irish friend and a Belgrader for 10 years already. “TRAD” Music from County Kilkenny will perform in the narrow streets of

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Vračar, primarily at the bar of the festival – Monk’s, where the audience is welcome every day for a pint of beer and a chat before and after all festival events. Delicious Irish specialities will be served during the festival at KC Grad, Smokvici (Molerova) and Hotel Park; and you can also drop in at Moritz Eis, which will celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a special green ice cream. We are delighted to again introduce to you local band O Bato. You also shouldn’t miss the screening of the rarely shown and beautiful short film on Kalenić Market, one of the oldest markets in the city – the Serbian version of Smithfield (Dublin’s famous market). This short film

will be shown together with “The Dead”, a John Huston film recorded on 35mm film, which is based on the last story in James Joyce’s book “Dubliners”, and represents the fusion of two melodic dystopias from two distant European capitals, from two different centuries. While you walk around the city, look in all directions, because this year even more buildings will be illuminated in green in the evenings around St Patrick’s Day.

Everything began five years ago, when they played Michael Jackson’s hit “Smooth Criminal” on their cellos, recorded a video, posted it on their YouTube channel and, in less than three months, collected more than five million views! That same year saw them sign a contract with Sony Masterworks and release their first album, which includes their version of “Smooth Criminal” and which has gone on to become one of the world’s best-selling albums. They have amassed a dream career over the last five years! They have performed more than 1,000 concerts with more than 10 million visitors! More than three million kilometres travelled in more than 40 countries around the world! More than 1,000 days on tour! Three albums and a DVD. They have been awarded with numerous regional and international awards. Apart from performing concerts as part of this year’s world tour, they are also currently working on their 4th studio album, in which will they will make a guest performance with one of the world’s most famous symphony orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra, with which

they are recording the best film music themes. Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser, known worldwide as the 2CELLOS musical sensation, will hold a concert to remember at Belgrade’s Kombank Arena on 25th March from 8pm.

Scott Bradley’s Postmodern Jukebox 30 – Sava Centre – 20:00 After a sold-out tour this year, Scott Bradley’s “Postmodern jukebox”, with its distinctive ‘vintage’ style of interpreting pop and rock songs, returns to Europe in 2017, and his Belgrade concert is scheduled for 30th March at the Sava Centre. The tour announcement comes after his recent sold-out tour with concerts in 75 European cities, an upcoming tour of 16 cities in Australia

and New Zealand, as well as a tour of 45 cities in North America, while on 7th October Bradley will present his project at New York’s “Radio City Music Hall”. “We want them to feel like they’re celebrating New Year with Frank Sinatra, or that their at a 1920s party in the style of The Great Gatsby,” explained Bradley. “Jukebox” is a steadily growing collective of artists that currently comprises more than 70 of them. Over the past couple of years it has had more than 500 million views on YouTube, as well

15-27 – Instituto Cervantes This exhibition depicts the life and works of Agustin Barrios, known by his nickname Mangoré, Paraguay’s most famous guitarist and classical music composer. His opus of compositions is characterised by diversity and specific techniques. In his youth he was influenced by Bach and Mozart, but his later works are dominated by the rhythms and melodies of Latin American music. Prominent Australian composer John Williams called him the best guitar composer of all time. He is estimated to have composed more than three hundred works (including Cathedral, Bees, Confession, Guarani dance etc.), many of as amassing two million followers, has appeared on Good Morning America, topped the iTunes and Billboard charts and performed more than 100 concerts in packed venues around the world. As noted by some critics, “Jukebox” has achieved this success “by performing 40 of the greatest hits in the way that they would have been performed in earlier eras of popular music.” Bradley, thus, changed the arrangement of hit rock group Radiohead’s track Creep, turning it into a light ballad that has had more than 19.5 million views and was declared one of the nine best viral covers in 2015 by People Magazine. According to Entertainment Weekly, “Bradley’s group is known for processing modern hit songs in a retro style, turning them into viral successes”. The group releases a new video each week, with recordings made in Bradley’s living room. “I posted the first video in 2009. I was poor and lived in Queens. A few years later, we gathered two million followers, had sold out performances across four continents and

64th Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival 30th March – 2nd April – Belgrade Youth Centre The March Festival, or the Belgrade Festival of Documentary and Short Film, is our oldest film festival. First held in Pula in 1954, it moved to Belgrade in 1960 and has been here since. Directors awarded at this festival tend to become giants of domestic cinematography, and Dušan Vukotić was first awarded here for his animated film “Surogat”, which won an Oscar a month later in 1961. With Boban Jevtić as the new artistic director, the Belgrade Youth Centre will both organise and host the 2017 festival, which will be held from 30th March to 2nd April, with a focus on domestic film


Exhibition “Mangoré ¡Cuan raudo es mi girar!”

production, thereby becoming a national festival in the full sense of the word. In addition to film screenings in the competitive and showcase sections, renowned local filmmakers, such as Mile Turajlić, Nikole Majdak and Boris Mitić, as well as guests from abroad, will hold numerous workshops and open consultations for local filmmakers and students of film schools, while the audience can expect supporting parties, as well as the concert of cult Belgrade band Autopark.

DEATH DRIVES AN AUDI Kristian Bang Foss 561 rsd

which have been lost. Considered one of the most important Latin American composers of the last century, he was the first to transcribe Bach’s works for guitar. As early as 1910, he devoted a lot of attention to recording records, reaching a total of fifty records. become a true example of an amazing group of performers,” reveals Bradley, adding that he is proud of having put together the best combination of skills and personality and created an “unbelievable experience for fans”.

Richard Clayderman 31 – Sava Centre – 20:30

The world’s most famous living pianist, Richard Clayderman, will hold a solo concert, accompanied by strings, at the Sava Centre on 31st March, and the Serbian capital will have a chance to enjoy performances of well-known compositions and popular rock tunes in a traditional manner. A French pianist, Clayderman was born on 28th December 1953 and started to learn to play the piano at the age of six, thanks to the fact that his father was a piano teacher. He enrolled at the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of 12. He would later become interested in contemporary music and accompany renowned French singing stars. When in 1996 he recorded the composition “Ballad for Adelina”, by French music producer Paul de Sanneville, his life has changed radically. Some 22 million copies of this record have been sold in 38 countries. Clayderman has recorded more than 1,300 compositions of different genres and succeeded in creating a new romantic style, performing popular compositions and rock songs in a traditional way. This method of performing has become Clayderman’s trademark. Richard Clayderman enjoys great popularity worldwide, and has even entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most successful pianist.

Author Kristian Bang Foss won the 2013 European Prize for Literature for his novel Death drives an Audi (Døden kører Audi). In his winning novel, Death drives an Audi – which in its absurdly humorous style uses characteristics from a traditional ‘on the road’ novel – Kristian tells a satirical tale about the Danish welfare state and takes its characters on a trip through Europe to Morocco in search of a healer. Death drives an Audi is wondrous, warm and fun, but also the bitter-tragic story of an unusual friendship and unexpected life adventures.


The occasion of a major birthday inspired two close friends to get together in Dharamsala for a talk about something very important to them. The friends were His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The subject was joy. Both Nobel Laureates, both great spiritual masters and moral leaders of our time, they are also known for being among the most infectiously happy people on the planet. The book was envisaged from the start as a threelayer birthday cake: their own stories and teachings about joy, the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness, and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives. Both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu have been tested by great personal and national adversity, and here they share their personal stories of struggle and renewal. Now that they are both in their eighties they especially want to spread the core message that in order to have joy yourself you must bring joy to others.


Inspired by the original Hogwart’s textbook by Newt Scamander, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay’ marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter series. A feat of imagination and featuring a cast of remarkable characters and magical creatures, this is epic adventure-packed storytelling at its very best. Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to the bookshelf of any film lover or avid reader. MARCH



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LEMON FESTIVAL ▶ Created in Menton, France in 1934, the Lemon Festival is a unique event in the world which draws over 230,000 visitors every year (11th February to 1st March) - a number which is constantly rising. It involves over 300 professionals and requires 145 tonnes of citrus fruits. Floral processions were organised on the Promenade du Soleil, with a mixture of citrus-themed floats, confetti, dancers and folk groups. Displayed in giant floats, Citrus Limonia was saluted by entertainers, brass bands and other creatures full of divine charm. During the festival, the Biovès Gardens were clad with citrus fruit, forming temporary sculptures in dazzling yellow and orange shades. Some reached heights of 10 metres and more. At nightfall, the orange and lemon monuments sparkled in their flamboyant colours, announcing a night-time events. LITHUANIA


Motors to build its next giant factory on their soil, so to grab the attention of the California tech company they built a virtual version of a facility inside the “Minecraft” video game. Vladas Lasas, who was behind the project, says they wanted P E N N S Y LVA N I A

CASINO SERVING GAMBLERS 27 DRINKS IN 9 HOURS ▶ The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has fined a casino $25,000 for serving a gambler 27 drinks in a nine-hour period. Mount Airy Casino Resort says it won’t comment on the fine. The

gambling board says the fine was levied as part of a consent agreement, meaning the casino isn’t contesting the penalty. The board says the customer was playing table-top slot machines at a casino bar when he was served. The board found the customer was showing signs of intoxication after nine drinks, meaning the bartenders served him 18 drinks after he was obviously drunk.

to send a message to Tesla CEO Elon Musk that Lithuania “has plenty of skillful” people as well as a perfect factory site. He said Saturday that 41 computer geeks spent two days building the virtual factory in Kruonis in central Lithuania near a hydroelectric plant and two airports. Tesla tweeted: “Lithuania knows the way to our heart.” No date has been set for the announcement of where the factory - estimated to cost €5 billion - will be built.


THE “FLIGHT OF THE ANGEL” ▶ The “Festa delle Marie” (The feast of the twelve Venetian brides “Maries”) is nowadays an event which marks the official start of the Venice Carnival. It has its origin in historical event, as it remember the annual tribute offered by the Doge to some beautiful and humble Venetian maidens: the dowry for their wedding. It also represented the first phase of a beauty contest that articulated for ten days of Carnival (the 12 girls were selected in the previous weeks) and culminated with proclamation of the “Maria del Carnevale”, on the afternoon of the Mardì Grass. The prize: the Mary of the Carnival won the title of the Angel that came down from the bell tower of St. Mark next year’s Carnival. Claudia Marchiori, the young woman who won the 2016 edition of “Festa delle Marie” was the Angel of the Carnival 2017 held on February 18.

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PATRIOTS WIN SUPER BOWL 2017 ▶ The New England Patriots won Super Bowl LI on February 5, pulling off an amazing comeback to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in the first-ever overtime game in the NFL championship event’s history Super Bowl is the most celebrated annual event in the US and the National Football League (NFL) is the biggest, most profitable sports league in the world with revenue north of $13 billion. Everything about the Super Bowl is big, from the 110-million-plus crowds that gather to watch the Super Bowl, to the platters of greasy snacks and pints of beer, to the size of the players themselves. Each player on the winning side of the Super Bowl received $107,000, up $5,000 from last year. Players on the losing team got $53,000. Players on both teams earned $76,000 each already for their first two playoff wins in January. To cover the costs, revenue is coming from various sources. Total spending on ads over 51 Super Bowls reached $4.9 billion this year (30 second Super Bowl spot was as much as $5.02 million on Fox TV). Tickets on the resale market were listed for an average of $4,243. SAUDI ARABIA

SAUDI ARABIA BANS REIKI THERAPY ▶ Saudi Arabia has banned training

institutions from offering courses on Reiki therapy. The ban covers 1,000 private training centres which will be monitored to ensure compliance, Xinhua news agency reported. The ban followed an order issued last month to stop all forms

of Reiki therapy in Saudi Arabia. Reiki is an alternative therapy that is said to reduce stress and help promote healing. It is administered

by “laying on hands” and based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through people and is what causes them to be alive. The Saudi National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine warned of the negative effects of Reiki on patients who could neglect their modern medical treatment and face serious health complications for believing that such alternative medicine could heal serious illnesses.







Helsinki, Finland, is currently in the news for its ingenious service. Instead of cooking the meals in its own kitchen – which doesn’t exist – it allows patrons to order various dishes from a selection of 20 other restaurants in the city.

▶ A whale found in shallow waters off the Norwegian coast

▶ Russian entrepreneur, Viktoria Ivachyova, of-

fers her services as a “bed warmer” in exchange for cold, hard cash. The 21-year-old even promises to leave behind “a positive energy” to help you get a good night’s sleep. She claims to be the first human bed-warmer for hire and she charges €75 per night or €1,550 per month to lie in strangers’ beds so they are warm and cosy. In order to meet the high demand Viktoria is expanding and setting up a team of female bed warmers. She explained that, while clients are allowed to be in the same room while the bed is being warmed, physical contact is completely off limits.

had more than 30 plastic bags in its stomach and was clearly in poor health, so marine biologists took the decision to euthanise it. When they opened the stomach the cause of the whale’s illness became clear. It had swallowed a huge amount of human waste including thirty plastic bags. Zoologist Terje Lislevand told media the whale had been unable to digest any food for some time. ”I’m afraid to estimate how long it could have taken before the stomach was totally full,” he said. The carcass of the goose-beaked whale, or Cuvier’s whale, is going to be preserved and later displayed at the University of Bergen. A study by the World Economic Forum estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish, by weight, in the Earth’s oceans. It also said that there at least 150 million tonnes of rubbish floating in the oceans today.

Sponsored by American Express and Wolt, a popular food delivery app, Take In is a pop-up restaurant that opened at the beginning of November 2016, and will run through April 2, this year. As you’ve probably already guessed, the name “Take In” is a clever play on words, as in take-out eaten in a restaurant. The whole point of ordering take-out is to avoid going to a restaurant, and the idea behind it – when you go out with a group of friends and you can’t decided where to go for dinner, because everyone wants to order something else, Take In is the perfect solution. You can have a pizza, while your buddies enjoy Japanese, Chinese or even a gourmet burger.




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DON’T’ UNDERESTIMATED Your Personal Business Style Clothing defines us as people and not just as workers. Business casual is one of those dress codes that doesn’t have a strict definition

It can be loosely defined as an office dress code that is distinguished as more casual than typical corporate wear, yet not casual enough for everyday wear. It’s up to you how you want to interpret it, but embrace this dress code with the same eagerness that you would with any of your formal, corporate or casual looks. That’s the key to perfecting this workplace style of attire. Here are some of our suggestion for spring 2017.

Cotton Pullover Super-soft cotton make this pullover a timeless essential. Price: €105

Frederique Constant Watch Handcrafted in stainless steel, the watch contains an automatic movement and a perpetual calendar function in its extremely thin case. Price: €9,000

Zilli Crocodile Skin Belt A luxurious accessory, this slick belt from Zilli has been crafted with pure crocodile skin and comes finished with an enamel logo silver-tone buckle. Price: €2,730

Wool Twill Suit This two-button Polo suit is created exclusively for Ralph Lauren in an Italian mill that was founded in the 1800s. Price: €920

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Classic Pilot Sunglasses

Square Eyeglasses

These polished metal sunglasses are designed with a classic pilot silhouette. Price: €175

Media Case Crafted from carbon fiber and luxe nappa leather, this sleek media case is designed with intricate stitched detailing and a buckled closure. Price: €255

These eyeglasses combine a square frame with a rubberized plaque at the temples for a modern style. Price: €155

Corneliani Grid Check Jacket Woven in a fine blend of hemp and virgin wool, this single-breasted jacket features notched lapels, flap pockets and a double vented hem. Price: €1,190

Sport Shirt This striped shirt is crafted from pinpoint cotton and features multicolored signature embroidered pony. Price: €80

Wool Vest This trim-fitting vest, which is made from wool twill that's exclusive to Polo, melds heritageinspired style with superior Italian tailoring. Price: €270

Cap-Toe Shoe

Sports Coat

The Cap-Toe Shoe is expertly crafted from burnished calfskin leather and finished with subtle perforated detailing. Price: €1,150

The virgin wool herringbone is sourced from an Italian mill and was developed exclusively for Polo Ralph Lauren. Price: €415




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Helene Larsson Pousette, the Swedish Embassy’s former Culture counsellor revisits Belgrade. The art exhibition History Unfolds (Contemporary Arts Meets History) at the Swedish History Museum and curated by Helene Larsson Pousette, is an attempt at making visible how history is created and used, and how it in turn has influenced and still influences our view of society. The museum wants to problematize and complete the picture of what history is in Sweden, make the invisible visible, explore what is hidden and forgotten and enter into a debate about the underlying norms that have created the museum and its collections. Among 10 invited artists, there was the Serbian artist, Dušica Dražić.


Company PricewaterhouseCoopers hosted the members of the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce for their monthly meeting at the PwC Academy in New Belgrade. Those in attendance were welcomed by Vice President of the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Eric Grasser, director of company Hit Auto. He began by wishing a warm welcome to the latest members of the Chamber, companies Adria Media Group, Eontek, Argus Security Project and the law firm ODI Law. Turning to upcoming activities, Grasser announced that the Student Award of the Chamber would this year foucs on the topic of sustainable development in the digital age. He also thanked the competition’s sponsors, Schneider Electric, Elektrovat and Enel PS. The Chamber’s Vice President also spoke about the “Start-up Accelerator” programme launched by the Chamber this year, which will entail members of the Board of Directors of the Chamber providing free mentoring support for three start-ups, to be selected by the end of February. Attendees were also addressed by the country manager of host company PricewaterhouseCoopers, Emanuel König, after which former Serbian government minister and senior PwC advisor Miroljub Labus gave a short presentation on the current macroeconomic situation in Serbia and worldwide.



H.E. KYLE SCOTT and New Belgrade Municipal President ALEKSANDAR ŠAPIĆ

U.S. Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Kyle Scott, attended the ribboncutting ceremony commemorating the completion of a humanitarian project to fund the refurbishing of three buildings in New Belgrade for their conversion into facilities to cater for people living with disabilities. The U.S. European Command (EUCOM) invested approximately $312,000 in this project, via its Humanitarian Assistance Program. The facilities, which will provide care for more than 100 people living with disabilities in the area, will be managed by the New Belgrade Centre for the Provision of Care to Children, the Elderly and Other Individuals with Disabilities. These people rank among the most vulnerable citizens in Serbia and around the world. 90 |





H.E. Hossein Molla Abdollahi, Iranian Ambassador to Serbia, ceremoniously opened the Week of Iranian Culture in Serbia with a concert performed by the group “Nagme” from the city of Isfahan, which performs traditional Iranian music. The “Nagme” ensemble was also presented at the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade, where the Iranian Culture Centre organised an exhibition of photographs, illustrations and manuscripts. Under the auspices of the Week of Iranian Culture, the 16th Festival of Iranian Film was also held at the Yugoslav Cinematheque Film Archives. Isfahan, the hometown of the “Nagme” ensemble, is Iran’s second largest city and is known as a gem of Iranian and world architecture. For more than a decade and a half, “Nagme” has been known for popularising traditional Iranian music and has performed at festivals throughout the Arab world and also in Turkey, South Africa, Sweden and the Caucasus countries.




The exhibition “A Touch of Glass”, which was jointly opened at Belgrade’s Museum of Applied Art by H.E. Finnish Ambassador Pertti Ikonen, H.E. Swedish Ambassador Jan Lundin, H.E. Norwegian Ambassador Arne Bjornstad and Mr Morten Hansen, Chargé d’affaires of the Royal Danish Embassy to Serbia, is a visiting exhibition of contemporary Nordic glasswork. This exhibition, organised by the embassies of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, is aimed at promoting Nordic glass designers and producers, while simultaneously demonstrating cooperation between Nordic countries in artistic creation. The exhibition consists of 80 works created at 13 famous glasswork facilities and studios which created most of their works through collaboration with top artists, architects and designers. The exhibition’s author is Lada Ratković Bukovčan, museum advisor of Mimara Museum, while graphic design was the responsibility of Korana Jelovac and the curator is Milica Cukić from the Museum of Applied Art.

H.E. HOSSEIN MOLLA ABDOLLAHI, pictured at the opening of Iranian Culture Week





The Vasil Hadžimanov Band gave an exceptional performance to light up the traditional jazz evening at the Belgrade ambassadorial residence of German Ambassador H.E. Axel Dittmann. Prior to the performance, the ambassador informed those in attendance that this evening would not include discussions abot elections or politics, but rather would be dedicated to enjoying a good party. “We are very happy that here this evening we have dear friends and top musicians. When I came to Belgrade a year and a half ago with my wife Natalia, we were at Kolarac and we enjoyed the brilliant concert of Vasil Hadžimanov and Bojan Zufilkarpašić, two top jazz pianists. Later we also listened to the Vasil Hadžimanov Band and it is a pleasure for us that they will play here tonight,” said Ambassador Dittmann. This event was attended by a large number of figures from the cultural and political milieu, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps.

Hosts – Mr and Mrs DITTMANN




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For the 4th consecutive year, the British Council has organised the ‘New Technologies in Education’ conference and fair, with the aim of helping to improve the quality of education in this part of the world through the use of information and communication technologies. This event provided teaching and support staff from preschool institutions, schools and universities, as well as other organisations involved in education, with the opportunity for professional development aimed at making them more innovative, modernising the learning process and realising all the possibilities provided by new technologies. The ‘New Technologies in Education 2017’ conference and fair was organised in partnership with the British Embassy in Belgrade, the Serbian Government’s Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit, the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the Serbian Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, the Centre for the Promotion of Science, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia and other partners.







The festival “From Israel with Love”, which was held for the second consecutive year at “Mikser House”, this year once again presented some of the most important names on the Israeli culture scene. During this Israeli weekend, the Belgrade public had the opportunity to enjoy modern dance, the concert of Tel Aviv’s famous groove band, student films, exhibitions of photographs of Bauhaus architecture, jewellery-making workshops and, of course, all the spices of Israeli culinary specialities. The Embassy of Israel, led by Israeli Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Alona Fisher-Kamm, used this festival to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Serbia and Israel.


The French Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and bank Crédit Agricole Serbia, marked the end of the eight-week exhibition “Space of dreaming”, which was organised under the auspices of the project “Magical Windows”. The “Meeting Between Two Easts” was inspired by the recent discovery of French-Korean artists Jisook Min and Taegon Kim during their first exhibitions in Belgrade. Inspired by emotions, director Marija Momić placed her miniature camera at the heart of the artistic installation and thus recorded the reactions of thousands of passersby in Knez Mihailova Street during the last two months, while the exhibits were on display in the windows of the French Institute. The event was attended by French Ambassador H.E. Christine Moro, Korean Ambassador H.E. Dae Jong Yoo and his wife, French Institute in Serbia Director Jean-Baptiste Cuzin and many art lovers.


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H.E. Narinder Chauhan, Ambassador of India hosted a reception to mark the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Day.Ivana Stoiljkovic, Member of Parliament and the President of India-Serbia Parliamentary Friendship Group was the Guest of Honour. Zoran Mihajlovic, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Health, Nenad Miloradovic, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Defence and Aleksandar Jankovic, Head of the Department for Asia, Australia and the Pacific, Ministry of Foreign Affairs represented Serbian government on the occasion. Large number of ITEC Alumni attended the Reception. In her welcome remarks, H.E. Narinder Chauhan gave an overview of the ITEC programme, stressing that it was an important pillar of bilateral cooperation with Serbia. The celebration also included screening of the documentary film “A Day in the Life of India”.




The new festival of British film, PlayUK, brought together cinemagoers in Belgrade, Podgorica, Prizren, Sarajevo, Skopje and Tirana for premieres of ten contemporary British feature and documentary film productions. Apart from enjoying the film screenings, the Belgrade audience also had the opportunity to get actively involved in the preparation of the exhibition “Trainspotting: So what have you been up to ... for 20 years?”, which was set up in the Film Gallery in the foyer of the Hall of the Culture Centre of Belgrade. Festivalgoers were addressed by Clare Sears, Director of the British Council for Serbia and the Western Balkans, and H.E. Denis Keefe, UK Ambassador to Serbia.







The KREARTIVA artistic association and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Belgrade have jointly organised the 6th Belgrade Chopin Fest (BCF), which was held from 20th to 25th February. The Belgrade Chopin Fest is a unique event in Serbia and the region, dedicated to pianism and viewing it as a top art from the standpoint of theory, education and concert practice. Since 2012, as part of the February and the October cycles, this festival has brought together, with selected programmes and noble objectives, renowned pianists, piano pedagogues, lecturers, talented young pianists from Serbia and abroad, as well as all lovers of classical music and art generally.




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By moving to new premises and comprehensively changing the way everyday business activities are conducted, in the year marking its 15th anniversary of successful operations in Serbia, UniCredit Bank also took another step on route to becoming the best place to work. At the new location, at Jurija Gagarina 12, the innovative and completely flexible Smart Working concept has been introduced, marking the first time such a concept has been implemented by a financial institution in Serbia. Additionally, Serbia has become the first country within the UniCredit Group in the Central and Eastern European re- CARLO DRIUSSI, GBS Division Head, IVANA gion to provide its employees IVIĆ, HR Department Head and NATAŠA with the possibility of working KUZMANOVSKI, Head of Identity and Communications in an advanced environment.



Bel Medic General Hospital, in cooperation with the Slovenian Business Club, organised a paneldebateentitled“SuccessfulandHealthy”, dedicatedtodiscussingtheimpactofstresson mental and physical health. On this occasion, Dr Vojkan Čvorović, cardiologist intern at Bel Medic, spoke about cardiovascular threats resulting from stress and the ramifications of DR KRISTINA BRAJOVIĆ CAR stress that can lead to a heart attack. Attendeeswerenextaddressedbypsychologist and psychotherapist Dr Kristina Brajović Car,whoexplainedhowstressintheworkplace influences different personality types. The gathering ended with the conclusion thatBelMedicwillcontinuetoorganisesimilar DR VOJKAN ČVOROVIĆ forums in the future.

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The Board of Directors of the International Women’s Club and Mrs Hager BjØrnstad, spouse of the Norwegian Ambassador, organised a Buffet luncheonattheNorwegianambassadorialresidence. A welcome concert was held by young artists, flutist Andrea Nikolić and pianist Dragana Raić. IWC President Gordana Miletić announced plans and MS GORDANA MILETIĆ invited the honourable ladies to participate in The Spring Festival, which is to be held on 9th April at Dedinje’s Museum of Yugoslav History. The motto for this year’s edition of the festival is “Knowledge is power”. The proceeds from the IWC Spring Festival will be donated either to a project for children in rural Serbia providing financial assistance for sport, one-year scholarships for gifted primary school pupils, computer training for youngsters or financial MRS HAGER BJØRNSTAD assistance for the purchase of books.



At its traditional lunch with media representatives, Piraeus Bank announced excellent operating results and profit generated in 2016. The bank’s portfolio of corporate loans doubled last year, while its portfolio of dinar cash loans also increased significantly. “During last year we doubled our healthy portfolio of loans to businesses, which testifies to our commitment to the local market and the development of the Serbian economy,” announced Vojislav Lazarević, Piraeus Bank CEO and General Manager in Serbia. Piraeus announced even more ambitious plans for this year, which encompass a 25 per centincreaseinthesegmentofcash dinarloanstoretailclientsand19per cent in the area of business loans. Piraeus Bank will continue its CSR activities in the period ahead. Alongside the substantial support italreadyprovidestotheBasketball Federation of Serbia, the bank also announceditssponsorshipofthe5th International Cup of Mathematical VOJISLAV LAZAREVIĆ, Piraeus Bank CEO & General Manager for Serbia Grammar Schools.

CorD Magazine No.149  
CorD Magazine No.149