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DIALOGUE AND NOT A CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS

FROM DISRUPTION TO COLLABORATION

LANGUAGE IS HIS WEAPON

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Serbia

FemTech Founder; Head of FinTech & RegTech Partnerships at Rainmaking Innovation

Linguist, Professor of Italian, Member of SANU

GHELA BOSKOVICH

IVAN KLAJN

JUNE ’17 / ISSUE No. 152

www.cordmagazine.com

H.E. MOHAMMED AMINE BELHAJ

interviews opinions news comments events PRICE 300 RSD COMMENT: DALIA MARIN

Restoring Competition In The Digital Economy SEBASTIAN SOSA, IMF RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE IN BELGRADE

Government Must Maintain Good Work

IVO JOSIPOVIĆ FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA

I Fear “The Relocation Of

SYRIA TO THE BALKANS”

ISSN1451-7833

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COMMENT DALIA MARIN

Restoring Competition IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY PAGE 6

June 2017

The digital economy is carving out new divides between capital and labour, by allowing one firm, or a small number of firms, to capture an increasingly large market share. With “superstar” companies operating globally, and dominating markets in multiple countries simultaneously, market concentration throughout the Group of 20 developed and major emerging economies has increased considerably in just the past 15 years

CONTENTS

8

I FEAR “THE RELOCATION OF SYRIA TO THE BALKANS”

Ivo Josipović, Former President of the Republic of Croatia

14

DIALOGUE AND NOT A CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS

H.E. Mohammed Amine Belhaj, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Serbia

Pia Barborič Jurjaševič, General Manager of Imperial Tobacco, Adriatic

44 BETWEEN TRADITION AND AVANT-GARDE

Yuri Alexandrov, Director of the St. Petersburg Opera

48

FACES & PLACES

51

SPA & COUNTRY TOURISM

18

GLOBAL DIARY

20

FROM DISRUPTION 67 LANGUAGE TO COLLABORATION IS HIS Ghela Boskovich, FemTech Founder; WEAPON

Serbia - Summer 2017

Head of FinTech & RegTech Partnerships at Rainmaking Innovation

24

GOVERNMENT MUST MAINTAIN GOOD WORK

Ivan Klajn, Linguist, professor of Italian, member of SANU

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Sebastian Sosa, IMF Resident Representative in Belgrade

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42 CELEBRATING DIVERSITY AND TEAMWORK

STRETCH YOUR BODY TO CALM YOUR MIND

Yoga: The Natural Immunity Booster

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CHILL OUT

75

CULTURE CALENDAR

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AFTER WORK

EDITOR: Ana Novčić a.novcic@aim.rs ART DIRECTOR: Jasmina Laković j.lakovic@aim.rs CONTRIBUTORS: Rob Dugdale, Maja Vukadinović, Mirjana Jovanović, Ljubica Gojgić, Miša Brkić, Radmila Stanković, Steve MacKenzie, Zorica Todorović Mirković, Sonja Ćirić EDITORIAL MANAGER: Neda Lukić n.lukic@aim.rs PHOTOS: Zoran Petrović COPY EDITOR: Mark Pullen TRANSLATION AND EDITING Halifax Translation Services office@halifax-translation.com PROJECT MANAGERS: Biljana Dević, b.devic@aim.rs Aleksandra Ebilji, a.ebilji@aim.rs Nataša Trifunović, n.trifunovic@aim.rs Vesna Vukajlović, v.vukajlovic@aim.rs Nevena Đurković, n.djurkovic@aim.rs OFFICE MANAGER: Svetlana Petrović s.petrovic@aim.rs FINANCIAL MANAGER: Dragana Skrobonja d.skrobonja@aim.rs EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Maja Vidaković m.vidakovic@aim.rs GENERAL MANAGER: Ivan Novčić i.novcic@aim.rs 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: cordeditorial@cma.rs www.cordmagazine.com www.allianceinternationalmedia.com ISSN no: 1451-7833 All rights reserved alliance international media 2017

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COMMENT

Restoring Competition In The Digital Economy The digital economy is carving out new divides between capital and labour, by allowing one firm, or a small number of firms, to capture an increasingly large market share. With “superstar” companies operating globally and dominating markets in multiple countries simultaneously, market concentration throughout the Group of 20 developed and major emerging economies has increased considerably in just the past 15 years DALIA MARIN

T

o address this phenomenon, the G20 should create a require us to reinvent antitrust for the digital age. As it stands, World Competition Network to restore competition and national competition authorities in G20 countries are inadeaddress income inequality between capital and labour. As quately equipped to regulate corporations that operate globally. a larger share of total income shifts to capital across many Moreover, the G20 cannot simply trust that global compeG20 countries, the World Competition Network would seek to retition will correct on its own the tendency toward increased verse the decline in labour’s share of GDP. market concentration. As Andrew Bernard has shown for the During the post-WWII period, 70% of national GDP went to United States and Thierry Mayer and Gianmarco Ottaviano have labour income, and the remaining 30% to capital income. John demonstrated for Europe, international trade favours large suMaynard Keynes described the stability of the labour share as perstar firms. Indeed, globalisation may provide advantages to something of a “miracle.” But the rule has since broken down. the largest and most productive firms in each industry, causing Between the mid-1980’s and today, labour’s share of world GDP them to expand – and forcing smaller and less productive firms declined to 58%, while capital’s share rose to 42%. to exit. As a result, industries become increasingly dominated by Two forces in today’s digital economy are driving the global superstar firms with a low share of labour in value added. decline in labour’s share of total income. The first is digital techThe U.S. is a case in point. It is host to many of today’s supernology itself, which is generally biased toward capital. Advances star firms, and yet U.S. antitrust regulators have not been able in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have acto restrain those firms’ market power. As the G20 looks for ways celerated the rate at which automation is displacing workers. to address the problem of market concentration, it should take The second force is the digital economy’s “winner-takeslessons from the U.S. experience, and look for ways to improve most” markets, which give dominant firms excessive power to upon the U.S.’s failures. raise prices without losing many customRather than starting from scratch, we will ers. Today’s superstar companies owe their Two forces in today’s need to build on national-level competition privileged position to digital technology’s authorities’ institutional knowledge, and indigital economy network effects, whereby a product beclude experienced personnel in the process. are driving the global The European Competition Network can comes even more desirable as more people use it. And although software platforms serve as a blueprint for a G20-level network. decline in labour’s and online services can be costly to launch, The objective of a world competition share of total income network expanding them is relatively inexpensive. is to build an effective legal frameConsequently, firms that are already eswork to enforce competition law against tablished can keep growing with far fewer workers than they companies engaging in cross-border business practices that would have needed in the past. restrict competition. The network may coordinate investigaThese factors help to explain why the digital economy has tions and enforcement decisions and develop new guidelines given rise to large firms that have a reduced need for labour. for how to monitor market power and collusive practices in a And, once these firms are established and dominate their digital economy. chosen market, the new economy allows them to pursue antiIn the past, the G20 has focused on ensuring that multinacompetitive measures that prevent actual and potential rivals tional firms are not able to take advantage of jurisdictional diffrom challenging their position. And, as the economists David ferences to avoid paying taxes. But the G20 now needs to expand Autor, David Dorn, Lawrence F. Katz, Christina Patterson, and its scope, by recognising that digital technologies are creating John Van Reenen show, the U.S. industries with the fastestmarket outcomes that, if unchecked by a new World Competigrowing market concentration have also seen the largest drop tion Network, will continue to favour multinational firms at the in labour’s share of income. expense of workers. ■ This increased market concentration is widening the gap between the firms that own the robots (capital) and the workers Project Sindicate: The author is Chair of International whom the robots are replacing (labour). But confronting it will Economics at the University of Munich

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By LJUBICA GOJGIĆ

INTERVIEW

I Fear “The Relocation Of

SYRIA TO THE BALKANS”

IVO JOSIPOVIĆ FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA

I think many analysts, and not just foreign ones, rightly warn that the situation could spiral out of control. Instability, and the political ideas that encourage it, is visible in several countries. Personally, I most fear the kind of unravelling that I vividly dub “the relocation of Syria to the Balkans”. However, I hope there will be enough wisdom to avoid any scenario in which the wider region would again experience armed conflict and violence – says former Croatian President Ivo Josipović.

EXCLUSIVE

I

vo Josipović, a former president of Croatia, arrived in Belgrade after a break of six years, as noted by journalists. Although he came to attend the Beldocs Film Festival and speak as a composer of the musical score for the film “Unwanted Heritage”, but also to hold a lecture on war crimes for students of master studies of the Faculty of Political Science, resounding most strongly with the public were his words stating that relations between Croatian and Serbian are at their worst since the war and that the current authorities are responsible for that.

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In this interview for CorD magazine, Josipović explains why cooperation was better at the time when he was Croatian president, despite the fact that the two countries were then leading a dispute at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, under accusations of genocide. Commenting on that case, in which he himself participated as an expert for the Croatian legal team, Josipović says that the positive effect of the Hague trial could be the fact that it established some facts about the war from the early ‘90s. Meanwhile the other war, the world one, and the attitude towards monuments raised in Croatia by


ANTI-FASCISM

AGROKOR

EUROPEANS

Anti-fascism is an undesirable topic for a minority in society, but a noisy and aggressive minority, well-organised, with prepared long-term plans and activities

I think the Agrokor case is more like a school on models of economic behaviour and corporate development than it could lead to talk about cross-border connections

What is an obstructive factor for the EU is the lack of a European identity for citizens. Citizens don’t feel like Europeans and do not have the feeling of belonging to Europe

fighters of the former joint “national liberation struggle”, is addressed in the aforementioned film, while Josipović sees attempts to negate anti-fascism and revise history as contributions to neglecting historical and cultural heritage. ■ You recently visited Belgrade, where the film “Unwanted Heritage”, for which you wrote the music, was screened at the Beldocs Documentary Film Festival. Are you satisfied with the way you were received? - I was extremely satisfied with the reaction of the audience in a crowded cinema, and the way the film echoed in the media. Director and screenwriter Irena Škorić, who is most responsible for this film, and I had a chance to talk with many media houses in Serbia that followed the film excellently. The success of the film is best illustrated by the fact that public interest led to the organising of a second screening.

■ You state recently that you would remove the Ustasha plaque from the commemorative memorial at Jasenovac. How long will it stand there, and why does the government tolerate it being placed there? - I honestly do not know. It is actually a prank. That memorial plaque

■ The film deals with a topic that you often discuss – the neglect covering monuments to the National Liberation Struggle, but also remembrance of the struggle against fascism. How “unwanted” is antifascism as a topic in Croatia? With Serbian Prime Minister ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ - Anti-fascism is an undesirable topic for a minorprobably wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t ity in society, but a noisy and aggressive minority, Our political scene dedicated to the soldiers who fell in the well-organised, with prepared long-term plans is pretty chaotic. The last war. Unfortunately, and to our shame, and activities. Now their already many years of electorate, and thus their unit was used within the symbol of the ideological pressing and selective presenting of the composition of Ustasha motto “For the homeland ready!”, historical events through the prism of different so this plaque was put in place with this values than those anti-fascist ones confirms the Parliament, at present symbol, precisely in Jasenovac, in order thesis that Ustashaphilia and historical revisionism and in future after negate or relativize the mega crime have strengthened. I recognise a very similar process possible elections, will be to committed by the Ustasha in Jasenovac also happening in Serbia. Here they rehabilitated diversified and difficult to during World War II. It would be simplest Draža Mihajlović (WWII Chetnik - Yugoslav royalist - leader) and Nedić (WWII Nazi occupation PM), predict. This is especially to place a memorial plaque for the fallen, while political parties laud their Chetnik heritage. so because it seems that but without the Ustasha insignia. On the other hand, in Croatia they want to show all masks and ■ It seems that the latest developthat the Ustasha (WWII Croatian fascists) criminals principles have fallen were true patriots and that they served the nation, ments on the Croatian political scene while the Yugoslav partisans were the criminals could lead to new elections. What do and traitors. I imagine a documentary that would be called “Flipped you expect in this regard? heritage” ... But both Croatia and Serbia were historically dominantly - Our political scene is pretty chaotic. The electorate, and thus the anti-fascist countries and I hope that, despite the current deviation composition of Parliament, at present and in future after possible elecand flirting with the most rigid right, in both countries European, tions, will be diversified and difficult to predict. This is especially so anti-fascist heritage will prove victorious. because it seems that all masks and principles have fallen. In forming JUNE

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coalitions, political principles and value systems are no more crucial than any other reason. Who would have thought yesterday that a rightist government, the same one that is accused of flirting with Ustasha ideas and discriminating against minorities, would support and save both the leading party of the Serbian community, the SDSS led by Milorad Popovac, and notorious right-wingers Hasanbegović, Esih and Glasnović!?

issues, especially the search for missing persons, the return of cultural treasures, and we jointly expressed or respect for the victims of the war. In short, a positive atmosphere was created, far from ideal, but still better. This also led to the intensification of cultural exchanges, strengthened tourism, more investments etc.

■ During the time when you were Croatian President, the two countries were in dispute over genocide claims. You also ■ Experience suggests that an election campaign would not personally collaborated on the writing of the Croatian lawsuit. only cause delay in the dialogue between Croatia and Serbia, From the perspective of the need to establish better relations, but also raise tensions. Will that be the case again this time? was that legal procedure necessary? - Always, at least a little, cross-border shots are also used in elections. - During the time when work started on the lawsuit, I wasn’t in politics and was hired as an expert. As a professor, I received an inquiry from the office of President Tuđman regarding what I thought about the lawsuit. I said that there were a lot of crimes, but not genocide. President Tuđman received similar opinions from others and didn’t give the go ahead to initiate the lawsuit. However, when he got sick and was no longer effectively running the country, the then government nevertheless initiated legal proceedings. I told all subsequent holders of the highest office the same thing: that they cannot expect the International Court of Justice to rule on the existence of genocide and that it would be good to make a deal and use that to strengthen the peace process. The government decides on the initiating and withdrawing of lawsuits. Nobody had the strength and courage to initiate something like that, or they actually thought that they could still win the case. Today I still think that procedure had a very positive effect. For example, information was collected related to many crimes, Personally, I most fear with us in Croatia collecting data on connections But for mutual verbal confrontations, as the kind of unravelling between the Serbian government and military and we have seen, elections are not necessary. paramilitary units and military engagements in Politicians should know that the constant that I vividly dub “the reheating of tension may boil over, grow relocation of Syria to the Croatia, while your side collected data on crimes against Serbian civilians, arson attacks and assault. out of control and lead to unnecessary Balkans”. However, I hope Awareness about what happened can be positive for harmful consequences for our relations there will be enough both sides, if they even have the capacity for that. and each country individually. Similarly, Actually, the judgement could help our societies to ethics, those of tolerance and encourage wisdom to avoid any realistically perceive the causes and consequences peace-making, should be adhered to by the scenario in which the of the war. The verdict of the International Court of media. They are now seriously involved wider region would Justice actually sent a clear message to both Croatia in sparking conflict. again experience armed and Serbia, of course, if anyone wants to hear it. From this verdict one can conclude that Serbia waged war ■ You gave a sharp assessment in conflict and violence in Croatia, thus, it attacked another country, and that Belgrade that relations between in that process many crimes were committed. However, Croatia also Serbia and Croatian are at their worst since the war. You also received the message that its forces committed serious crimes against said that the responsibility for that lies with the authorities Serbian civilians. Although all of these crimes are not genocide, they are of the two countries and the media, as reserves in that duel. terrible and should be condemned. I think that all present and future What do you base that conclusion on; many would you sugleaders of our countries should study that judgement well. gest that relations are more or less the same as they were? - I wouldn’t agree with you. In 2011 and 2012 we had positive rhetoric ■ It seems that economic cooperation is an area where relaamong the political leaderships and regular meetings, formal and informal, while the media were much more moderate in their reporting, tions are improving faster. In this context, how would you there was at least some acceleration in the resolving of outstanding comment on the Agrokor case? 10 |

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- I think many analysts, and not just foreign ones, rightly warn that the - Yes, over the past few years economic cooperation has gradually situation could spiral out of control. Instability, and the political ideas increased. In principle, Agrokor’s investments in Serbia are proof that encourage it, is visible in several countries. Personally, I most fear of that. However, we see what happened with Agrokor and we now the kind of unravelling that I vividly dub “the need to ensure that the consequences, for relocation of Syria to the Balkans”. However, employees and the national economies, are Certain European I hope there will be enough wisdom to avoid as mild as possible. politicians are tired of any scenario in which the wider region would nationalism that does again experience armed conflict and violence ■ Could the Agrokor case undermine faith in the need for economic connections in not relent, unwillingness ■ How important is the EU to the stabithe region? to eradicate corruption - I think the Agrokor case is more like a school lising of relations in the region? Do you and implement reforms, see it as being present in the Balkans or on models of economic behaviour and corporate constant antagonism and losing interest in the region? development than it could lead to talk about cross-border connections. Today the economy unwillingness to resolve - I would not say that there is no interest in the is globalised and the idea that of a country beBalkans within the EU. I think all relevant facbilateral problems, to ing economically self-sufficient, limited to its tors know that Europe is incomplete without make compromise. Such its southeast region. Croatia became a better own capital and investments, is anachronistic a negative attitude will and detrimental to economic development. society through accession negotiations. However, we now have social regression and the seriously backfire on weakening of some important values that we ■ Can relations in the region, viewed more some countries... thought had been definitively adopted. And broadly, be repaired or are they threatcorruption is on the rise ... This is a lesson for ened with new tensions, as suggested by countries aspiring to become members. Complying with the criteria for the periodic analysis of foreign experts? Alongside the crisis admission as a member does not represent the completion of the job. in Macedonia, early elections are coming up in Kosovo and One must constantly be ready and able to make the changes that are there is again talk of a “Greater Albania”.

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dictated by extremely dynamic social and political scenes. However, if there is an intrinsic interest in the Balkans, it is obvious that certain European politicians are tired of it. They are tired of nationalism that does not relent, unwillingness to eradicate corruption and implement reforms, constant antagonism and unwillingness to resolve bilateral problems, to make compromise. Such a negative attitude will seriously backfire on some countries...

referring back to your thesis that the international community is tired, and adding that it is tired of the unwillingness of our political leaders to take serious steps.

■ How does the EU look today, from the Croatian perspective? - There is no single Croatian perspective. Some are disappointed, some are realistic, some, like me, remain optimistic despite the crisis in the EU. Brexit deals a serious blow to the European idea. However, I think it showed that Europe needs to choose its own ■ Hypothetically, in your opinion, what could today represent path more clearly. Faced with the challenges of its surroundings, a common political denominator around which the countries politics, security and economics, on the one hand there needs to be of the region could agree, if such a possibility even exists? “more Europe”, in my opinion, especially in the foreign and security policies and the economy. On the other hand, Europe should give up on the idea of standardising absolutely everything. There should be a clear projection of its future as a kind of strongly decentralised confederation, but also with clear integrative elements. What is an obstructive factor for the EU is the lack of a European identity for citizens. Citizens don’t feel like Europeans and do not have the feeling of belonging to Europe. Their generally link their sense of belonging to their national state. I say only half-jokingly that Europe urgently needs to compete in football’s World Cup with its own national team, the national team of Europe, which Europeans would cheer for once their own national teams were knocked out of the competition. I hope you understand what I want to say ... Those who are most disappointed with Europe are those who thought EU entry would With BORIS TADIĆ, Former Serbian President, Opatija 2010 cause piles of money to fall from the sky. Europe is a chance, an opportunity that we must use with Those who are most work, not a gift voucher... - I was hoping, and I still hope, that disappointed with Europe the leading politicians will finally understand that European values and are those who thought EU ■ The recent French presidential election brought victory for Emmanuel Macron, who cooperation in achieving them leads entry would cause piles supports the EU but advocates for reforms all countries in the region towards of money to fall from the and is one of the proponents of a multi-level prosperity, providing security and the sky. Europe is a chance, EU. How do you see this idea of different possibility of development. However, categories of member states within the EU to date we have not seen unity in that... an opportunity that we where would Croatia’s place be in that? Nevertheless, we certainly won’t get to must use with work, not and - Macron’s election is good news for Europe. At least this common denominator by switching a gift voucher... for a while, ambitions to demolish Europe will not some switch, from today to tomorrow. It be achieved. However, Brexit and the strong growth requires hard work, lots of understandof anti-European parties in many countries must provide a lesson. ing, trust and goodwill. Today we are quite a long way from that… Europeanism is not developed and maintained by itself. Many in politics thought that Europe is there, once and for all, but only change is ■ Trieste should host the continuation of the dialogue between constant, and not always for the better. Otherwise, I don’t like the idea the countries of the Western Balkans this June, which is also of different categories of membership. I would like for it not to be acsupported by Croatia. How do you see this process and what do you expect from it? cepted. However, on the one hand it reflects the reality; many newly - It is important to talk, but we should finally insist on concrete admitted countries, including Croatia, find it difficult to keep pace with progress. For example, at the Brdo-Brijuni Conference in Dubrovnik those that are more developed. However, responsibility and solidarity in 2014, in the presence of Chancellor Merkel, we made important should be the guiding notion, not the idea of dividing Europe. I’m afraid conclusions on energy and road corridors that have found their that it would surely lead to the disintegration of the EU. And let’s not place not only in the plans of the EU, but also in its budget. Here I’m forget that the EU is primarily a large, fateful peace project. ■ 12 |

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INTERVIEW

Dialogue And Not A

CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS H.E. MOHAMMED AMINE BELHAJ

AMBASSADOR OF THE KINGDOM OF MOROCCO TO SERBIA

The terrorist threat is a global phenomenon that Morocco is addressing within a comprehensive and inclusive strategy of concrete political, institutional, economic, social, cultural, religious and media measures, while in parallel it is fighting against extremism, poverty, social exclusion and illiteracy through the development and strengthening of the rule of law – says H.E. Mohammed Amine Belhaj

T

errorism has no identity, no nation and no religion, emphasises Moroccan Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Mohammed Amine Belhaj, speaking about the global threats that Morocco has an active role in fighting, as the country which, together with the Netherlands, is co-chairing the Global Counter Terrorism Forum until 2018. In that struggle, he adds, it is unwise to indulge in simplified interpretations like that of the inevitable clash of civilisations. Ambassador Belhaj arrived in Serbia six months ago, just in time to commemorate with Serbian officials the 60th anniversary of the establishing of diplomatic relations between Serbia and Morocco. In this interview for CorD magazine, he says that political relations between the two countries are excellent and based on mutual respect. At the same time, he adds, economic cooperation has not reached the targeted goals, despite the possibilities being great. â– Your Excellency, this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishing of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Serbia. Do you plan to commemorate this anniversary? - Moroccan-Serbian diplomatic relations are seen by both parties as being excellent, and to mark their 60th anniversary the Embassy has prepared, 14 |

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in conjunction with several Serbian institutions, a festive programme to celebrate those six decades of friendship and cooperation, such as a photo exhibition in July, which will focus on the historical visits of the leaders of both countries during the early 1960s, within the framework of the NonAligned Movement. We are also planning an important Moroccan cultural and economic week in Belgrade, to be held during September. Indeed, Morocco and Serbia share historical and cultural values, while Morocco has for centuries constituted an important bridge between the African and European continents. These harmonious relations will be made more tangible with an exchange of high level visits, at both governmental and parliamentarian levels, as well as expected visits of economic and business delegations, providing a new impetus for economic and trade exchanges, which remain below the potential of the two countries. There is also a need to enhance cultural ties and interaction through the human dimension, as one of the main goals of our bilateral cooperation.

â– Given the friendly relations between Serbia and Morocco, both sides assess bilateral economic cooperation as being insufficient. Do you agree with this assessment and how could this cooperation be strengthened? - Currently, trade flows do not reflect the strong political ties between our two countries. Nevertheless, efforts are being made to boost economic


ECONOMY

A delegation of Moroccan businessmen is expected to arrive in Belgrade before the end of this year. That visit is likely to provide a new impetus to economic relations

COOPERATION

TERRORISM

With the aim of reinforcing cooperation relations, we are also currently working on scheduling the second session of the Intergovernmental Commission, to be held in Rabat

The terrorist threat is a global phenomenon, and Morocco is addressing it within a comprehensive and inclusive strategy

cooperation. Serbia and Morocco have large potential that should be 2020 and 52 per cent by 2030. The Kingdom also boasts the largest solar taken advantage of fully. plant in the world, named “Noor” [light in Arabic], which, upon completion Morocco has been acknowledged for its political stability and friendly in 2018, will have a capacity of 582MW. business environment. It is a gateway to the rest of Africa, with which Morocco’s efforts in this regard were crowned in Washington DC on 9th May 2017, when His Majesty King Mohammed VI received the ‘Energy Efthe Kingdom of Morocco has strong economic ties. In fact, Morocco is the ficiency Visionary Award’ from the Energy Efficiency Global Forum. second biggest investor in Africa and its fifth strongest economy, and is able to use its network and knowledge of the market in order to work together with Serbian enterprises that wish to explore “the continent of hope and the future”, either at the bilateral level or within a winwin triangular cooperation format. I would like to add that, according to Ernst &Young’s latest Africa Attractiveness Survey, Morocco ranked 1st for foreign investors in 2017, while it is ranked 2nd in terms of infrastructure quality according to the World Economic Forum’s 2016-17 Global Competitiveness Index. On the other hand, Serbia – as a key player in the Western Balkans – offers a platform for Moroccan businesses, thanks to the significant political and economic reforms implemented by the government that have improved the business environment and made Serbia more attractive for foreign investments. In order to further strengthen bilateral trade, both business communities need to come together to identify sectors of common interest and further cooperation. This is why the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco is ■ The Intergovernmental Commisworking on a programme of meetings between relevant Currently trade flows do sion of Morocco and Serbia met four government ministries and agencies responsible for comnot reflect the existing merce and trade in both Morocco and Serbia, as well as years ago in Belgrade, with that event their chambers of commerce. A delegation of Moroccan assessed as the first significant step potential ties between businessmen is expected to arrive in Belgrade before towards strengthening cooperation. our two countries. the end of this year. That visit is likely to provide a new What effects did that meeting have Nevertheless, efforts impetus to economic relations. and when could the next such meetare being made to boost ing be organised? The potential of Morocco and Serbia offers a wide - The holding of the first Intergovernarray of areas for cooperation. The agriculture, textiles, economic cooperation. mental Commission in Belgrade, in June pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries remain Serbia and Morocco 2013, will remain a turning point in the important for both countries, but there are also other have large potential reinforcement of cooperation and the legal promising fields to explore. Here I am thinking of the that should be taken framework between Morocco and Serbia, aeronautics and automotive industries in particular, with the conclusion of five agreements on where Morocco has acquired considerable expertise advantage of fully cooperation in business, science, finance over previous years. and veterinary medicine. I would also like to mention other areas where Morocco can bring Following this meeting, many visits are scheduled to take place this valuable experience and expertise, such as renewable energies and year that will involve Moroccan authorities and experts and which will environmental protection. explore business and investment opportunities in different sectors of In this respect, and with an awareness of the negative impact of global interest. With the aim of reinforcing cooperation relations, we are also warming and the need to protect the environment, Morocco has set up currently working on scheduling the second session of the Intergoverna national renewable energy programme that will increase the share of mental Commission, to be held in Rabat. installed electrical power from renewable energy sources to 42 per cent by JUNE

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■ Thanks to the rich history and culture of your country, Serbian citizens are familiar with Morocco. How familiar are Moroccans with Serbia, and could the two countries cooperate in the field of tourism? - Morocco has developed a strong tourist industry, and offers a diversified product to fit all budgets and tastes : cultural and historical tourism, mountains and beach tourism etc. Noticing a genuine craze for Morocco among Serbs, our Embassy organises occasional exploratory tours for journalists and travel agents to discover our 3,500km of coastline, the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, the finest gastronomy, medieval medinas and amazing fauna and flora that extends from Tangier in the North to Lagouira in the South. This programme aims to promote the Kingdom of Morocco as a touristic destination among Serbs. Morocco receives around 10 million tourists annually, mainly from Western Europe. Serbian tourists account for only a few thousand. Awaiting the establishment of a direct air connection, the Embassy is trying to find some adapted formulas like charters during spring and summer seasons combining Serbia and other Balkan destinations such as Montenegro, given the particular interest shown by Moroccans to this part of Europe. ■ Morocco did not support the initiative for Kosovo to be admitted into UNESCO. Has this stance encountered misunderstanding among your partners in the international community, and has pressure been applied for you to change it? - Our relations with Serbia are marked by a convergence of views on several issues, and in compliance with international law as regards the principles of defence of sovereignty and the territorial integrity of a state, and the rejecting of any kind of unilateral decisions. As such, Morocco did not recognise the self-proclaimed independence of Kosovo, while it encourages the pursuit of normalisation negotiations led by the European Union, in line with the Brussels Agreement.

To avoid any misunderstanding between different cultures, Morocco, as a peace-loving and multicultural nation, promotes dialogue among civilisations as a positive practise in creating an environment of peaceful coexistence, and it remains open to interreligious reflection and dialogue

■ After Morocco’s return to the African Union in January 2017, how do you see the country’s contribution to the future of the continent? - As you may already know, Morocco reintegrated into its natural African family during the 28th Summit of the African Union on 30th January 2017 in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), following the support of an overwhelming majority of African countries, as a result of the proactive and sustained policy of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI and his vision concerning the development of South-South Cooperation and win-win partnerships. The ambitions of this “coming back home” stress Morocco’s commitment towards Africa, to contribute positively to the principles of unity and 16 |

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development policies, in the fields of peace and security, infrastructure, investment, education, culture, healthcare and gender equality etc., in addition to an overall economic take-off of the continent, comprising trade, tourism and agriculture. In the same move, Morocco is willing to join the Economic Community of West African States, as a full member of this regional grouping, as a culmination of Morocco’s “strong political, humanitarian, historical, religious and economic ties” with the countries of West Africa.

■ The Kingdom of Morocco is also facing challenges in its Southern provinces. What are the latest developments of the Sahara issue? - The Moroccan Sahara is being dealt with at the United Nations’ Security Council, to find a lasting political solution based on the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative and in full respect of Moroccan sovereignty and territorial integrity. In this respect UN Resolution 2351, which was adopted unanimously by the Security Council last April, serves to reaffirm the parameters of the political process defined as of 2007, and also hailed the “serious and credible” efforts of Morocco regarding the Autonomy Plan, while insisting on the prerequisites of negotiations, with “realism and an open spirit of compromise”, towards a final settlement of this artificial regional conflict around the Moroccan Sahara. The policy led by His Majesty is yielding results, with 35 African countries having withdrawn their recognition of the separatist entity, the latest of which is the Republic of Malawi, while it has never been recognised by an Arab country. The Southern provinces are an integrated part in the new 2016-2025 development model. Some 600 projects, with a budget of €7.7 billion, are being carried out to create a dignified living environment for inhabitants, involving the setting up of a development engine, accompanying the production sector, human development, promoting the Hassani culture, innovative financing, sustainable management of natural resources and the improvement of territorial connection, as well as the digital transition.

■ How would you comment on global instability, the strengthening of terrorism and the thesis of the clash of civilisations or religions, which are supposedly inevitable in the future? - First of all, I would like to point out that the phenomenon of terrorism has no identity, no nation and no religion. Thus, it seems unwise for it either to fall into any amalgam or to conceive this scourge, in a simplistic way, as any clash between religions or civilisations. To avoid any misunderstanding between different cultures, Mo-


rocco, as a peace-loving and multicultural nation, promotes dialogue Morocco is co-chairing, together with the Netherlands, the Global among civilisations as a positive practise in creating an environment Counter Terrorism Forum for a two-year term (2016-2018), with the aim of peaceful coexistence, and it remains open to interreligious reflecof further developing the vision of this Forum, which gathers 30 members tion and dialogue. among those who are most committed to this struggle internationally. The terrorist threat is a global phenomenon, and Morocco is addressing it within The migration policy that was ■How do you see the problem of large a comprehensive and inclusive strategy. scale migrations to Europe; what is the initiated by His Majesty King The Moroccan strategy consists of concrete new Moroccan Migration Policy? Mohammed VI in 2013 is political, institutional, economic, social, - The migrant crisis has soared since 2015, cultural, religious and media measures, and the Balkans has become a transit zone authentic, humanist and while it in parallel fights against extremfor illegal migrants and refugees. solidarity-based towards ism, poverty, exclusion, instability and Morocco also experiences increasing flows migrants within a global illiteracy through the development and from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe. The migraand comprehensive tion policy that was initiated by His Majesty King strengthening of the rule of law. Morocco’s management of religious affairs framework that incorporates Mohammed VI in 2013 is authentic, humanist and solidarity-based towards migrants within targets the prevention of radicalisation and development, security, a global and comprehensive framework that the abuse of religion for other purposes, with education, health and the incorporates development, security, education, an emphasis on religious education towards a preservation of human dignity health and the preservation of human dignity. moderate understanding through institutionalised authorities, thereby protecting against The first phase of regularisation began any potential influence of extremism. in 2014 and enabled the regularisation of 25,000 undocumented migrants from Syria and sub-Saharan countries. The second phase was In this respect, Morocco established the Mohammed VI Institute for launched in 2016.This humanitarian policy earned Morocco the honour the Training of Imams, (religious preachers) in 2015, aimed at creating an of co-chairing, alongside Germany, the Global Forum on Migration and authentic, tolerant and open Islam, as an integrated strategy to inculcate Development for 2017-2018. ■ the values of moderate Islam, as it has always been practised in Morocco.

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GLOBAL ECONOMY

GLOBAL DIARY

“One Belt, One Road” is in our shared interest to show that the global economy can serve all the world’s people.” - Antonio Guterres, U.N. Secretary General

PUTIN PLAYS HOCKEY IN SOCHI ▶ Russian President Vladimir Putin, wearing his red

hockey jersey, sporting number 11, took to the rink at Sochi’s Bolshoy Ice Dome to play a Night Hockey League match last month alongside his teammates, Defence chief Sergey Shoigu, Olympic champions Vyacheslav Fetisov, Aleksey Kasatonov, Valery Kamensky, Pavel Bure and others. The Tula Region’s governor, Aleksey Dyumin, played goalie. Playing for the opponents - the Night Hockey League’s combined team - were the owner of the Volga Group, Gennady Timchenko, Norilsk Nickel CEO Vladimir Potanin and co-owner of SMP-Bank and member of its board of directors, Roman Rottenberg. The Night Hockey League was founded at Putin’s initiative several years ago. Ice hockey devotees started gathering at sporting stadiums during their spare time, usually late in the evening, to play their favourite game just for pleasure. Source TASS/ Getty Images

DENMARK INVITES CHINESE TO 'OYSTER SAFARIS'

being exported from Denmark to China, but the food ministry and industry of Denmark will now work closely on the potential of exporting oysters to China. In the meantime, he welcomes Chinese “to come to Denmark for oyster safaris”.

BREASTFEEDING IN AUSTRALIAN SENATE

tor Waters instigated changes to Senate rules last year, extending rules that already allowed breastfeeding in the chamber to allow new mums and dads to briefly care for their infants on the floor of parliament. The House of Representatives has made similar changes.

many Germans have got used to the idea of an army deployed abroad for peace and training missions, several scandals in recent months have rocked the faith the country has in its troops, raising questions over the

GERMANS AT ODDS WITH THEIR ARMY

▶ The Danish minister for environ-

ment and food, Esben Lunde Larsen, will consider exporting oysters to China, after the species became a hot topic in China. Larsen made the comments after a post sent by the Danish Embassy in China on social networking site Weibo about the invasion of an exotic oyster, known as the Pacific oyster, generated a flurry of enthusiastic responses from Chinese people. The Embassy made a small joke inviting Chinese people to eat oysters in Denmark, but was not expecting such a strong reaction from readers. One person even proposed to “eat the species to extinction.” However, at the moment oysters are not on the list of aquatic products 18 |

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▶ Germans have a complicated rela-

tionship with their military. And while

LARISSA WATERS

▶ Alia Joy is just weeks old, but she’s

already made Australian political history. The daughter of Greens codeputy leader Larissa Waters graced the floor of the Senate to become the first baby to be breastfed in the chamber. Waters returned to parliament for the first time since giving birth to her second daughter earlier this year, bringing the baby in for a feed during a vote on a Greens motion. The milestone comes after Sena-

GERMAN DEFENCE MINISTER URSULA VON DER LEYEN

VIVA ARTE VIVA ▶ The 57th International Art Exhibition entitled VIVA ARTE VIVA, organ-

ised by La Biennale di Venezia, is open to the public from 13th May to 26th November 2017, at the Giardini and the Arsenale venues. The art exhibition unfolds over the course of nine chapters or families of artists, beginning with two introductory realms in the Central Pavilion, followed by another seven across the Arsenale through the Giardino delle Vergini. 120 are the invited artists from 51 countries; 103 of these are participating for the first time. It also includes 86 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice. Three countries are participating for the first time: Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati, Nigeria. The Serbian pavilion hosts the group show “Enclavia”, by painters Vladislav Šćepanović, Milena Dragicević and Dragan Zdravković. The selection of works communicates the authors’ loneliness, which changes with approaching aspects of the 21st century.


COMMUNITIES “One Belt, One Road” initiative is about connecting culture. It is about connecting communities, it is about enriching economies and improving the standard of living of people.” - Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund

NIGHT OF THE MUSEUMS ▶ The sounds of a fanfare at Kalemegdan’s Military Muse-

um on 21st May marked the start of the annual Night of the Museums event. This year’s partner country was the Republic of Korea, which presented part of its fashion and art with the presentation of its traditional formal glamorous gowns. This traditional event included more than 200 locations in Serbia: from traditional shots from the cherry wood cannon in front of the Horreum Margi Museum in Ćuprija to night walks through Belgrade’s New Cemetery under candlelight and torchlight, this year’s Night of the Museums undeniably outshone all previous incarnations, in terms of numbers of visitors and numbers of locations, but most of all in terms of the creativity of the organisers. The slogan of this year’s 14th Night of the Museums was “Large and small revolutions”. The programme officially started at 5pm and ended at 1am, though some venues remained open even after that time, due to the great interest of visitors.

widespread intolerance in its units. The “Deutschlandtrend” survey, by public broadcaster ARD, widely regarded as the country’s most authoritative poll and conducted among 1,000 adults, found that trust in the armed forces dropped from 59% in July 2016 to 49% roughly a year later. Germany’s Bundeswehr, a volunteer army since 2011 that currently counts some 178,000 active soldiers, has suffered a series of accusations over discrimination and large-scale right wing extremism in its ranks.

PRINCESS MAKO OF JAPAN TO MARRY COMMONER

his fortune, including funds for an oceanographic research vessel for the scientific community. Kjell Inge Rokke, Norway’s 10th richest man with an estimated fortune of €2.0 billion will pay an undisclosed sum for the 181-metre vessel to be launched in 2020.

▶ A member of Japan’s royal family,

Princess Mako, is to surrender her royal status by marrying a commoner. The 25-year-old eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito will become engaged to law firm worker Kei Komuro, also 25, whom she met while they studied together at the International Christian University in Tokyo. Japan’s imperial law requires a

princess to leave the Imperial Family after marrying a commoner and lose their imperial style and title. Succession to the Japanese throne is only through the male line and only males can be in the line of succession. Currently, the line of succession has only four people. Unless the succession is changed to allow for female succession, the future of the succession falls solely upon young Prince Hisahito, Princess Mako’s little brother.

NORWAY BILLIONAIRE PLANS TO GIVE AWAY HIS FORTUNE ▶ A Norwegian billionaire announced VLADISLAV ŠĆEPANOVIĆ : The Chains of Evil

he wants to contribute to society by giving away the “lion’s share” of

Among other things, it will be used to conduct research on plastics in the ocean. The world’s oceans are expected to contain more plastic waste than fish by 2050, because of the massive use of the material, the World Economic Forum in Davos concluded in January. “I want to give back to society the lion’s share of what I’ve earned,” the 58-year-old businessman, who made billions in the fisheries and oil-andgas sectors, told the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

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By MILOŠ BELČEVIĆ

INTERVIEW

From Disruption To

COLLABORATION GHELA BOSKOVICH

FEMTECH FOUNDER; HEAD OF FINTECH & REGTECH PARTNERSHIPS AT RAINMAKING INNOVATION

Ghela Boskovich is the mind behind the FemTech movement and the head of FinTech and RegTech Partnerships at Rainmaking Innovation, home of Startupbootcamp, and the industry’s thought leader recognised by Silicon Republic, Onalytica, Brummell Magazine and others

G

hela Boskovich has focused on business development and futureproofing through making the financial service industry more flexible, customer-centric, adaptive and creative, while being an avid supporter of inclusiveness, diversity and the creating of strong communities in FinTech and Financial Services.

■ You have a background in art history, marketing and economics. Your Art History Master’s thesis was Pointillism as a revolt against Industrial Revolution. Could you elaborate more on the relationship between art and the banking industry, from a socioeconomic point of view? - I do think art is a representation of the socioeconomic and political morals and values of the time, and it is an opportunity to express conformity or revolt against it. In terms of what I looked at from Pointillism, it was a direct revolt against the industrial revolution and the mass production of products that were all very similar. Pointillism was a movement against 20 |

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this, for example with Seurat, where he was taking an individual point that made an entire composition, and instead of saying ‘I’m going to produce a factory line and I’m going to make this efficient’, he said ‘I’m actually going to recognise the importance of each component of the masterpiece’. When it comes to banking and financial services these days, art is interesting as an expression of that, because it has moved to the multimedia world. We have the opportunity to express it verbally, visually, physically… and we see it through video, through virtual reality, through canvas and paintings and print media; we hear it in songs. Banking is also going through a change in models. There’s a similarity now in terms of how we see, produce and consume art and the way we’re starting to see how we can produce – not even produce, but manage, control and transact and shift – commerce and money. So I think there’s a direct relationship with how creativity will also help shape the banking model, so art has a direct impact by inspiring creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

■ You founded FemTechGlobal to bridge the gender gap in FinTech and the financial services industry. What are the main premises the network is built upon, and what are its biggest successes and challenges? - FemTech is about connecting diverse ideas, in fact its premises is: diversity of perspective leads to better solutions. Part of the challenge in the industry is that there is a fundamental gender gap. I don’t want to focus just on gender, though. I think there is a lack of difference. When


you have similar people with similar backgrounds and experiences and viewpoints, there is no way you can arm yourself with the tools to adapt to outside pressures or to where the market is going. So the network itself is about actually providing a platform for people to share their different thoughts and experiences and perspectives. This allows those differences to have a voice at the table and have an influence on the way we start to shape policy or business models. I think it’s one of the most important things; it’s almost an insurance policy. Diversity is an insurance policy against dying out. And the banking industry needs an injection of that. I do think that in terms of where FinTech is going, it’s no longer a challenger, but rather a collaborator.

■ So, in what direction do you think FinTech will advance in this context? - I think that one of the challenges for FinTech is in terms of funding for women specifically. Women receive seven per cent of venture capital and investment funding to launch start-ups and technology. Women of colour receive 0.2% of funding. And the funny thing is that this is blocking the evolution of the industry. So, part of the challenge in allowing FinTech to really take off is finding the right way for people who have incredible ideas to get access to the funding they need to build them. If FinTech or the Tech industry alone doesn’t shift the way it starts to distribute its appetite for risk and investment, then I think it’s going to go the way all single-faceted industries go – down the drain.

I do think that, in terms of where FinTech is going, it’s no longer a challenger, but rather a collaborator. FinTech, by the way, may have only been a hashtag for a few years, but it has always existed. I call the abacus FinTech, as a small piece of technology that allows us to count and calculate differently, calculators are also FinTech… FinTech is kind of one of those things that has existed in one form or another forever, but its opportunities are going to be limited if we don’t diversify.

■ When it comes to cryptocurrencies, one of bitcoin’s earliest contributors has now written it off as a failed experiment. Would you agree or disagree on that? Is bitcoin more important as a catalyser for innovation than as a currency? - One of the challenges around bitcoin is how it’s perceived in the marketplace. I think it’s not a failed experiment, because we’ve learned about how to transform currency into a digital space and we’ve learned that we can drive the operational costs of transactions closer to zero by turning them into a digital currency. I think there are advantages of looking at bitcoin from a token perspective, from a provenance perspective, and from an ease of use and exchange perspective. I don’t think bitcoin per se will necessarily gain traction in the next five years as a legitimate or more legitimate type of currency, but I do think that banks and certainly central governments will start to look at digital currencies like bitcoin as an easier way of recording and accounting transactions.

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■ Today, nearly every global bank is experimenting with blocka very high impact; it can’t just be a pretty frontend customer experichain technology, it has the potential to transform healthcare ence; the solution has to fundamentally provide efficiency. FinTechs and Dubai aims to become the world’s first “blockchain-powered are sometimes not speaking the same language from the perspective government”. What an exciting time! But are there some bigof business objective, as they are sometimes so obsessed with the ger challenges when it comes to this type of technology in technology they’re looking at that they forget the business objective your opinion? aspect, so they can learn from banks to really pay attention to this. - I think everyone loves the blockchain, but it’s overhyped. Dubai may be looking to do the first fully integrated government on the ■ You are Head of FinTech & RegTech Partnerships at Rainmaking, home of StartupBootCamp. blockchain, but Luxembourg has its own There you help teams launch, pivot particular initiative called InfraChain, and scale new businesses. What are where they’re definitely looking at using your favourite parts of this job, and distributed ledger technology across the what are some of the challenges? board. I look at Estonia, which also has - My favourite part in putting together an incredibly digital government. And partnerships for FinTech and RegTech experiments along this line of moving programmes is actually bringing together government towards either a distributed banks that seemingly have competitive ledger or a fully digital stack are kind of issues, and actually putting them together mandatory now. in a room and really getting to the heart of But my primary fixation around blockchain is not about the blockchain itself, but some common problems that the industry rather about how we choose to record and is facing. The other fun thing is looking at what we choose to record on the chain. I emerging technologies and watching the think the more interesting thing is what evolution of an idea come to a solution, and are we putting out there, and one of the really watching those entrepreneurs have primary challenges is how do we maintain that lightbulb moment, where they get what the privacy of transactions. One of the a solution could be or how they picture the things that is of interest to me right now potential future. That’s really fun. is zero knowledge proof, the concept of The challenges are, as you know, that how we actually put something out there there are lot of great ideas that haven’t been that has been consented to by both or all built, but there are also a lot of great ideas parties in the transaction, that can be in existence that are in a growth stage space verified by the regulator, but that still for start-ups that don’t have opportunity maintains the privacy and integrity that to get in and talk to those banks. If there we require for transactions. is a way to build a bridge, where we can Banks can learn from FinTechs how collect the right solutions to the use cases Banks can learn from FinTechs for the banks, then that matchmaking is to be more agile and more adaptive, and how to be more agile and more what’s challenging, but also incredibly FinTechs can learn from banks about risk assessments and focusing more on the satisfying to see. So, I think the favourite adaptive, and FinTechs can business objective aspect. part for me is watching solutions meet learn from banks about risk problems and seeing problems get solved. assessments and focusing ■ As banks are also more and more more on the business interested in blockchain technology, ■ What are some of the FinTech and they often partner with (smaller) RegTech start-ups you would guess objective aspect FinTech start-ups. What can banks could make a big impact, or that you learn from start-ups; and what can start-ups learn from banks? would recommend we follow up with in the future? What are - Banks can learn from FinTechs how to be more agile and more adapthe most interesting ones to you? tive, as well reducing the barriers for entry into working with banks, - I think there are a few that I find interesting and they deal with identity looking at simplifying requirements to work with start-ups, looking and deal with privacy. One of them is a company called QED-IT, which at smaller POS that can be executed very quickly, to think in terms is a trustless audit platform that looks at how to maintain privacy of agile methodology and to actually adopt it. Also, banks can adopt on the blockchain, and not necessarily just the blockchain, but how design thinking methodology, which hasn’t been the case in terms of to maintain privacy and proofs. I look at companies like Scannovate, the processes and procedures that are part of a bank’s workflow in which is a KYC AML, but also identity management, which I find really interesting. I look at AI, Nexus AI and Cognition X as companies order to get projects launched and to get IT integrated etc. in that space that are quite interesting. I pay attention to emerging I think FinTechs can learn about risk assessment from banks. machine learning solutions. One of my preoccupations lately is coding Fintech’s need to understand that they need to have a solution with 22 |

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for bias in AI, and that biased data that we train machine learning on, how do we fix that and other companies addressing the bias aspect of AI machine learning. More on the RegTech side is what I’m most interested in. That happens to be around people, happens to be around privacy and happens to be around looking at your cash flow, which are some of the things to which I pay attention. ■ When it comes to microloans, how do you feel about them? Can technology help here, for instance in developing countries? - Absolutely! I think microlending is incredibly important, and from a financial inclusion perspective it’s a key entry point to encourage community growth and entrepreneurship. And when you say microloans, we really are talking about microloans. But it’s also a way to get someone included in the system and to start giving them a credit transaction history. Giving them access to funds is incredibly important, so I think microlending is crucial. I think it’s also incredibly important to look at financial inclusion as a safety net for banks, which have a market to serve and a need to broaden that market. And, frankly, everybody wins when you bring more people into the system.

■ In the start-up world people use the term “disrupt” a lot, though it has a kind of negative note. How does this relate to these ideas in different ways to have a revolution in a more subtle way? - That’s interesting, because disrupt does have that very negative connotation. It says that what was before was wrong, it wasn’t working, it wasn’t right. And I think it also says that we want fundamental change. Disruption doesn’t have to be that fundamental, it can simply be: “I’m

redirecting you by a single degree Disruption says what you’ve ■ Revelation can be more perilous than Revolution ~ Nabokov. This is a quote from done is fundamentally wrong, on your path, and you end up in a very, very different destination”. your Twitter profile. Could you elaborate while collaboration says this Disruption says what you’ve done more on the thought? is working, but can work is fundamentally wrong, while col- Ideas are a lot more dangerous than say action, laboration says this is working, but better. So, I tend to avoid the or revolution. Why? Because they are actually at can work better. So, I tend to avoid the heart of revolution. In fact, I don’t think you can word disruption. I think the word disruption. I think it’s have a revolution without revelation. An idea is the it’s overused, while I think overused, while I think collaboragenesis of everything. In fact, actions are only ideas collaboration is a lot gentler tion is a lot gentler word, but also being expressed, put into motion, activity based a more productive word. word, but also a more on ideas. If one wants to change the system, one Don’t tell me you’re disrupting, has to address the ideas of the system. Revolution productive word tell me that you’re collaborating, tell doesn’t have to be painful either. Start with an me you’re working together, tell me that you’re venturing on this together, idea, play with that idea, watch it change, watch it take shape and then and I’ll pay more attention to you than if you tell me you’re disrupting. ■ let it do its work. Revolution can be easy if you start with the right idea.


INTERVIEW

Government Must Maintain

GOOD WORK

SEBASTIAN SOSA

IMF RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE IN BELGRADE

Most of the previous economic programmes in Serbia succeeded in achieving short-term macroeconomic stabilisation, but failed to resolve the underlying weaknesses of the economy. I believe the authorities share our view that consolidating recent gains will require not only maintaining sound macro policies and strengthening institutions, but also fully completing the ambitious structural reform agenda

S

erbia has done a great job on fiscal and macro stabilisation, and enhanced its financial sector stability. Although structural reforms have been a mixed bag, considerable efforts have been exerted and the government seems to be devoted to that job. Whether it will ask for a follow up arrangement with the IMF following the concluding of this one is up to the government to decide, “but the IMF stands ready to support future reform commitments,” says Sebastian Sosa, IMF Resident Representative in Belgrade, speaking in this interview for CorD.

■ Serbia’s three-year arrangement with the IMF is entering its final phase. How satisfied are you with what has so far been achieved? - The results of Serbia’s economic programme supported by the IMF have exceeded all expectations in terms of macroeconomic stabilisation and growth. Fiscal consolidation efforts have been particularly strong. In 2014 the fiscal deficit had reached almost seven per cent of GDP and public debt was on an explosive path. However, just two years later that deficit has narrowed to less than 1½ per cent of GDP—the lowest level

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since 2005—and public debt is coming down. And this sizeable fiscal adjustment has not hampered growth. On the contrary, it helped to boost confidence, supporting private investment and growth. Notably, employment growth is also expanding, with over 160,000 private sector jobs being created in the last two years. On the financial sector front, the resilience of the system has improved and the very high level of non-performing loans, which was affecting banks, is falling. All these achievements are great news and Serbia should be commended for them. Progress has been mixed, however, in terms of structural reforms to transform Serbia into a modern, private-sector led economy with higher and unstainable growth, so here is where efforts should be concentrated going forward. ■ How seriously did the Government of Serbia take your advice that it is necessary to consolidate the progress achieved? - Although progress in the last two years has been impressive, it is still too early to declare victory. We should consider that most of the previous economic programmes in Serbia succeeded in achieving short-term macroeconomic stabilisation, but failed to resolve the underlying weaknesses


and structural reforms. Macroeconomic results have been excellent—especially of the economy. These unresolved structural problems prevented growth in terms of fiscal consolidation—and the resilience of the financial system being sustained, eventually bringing the economy back into recession, with has been enhanced. Regarding reforms of public enterprises and SOEs, which raising unemployment and re-emerging fiscal imbalances. were at the core of the reform agenda, it’s a “glass half full, half empty” kind I believe the authorities share our view that consolidating recent gains of scenario. Of course, we would have liked to have seen faster improvement, will require not only maintaining sound macro policies and strengthenbut at the same time few could have foreseen the ing institutions, but also fully completing the progress made thus far, given the long history of ambitious structural reform agenda. And this is A key challenge now is unsuccessful restructuring and resolution efforts precisely what Serbia’s economic programme to ensure that recent and the complexity of these reforms. Many steps aims to do. The government has so far been have been taken to improve the performance of EPS, committed to these objectives and progress hard-won gains are Srbijagas and Serbian railways, with the help of the is visible in areas like improving the business consolidated and World Bank and EBRD. Petrohemija restructured environment, fighting the grey economy, sustained over time, even its debt and signed a long-term agreement with restructuring state-owned enterprises and in the absence of an suppliers, so it should not be a fiscal burden goreforming public administration. That said, in some areas more and faster reform efforts ing forward. And about 390 SOEs—of a portfolio IMF-supported programme are needed to boost productivity and potential of 550—have been resolved since 2014, either growth, and to ensure a faster convergence to income and living standards through privatisation or bankruptcy. However, there is still a long way to go in European Union countries. and now is the time for the government to reinvigorate reform efforts. It is critical to continue restructuring and investing in the modernisation of large ■ How is it that Serbia receives constantly good reviews from public utilities to get them on a sustainable path. And important decisions the IMF when the actual heart of the programme – the reform are still needed to permanently resolve companies with long-term problems of public enterprises – has not particularly progressed? in the energy and mining sectors. These reforms are pivotal for Serbia, not - Let’s put this question in context. The programme was originally based on only to increase efficiency but also to reduce fiscal risks, as some of these three pillars: fiscal and macro stabilisation, enhanced financial sector stability companies have been a persistent drag on public finances.

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■ With this in mind, Finance Minister Dušan Vujović said that Serbia shouldn’t have to seek a new arrangement, but that one wouldn’t hurt. What do you think? - Clearly, Serbia is now on a much stronger footing than two years ago. But we can never rule out risks of fiscal relaxation, which if materialised would have a negative impact on confidence and foreign investment. Therefore, a key challenge is to ensure that the recent hard-won gains are consolidated and sustained over time, even in the absence of an IMFsupported programme. Strengthening fiscal institutions, including fiscal rules, and boosting potential growth by completing the reform agenda would help meet this challenge. It is of course up to the authorities to decide whether they want a follow-up arrangement, but the IMF stands ready to support future reform commitments.

improving the targeting of social programmes, as many of them are poorly targeted, while those that are well-targeted, such as the Financial Social Assistance programme, are clearly underfunded. But I think it is also fair to say that, by restoring macroeconomic stability and avoiding an economic crisis, Serbia’s programme was effective in preventing higher inequality and poverty. It is during crisis periods that the largest increases in poverty and inequality are typically observed in emerging markets and developing countries.

■ Do these reductions in salaries and pensions, cuts in public administration, health and education represent the road to more or less inequality? - Pension reductions and “across the board” cuts in public employment and wages were needed as the fiscal position was unsustainable. But now the priority should be targeted restructuring in areas like health and education, to rationalise staff numbers and skills, and a more efficient and equitable wage system. Ultimately, the road to sustainable and inclusive growth entails completing the structural reform agenda. This is the now the main objective of the programme, which is all about growing income in Serbia. And it appears to be working, as employment and private sector wages are growing, and to the extent that fiscal sustainability is cemented, public wages and pensions will also gradually be able to increase, as well as social spending in priority areas. Going forward, the road to lower inequality will require stronger and more efficient pre-distributive policies—poliMany steps have been cies that improve access to good education taken to improve the and healthcare for all. But this is a difficult task that cannot be done overnight. So, in the performances of public short term, these policies should be compleenterprises and SOEs. mented with better redistribution, including However, there is still a by improving the targeting of social benefits long way to go and now towards the poor.

■ The IMF has an almost universal image worldwide as a police officer, as an institution that forces countries into austerity measures without taking care of people and their lives, as is the case in Greece, for example. In contrast, the IMF has for years been devoted to investigating inequality. Could you tell us more about that? - The IMF has indeed been increasingly working on inequality, as well as social protection issues. Extensive research has been produced in the last decade or so in an effort to understand the causes, consequences and remedies of income inequality. One of the main findings is that excessive inequality poses risks to sustainable growth, while social protection is increasingly seen as a contributor to macroeconomic stability, as protecting vulnerable groups can help maintain social and political support for sustainable policies. But inequality has been more than a research agenda for the IMF. The institution is undertaking concerted efforts to give more prominence to it as part of the practical work with member countries, for instance by placing is the time for the greater emphasis on supporting vulnerable government to reinvigorate ■ What other big jobs for Serbia remain groups in arrangements with low-income incomplete and are important for raising reform efforts countries. In fact, 29 of the 30 most recent the rate of GDP growth? programmes have introduced minimum levels To unlock its growth potential Serbia also needs for social spending on priority areas like healthcare and education. to fully implement other structural reforms. For example, further improvements in the business environment are needed, especially in terms of ■ Serbia is the country with the highest inequality in Europe. streamlining and modernizing tax administration and ensuring a more How much was this issue in your focus, given that high inequalefficient, independent, and predictable judicial system, with reduced levels of perceived corruption. Fighting informality needs to continue, ity also represents an aggravating factor for economic growth? and public administration reform be reoriented from eliminating staff - Based on Eurostat data, Serbia exhibits higher income inequality redundancies to improving efficiency and quality of public services, than most countries in the EU, but the comparison of inequality across especially in priority areas such as health and education. Finally, infracountries depends significantly on the indicator used. In any case, notwithstanding the need for fiscal adjustment under the programme, structure gaps need to be reduced, by increasing the level and quality measures to minimise the social impact of some reforms were adopted of public infrastructure. All these reforms will pave the way for higher, with the help of the World Bank. In our view, there is still scope for more sustainable and inclusive long-term growth. ■ 26 |

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JUNE BUSINESS LEADERS’ MEETING POINT

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VLADIMIR VAVA CEO at Carlsberg Srbija Group

VLADIMIR MILOVANOVIĆ Energoprojekt

The Market Believes In Our Brands

The Local Market Always Has Priority

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OLGA ĐURIĆ-PERIĆ Director, Asmec consultants Ltd., Belgrade

MARKO KRIZMANIĆ Owner Projekt Ekspert Adria d.o.o.

Convey World Experience In Serbia

Networking Is Key

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CORPORATE

VLADIMIR VAVA, CEO AT CARLSBERG SRBIJA GROUP

The Market Believes In Our Brands Upon his arrival at Carlsberg Srbija Group, Vladimir Vava set the goal for himself and his team of recovering and further developing Carlsberg’s operations in the region, by rebuilding the trust of customers, consumers & shoppers in the company’s well-known brands 12 per cent and in the past two years. As I am still in my proverbial first 100 days period, so it would be unwise to describe with certitude the peculiarities and characteristics of these three markets. However, I would say that each of these markets is driven by its own local power brands that are different, and especially in Montenegro, where the premium segment is growing faster

disturbances than other categories, maintaining quite a stable percentage of the share.

■ How much do these markets differ from the European markets that you were previously responsible for, and ladimir Vava, Carlsberg Srbija are there commonalities in the habits and tastes of consumers? Group’s newly appointed - I would only talk about the Russian CEO, is responsible for the beer market, which is a semi-dark three markets of Serbia, one (in the sense that no adverBosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. We spoke with him about The markets of Serbia, Bosnia- tising (ATL) is allowed except BTL the characteristics of the domestic solely), where during the last two Herzegovina and Montenegro years the total beer market remarkets and the goals he has set have their own dynamics, but tracted by 11.8%, while the market as its new CEO. in terms of volume they are all of spirits (especially grey vodka) took a significant piece of the ■ What are the key characterisstable, resilient and maintain tics of the markets that you are ‘pie’. In Russia, the Modern Trade quite a stable percentage of responsible for, and how do they channel is growing fast (in just the share of sales mutually differ? a year it grew from 43 to 53%), - When it comes to the size of the with relatively high consolidation (about 10 KA are accountable for than in Bosnia and Serbia (based on markets I’m responsible for (Serbia, more than 60% of total MT), though Nielsen data). Low mainstream and Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro) still a long way from Western Europe. premium is developing, pushing the and trends in recent years, there are Moreover, two new rising trends, one mainstream from up and down. In some differences. From 2008 until named DIOT (Draft In On Trade) and packaging terms, both Bosnia-Herze2014, the Serbian market recorded a govina and Montenegro are focused the other Craft (not crafty), appeared significant drop of 15 per cent, while on NRGB, and especially on CAN, in Russia. The first is gaining a strong in the last two years, there has been while in Serbia the name of the game impetus based on the big PET (>1.5 lia slight but noticeable recovery and tres) ban and consists of draft instalis still RGB and PET, which are still we hope that this trend will continue. lations in off-premises trade, where ‘treading water’, despite plunging. Unlike Serbia, the Bosnian market experienced constant decline of five per consumers & shoppers purchase beer In all three of these countries we observe volume stabilisation and that cent from 2013 to 2016. On the other to go (in PET bottles) from specially the beer category is showing more hand, Montenegro has by far the best tailored draft installations named resilience against external economic trend, with the market having grown PeGas (foam annihilators), which

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are not for Instant consumption but for socialising at home with friends and family. The other trend is small craft breweries that are producing very local (city or even village level) specialities in small quantities that are relevant mainly for people living around the area. Again, the main difference is the fast transition of consumers from traditional off-premises trade (mom & pop shops) to organised chains of modern trade. ■ What goals have you set for yourself as the new CEO? - Since my arrival at Carlsberg Serbia Group in February this year, I set the goal for my team and myself to recover and further develop the company’s operations by rebuilding the trust of our customers, consumers and shoppers in our brands, rooted in our unique brewing traditions that were established by the visionary Lazar Dunđerski 125 years ago in Čib (nowadays Čelarevo). We have all prerequisites for this – well-known brands, quality products and a motivated team, so it’s up to us to ensure the longterm development and prosperity of our brewery. ■ How challenging is it to do business on markets with low public purchasing power, and how do you approach such challenges? - As I described previously, Russia is not too different with regard to disposable income, and it is very important to have a balanced portfolio covering all segments and not to put ‘all the golden eggs in one basket’. One must look for opportunity niches and gaps that exist in the market, and utilise them swiftly. A good example is our cider, Somersby. We are very confident in this brand and will continue focusing on that category, which is out of the core beer category, but is highly appreciated by Serbian consumers.

■ What novelties will Carlsberg offer on the Serbian market? - Carlsberg Srbija currently has 13 brands in its portfolio (without extension), including lager beer, radler, cider, wheat beer, dark beer, light “sunshine” beer and even craft beer, which I believe is quite a vast selection. It is not possible to disclose the innovations we are planning at present, but I am certainly confident that our existing portfolio covers a broad scope

We will continue to focus primarily on our great brands that we are bringing into the lives of the people of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, conveying each day a bit of fun and bringing joy into their daily routines of consumer tastes and occasions. We will continue to focus primarily on our great brands that we are bringing into the lives of people in Serbia, BosniaHerzegovina and Montenegro, conveying each day a bit of fun and adding joy to their daily routines. ■ To what extent do multinational companies represent a good career springboard for highly educated personnel from smaller countries? - I would like to share my own experience, as I started my career in a small

city in Romania, in Timisoara, as a Store Manager in an international retail chain, and through the last 20 years I’ve gone through more than seven countries around the world and two different industries, learning continuously from the people and cultures to which I was exposed. Multinational companies represent a remarkable opportunity for developing new generations (of youngsters) for a globalist type of business life, while the most important ingredients necessary for success are humbleness regarding different cultures, courage for trying something new and willingness to move from country to country, or the openness for mobility… and the experience is indeed priceless. ■ Under the auspices of your CSR activities, you support students of the Novi Sad faculties of law, economics and technology. Are there also places at Carlsberg for some of these young people? - Since its establishment in 1847, social responsibility has been an integral part of the Carlsberg Company, and we at Carlsberg Srbija are fortunate that CSR also has its roots in Čelarevo Brewery, for 125 years. When you have such a rich heritage that already defines you, your duty is to cherish it, but also to invest in future generations to come. One of the main activity areas of the Carlsberg Foundation in Copenhagen, but also the Dunđerski Carlsberg Foundation in Serbia, is investing in science and education. That is why we signed a three-year cooperation agreement with three faculties of the University of Novi Sad, and it is my pleasure to say that this cooperation brought us 35 scholars. Many of these students, as well as students from other faculties, gain internships at our company, after or even during their studies, and I must say that not a small percentage of them remain in the company. ■ JUNE

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CORPORATE ENERGOPROJEKT

The Local Market Always Has Priority Energoprojekt is the leader in engineering and construction in Serbia and Southeast Europe, whilst simultaneously being a highly ranked company in global terms

will stagnate or work less abroad. On the contrary, more contracts at home have a direct consequence of generating growth of business on foreign markets increasing employment and generating higher revenue and profit. Energoprojekt was founded in 1951 to construct the country’s VLADIMIR MILOVANOVIĆ energy sector infrastructure and we owe development of business abroad to works ■ Considering the fact that more than nergoprojekt is for decades listed undertaken in the country. half (52%) of your revenue is generon all world lists of the best engiIn Serbia, after decades of stagnation, neering contracting and consulated on foreign markets, do you plan new large infrastructure projects are befor domestic work to assume primacy in tancy companies. Whilst in late generating revenue in the period ahead? 80’s Energoprojekt was listed by American ing launched and Energoprojekt is ready - The local market always has priority over “Engineering News Record” among top 10 and works intensively on utilising its foreign ones, but it doesn’t mean that if rankings, during last five years it’s ranking extensive experience and knowhow on we have more contracts at home that we is each year better and better so in 2015 it those projects. More work in the country was ranked as 193rd on the list of the results in increased employment for In Serbia, after decades various staff members who, after top 250 international contracting comacquiring the necessary practical panies, and as 123rd place on the list of of stagnation, new large knowledge and experience on projthe 225 top international design-coninfrastructure projects are sulting companies. With 65 years of ects in the country, in cooperation being launched and experience, and with works carried out with their older colleagues, go on Energoprojekt is ready and in more than 70 countries worldwide, to enable the growth of operational Energoprojekt holds a leading position working intensively on utilising activities abroad, with greater intenin Serbia for many decades, but also sity, and on new markets. its extensive experience and throughout Southeast Europe as a Based on our successes of gaining knowhow on those projects whole. Name of Energoprojekt stands contracts for new and major projects eager to provide more jobs for quality and reliability in many dein the country, there are multiple direct and indirect benefits. This veloping countries in Africa, Euro-Asia for yang experts and gradumeans benefits for Energoand Middle East where Energoprojekt ally increase volume of foreign primarily used to work earlier or is currently projekt shareholders, employees, the operations operating. companies with which we work and

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which will than grow faster, for faster GDP growth and the recovery of the entire construction sector in Serbia. Today Energoprojekt contributes directly to the national budget, only on the basis of different taxes on salaries and tax on profit, in excess of 25 million euros.

- The job I do is demanding and responsible. It demands teamwork, careful decision-making, which takes into consideration all the risks that accompany them and is based on a range of facts and statistics that are essential for such decisions to be made. In order to be successful in the job that I do, you can’t rely on “luck” as a basis for good results, but rather only on dedicated and professional work. Adrenaline rushes are often

agreeing of new contracts, by the need to make some tough decisions that can cause you to gain enemies and various other events. However, the biggest adrenaline rush I have experienced since 2010 was at the beginning of this year, when we identified transactions on the Belgrade Stock Exchange with large blocks of shares be■ If you were to place on scales the pros and cons of doing business in Sertween known traders, perennial sharebia, which way would they tip? holders and unknown buyers hidden be- There are no more easy hind a “custody” account. and comfortable markets We soon realised that this anywhere. Similar to Serbia was part of a larger plan we are also on all other that was aimed at making markets, including EU, a so-called “hostile takefacing a lot of of chalover”. For those of us who have worked and created lenges, including unfair at Energoprojekt throughcompetition, the grey zone business operations, a lack out our entire lives, a of respect for laws and “hostile shareholder” is regulations, Like everya shareholder who tries to conceal their existence where, here in Serbia it and activities on the stock is necessary to to create market, probably because preconditions for tenders they are buying shares for complex projects with using money of dubious major investment values origin or have intento include competition between companies with tions upon taking control similar business capacities of shares that are of a VLADIMIR MILOVANOVIĆ and Ghanaian President JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA, in all relevant elements. destructive rather than pictured at the official opening of the cargo centre at Kotoka International Airport in Accra Improving the conditions developing character. of tenders would create benefits for We paid a great price by going We paid a great price by everyone. The state would generate public on the Belgrade stock exmore revenue for the budget, inveschange, and it seems that we are still going public on the Belgrade paying. Capital markets and securitors would have fewer headaches stock market, and it seems when implementing planned investties in Serbia develop unacceptably that we are still paying. slowly, and regulatory bodies and ments, and companies that impleCapital markets and the judicial system are not staffed ment projects with reasonable profits to take the desperately needed step would have a basis for growth and securities in Serbia develop forward with the aim of preventing development. Market survival is diunacceptably slowly, and (un)permitted abuses on the market. rectly proportional to investments in regulatory bodies and the We saw during the past decade many people, new technologies and knowjudicial system are not staffed companies being victims of hostile how, their introduction into everyday use and the planning of operations to take the desperately needed takeover with the cheapest investand development. ment capital whereas new owners step forward with the aim were then focused how to get the of preventing (un)permitted rid of any other shareholders and ■ You have been Energoprojekt chief abuses on the market and employees, become sole seller of executive officer since 2010, while fix assets and etc. We fight against you are an engineer by profession. In questionable capital inflow such scenario using all legal means one interview you said that you need through different Serbian institutions time, after leaving the office, to lower caused by the unforeseen decisions of and court, and I hope that we will win at your “operating adrenaline”. During all our various investors, sometimes by this important moment for the future of these years, which Energoprojekt job fierce debates among those of us at EnEnergoprojekt. ■ “raised your adrenaline” the most? ergoprojekt, the winning of tenders and JUNE

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LOCAL NEWS

INFRASTRUCTURE “The European Investment Bank (EIB) will invest around €375 million in Serbia, primarily in infrastructure.”— DUBRAVKA NEGRE, EIB Director for the Western Balkans

SRBIJAGAS

MAGNA SEATING D.O.O

Debt Below €400 Million

Magna Opens New Capacity in Serbia

Director of Serbian state-owned gas company Srbijagas Dušan Bajatović said that it managed to reduce its debt to below €400 million from some €1.7 billion in 2012. According to Bajatović, Srbijagas managed to repay the most expensive part of its debt, which had an interest rate of 6.5%, ahead of schedule, thus generating cost savings of about €10 million. The company is currently replaying debt with an interest rate of 2.2% and has no outstanding liabilities towards Russian gas company Gazprom for imported natural gas.

FIAT

Fiat Serbia To Start Manufacturing "New Model"

DUŠAN BAJATOVIĆ

Last December, the IMF said that Serbia has moved to restructure some €600 million of Srbijagas’ debt in order to meet the conditions for unlocking €850.8 million funding under stand-by arrangement. In 2016, Srbijagas recorded a net profit of some €17.8 million, which is 27% less compared to the previous year. Source: News Serbia Energy 

Starting from this year, this car will be manufactured in FCA’s plant in Kragujevac, central Serbia, the company announced. “After five years, we celebrate the success of the model Fiat 500L by announcing a new investment that will be a milestone in the development and guarantee of FCA Serbia’s future success,” the company said. Representatives of FCA’s Autonomous Trade Union in Kragujevac told Beta that this concerns the launch of manufacturing of a restyled classic Fiat 500L model. Two more variants are being produced in Kragujevac - dubbed “Living” and “Trekking”.

The Canadian – Czech company, Magna Seating officially opens a new facility for production of car seat covers in Odžaci. Four years ago, Magna Seating opened its first production facility here and hired around 300 workers. Today, the company is continuing with its development, expanding its existing production facility in Odžaci, and hiring around 1,000 new workers. The state of Serbia will support this project with €2.25 million on the basis of a relevant contract which was signed, with the government’s consent, between the Ministry of Economy and this company. The same contract stipulates that Magna Seating will expand the existing production facility in Odžaci, and that this investment would amount to €6 million.

10 ETIQUETTE RULES FOR BUSINESS MEETINGS

NELT

Nelt, Cosco Establishe Cooperation Arrival of a cargo train from the port of Piraeus in Greece to intermodal railway terminal of Nelt in Dobanovci marked the official beginning of the cooperation between the Chinese shipping and logistics company COSCO and Nelt. COSCO, being one of the global leaders in the area of logistics, recognised Nelt’s intermodal terminal in Belgrade as a logistics hub in the Balkans, thanks to its excellent location, and technical and technological advantages. “We are expecting a transport of more than 7.000 containers annually. Decrease in transit time with regard to Northern Adriatic ports represents a benefit for the clients but also relying on the Nelt intermodal terminal which we will connect with the port of Piraeus because it provides wide logistics support necessary for establishment of this flow”, said Erich Cossutta on behalf of the company Dragon Maritime, the COSCO company agent for the Serbian and the Western Balkans area. “We hope that this service will provide our market with an important alternative in the logistics flows“,

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To get a better idea of how to maintain a positive, professional image while in a business meeting, here are 10 rules you should know:

says Ivan Milićević, NELT LSP operations and development manager. Within the Nelt logistics centre there is a functioning customs office with a warehouse, which ensures full support and flexibility for various processes and flows of goods. With the new set of logistics services which were initiated by activating the intermodal terminal, the clients obtained reduction in logistics expenses as well as a faster, safer and better quality transport service.

1. Be on time 2. Make introductions 3. Have a strong agenda 4. Sit appropriately 5. Speak up 6. Understand the unwritten speaking rules 7. Do not have your phone out 8. You can drink coffee, but you need permission for anything else 9. Clean up after yourself 10. Don't save all your questions for the end


SOLIDARITY “We are coming together at a more-than-ever turbulent time for the region, for Europe and for the world and that is why we need “more solidarity, cooperation and collaboration in the whole region.” — ELENA KIRTCHEVA, Member of the Board and Secretary-General of Vienna Economic Forum

Placements & postings

TELENOR

The State-Of-The-Art

appointments@aim.rs

Company Telenor has rolled-out the state-of-the-art 4G+ network in seven towns of Serbia. Up to two and a half times faster internet, even better quality signal and instant loading are the advantages of the new technology available to citizens of Serbia in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš, Kragujevac, Subotica, Zrenjanin and Pančevo. “Over one half of mobile internet in Serbia goes through Telenor network, while on the annual level, the growth in internet use has doubled. That is why we have additionally invested in the latest 4G+ technology, which is now available to users in the largest towns

▪ SEM FABRIZI, NEW HEAD OF THE EU DELEGATION TO SERBIA Sem Fabrizi comes to Serbia after vacating the position of Ambassador of the European Union to Australia, which he held from September 2013. An Italian career diplomat, he has served as an advisor on international relations to the President of the European Council in Brussels and to the Prime Minister’s Office in Rome, having also served in Geneva at the Italian Permanent Mission to the WTO and in Beijing at the Italian Embassy in the PRC. At the MFA in Rome he has held positions in the EU Department and the Secretariat General’s Office. Ambassador Fabrizi holds degrees in International Law and International Economy from La Sapienza University in Rome and also served as a Lieutenant in the Italian Army, where he was awarded the honour of Cavaliere Ufficiale dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. Ambassador Fabrizi is a married father of three children.

▪ ALEKSANDAR RUŽEVIĆ, NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE NALED MANAGEMENT BOARD

INGEBORG ØFSTHUS

of Serbia. The digitalisation of Serbia is our priority and we are building a network for the future, which will continue to support even the most advanced requests of our customers”, said Ingeborg Øfsthus, CEO of Telenor Serbia. In order to tap all the benefits of 4G+ networks, you need to have 4G SIM card and a handset that supports this technology, and also be in the 4G+ signal coverage zone. For more information, please visit www.telenor.rs.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (BIS)

Celebrating 20 Years The British International School (BIS) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this school year. BIS prides itself on the quality of teaching that takes place in the school. Following the British curriculum, students from 4 to 18 years old can learn to the best of their ability. Whether they are learning their first few words, or taking A Levels to get into university our highly-qualified teachers focus on the needs of each student. With formal, externally marked examinations at the end of Primary (Year 6), in Year 9, and the IGCSEs and A Levels our results demonstrate that our students are capable of achieving high scores as the best in the UK. We are proud to say that all students leaving BIS enter universities of their choice. However, at BIS, we also focus on other areas of student’s development. From taking them to museums when they are five through to taking them mountaineering when they are 18, there are many opportunities for students to take part in other non-curriculum events, both during and after school. With regular visitors from embas-

Aleksandar Ružević, General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia and Montenegro, has been appointed by the newly constituted NALED Management Board as its chairman for the next four-year period. Ružević is a graduate of the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Law and has been part of the Coca-Cola team since 1998. He has built his career by leading professional teams on different markets, from Macedonia to Ukraine, and has always achieved significant results and expanded limits in terms of both the volume of operations and the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. He was appointed General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia and Montenegro in August 2015 and has been a Member of the NALED Management Board since 2016, prior to which he held the position of chairman of the NALED Fair Competition Alliance, the establishment of which was initiated by Coca-Cola HBC. Also selected as the new vice presidents of the NALED Management Board are Gomex CEO Goran Kovačević, as the representative of the economy, Pirot Mayor Vladan Vasić, as the representative of local government, and Dragana Čukić, member of the ACES Board of Directors, as the representative of civil society organisations.

▪ ZORAN BABIĆ, NEW DIRECTOR OF “CORRIDORS OF SERBIA” Zoran Babić completed his primary and secondary education, specialising in mathematics, in Vrnjačka Banja, then in 1996 graduated from the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. He also enrolled in master’s studies in Business Economics and Finance at the University Business Academy in Novi Sad. Babić held the post of marketing director at PP ZM product Vrnjačka Banja’s Belgrade representative office, served as director of development for joint services at Prva Petoletska Trstenik, at public enterprise Beli Izvor in Vrnjačka Banja, where he held a number of functions – from head of sector to technical director. Since 2008 he has been an MP in the Serbian National Assembly. Until November 2013 Babić held the position of president of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia. In the last session of the Serbian National Assembly of he was head of the parliamentary group of the Serbian Progressive Party.

sies to our weekly assemblies students at BIS get a feel of the world beyond. Students themselves regularly take part in assemblies, thus developing their own self-esteem and abilities to perform within and to a group. There is also an optional week-long annual study tour that all students can take part in, and many other educational day trips. Charity work, such as World Water Day and Football Shirt Friday and educational events, such as the World Education Games or Global Running Day enable students to enjoy and develop their teambuilding and competitiveness, ready for the challenges of life. With a family-feel to the school, students are more than welcoming to new students. Come along and see why so many students, from all over the world enjoy the education on offer at BIS.

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CORPORATE OLGA ĐURIĆ-PERIĆ, DIRECTOR, ASMEC CONSULTANTS LTD., BELGRADE

Convey World Experience In Serbia

Our view on further contributions to new developments is largely dependent on the way the Government envisages the implementation of investments. With our experience, we could be seen as a designer in a traditional tender – the construction procedure, as well as in a design and build scenario,” says Olga Đurić-Perić, director at Asmec consultants

A

smec Consultants is a multidisciplinary engineering consulting company specialised in structural design, with mechanical, electrical, public health, telecommunications and fire prevention services.

■ Asmec consultants Ltd. is this year commemorating the 10th anniversary of its operations in Serbia. What represents Asmec Consultants’ core business? - As our core business, we include supervision of all works, along with project management. During these 1010 (binary) years, we gained significant experience in designing various types of developments, such as residential buildings, hotels, offices, sports facilities, factories, warehouses and bridges with spans of less than 50 metres, all from concept, preliminary, and detailed design, as well as site supervision and project management. We can state with confidence that our business stretches geographically in Serbia, Europe and some parts of Africa and Asia. ■ Asmec insists on adherence to high international standards and efficiency in consulting and project management for large projects. How would you 34 |

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■ According to the Serbian Government, preparations are underway for the implementation of major construction investments. Where do you see room for your company to contribute to these projects? - That’s right. The Government is announcing a significant number of major projects. We suspect they are in infrastructure, industry, renewable energy and mining, and some of them are already under implementation. At present we are a member in a large international company for Technical Assistance to the Project Implementation Team of PE Roads of Serbia for Road Rehabilitation and Safety In order to achieve efficiency and high quality, we Projects, responsible for bridges. This is a major project which covers implement the most recent approximately 1,000km of road. We trends in our field of expertise, are also contributing to the rehabilitation of bridges on regional roads, such as 3D for BIM modelling. We believe that 3D design assessing damage and designing remedial works, and we hope to conshould soon be a major trend, tinue these activities. or compulsory practise, in the We are confident that we can contribute to designing and supervising construction industry industrial developments, as we were nication and coordination skills and to involved in Fiat’s project in Serbia and find a common language with contracseveral large industrial projects abroad. tors to assist in construction using Furthermore, we believe that for their “forte”. developments like energy from waste, In order to achieve efficiency and Serbia does not have extensive experience in design and our collaboration high quality, we implement the most with international companies could be recent trends in our field of expertise, an asset here. I’d like to point out that such as 3D for BIM modelling. We believe we have long standing relationships that 3D design should soon be a major with a wide range of satisfied internatrend, or compulsory practise, in the tional clients. ■ construction industry. assess current market trends in the Serbian construction industry? - Asmec is a family business, but its owners strive to deliver work that is on time, of high quality and coordinated with all parts of the design. These ethics have been passed onto our employees, who are young engineers educated in Serbia. We believe that our contribution to the current Serbian market in the construction industry stems from a broader sense. We invest in our graduate engineers by encouraging them to be confident in design and supervision, to develop their engineering commu-


C DENTAL CENTER rests on three foundations that make good dentist practice – diagnostics centre, dental office and prosthethic laboratory. This is the only dental centre in Serbia in which your smile can be completely rehabilitated in the shortest time possible. In the modernly equipped premises, we offer highly professional, dedicated, individual dental treatments. C DENTAL CENTER is comprised of five modern dental offices equipped with the latest intraoral Sirona scanners. Our team of widely specialized dentists will solve any dental problem you might have. We offer services such as dental prosthetics, conservative and endodontal therapy, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery and implantology. Our clinic is certfied and recommended for dental implants by the world-renowned German company BREDENT. Our diagnostics centre is equipped with the cutting edge devices that enable us to make the most advanced 3D X-ray images. The SOREDEX CRANEX 3D image gives us the most reliable overview of the state of your teeth and the jaw, and is the only diagnostic tool that enables us to devise a precise dental plan. We guarantee successful therapy on the basis of such plan! Welcome!

Cvijiceva 130, 11000 Belgrade Tel: +381 11 275 2849 • +381 63 802 6907 Email: info@cdentalcenter.rs www.cdentalcenter.rs JUNE

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REGIONAL NEWS

MINORITIES “There are 54 cultural minorities in the EU, representing 105 million people, all protected by legislation, together with their languages.”— FEDERICA MOGHERINI, High Representative of

the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission

MONTENEGRO

ROMANIA

EBRD Finances Smart Metering Breakthrough

Dedeman Close To Taking Over AFI Park Offices

Montenegro is set to become a regional leader in smart meter deployment thanks to a project financed by the EBRD through a syndicated €32 million financing facility. The country’s electricity distribution company Crnogorski elektrodistributivni system (CEDIS), plans to procure 60,000 devices for smart metering, which will mean that over 85 per cent of consumers will benefit from these modern devices. The company will also modernise or replace its low-voltage infrastructure and install a modern energy management system (EMS). This will strengthen the distribution network, cut losses and allow for the integration of renewable energy generators. The investment will make Montenegro the first EBRD country of operations to meet the EU target of smart meter coverage for at least 80 per cent of the population by 2020.

Dragos Paval, the entrepreneur who controls the local DIY network Dedeman, could sign the agreement to take over the five AFI Park office buildings located near the AFI Palace Cotroceni shopping mall for almost €164 million.

AFI PARK OFFICE IN BUCHAREST CROATIA

Podravka Opens €71.3 mln Belupo Factory Croatian food, beverages and drug producer Podravka said it has opened a €71.3 million factory for its drug making unit Belupo in the northern city of Koprivnica. The new production lines will boost Belupo’s capacity by 150% to 100 million packets of medicines annually. The new factory has two production units - for solid drug forms, and for semi-solid and liquid forms. Belupo own funds covered 45% of the costs for the construction of the new plant, and the remainder was financed with a loan from the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The construction of the pharmaceutical plant, which is among the largest greenfield investments in Croatia, took four years. Apart from the 1,386 people Belupo currently employs, the new plant will create jobs for an additional 200 people. 

This would be the largest transaction ever made on the Romanian office market. The sale would generate a cash flow of €71 million for the Israeli developer AFI Europe Romania, which owns the office project.

10 THINGS

THAT DEFINE A TRUE PROFESSIONAL

Source: SeeNews

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Tesanj Achieved a Turnover Of €650 mln Small town of Tesanj is one of the leaders of development in BiH and beyond, and one of the most developed municipalities that achieves higher growth on an annual basis. Companies that are doing business in Tesanj are realizing the significant profit that largely enables growth of BH economy. According to the business indicators, businessmen from Tesanj realized a turnover in the amount of 1.3 billion BAM (€650 mln) in the year of 2016. Association of businessmen “Business Center Jelah Tesanj” is a true representative of the entire Tesanj economy that is currently one of the most developed economies in BiH. “The association has a total of 2,288 active business subjects and more than 11,000 employees. Goods produced in Tesanj are exported to 61 countries and an average of €45 million of new investments are realized on the annual basis,” said Edin Jabandzic, president of the Association.

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You may be a brilliant developer, a highly skilled administrator, but if you're unprofessional, your career is likely to fall short. As you read through the items below, consider how you compare with each trait.

TESANJ

1. Put customer satisfaction first 2. Make expertise your specialty 3. Do more than expected 4. Do what you say and say what you can do 5. Communicate effectively 6. Follow exceptional guiding principles 7. Praise your peers not yourself 8. Share your knowledge 9. Say thank you 10. Keep a smile on your face and the right attitude in your heart


PERSPECTIVE “Everybody’s clear that, currently at least, Turkey is moving away from a European perspective…We have to see what could be done in the future, to see if we can restart some kind of cooperation.” — JOHANNES HAHN, European Commissioner

BULGARIA

FYR MACEDONIA

75% Of Income Goes For Food, Bills, Taxes and Transport

Increase Of Average Monthly Gross Wage According to the data of Macedonian State Statistical Office, the index of the average monthly gross wage paid per employee in March 2017, compared to March 2016, was 101.9. This increase is caused by the increase of the average monthly gross wage paid per employee in the sectors: Mining and quarrying (7.6%), Financial and insurance activities (7.2%) and Arts, entertainment and recreation (6.4%). An increase in the average monthly gross wage paid per employee compared to the previous month was recorded in the sectors: Mining and quarrying (8.9%), Financial and insurance activities (5.8%) and Information and communication (5.2%). The average monthly gross wage paid per employee in March 2017 was 32 999 denars (€537). In March 2017, 1.3% of the employees in the Republic of Macedonia did not receive any payment.

According to data from the National Statistical Institute for the first quarter of the year, Bulgarians spend 75% of their income on food, household bills, taxes and insurance, transport and telecommunication, reported BNR. The total income per capita for the quarter is BGN 1 282 (€655), or 3.5% more than a year earlier. Out of this income, 30.5% goes for food, 20.1% for household bills, 13.4% for taxes and insurance, and 11% for transportation and telecommunications. ALBANIA

Banks' Q1 Net Profit Soars The combined net profit of Albanian banks jumped to 5.77 billion leks (€42.9 million) in the first quarter of the year, compared to a net profit of 1.43 billion leks in the like period of 2016, industry data shows. The banks’ total outstanding loan portfolio grew 2.1% on the year to €4,47 billion in the first quarter, according to figures published on the website of Albania’s national association of banks, AAB. Corporate loans ticked down 0.4% to €3,2billion, whereas retail loans increased by 8.9% to €1.3 billion. The ratio of non-performing loans dropped to 17.4% of Albanian banks aggregate loan portfolio as of end-March, from 19.3% a year earlier. In February, the level of non-performing loans also declined - to 18% from 18.9% a year earlier. Total deposits with Albanian banks reached €8,5 billion at the end of March, up 3.6% year-on-year.

ALBANIAN CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR GENT SEJKO

able to compete, and this fair is the right path towards that goal,” said Regon Džo, founder of the Belmax Centre. The fair is tasked with presenting to Serbian companies the latest products in the field of construction and infrastructure materials, furniture, household appliThe international Zhejiang Export Fair 2017 has opened its doors on the Serbian ances, decorations, lighting, machinery and equipment, as well as introducing the market for the first time, bringing together more than 60 manufacturers and factories countries of the CEE region to the trends being followed by one of China’s fastest from the most developed Chinese province, Zhejiang, at Belgrade’s Belmax Centre. growing economies. Founded in 2001, Zhejiang Broad International Convention The fair aims to bring together the best manufacturers and traders which will & Exhibition Co., Ltd. (BCE) is a state-owned company that organises the most attract a larger number of customers with the quality eminent international conferences, exhibitions and of their products and services, as well as affordable fairs, under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign prices. This is the first time that a Chinese province has Trade and Economic Cooperation of the People’s been the host and initiator of such a form of cooperaRepublic of China. tion. The organiser is the Zhejiang Broad International The Fair was supported by the Embassy of China Convention & Exhibition Co., Ltd., while Belgrade’s to Serbia, the Serbian Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Belmax Centre is one of the sponsors. Telecommunications and the Chamber of Commerce “This event is proof that, with a little effort on both & Industry of Serbia. sides, direct communication between companies in “It is expected that this fair will contribute to China and companies from Serbia can be facilitated. increasing the trade exchange and direct contact The markets of the Balkans are mainly composed between Chinese and Serbian businesspeople,” said of small and medium-sized enterprises that need Serbian Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications different conditions of cooperation in order to be RASIM LJAJIĆ I REGON DŽO Minister Rasim Ljajić.

ZHEJIANG EXPORT

Largest Fair Of Chinese Manufacturers Opens In Belgrade

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CORPORATE MARKO KRIZMANIĆ, OWNER PROJEKT EKSPERT ADRIA D.O.O.

Networking Is Key Apart from the fact that we help in the designing and opening of units, we later take care of the daily maintenance of those facilities

O

pening and maintaining public spaces, primarily commercial units, is easier and simpler with the support, expertise and assistance of company Project Ekspert Adria, under the “turnkey” system, and that experience is often also used in the construction of residential and private facilities. ■ Your company provides services that are just emerging on our market. Who are your most frequent clients and what do your service packages include? - Our clients are mainly large retail chains, owners of retail outlets or brands like Mango, Navigare, Simit Sarayi, SMJ, Accessorize, Head etc., who carry out all operations locally. We have clients who have been operating on our market for a long time and are just upgrading their operations. The most interesting clients for us are those who are just launching operations and who utilise our highly respected experience and networking in order to overcome all the problems that arise for every start-up project. They recognised the importance of regularly maintaining facilities and the positive impact that has on their customers, as well as generating savings, because 38 |

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for their investment projects they engage a local company that takes over all the work of employees who they would otherwise have to employ within their organisation. Clients turn to us at the beginning of their business, when they open their retail outlets in agreement with us. We help them in designing units, completing technical documentation, communicating with the authorities in order to obtain all the necessary permits and equip those units, while later we help them with the everyday maintenance of those units. ■ It is not easy to gain clients. What is the crucial factor and on which standards do you base your operations? - The crucial determining factor is that we

precision in processing the elements of interiors, while a third is turned towards “economic parameters”. Many of our clients, due to a job well done, take us with them to follow them, technically and in investment terms, to various countries in the region, which gives us the opportunity to expand our network of collaborators and create our own expert networking, which is perhaps what we are most recognisable for. Our experience working in Serbia, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Slovakia ... and currently in Greece, makes us really specific.

■ You have experience in designing, opening and maintaining public facilities. How many similarities are there between that and providing services to private individuals according to the “turnMany of our clients, due key” system? to a job well done, take us - Large retail brands only work accordwith them to follow them, ing to the “turnkey” principle, because that has a direct impact on their costs technically and in investment and makes them predictable. terms, to various countries in you work on the opening the region, which enables us to andWhen maintaining of public spaces, apart expand our network of from having to take care of the fulfilment of all legally defined regulations, collaborators you have to be concerned about that complete all of our duties in a timely manspace being comfortable and functional for a large number of users. ner. For clients trust is important... for their When you work with individuals, the investments, expectations and the signed requirements are different because each agreement. We try to secure premium of us has a different vision of how we want materials and services for everyone. We the premises to look and how certain jobs monitor new trends and changes in legislashould be done. tion, regularly informing our clients in that Our operations in part also include regard, allowing them to thereby improve residential facilities and private projects, their operations. where the job only seems similar when it is We gain their trust because we go out in fact completely different, because these of our way maximally to meet their needs; are “private” users with very clear and we are not a hindrance to their ideas – refined taste for their space. ■ some prefer a quick result, others want


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WORLD NEWS

CHALLENGES “The time has come for France to meet the challenges of our time. The divisions and fractures that run through our society must be overcome, whether they be economic, social, political or moral.” — EMMANUEL MACRON, President of France

SLOVAKIA

Foreign Trade Grew Significantly Slovakia’s exports and imports continued growing in March. While the total export of goods amounted to €6.7895 billion, which is a 16.5-percent increase year-on-year, total imports rose by 15.3 percent annually to €6.4128 billion. The foreign trade balance thus amounted to €376.8 million, which is €106.2 million more than in March 2016, the Statistics Office informed on May. “In an annual comparison, foreign trade was impacted by the Easter effect which delayed it to April,” Ľubomír Koršňák, analyst with UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, wrote in a memo. Over the first three months of 2017, the total export of goods increased by 10.2 percent y/y to €18.3126 billion, while total imports rose by 10.9 percent to €17.3378 billion. The foreign trade balance was in surplus, amounting to €974.8 million (down by €11.6 million y/y), according to the Statistics Office.

JPMorgan Buys Office Building In Ireland JPMorgan Chase has bought an office building in Ireland as it accelerates its contingency planning for moving jobs to the European Union once Britain leaves the trading bloc.

POLAND

Almost 60% Of Smes Implemented Innovations As many as 59% of Polish industrial SMEs have implemented any innovations last year, according to a report published by Siemens. Out of that number, 37.8% of implemented innovations were product oriented, while 32.7 % concerned improving production technologies and logistics. The most popular type of innovations was manufacturing automation using single machines, which was implemented by 48.6 % SMEs, while another 14.3% plan to carry out such solutions this year. Additional 14.3% of companies have automated full production processes, while 3.6 % will implement such fix this year. The reasons behind innovations include customer demand (77.3%) and companies mission and strategy (46.7%). Among the respondents, 66% claim that innovative solutions improve their products or services, 58.8% said that it increases efficiency. Only 13.7% of surveyed firms have worked with research centers on implementing innovations.

CHINA

Chevron Sells Gas Fields To Chinese? China’s state-run Zhenhua Oil has signed a preliminary deal with Chevron to buy the US oil major’s natural gas fields in Bangladesh ((Bibiyana, Jalalabad and Moulavi Bazar) that are worth about $2 billion, two Beijing-based Chinese oil executives said. Zhenhua is a subsidiary of China’s defence industry conglomerate NORINCO. A completed deal would mark China’s first major energy investment in the South Asian country, where Beijing is competing with New Delhi and Tokyo for influence. Bangladesh, though, holds the right of first refusal on the assets and could block the transaction. The country, via its national oil company Petrobangla, is keen to buy the gas fields and is talking to international banks to raise financing, according to a banking source familiar with the process. Bangladesh is in the process of hiring global energy consultant Wood Mackenzie to assess the fields’ reserves before placing a formal bid to buy the assets, two Bangladesh sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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UK

New JP Morgan headquarters building at One George’s Doc

The American banking giant has acquired 200 Capital Dock in Dublin, a building with the capacity to house 1,000 people. The bank has said it will move hundreds of London jobs to Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg in order to serve its customers in the EU after Britain’s exit, or Brexit. Carin Bryans, senior country officer for JPMorgan in Ireland, says that the “new building gives us room to grow and some flexibility within the European Union.”

5 WAYS

TO BECOME A SMALLER TARGET FOR RANSOMWARE HACKERS

Here are five ways to make you a less-likely victim of cyberhacking and those who would try to hold your data for ransom. 1. Make safe and secure backups 2. Update and patch your systems 3. Use antivirus software 4. Educate your workforce 5. If hit, don't wait and see


CORPORATE 57TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION, VENICE

B y JA M E S TA R M Y, B L O O M E R G

Place For Global Rich To Find Art’s Next Big Thing The Venice Biennale has emerged as the place where curators, collectors, advisers, and artists come to a consensus on what art is important Because of the large number of global rich, not to mention the cadre of art dealers who cater to them, the Biennale has become an unofficial forum where consensus is formed about art market standouts. (On the first few days pharmaceutical heiress Maja Hoffmann, San Francisco-based philanthropist Pamela Joyner, Farah Pahlavi, the exiled empress of Iran, and U.K.-based magnate Poju Zabludowicz were spotted at various events.) New artists are anointed as stars, and the status of existing art celebrities is reinforced. “It doesn’t always make careers, but it definitely can make careers,” said Heather Harmon, a director of the New York-based art advisory KCM Fine Arts, which is helping to build billionaire Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté’s collection, Lune Rouge.

SATELLITE SHOWS Hard to find (at least, less-publicized) shows have also emerged as must-sees, including the Future Generation Art Prize, which features an exhibition of 21 shortlisted artists in an ornate palazzo. One of the artists in the show is Njideka Akunyili Crosby, a Los Angeles-based artist whose last painting to sell at auction was estiEscalade Beyond Chromatic Lands mated from $515,680 to $774,000 and (2016-2017), by Sheila Hicks in the Arsenale sold for $3.2 million in March at Christie’s ver the course of one week in London. Before that sale, just two of May, hundreds of the world’s Crosby’s works had ever gone to auction, wealthiest people converge according to Artnet. on Venice for a bacchanal of Another must-see ancillary event is openings, parties, and receptions that at the Palazzo Fortuny, a gothic mansion that Belgian dealer Axel Vervoordt revolve around the commencement of th International Art Exhibition, turns into an exhibition space featurthe 57 ing contemporary photography, mean ostensibly not-for-profit art show dieval drawings, neolithic sculptures, that’s known colloquially as the Venice and Japanese pottery. “The whole art Biennale. world is in Venice,” said Vervoordt. The Biennale comprises 85 national pavilions, 29 of which are in a “All the collectors, all the art muBecause of the large number seum people, they’re all here. It’s leafy park called the Giardini, where of global rich, not to mention the best period.” countries that include the U.S. and the cadre of art dealers who Not that Venice is the only art Russia host contemporary art exhibits. The rest of the official show is in cater to them, the Biennale has world event to attract a global audience. Art fairs, including Frieze in the Arsenale, a massive warehouse become an unofficial forum London, TEFAF in Maastricht, and Art complex in which one curator (this where consensus is formed Basel in Switzerland, attract compaiteration was organised by Chrisabout art market standouts tine Mace, the chief curator of the rable levels of wealthy collectors and Pompidou Centre in Paris) assembles influential curators, and the documenta art exhibition in Kassel, Germany, hundreds of artworks around a theme. Other standouts included a video has a reputation for its outsized impact Satellite exhibitions will also be by New York-based artist Rachel Rose on curatorial taste. sponsored by philanthropies and musein the Central Pavilion in the Giardini, ums, and in the case of the Punta Della But whereas documenta is often Brooklyn-based artist Carol Bove’s Dogana, by billionaire François Pinault. inscrutably avant-garde, and art fairs are sculptures in the Swiss Pavilion (Bove (As Maramotti spoke outside, Pinault by definition strictly commercial, Venice is co-represented by mega-dealer David exited the building, which is currently manages to find a sweet spot someZwirner), and George Drivas’s installation at the Greek Pavilion, which where between the two. If someone goes hosting an exhibition of controversial included a shining, mirrored maze and a to art fairs, the level that could be found and potentially vastly lucrative set of new movie starring Charlotte Rampling. in Venice is so much more elevated.■ works by artist Damien Hirst.)

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PROFILE

Celebrating Diversity And Teamwork PIA BARBORIČ JURJAŠEVIČ General Manager of Imperial Tobacco, Adriatic

I

’m very proud that I’ve had a chance in the last three years to lead the team of professionals at Imperial Tobacco for the Adriatic region. This team achieves fantastic results and members always strive to do their job with a high level of dedication and, most importantly, with personal integrity and by respecting the integrity of the company and the markets where we operate. What is probably quite specific for my career is the fact that I’ve actually been working for the same company for over 20 years. After I graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana, I started my career in the fashion accessories business, which at the time was under the Tobacna Ljubljana Group. And that’s the company that I work for even today, of course, nowadays under the name of Imperial Brands Group. We have changed names and ownership structures, but the most important factor is that many people with whom I started my career, after all the turbulent changes and transformations, still come to our offices today with a smile. That’s the main reason why I’m also smiling and satisfied. My career progressed through various marketing roles: building big regional brands like Boss and leading the marketing team 42 |

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For over twenty years, my business and personal roads have led across the Adriatic region, which provides many challenges, but also offers many rewards, particularly when it comes to diversity of cultures, opportunities in each specific market and the extraordinary people I’ve had a chance to meet over the last two decades for the region, followed by taking over responsibility for our tobacco business and then all other business segments in Slovenia. This includes wholesale and retail businesses, which are of course connected to our core, but also represent a world of their own. This was also a great learning opportunity for me. Marketing and brands are still a very important part of my job, because we work with amazing international brands like West, Rizla, Drum, Gauloises and – I will take the right to say one of the

Creating the atmosphere where learning from mistakes is part of the normal, everyday process is one of my leadership priorities. And we already see many good results from this approach! most remarkable premium brands in the category in the region – Davidoff. Although I had many interesting and sometimes difficult situations during my career, the most challenging part of the business is to create an energised team environment by resolving issues or any

form of conflict and generating extra effort, enthusiasm and commitment within the team. If you succeed with this, you are a winner. I’m often asked how one team can work from many different locations. In our case, we are managing the Adriatic region from three different locations: Ljubljana, Belgrade and Skopje. But my answer is always very simple: creating a pleasant working atmosphere nowadays is not connected to office space – it’s about mindset. Also, supporting your team and having fruitful collaboration is not prevented by geography. Barriers only exist in people’s minds. So, my persistent push to review not only what we have done, but also how we have done it, contributes to team members’ feeling like their efforts are valued, and restores energy to grow even further – both as professionals and as a business. Personally, I strongly value learning from mistakes and giving a chance to people to try, make a mistake and learn from that. Creating the atmosphere where learning from mistakes is part of the normal, everyday process is one of my leadership priorities. And we already see many good results from this approach! 


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Between Tradition And

INTERVIEW

B y S O NJA Ć I R I Ć

AVANT-GARDE YURI ALEXANDROV

DIRECTOR OF THE ST. PETERSBURG OPERA

“It seems to me an opera boom is underway. All directors (of theatre and film) strive towards this genre. That’s because it offers the kinds of tremendous opportunities that other genres don’t.”

Y

uri Alexandrov is known to our public for his directing feats: his direction of La Traviata and Pagliacci on the Great Stage of “Madlenianum” Opera & Theatre represent the highlights of the repertoire on the Belgrade scene, and he is now set to present himself to Belgrade again, this time as the artistic director of the St. Petersburg Opera.

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Namely, on 24th and 26th June this opera’s ensemble will make guest performances at Madlenianum with Rodion Shchedrin’s opera Not Love Alone and Sergei Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery. This is considered the greatest guest performance in our capital since the beginning of this year. It was thirty years ago when Yuri Aleksandrov, then director of the Mariinsky Theatre in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), proposed that the City authorities establish an opera that would satisfy the tastes and needs of a new audience, focused on global changes in art. Thus emerged the St. Petersburg Opera, which is today one of the most recognisable opera companies in Russia and around the world, with a repertoire that is primarily recognisable thanks to Alexandrov’s innovative directing solutions. Aleksandrov has directed around 200 operas in Russia and around the world, and everywhere he has left the mark of his distinctive aesthetics, in which critics particularly emphasise innovation and experimentation. Thanks to such a reputation, Alexandrov was invited to direct Puccini’s Turandot opera on the stage of the Arena in Verona. Prior to him, no Russian had ever been invited there to direct an Italian opera. In the following interview, we attempted to at least touch on some of the myriad topics from Alexandrov’s career.


■ Why did you decide to present your theatre in Belgrade with a contemporary Russian opera and not a classic, given that the opera tradition is a trademark of your country? - It should presumably be noted that the choice was made by the host party, and that I was somewhat surprised by the choice, but also simultaneously encouraged, because it testifies to the maturity of theatre culture in Serbia. This means that people in this country are interested not only in the classical repertoire, which consists of several well-known operas, but also in that which ensures Russian culture is celebrated. Prokofiev and Shchedrin are two great Russian composers, but they are not so well known abroad and aren’t loved like, for instance, Tchaikovsky. That is precisely why we are so excited that the Serbian side made such a choice. As for the statement that the opera tradition is a trademark of my country – I doubt that, because the Russian opera scene is developing in different directions. We have avant-garde directors and traditionalists, but also people like me, who try to find a consensus between traditional operas, known to a wider circle of viewers, and avant-garde direction. I am certain that a contemporary director should be unpredictable, like the times in which we live.

■ Do you think that opera, by being stuck in time, has contributed to its own loss of the popularity it enjoyed at the time of Verdi and Mozart? - I don’t agree with the claim that opera has “lost its popularity”. On the contrary, it seems to me an opera boom is underway. All directors (of theatre and film) strive towards this genre. That’s because it offers the kinds of tremendous opportunities that other genres don’t. As for being “stuck in time” ... I think that it is more about the creators who deal with opera that have got stuck... In his own time, Verdi wrote La Traviata, and the result was a terrible scandal, because that opera became a contemporary interpretation of problems that then existed in society.

■ It could be said that the topics of the operas with which you are touring in Belgrade are ‘everyday’ and familiar to everyone. The recent festival in Amsterdam saw perfor-

mances of operas in which the main characters are American President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Does this mean that contemporary life has become part of the opera? What does that say about opera as a movement? - I can’t say that Prokofiev’s opera Betrothal in a Monastery, written according to Sheridan’s drama, is something “everyday”. It is a story that’s full of humour and historicism, with the action moving from a tavern to a monastery, then from a monastery to a nunnery and so on ... That hardly fits into the context of everyday life. And if we are talking about the opera Not Love Alone, this is a very special piece – it is the Russian Carmen. That’s how we interpret it. The everyday life that exists in this opera has stayed in the past and for us it has now already become history. Kolkhoz farms and party discipline have remained in the past, and sometimes it is useful to go back and think about that ... The main things in opera are – musical dramaturgy, strong passion and a tragic finale. Characters like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, for us personally, have not yet cheered us with a story worthy of an opera stage. ■ While directing the classic operas La Traviata and Pagliacci, which I mention only as they are the two known to the Belgrade audience, you emphasised aspects in them that weren’t previously, thus in La Triviata’s Violeta we see primarily a lonely person and not a woman who sells her body. Would you please comment on this? - Loneliness is a very complex problem of our society. Regardless of the population density, there are a lot of lonely people. And the mere fact that people sell their bodies is just one of many problems that are interesting to me as a director. There is a lot of selling in the modern world and it is difficult to surprise someone with that: someone sells their body, another sell their voice in the government, while a third sells state secrets. But the theme of loneliness, which you very correctly mentioned, exists, is eternal and should be addressed. ■ Why did you want to form your own opera company? Would your life not be simpler if, for example, you were just a director in some theatre? JUNE

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- In the thirty years of the existence of the Saint Petersburg Opera, a certain circle of people formed who know why they come to the theatre. These are people who know that we have a high quality culture of music and performing arts. The people who come to us are interested in seeing new, young performers, who understand that opera today is a complex art in which the sense of what is happening bursts out in one of the first places. Direction has become one of the most important means of expression. I am joyful when people come to see the direction of Alexandrov, when they come to hear our young singers; I’m overjoyed when the audience is thrilled by our stunning interiors, which we struggled to restore. I think that the arrival of every viewer in our theatre is primarily the sum of impressions. We work actively with the public and try to enlighten and attract youngsters.

- Of course life would be easier, but on the other hand it would be less interesting. Establishing your own theatre implies creating the kind of atmosphere in which you can implement your plans to the maximum. This is a creative laboratory that every director fantasises about. It is something completely different that this is all connected with worries and the human factor. The human factor is a very important aspect, especially when you work with young artists, because they need help – not only professionally, but also human, financial and social help. An artistic director must worry about all of that. But I have not for one moment regretted that I formed my own opera theatre.

■ You managed to form the St. Petersburg Chamber Opera with the assistance of the City administration. What is the State’s attitude like regarding the needs of artists for change and modernism in culture? - I don’t know how to interpret “change and modernism”, because culture should not be modernised. The means of production can be modernised, while culture – that is what was given to us by God. And in it we should find that which is current for us today. When I direct a play, I only think a little bit about who will understand me and how. For me, it’s important that I understand myself, what I’m thinking about today, what worries me the most and which topics I would like to discuss with my viewers. I’ve never strove to “modernise culture”; I just share my feelings with the audience, and if it’s interesting to them, my energy doubles. As for the city administration ... Of course, without the help of the City we wouldn’t have been able to get the building, we wouldn’t have been able to support the troupe … Of course, the City helps us a lot. We have been renovating our theatre for eighteen years and we hope that the restoration will one day end. If we are talking about some more global issues, we would like the state to devote more attention to culture, because the spiritual domain of life is very important for every society. ■ It is believed in Belgrade’s cultural circles that the same group of people comes to opera performances. What is your experience; who listens to performances on the repertoire of your opera company? 46 |

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■ How do you form the repertoire of your own opera company? Do you pay attention to the tastes of the audience? - Not being bothered about the taste of the audience means condemning yourself to an empty auditorium. However, when I founded my own theatre, I imagined it not only as a place where I would satisfy my creative ambitions, but also as a school for soloists. Contemporary singers, even those with good voices, often don’t master their profession to the extent that is demanded by modern theatre. As for the repertoire, we are very interested in classics and, certainly, contemporary music, without which no lively theatre can exist, and that’s why our repertoire includes Shchedrin, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. ■ How do your colleagues from other Russian opera companies view your innovative direction? Do they perceive


that soloists perform includes human intonations that immediately captivates the audience. If the opposite occurs, no union of sense and sound is reached. that as the right way to ensure the durability of opera as a musical and theatrical form? - To be honest, I am not particularly concerned about the opinions of my colleagues. I always endeavour to very carefully express my opinion, because I understand perfectly how difficult it is to direct an opera performance. That is a huge job. I’m interested in various aspects of the genre. Today I can direct a show in the avant-garde style, then tomorrow present a classical show. I sometimes do fairy tales for children, and sometimes for adults. But, whatever the case, at the basis of my shows is the highest performing culture of the artists with whom I work. Likewise, I am also obliged to express the main thought of the composer, and that is sometimes very well disguised.

■ Have you perhaps had a chance to check out any Belgrade opera production? - Unfortunately not, but I hope that I will, when such a possibility arises, certainly do that.

■ The goal of guest performances is to exchange experiences and knowledge. After each such encounter, emotion remains that enriches people. If that is indeed the case, and it is, why don’t we visit each other more often? Who or what does that depend on? - I think it depends on the Lord God, and we are left to pray and hope for new meetings. ■

■ You are known for your specific work with singers, for your ability to lead them to doing things they didn’t even know they could do themselves. How is that done? How do you turn an opera singer, who has learned that the only important thing on stage is to sing an aria properly, into a person of flesh and blood, a person who has a life story with which the audience can easily identify? - Every soloist can reproduce the voices written by the composer, but in order to properly perform even a single aria, and not a whole show, it is necessary to have a soloist who is able to become a living person on the stage. If that does not exist, nothing worthwhile can be achieved. Today the notion that presents musical dramaturgy, expressed in action (in plastic), is one of the main notions governing opera. Birds also release their voices and sing very nicely, but there is no meaning in that. The main task of the soloists of the Saint Petersburg Opera is to master the system of intonation. If the show JUNE

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SEE MORE: WWW.CORDMAGAZINE.COM 26.04.2017

Dutch National Day - King’s Day Marked On the occasion of King’s Day, the Dutch National Day, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Henk van den Dool, and Ms Kasia Pawelska hosted a reception. King’s Day (Koningsdag) is a national holiday in the Netherlands that is celebrated on 27th April to mark the birthday of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander. King’s Day in the Netherlands is celebrated with music, street parties and markets, while many people dress in orange as a token of pride for the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Orange-Nassau. The Belgrade reception was attended by representatives of the Dutch community in Serbia, Serbian Government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of civil society and the business community. 09.05.2017

28.04.2017

Serbia And The U.S.: Strengthening Long-Term Cooperation Serbia and the United States signed amendments to two bilateral agreements on the provision of assistance on 28th April. The amendments enable an additional $9 million of support to Serbia’s EU accession efforts, through the improving of the work of institutions, combatting corruption, and strengthening the rule of law and the economy in Serbia. “Since 2001, the United States, via USAID, has provided around 748 million dollars. The additional resources that we have secured with today’s signings mean the continuation of our partnership and our support to Serbia in its efforts on its road to Europe,” said H.E. Kyle Scott, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia. “On the road to the EU, financial support and future cooperation with the U.S., as a development partner, is of paramount importance to Serbia,” said Jadranka Joksimović, Serbian Minister responsible for European integration.

H.E. KYLE SCOTT, AZZA EL-ABD, USAID Mission Director for Serbia, and Minister JADRANKA JOKSIMOVIĆ

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Europe Day Marked Celebrations were held across Europe on 9th May, the Day of Victory over Fascism and Europe Day, which mark the end of World War II in Europe and the start of the creation of the European Union. A formal reception was organised to mark the occasion at City Hall, hosted by Oscar Benedict, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia. The reception was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, Serbian Government ministers Ana Brnabić and Jadranka Joksimovic, as well as Belgrade Mayor Siniša Mali. Also present were former Ombudsman Saša Janković and representatives of political parties, the diplomatic corps, religious communities, civil society and the media. Europe Day was formally celebrated in all major towns and cities in Serbia.


10.05.2017

94th Birthday Anniversary Of Heydar Aliyev

On the occasion of the 94th birthday of Heydar Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Ambassador H.E. Eldar Hasanov organised a party, which included the delivering of a speech about the merits of prominent Azerbaijani statesman Heydar Aliyev in strengthening the independence and statehood of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The participants of the event laid a wreath to the monument of Heydar Aliyev in Tašmajdan Park in Belgrade and paid tribute to him. They also visited and laid flowers to the monuments of Milorad Pavic. The event was attended by representatives of Serbian society, the Azerbaijani community in Serbia, the Azerbaijan Culture Centre in Belgrade, the Serbia-Azerbaijan Trade and Economic Chamber, Serbian Muftis and other representatives of political and cultural life in the Serbian capital.

20.05.2017

Norwegian Constitution Day Belgrade’s Kalemegdan Fortress Park provided the venue for this year’s celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day, organised by the Norwegian community and the Norwegian Embassy in Serbia. Speaking on this occasion, Norwegian Ambassador H.E. Arne Sannes Bjornstad said that this also marked a celebration of Serbian-Norwegian relations. “We are celebrating the Day of the Norwegian Constitution, which was adopted on 17th May 1814. It granted rights to citizens that were revolutionary at that time. This day is celebrated around the world in our communities, and here, together with Serbs, we will also celebrate relations between Norway and Serbia,” Ambassador Bjornstad told reporters. “We are try to use this gathering to offer Norwegians living in Serbia a taste of their homeland, while giving us a sense of what it’s like in Norway,” said Zoran Petrović, president of the Serbian-Norwegian Friendship Association.

H.E. ARNE SANNES BJORNSTAD (centre) 21.05.2017

IWC Spring Festival Held

H.E. NARINDER CHAUHAN, Ambassador of India to Serbia

The International Women’s Club (IWC) launched its latest fundraising activity for this year, aimed at collecting much-needed resources for Belgrade’s “Action for the Blind” Association, with the IWC Spring Festival. As a family event, the festival offered entertainment and numerous attractions for visitors of all ages. Visitors had the opportunity to learn about the exhibiting countries’ traditions, culture, arts, crafts, handicrafts and national cuisines, as well as offers presented by the festival’s domestic exhibitors. This year’s IWC Spring Festival included a rich and varied cultural and entertainment programme, with attractive live performances of dance and folk ensembles, choirs, musicians, singers, dancers, ballet studios etc. The Festival was supported by the embassies of Morocco, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jamaica, India and Russia, and boasted more than 30 exhibitors, with a colourful international cultural and entertainment programme and an attractive prize competition. Formally opened by H.E. Narinder Chauhan, Indian Ambassador to Serbia, the festival was open to the public, with free admission.

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SEE MORE: WWW.CORDMAGAZINE.COM The premises of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia (CCIS) provided the venue for the Vienna Economic Forum, in cooperation with the Association of Economists of Serbia, to organise a two-day session entitled “Vienna Economic Talks - Belgrade Meeting”, with a special focus on the positive economic development of Serbia. Patron of this event was Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, who sent the basic message that the Western Balkans is an important region for Brussels. This meeting also saw Serbia invited to return to the membership of the Vienna Economic Forum, which it abandoned when Austria recognised the independence of Kosovo. Marko Čadež, CCIS president and host of the Forum, stressed how economic cooperation best connects the countries of the region and attracts MARKO ČADEŽ and Dr. ELENA investors and noted that last year there KIRTCHEVA, Secretary General were more than 2,000 “B2B” meetings of Vienna Economic Forum organised by the CCIS.

21.05.2017

Vienna Economic Forum In Belgrade

23.05.2017

Scholarships Of The Zoran Đinđić Foundation Awarded A formal ceremony at the German Ambassadorial Residence of H.E. Axel Dittmann, in the presence of Ružica Đinđić, saw scholarships awarded to the 14th generation of the Zoran Đinđić Foundation and scholarships of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). “Serbia is undergoing an important transformation process and is making good progress towards the EU, and so the exchange of young people is very important, because they return with new experiences and knowledge, which will help in the country’s further development,” said Ambassador Dittmann. Serbian Education and Science Minister Mladen Šarčević expressed his satisfaction at being able to support the Zoran Đinđić Foundation, as Đinđić had been the prime minister that launched the reform process that is still continuing today.

RUZICA ĐINĐIĆ, DRAGAN ŠUTANOVAC and AXEL DITTMANN 25.05.2017

Africa Day Marked The Palace of Serbia hosted a ceremony to mark the occasion of Africa Day, which was attended by officials of the Government of Serbia and representatives of the diplomatic corps and cultural and public life. “Serbia is committed to advancing cooperation with African countries and regional economic communities and, in accordance with its capabilities, will contribute to strengthening political, economic, cultural and all other links,” said Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić. He also reminded those in attendance that the Serbian Government recently passed a decision declaring 25th May as the Day of Friendship with the Nations of Africa. “As the most prominent Yugoslav successor state when it comes to policies regarding Africa, Serbia has maintained friendly relations for decades - but as of this year, for the first time and officially, we decided to include the date of 25th May in the calendar of the most important dates in Serbia, and to move even closer to you in celebration – said Dačić.

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IVICA DAČIĆ


SUMMER 2017

Spa & Country Tourism SERBIA


INTERVIEW

MARIJA LABOVIĆ, DIRECTOR OF THE TOURIST ORGANISATION OF SERBIA

We’re Becoming A Serious Tourist Destination More than a billion dollars is earned from tourism annually, while an intensive campaign abroad contributes to guests staying increasing longer, with ever more tourists coming from Russia and more arrivals expected from China, Iran and India

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erbia was not a tourist destination, but fortunately that has changed during the last decade and a half, thanks to the many creative people that have turned Serbia into a good and exciting place for longer or shorter breaks. • Serbia has beautiful and very rich nature, archaeological treasures, monasteries and churches listed by UNESCO, food and drink, hospitable and nice people... What are TOS’s priorities in the further development of the Serbian tourism industry? - To raise the quality of the offer, motivate domestic tourists to spend their holidays in Serbia and cooperate with local tourist organisations and the media. On the international side, the goal is to position Serbia as a tourist destination and attract foreign travel agents and individuals to visit us. Our advantages are in the diversity of our tourist offers, rich cultural and historical heritage, traditions and good geographical position. Here two important international transport routes intersect: the Pan-European Corridor 10 road route and the River Danube - Corridor 7, which is navigable along its entire route through Serbia, while

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air transport connections are also good. Serbia is also located along Pan-European cultural routes – Transromanica Route, The Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route, the Réseau Art Nouveau Network, the Eropean Route of Jewish Heritage, the

Serbia is recognised as a tourist destination, both for short and increasingly longer holidays, and that includes breaks in cities, summer festivals, spas, mountains and rural tourism, but also holidays on rivers and lakes ATRIUM (Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes of the 20th century in Europe’s Urban Memory) Route, as well as a cycling route Eurovelo 6 and walking routes E4 and E7. • In the past ten years we have attracted more guests from abroad, but they don’t stay for long. How can we retain them for a few more days?

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- Intensive promotion abroad has contributed to Serbia already being recognised as a tourist destination. We participate in numerous exhibitions, while there are also study tours for foreign journalists (150-200 annually) and tour organisers, special presentations, exhibitions and workshops with representatives of the tourism industry. As part of the regional offer, we present ourselves to the international tourist market together with the countries of the region, and as part of the tourist offer of Europe at the booth of the ETC (European Travel Commission). Thanks to these activities, Serbia is included as a tourist destination in more than 300 tours of foreign agencies. The highest numbers of foreign visitors to Serbia are still tourists coming from the countries of the former Yugoslavia, accounting for nearly 800,000 overnight stays of a total of almost 2.74 million in 2016. The number of tourists from Russia is rising again, while China is promising due to the abolition of visas for entering Serbia and the expected establishment of direct regular flights. There is also India as a large and promising market, and we are in the offer one of India’s largest tour operators. The main reasons for coming are short


city breaks, tours linked to visits to cultural and historical monuments, active holidays in nature, primarily skiing, hiking and cycling, in combination with rural and mountain breaks, as well as visits to summer music festivals and other events in Serbia. TOS is going for promotions through intensive TV and digital campaigns on BBC World and Eurosport. This year’s foreign market campaign is being conducted under the slogan “Serbia - The place to be”. We are also beginning a promotion in the countries of the region under the slogan “Days of Serbia - Sounds of Summer”. • It seems that the tourist potential of our rivers is underutilised even in Belgrade and Novi Sad. Why do we “flee” from the rivers and don’t offer attractive projects for holidays on the water? -The Palić, Bor, Silver and Vlasin lakes, then the Bela Crkva lakes, Lake Uvac and other smaller ones are recording steady growth in visitors. Advances are being made in the quality of offers, transport infrastructure and tourist facilities. There are also rivers – the Drina with its regattas and the Ibar, Lim and Nišava for rafting, the Danube with its overall tourist offer, as well as the River Sava... On the rivers we organise cruises, canyoning etc. Distributing vouchers increases the number of domestic tourists who holiday in Serbia, and we are now launching the summer campaign under the slogan “See Serbia”. • Serbian spas are renowned far and wide, but we are not utilising the possible benefits of health tourism that we could. Who needs to develop and invest in spa tourism and will the launched privatisation process yield the expected results? - During 2016, Serbian spas attracted a total of 477,102 tourists, which is up 12 per cent on the previous year. Last year’s most visited spas were Vrnjačka Banja, Sokobanja, Bukovička Banja in Aranđelovac, Banja Palic, Banja Vrdnik etc. We expect growth in the

number of users of spa/wellness products, due to the increasing demand for holistic medical treatments and therapies. The majority of spas have numerous facilities for entertaining tourists, while some specialise in health-medical treatments, like the health resorts of rehabilitation centres. • Kopaonik and Zlatibor are slowly approaching the leading destinations for winter tourism in Southeast Europe. What are your plans for other mountains, especially

Health tourism in spas is increasingly developing, such as with treatment in rehabilitation centres, while many offer spa/ wellness products due to the increasing demand for holistic medical treatments and therapies Stara Planina and Mount Tara? - The TOS promotes mountain centres as tourists destination for both winter and summer. For the summer season they are promoted as holiday destinations in nature, with walking, hiking, mountain biking, various extreme sports etc. The offer is being enriched with the building of adventure parks, the marking of walk-

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ing trails and cycle paths, the adapting of winter infrastructure to summer activities (bicycle racks added to ski lifts) etc. • Rural tourism has great potential, both in attracting tourists and employing rural households. What are the TOS’s plans in this sector? - In Serbia we have over two hundred rural tourist households located in the vicinity of fifty towns and cities, close to national parks, nature parks, rivers, lakes, monasteries, archaeological sites etc. Contact with nature and delicious homemade food, freshly picked fruits and vegetables, will reveal hidden places and wonderful people who will familiarise you with rural customs and traditions. Prevailing in Vojvodina are salaš ranches with voluminous spreads on the tables, where hosts nurture a special love of horses. In the Šumadija and Morava areas you can stay on landscaped estates and “Moravian” houses. In the wine regions rural guest houses and wine cellars are often fused, while the mountain regions offer holidays in log cabins and wooden huts. • How much direct tourism revenue was generated in 2016 and what are your predictions for the current year? - According to the Serbian Statistical Office, in 2016 the Republic of Serbia was visited by a total of 2,753,591 tourists, which is up 13% compared to 2015, of which there were 1,472,165 domestic tourists and 1,281,426 foreigners. A total of 7,533,739 overnight stays were achieved, including 4,794,741 domestic and 2,738,998 foreign. According to the statistics of the National Bank of Serbia, foreign currency income from tourism in 2016 amounted to 1.151 billion dollars. The total contribution of tourism to the GDP of the Republic of Serbia is approximately 6.5%, with tourism directly contributing around 2.8% to the GDP of the Republic of Serbia. ■

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CORPORATE

Ms. NATAŠA PAVLOVIĆ, DIRECTOR OF THE TOURIST ORGANIZATION OF VOJVODINA

Rest And Fun From The Plains In Vojvodina you eat and drink well, have great fun, play sports and deal with culture that transcends the borders of the province summer days, and all necessary information is available via www.vojvodina.travel.

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very day there are at least three musical, entertainment, cultural, sporting or gastronomic events being held in Vojvodina. And among the most famous, apart from the EXIT Festival, are certainly the Sterija Theatre Festival, the Film Festival in Palić, Zmaj’s Children’s Games and many others • When you look at the tourist offer of Vojvodina, it seems that there is an attractive event every day and for every taste. Apart from EXIT, what would you recommend for 2017? - Over a thousand events of a different character and scope are held annually in Vojvodina. We have cultural, musical, gastronomic and sporting events for every taste. Apart from EXIT, which is a brand of Vojvodina and Serbia, there are also smaller-scale events. Besides gastronomic events, which focus on making traditional fish soup and fish stew, we will also mention the Zrenjanin Days of Beer. The cultural offer of cities is also enriched by so-called cultural summers, which include a series of cultural and artistic events. There are also the Film Festival in Palić, the Sterija Theatre Festival, Zmaj’s Children’s Games and Cinema City in Novi Sad, Ladies’ days in Novi Bečej, the Sombor Theatre Marathon and many others. Alongside a wide variety of events, the nature of Fruška Gora, Vojvodina’s lakes and rivers, the Petroland aqua park and other bathing areas provide respite during hot

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• You recently returned from the Dubai Tourism Fair. What most attracts tourists from distant destinations to Vojvodina? - The Tourist Organisation of Vojvodina presented itself to the UAE market for the first time in December 2016, as part of the 45th National Day in Dubai, and at the end of April this year it also appeared for the first time at the Arabian Travel Market international travel and tourism fair, which was also held

Arabs are famous for hunting with hawks, so such a specific type of offer is something we could think about more – particularly given that some of our citizens train these birds in the UAE and Halal standards in the hospitality industry are becoming essential in Dubai, and impressions are really positive. Considering the growing business connections between the two countries, but also Serbia’s visa-free regime for citizens of the UAE, there is indeed interest in the tourist offer of Serbia

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and Vojvodina. What proved to be the most in demand are the pristine nature and offers of cultural heritage. Although tourists from the UAE gravitate towards Belgrade, we presented Vojvodina as a destination that is striving from the traditional to the modern, so we offer rural areas, then the beautiful nature of Fruška Gora National Park, preserved nature reserves and, of course, the great wealth of water that we possess. Arabs are famous for hunting with hawks, so such a specific type of offer is something we could think about more. Halal standards in the hospitality industry will become essential if we orient ourselves more towards this market. • Based on experiences to date, what the priorities of Vojvodina’s tourism development strategy? - According to the tourism strategy of the Republic of Serbian, tourism products of particular interest are city break tourism, events, MICE tourism, cultural heritage, rural, wine, transit and other forms of tourism. All of the aforementioned products represent segments of the tourist offer of the province. Four key regions have been identified in Vojvodina, and those are Novi Sad with Fruška Gora and Sremski Karlovci, Subotica with Lake Palić and the River Tisa, Banat - Vršac and the Upper Danube. This year, the Tourism Organisation of Vojvodina joined the Network of European Regions for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism, NECSTouR, which endeavours to manage precisely this kind of destination. ▪


ZORAN LJUBOTINA, DIRECTOR OF THE TOURIST ORGANISATION OF THE CITY OF ZRENJANIN

Summer Packed With Happenings

CORPORATE

Alongside the already famous Days of Beer festival, guests to Zrenjanin can visit the Carska Bara (Imperial Pond) nature reserve and the Rusanda Spa, tour mansions and castles, and have fun around nightclubs

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renjanin, the capital of the Banat plains, is known as a city with an open heart, famous for its hospitality, multicultural lifestyle, culinary specialities and unspoilt nature in reserves and spa facilities. • With the construction of Pupin‘s Bridge across the Danube, Zrenjanin has become even closer to Belgrade, meaning increasingly more people visit you for weekend trips and holidays. What do you offer weekend guests; and what’s on offer for those who would like to stay longer? - With a warm welcome drunk, good wine and cuisine, the City of Zrenjanin presents the heart of its old town, with authentic buildings from the early 19th century, where every building has its own story; the County Court, the buildings of theatres, museums, Bukovčeva Palace, the City Garden (County Park), the Museum beer, the old Brewery within the Dunđerski complex, the Ečka castle mansion... For those who decide to stay longer, there is the kingdom of unspoilt nature of the Carska Bara Nature Reserve, the Rusanda Spa, Melenci, boat rides along the River Begej, a wealth of multicultural and multi-ethnic settlements, with art, culture and folklore, and organised tours. • Nature lovers quite simply “occupy” the Carska Bara Nature Reserve during the summer, while many also head to the Rusanda Spa. What are among all the contents that guests can expect?

- Carska Bara is a nature reserve, an unspoilt oasis and the habitat for hundreds of species of rare birds, and it is a real treat for all nature lovers. It is possible to tour this unique reserve by boat or by walking along the health trails. With lavish dining spreads, accommodation at the Sibila Hotel or within the reserve in the settlements on its periphery (Belo Blato, with its capacity), unforgettable moments are spent. The Rusanda Spa Melenci, a known health resort, offers accommodation in its facilities, which

In Banat and Zrenjanin they are proud to highlight events presenting local settlements through song, dance, acting, painting and other forms of entertainment and cultural events are increasingly focused on relaxation and spa tourism, recreation and rest with expert medical support. • An increasing number of young people from Belgrade and Novi Sad are coming to Zrenjanin for a good time, and there is a real throng of visitors when the Beer Days and other events are held. What programmes with the coming summer bring?

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- With the support of the City, every event has its own authentic form and tradition, based on a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment, unity and the rich diversity that characterises our area. Entertainment and sporting events are unavoidable in this city of sport, so there are constant competitions in the “Crystal Hall”. Summer is characterised by the Korzo Fest – a multimedia music and art programme in the city centre, then there is the Banat Fairytale – summer in the City Garden, with a programme of urban artists, a folklore and music school through outdoor concerts and a children’s programme. Also interesting is the presentation of settlements on weekends through singing, acting, entertainment, folklore, art and the like, as well as the fair of female entrepreneurs. I would also mention the Banat stories ethno fest and Banat valuable hands – the fair of creativity and Banat traditions. Of course, there are also the famous Beer Days, which are held annually in the last week of August and have long since outgrown their local character. The Beer Days are attended during their six days by about half a million visitors and this event has become a kind of trend of the city on the River Begej. Central events take place on two city squares and we try to satisfy the most demanding tastes, to ensure that our guests take away the best impressions. ▪

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BOJANA BOŽANIĆ, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISE GOLD GONDOLA ZLATIBOR, ČAJETINA

Zlatibor Closer To The Clouds The gondola lift is considered the tourist project of the century on Zlatibor, but disagreements between the competent institutions and the Municipality of Čajetina are hindering construction

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ue to its natural characteristics and constantly improving offer, Zlatibor has become an outstanding sports and recreational tourism centre, both for elite athletes and recreational visitors. The season lasts year-round, and construction of the ‘Gold Gondola’ should ultimately serve to attract a million tourists a year.

• The idea to construct a gondola lift on Zlatibor is not new and you have launched serious preparations. What will such an investment mean for tourists and bring to tourism? - The Zlatibor gondola project has been under preparation for a full decade already. It was necessary to develop the appropriate planning documents and feasibility study, determine the route, prepare the tender etc. The tourist project of the century will impact on the development of tourism, primarily by increasing numbers of visitors to Zlatibor and Western Serbia. Our goal following the implementation of the gondola is for Zlatibor to be visited by a million tourists annually after 10 years, and for us to realise 10 million overnight stays. Numerous studies of the Tourist Organisation of Zlatibor show that the motives for holidaying in Serbia are natural attractions, clean air and climate, medical and health reasons and hospitality, while Zlatibor was singled out

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as an example of a good tourist offer. Just with the announcement of the gondola’s construction we noticed increased interest among investors, mostly related to additional contents and capacities on Zlatibor. That says a lot about the good setting of objectives by the Municipality of Čajetina. • You still haven’t received a construction permit from the competent ministry for the entire project. Why has permit issuance stalled?

The Municipality of Čajetina, along with several other municipalities in the district, has recognised the importance of Ponikve Airport and is ready to invest in the completion of works and maintenance, in order to maximise the export of goods and the “import” of guests - It should be noted that the Municipal Administration of Čajetina, in accordance with planning documents and relevant legal regulations, launched the procedure for issuing permits for the gondola. However, the ministry was made competent for the issuing of permits a year ago, so the procedure had to be conducted again. We have overcome

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major obstacles in document and preparation and reached the problem of resolving property rights relations - with the State! In order to overcome this obstacle, it has been determined that the permit should be issued in phases. Five phases have been defined, including three stations and two parts of the route with pylons. The disputed state property, on an area of 2,213 hectares, was illegally awarded two years ago to a private individual by the Minister of Construction. After the municipal leadership protested, the minister herself acknowledged the error and annulled the decision, only for it now to turn out that this was again contrary to the letter of the law. The case is now facing the Administrative Court, while state institutions like the State Attorney’s Office and the Republic Geodetic Authority will not act and give consent to the transfer of property along the gondola’s route until the dispute has been resolved. The Government confirmed a year ago that the construction of the gondola on Zlatibor is in the public interest. This decision should provide the basis to settle property relations easily and smoothly. And that was indeed the case, albeit with private individuals. On four out of the five phases the land is owned by the State, in which the holder is registered as a privatised agricultural combine, with unclear rights to the same. • The panoramic gondola will undoubtedly be an attraction. Where will it set off from, how far will it reach and where will it go?


- Gold gondola Zlatibor departs from the centre of Zlatibor. The nine kilometres of the most modern elevated route of the gondola will connect tourist settlements with the Tornik ski centre, via Lake Ribnik, next to which will be located an interstation. The gondola has a current capacity of 600 passengers per hour in 55 private cabins, each with 10 seats. Its maximum possible capacity is 90 cabins and 1,000 passengers per hour. A ride in this gondola will offer an impressive 25 minutes of stunning views over the picturesque landscape of Zlatibor. The heart of the gondola will be located at the Lake Ribnik interstation, where it is planned to develop the New Zlatibor project, to cater for high categories of tourism, on more than 200 hectares of land and with a centre for health, sports and recreational tourism, while the gondola’s final station will be at Tornik peak. Compliance with global environmental standards in the construction of the gondola is in line with the Municipality of Čajetina’s drive to become Serbia’s first ecological municipality. Today a real mountain experience is almost unthinkable for all even remotely demanding tourists without a panoramic gondola that journeys under the clouds. • When it comes to mountain tourism, similar projects elsewhere in the world include other contents. Are you planning to include some entertaining contents? - In addition to the aforementioned attractions, there is a plan to expand the adventure park on Tornik, with a zip line, the charting of new hiking trails, cycling routes, the expansion of ski slopes in cooperation with public enterprise Ski Resorts of Serbia, encouraging the construction of wellness centres and interesting hospitality facilities that will satisfy even the most demanding foreign guests. The gondola’s construction should also lead to the developing of the area around Lake

Ribnik, with the creation of bathing areas, beaches, parks, golf, basketball and tennis courts, as well as parts for sport fishing. A precondition for developing Western Serbia to its full capacity is construction of the highway to Požega, then to Zlatibor, as well as making the Ponikve Airport fully operational. • Will the Municipality of Čajetina build the gondola itself, or do you intend for that to be a public-private partnership, or just a private investment? - This investment is worth about 13 million euros. Equipment worth a total of 9.95 million euros has been paid for in full. The largest part of the equipment, except cables and parts of the cabins, have already arrived. All resources

have been allocated from the municipal budget, along with a loan that is regularly serviced from the same source. With the aim of managing the gondola, the Municipality of Čajetina established public enterprise Gold Gondola Zlatibor, to which the installation will be entrusted following its commissioning. Apart from gains from the transport of passengers, significant resources are expected to be generated by ancillary services. • Staff at the competent ministry say that they are willing to grant you permission for phased construction. Why are you seek permission to build the entire route?

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- The Municipality of Čajetina has utilised the possibility of phased construction, so it submits requests for permits accordingly. However, as stated, the biggest obstacles are still in unresolved property relations with, absurdly, the State. We initially considered that working with state institutions would be the easiest, because the gondola is a project of public interest. Currently, the key institutions for us to start construction are the State Attorney’s Office and the Land Registry, the bottleneck for any serious investment, particularly for opposition municipalities. It is unfortunate that the personal interests of political opponents are blocking this investment of importance to the whole of Serbia. That kind of thing doesn’t exist in Europe. The interest of citizens must be primary. We are also led by this at the Municipality of Čajetina. We know that the people are backing us and this obliges us to persevere in our struggle for justice, for the country and for better living conditions. • Tornik is becoming increasingly popular as a ski resort. Are new lifts and slopes being prepared, and how does this centre’s development fit into the construction of the panoramic gondola? - The process of preparing documentation for the construction of the gondola is underway, while the Municipality is also collaborating with Ski Resorts of Serbia. Our joint aim is to improve the ski resort, expand routes and improve the attractiveness of facilities for guests. Just 4km extension of ski trails would double the number of skiers on Tornik, while the construction of the gondola to the peak makes this extension essential. The offer will also be complemented with a cross-country skiing trail, for which Zlatibor was once known throughout Europe. ■

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CORPORATE

DR SNEŽANA KOSTIĆ, DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR REHABILITATION IN BELGRADE

Top Rehabilitation And Quick Recovery The Selters Spa near Mladenovac is bubbling these days, filled with patients who arrive after the most varied medical interventions but who return home recovered, their confidence restored and their steps more certain, thanks to the team of top experts who lead them through the most modern methods of rehabilitation

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he Institute for Rehabilitation is unique in that it consists of three organisational units in three cities and two countries - two in Serbia and one in Montenegro, one in Belgrade, at Sokobanjska Street 17, the second in Mladenovac, at the famous Selters Spa, and the third in Vrmac, in the most beautiful part of Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor.

• In terms of the results of rehabilitation, the Institute is very highly regarded. What do you need in order to treat more patients at an even better way? - We have 380 beds for the rehabilitation of cardiovascular and respiratory patients, neurological rehabilitation, the rehabilitation of orthopaedic and rheumatology patients, as well as for children’s rehabilitation. Thanks to the close proximity of Belgrade, we are able to fulfil our contract with the Health Fund. We also have 187 beds that are used to treat patients who are not treated through official referrals. We have a license for them from the Ministry of Tourism. And both of these categories are acred for by a highly specialised staff of doctors, nurses and therapists. Thanks to the natural healing factor, human resources and modern diagnostic equipment, at the Selters Spa we achieve the highest standards in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation – for patients who come through medical referrals and those who come by themselves to recover and rest. Under the auspices of or new and modern Wellness Centre, guests can take advantage of an indoor swimming pool, sauna, hot tub baths and underwater massage, healing mud which we produce, as well as all other therapeutic capacities.

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• You are proud of the newly renovated paediatric ward at the Selters Spa. - We have also dealt with child rehabilitation for a long time; we have physiatrist doctors who are subspecialists in paediatric physicality, and additionally trained therapists work with these children in two new and adapted halls for the youngest patients to exercise. Alongside that, we also recently renovated the pediatric ward, where children who cannot come as outpatients can now stay in comfortable rooms where they have everything they need for a new and more certain step. • Can spas develop more on a commercial basis through primary health prevention and health tourism? - Taking care of one’s own health is a global trend, and spa centres are ideal because they possess the necessary staff. We all know that it is much cheaper to invest in the prevention of diseases than treatment later. The fact is that only the use of natural healing factors integrated with a conventional medical approach can yield the desired results in both prevention, which is neglected in our country, as well as in treatment and rehabilitation. This summer our offer will include a large outdoor swimming pool and a children’s pool. Projects have been completed for the arranging of a children’s playground, as well as health trails and sports fields, with which we will complement the variety of content that we offer. We want to develop ourselves further in terms of preventative health. At Selters we have developed less in a commercial way in the previous decade, and we

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want to make up for that - our aim is for patients and guests to be as satisfied as possible with the medical and hospitality services at our facility, and for us to continually invest in knowledge, improving the quality of work and living conditions, as well as continually expanding additional content for us to be the number one choice in the region, and thus attract a larger number of guests, both domestic and foreign. • “Vrmac” Prčanj in the Bay of Kotor is also part of the Institute. Which patients are usually treated there and does the climate impact on the flow and pace of recovery? - “Vrmac” Prčanj is multipurpose health-tourist institution. Here there are specific natural factors and many years of experience in the rehabilitation of mainly respiratory, cardiac and locomotive diseases among children and adults. Prčanj has over 260 sunny days annually. Following the dissolution of the shared state, this organisational unit of our institute was quite neglected, but new management, with a different vision, last year and this year allocated part of funds for the renovation of hotel rooms right on the waterfront, so although this major complex of ours still needs a lot of investment, we have tried to use very affordable prices to attract guests who, alongside good food and a beautiful beach, also have the oversight of medical personnel. ▪ For more information visit www.rehabilitacija Tel. – Selters Reception: +381 11 8241425 Tel. – Admissions: +381 11 8241109 Email: seltersbanja@gmail.com Mob. +381 64 8690381


INSTITUT ZA REHABILITACIJU

Tel. recepcija Selters: +381 11 8241425 Prijem: +3818241109 e-mail: seltersbanja@gmail.com

Mob: +381 64 8690381

www.rehabilitacija.com SERBIA - SUMMER 2017

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CORPORATE

BOBAN JANKOVIĆ, PRESIDENT OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF MIONICA

Gem Of Western Serbia Moinica is a town with a long tradition, a rich history and personalities that have marked its development. With the proclaiming of the status of a town in 1895, during the reign of King Aleksandar Obrenović, a new era began for this place, and a new history. Today Mionica is growing and developing rapidly, while the desire of its people and leadership is for the municipality to become modern and strong, an example of good practice for other municipalities, a centre of culture, tourism and sport whose doors will be open to all of its guests, both from the country and from abroad

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The beauty of the Mionica area has been illustrated in many works of art and described in many books, with scenes in many films having been shot in some of its villages, but it still has to be experienced; its traditions, history, folklore and the beauty of its landscapes must be felt. • Mionica has been known since ancient times as a place where the body and soul are treated. To what extent is that natural potential utilized today and what are your plans for the near future? - With untouched nature, beautiful landscapes and magical thermal springs, our town is ranked among the most beautiful places. Tourism represents a very important economic sector of this municipality, based on numerous cultural, historical and natural resources. Tourism is a developmental opportunity for our municipality, and our goal is to attract investors to improve the overall tourist offer and increase accommodation capacities and additional facilities. • The Vrujci Spa is undoubtedly the star of tourism in Western Serbia. How do

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you see the development of this spa is a public-private partnership for a larger investment expected? - Vrujci Spa is the gem of our municipality, the Kolubara District and this part of Serbia, and I’m certain it will become one

With the aim of preserving the memory of their illustrious townsman, in 1997 Mionica residents declared the birthday of Duke Živojin Mišić as the Day of the Municipality of Mionica. This year it is preparing a special review of the life of Lujza Mišić, the wife of Duke Mišić. This cultural and tourist event brings together renowned artists and cultural and scientific workers, with sporting events and children’s shows

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of the most beautiful spas in the country and the region. What is very important is that every investor who comes to Vrujci Spa will have the full support of the local government. We are trying to secure all the necessary conditions in order for potential investors to invest in this location and provide the tourist offer that will set Vrujci Spa apart on the tourist map. It is necessary to utilize the vast potential that this spa has in order to create a modern spa and health resort, sports and recreational tourism centre.


• You have healing waters and mud, healthy air and local food, a spa and other facilities. Can this be utilised for the expansion of medical tourism? - The healing mineral water and mud at Vrujci Spa is the basis for the development of health tourism, with the quality of these healing factors indicated by the results of a large number of studies that have been undertaken by numerous prominent institutions. This spa is unique for its abundance of thermal springs that make it the first in Serbia. This water is used in the therapeutic treatment of numerous diseases, such as hypertension and neurological, dermatological, gynecological and ophthalmic disorders. It is especially suitable for treating states after bone fractures, surgical intervention and sporting injuries. The reserves of healing mud are exceptional, and this mud has very important balnaeological potential, which makes it perfect for use in posttraumatic conditions and rheumatism. Of course, these two therapeutic agents can be used by completely healthy individuals during numerous wellness and spa treatments aimed at preventing diseases and preserving health. • This area is known for historical events and personalities, religious buildings and the remains of medieval castles. What are the most famous sites and can tourists reach them easily? - The personality for which our area is most recognised is certainly Duke Živojin Mišić, and everyone who visits Mionica must visit the house where he was born in Struganik. Also of great importance to our municipality is the Ribnica Natural Monument, which covers an area of about 28 hectares. Within this complex is the Ribnica cave, then the Ribnica river canyon, which has been bridged by a suspension bridge that leads to the cave and the 19th-century monastery. Plans envisage the building of another tourist attraction on the River Ribnica – a lake covering an area of 60 hectares. Apart from enjoying the rich natural environment, traditions, culture and cuisine on offer, Mionica can

also nurture your spirit with visits to many religious buildings. • Sports and recreational tourism and... - With the help of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the completion of works is underway on a sports hall and the project of the National Training Centre for handball. Mionica will soon have a sports hall built according to the latest standards for competitions and preparations in handball and martial arts. In addition to the sports hall, it is planned to construct

For lovers of sports and recreation, there is a large choice. Apart from numerous pools with mineral water, there are many hiking trails, various sporting facilities for almost all sports, excursions to churches and monasteries, archaeological sites, and, not far from the centre of Mionica, is the special “Lepenica” sports centre

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accommodation facilities that will be able to meet the needs of athletes who will come here to train. • ... and events? - The most important event in our community is certainly the Mišićs’ Days, which will be held this year from 15th to 22nd July. With the support of the Ministry of Tourism, we have prepared a rich programme for this important cultural and tourist event. A significant part of the event will be dedicated to Lujza Mišić.

The new large festival that will be held from 8th to 12th June in the village of Paštrić has the intention of conquering the regional trance scene. Forest Fest aims to offer visitors a top visual and audio experience. In addition to world sounds, visitors can enjoy a large number of artistic contents. Vrujci Spa can boast of two events: the “Creative Magic” festival of children’s creativity, intended for schoolchildren to express their creativity in film, art, literature, drama and music competitions; and the event “Vrujci sources”, which is held in late August with the aim of preserving ethnological values, traditions and natural and cultural heritage, as well as advancing rural development and promoting old and artistic crafts. ■

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B y R A D M I L A S TA N KOV I Ć , P h o t o Z O R A N P E T R OV I Ć

MY LIFE

Language Is

HIS WEAPON IVAN KLAJN

LINGUIST, PROFESSOR OF ITALIAN, MEMBER OF SANU

He is descended from the Polish Jews. Klajn is actually German surname Klein, quite common among Jews. His maternal grandfather, Mihajlo Đurić,was the president of the Chamber of Commerce, highly regarded as an honest and hardworking man among Belgrade locals. During World War II, it was grandfather Mihajlo who saved him and his mother, while his father Hugo hid from the Nazis under the assumed name of Uroš Kljajić

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s a child Ivan spoke German, French and English. He earned a degree in Italian, learned Spanish but chose to dedicate himself to Serbian. His views on languagerelated issues that emerged after the disintegration of SFR Yugoslavia are invaluable. He believes that the most accurate concept, and the one deeply rooted in Slavistics internationally, is that different varieties of the same language were spoken in

all parts of Former Yugoslavia except in Slovenia and in Macedonia. The trouble is that we don’t have a common name for that language. His father, Hugo Klajn, was a renowned neuropsychiatrist. Born in Vukovar, he studied in Vienna where he attended the lectures of the even more renowned Sigmund Freud. After the war he became a stage director and a lecturer at the Belgrade’s Faculty of Dramatic Arts. Ivan’s mother, Stana Đurić Klajn, was a pianist, a JUNE

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secondary-school teacher at the Music School Stanković, and later a musicologist and a director of the Institute of Musicology of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (SANU). Ivan Klajn (80) was born in Belgrade. He was introduced to foreign languages by his parents. When he enrolled in the Faculty of Philology in 1956, he chose Italian as he was already fluent in French and German, but he would also take all the books on the compulsory

guage Standardisation Board, founded by Pavle Ivić in 1997. He is also a member of the Italian Accademia della Crusca in Florence. Without a doubt, Ivan Klajn is today the greatest authority among linguists, an expert extraordinaire in the Serbian language and a mandatory interlocutor when it comes to language-related subjects and dilemmas.

■ No newspaper, weekly or monthly magazine seems to write about the language as continuously as you have done for years for NIN? - Serbian media have a fairly long tradition of writing about language norms. Even before World War II, Politika’s journalist Živojin Bata Vukadinović had a column “Serbian in 100 lessons”, which was then made into a book whose second edition, updated to the new Serbian orthography, was printed after the war. In the mid-1950s, Politika’s language column was written by Miodrag Lalević, and today, though sporadically, by Rada Stijović. Kosta Timotijević used to write a similar column for Borba. He was the one who first introduced me to the job. A number of useful language guides were written by Bogdan Terzić, Drago Ćupić and Egon Fekete, and in Sarajevo, in cooperation with Serbian publishers, by Milan Šipka. In recent years, under the initiative “Let’s preserve the Serbian language”, Politika has published dozens of articles in which our linguists give language-related reading list from the Ivan Klajn has written 29 books, the most important advice. The Ministry of of them probably Word Formation in the Modern faculty’s British and Education has a similar American library. His Serbian Language, in two volumes. The Dictionary initiative titled “Let’s PhD thesis was “Influcherish the Serbian lanof Language Conundrums, published by various ences of the English guage”. Radio Belgrade publishers, has had eleven editions while his Language on Italian”. has a five-minute daily Italian-Serbian Dictionary has had five He taught Historical programme called “Serbian in Serbian”, where Grammar of the Spanish Language at the Spanish Department and wrote the textbook. the radio station’s copy editors give competent language tips with a He started writing about the modern Serbian language for Borba good sense of humour. Finally, there is “Voyage into Words”, a Radio in 1974. He then went on to write for Ilustrovana politika, the culBelgrade 2 programme hosted by our linguist Vlado Đukanović and ture supplement of Politika and for NIN, whose contributor he has his associates. In all of this, I don’t think I’m an exception to the rule. been the longest, since the early 1990s until today. He compiled his articles into eight books, two of which (The Sidetracks of the ■ Which of the Serbian media seriously care about correct Meaning and Words are Tools) were published by NIN. use of language? Ivan Klajn has written 29 books, the most important of them - I must admit that there are many newspapers and magazines that I probably Word Formation in the Modern Serbian Language, in two don’t follow at all. By the time I’ve read NIN I don’t have any time left volumes. The Dictionary of Language Conundrums, published by for other weeklies, and I don’t even look at the tabloids. However, I various publishers, has had eleven editions while his Italian-Serbian think that Politika, the oldest newspaper in the Balkans with a serious cultural tradition, takes first place. This is the only newspaper I Dictionary has had five. The somewhat smaller Serbian Grammar know of that has a solid team of proofreaders, lead by Gradimir Aničić. for Foreigners was published by the Textbook Bureau. It is also Not that long ago it was customary to credit the copy editor in the available in Italian (Grammatica della lingua serba). impressum. Not anymore. It is quite possible that many magazines In 2000 he became an associate member and in 2003 a fully don’t even have a copy editor but rely on their journalists’ education. fledged member of SANU. He is the chairman of the Serbian Lan68 |

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■ Is the correct use of language as big a problem in countries with a long cultural tradition such as England, France, Germany and Italy? - Certainly not, because although their languages are spoken in more than one country, they have solved the standardisation issue back in the 19th century. In the Balkans, however, due to historical circumstances such as conflicts both in the first and second Yugoslavia, the disintegration of the country, and especially the collision of the two branches of Christianity (Orthodox and Catholic) and two scripts (Cyrillic and Latin), the common Serbo-Croatian language became polycentric and caused numerous disagreements ‒ not impossible to resolve but they are not being resolved ‒ with opposing views even on the language name and terminology.

considered it a dialect of southern Serbia, although in reality it is a transitory type of language: like Bulgarian, it doesn’t have declensions, but it’s closer to Serbian phonetically and lexically. In post-war Yugoslavia, language issues, like everything else, were under the control of the Communist Party, and the first open disputes started emerging only with the awakening of Croatian nationalism during the Croatian Spring in 1971, and later.

■ How limited, poorer is the modern language compared to the one used, say, 40 years ago? Or is it richer? - It’s definitely richer. The development of civilisation and technology have brought along a myriad of new phenomena, customs, inventions and discoveries. Whether we have an appropriate name for each of these novelties, is another question. In Serbia, like in the rest of the modern world, the tendency is to casually and automatically adopt English words, even where a suitable translation In post-war Yugoslavia language issues, like ■ What was the role can be found. In everything else, were under the control of the of the so-called 1954 Croatia, however, the Novi Sad Agreetraditional Croatian Communist Party, and the first open disputes ment? Who critipurism, which was started emerging only with the awakening of cised the Agreement born out of protest Croatian nationalism during Croatian Spring immediately after its against the German in 1971, and later signing, and why? influence at the time - The Novi Sad Agreewhen Croatia used to ment was a natural extension, concretisation and realisation of the belong to Austria, is as powerful as ever. This is why the revived famous 1850 Vienna Literary Agreement, where Serbs and Croats Croatian norm now requires that even international words such agreed to speak two varieties of the same language, to share the as ambassador or patrol, known to every Croat since the beginning of time, be replaced by coined Croatian words veleposlanik Neo-Shtokavian dialect and two accents (Ekavian and Ijekavian), and ophodnja, respectively. There are plenty of similar examples. but to use two different scripts. Since then up to the early 1910s, the so-called “Vuk’s disciples” were the most influential group ■ In your opinion, when did the first serious languagein Croatia, first and foremost Tomo Maretić. Three rather logical related problems start in Yugoslavia? projects were agreed in Novi Sad in 1954. Matica srpska and Matica - In the first years after the 1918 integration they were not taken hrvatska, the two oldest cultural institutions in Serbia and Croatia seriously at all. The idea was that the national languages would respectively, were to jointly publish a common orthography book in automatically merge into one simultaneously with political unifi1960, which was going to replace the 1892 Croatian Orthography cation. Some even claimed that “Serbo-Croat-Slovenian” was the by Ivan Broz and the Serbian Orthographies by Belić published language spoken in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes after WWI and WWII. They were also to publish a multi-volume although every Slavist knows that Slovenian is a specific language dictionary of contemporary Serbo-Croat and compile common with a specific literature. Macedonian was also overlooked. Bulterminology (this never even started). Sadly, in the early 1970s the garians regarded it as a dialect of their own language while Serbs Croatian Spring was born, chauvinist aspirations took over in Matica JUNE

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hrvatska and the Croats stopped working on the dictionary after its second volume (while Matica srpska completed it, publishing its six volumes in 1976, and more recently, in 2011, its one-volume version). Instead of the common orthography, several competitive versions of the “purely Croatian” orthography were published in Croatia. The way the things are now, it is highly unlikely that the planning of a joint Serbian and Croatian version will ever happen.

different languages but two varieties of the same language. In our case, mutual intelligibility is well over 90 per cent. Therefore, the most accurate concept, and the one deeply rooted in Slavonic studies internationally, is that different varieties of the same language were spoken in all parts of Former Yugoslavia except in Slovenia and in Macedonia. The trouble is that we don’t have a common name for that language. The once-suggested “Illyrian” was neither acceptable nor scientifically justifiable because, as we know, Illyrians were not Slavs. The most widely-accepted in Slavistics was Serbo-Croatian (with possible variants for domestic use: Croat-Serbian, Serbian or Croatian, Croatian or Serbian), and it went without saying that it included Bosniaks and Montenegrins because a four-barrelled name would have been impractical. Modern foreign politicians, especially those in the Hague, circumvent the problem by using acronyms such as BHS, BCMS and the like, but an acronym cannot be a scientific term. When our common country disintegrated, terms such as “Bosnian” or “Bosniak” were invented but there is no realistic justification for them. The only difference is that Turkish and Arabic words are used somewhat more frequently (which, by the way, are not uncommon in Serbia or Croatia) and the sound /h/. Talk about “the Montenegrin language” has no justification whatsoever. They have added two purely dialectal phonemes (the palatal There wouldn’t be any problems just as there ■ What is your opin/s/ and /z/ sounds) weren’t any in either of the former Yugoslavias ion of the recent just to create an artiDeclaration on the if they were not brought about artificially to deepen ficial difference. The Declaration highlights Common Language? political conflicts among the former sister all these nationalistic It has caused quite republics. This is why these problems should be diversions, supporting a stir in the countries in the region solved by politicians and lawyers while the linguists them by the fact tha it concerns – BiH, mutual intelligibility should provide expert assistance Serbia, Montenegro is still nearly one hundred per cent and that no-one needs translations of Croatian and Croatia. Does it have any significance for the future? books into Bosniak, of Serbian films into Montenegrin, etc. - The Declaration justifiably highlights some undeniable facts that have been blurred by nationalistic prejudices. The only people ■ What, in your opinion, is the greatest problem concerning who kept drawing attention to them were Ranko Bugarski in the use of Serbian, Croatian, Bosniak and Montenegrin in Serbia, and Snježana Kordić in her book Language and Nationalism (opposing the official Croatian language policy) in Croatia. the countries that once comprised SFRY? The fact is that there is no ‘equals sign’ between a language, a - There wouldn’t be any problems just as there weren’t any in either nation and a state, that it is not true that “every nation has the of the former Yugoslavias if they were not brought about artificially right to call its language by its own name”, and that the use of to deepen political conflicts among the former sister republics. This the same language in different countries, by different nations is why these problems should be solved by politicians and lawyers is a common occurrence worldwide (the best examples being while the linguists should provide expert assistance. The logic and English, Spanish and Portuguese, to which we can add French, the facts of the Declaration should be integrated into legislation as Italian and Arabic). Then there is the criterion of intelligibility. much as possible. There is that well-known case of the Bosniaks Snježana Kordić argues that if two language communities have from Novi Pazar who wouldn’t accept the charges brought against 70 per cent or more common lexemes, they do not speak two them until they have been “translated” into “their language”. If we 70 |

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were to read out the charges to them and ask them, word by word, which of them they didn’t understand, provided they responded honestly, they wouldn’t be able to name one. I think the legislation prescribing that a foreigner or a national minority member should get a charge written in their own language could be amended to say that this doesn’t include mutually intelligible languages.

not exist in other Cyrillic languages, Russian has nine letters that we don’t, and is similar to the Ukrainian, Bulgarian and Macedonian Cyrillic scripts. In practice, we see that people living in Belgrade have turned to Latin script. Not only are most shop signs in Latin (which may be for commercial reasons) but handwritten adverts and notices on tree trunks and pillars, handwritten notes that we exchange with

■ What is the real importance of Cyrillic today, and who do we have to defend it from? - There is no practical importance but it is important from the cultural and political point of view. I have always argued that the percolation of Latin script into Serbia is not a result of a cunning plan of domestic traitors, communists, Croats, Soros or NATO supporters and the like, but a historical phenomenon that gradually develops and becomes stronger because the national community doesn’t pay attention to it and is not aware of the dangers that come with it. Between the two world wars, under the influence of the so-called “left-wing intelligencia”, the number of books and magazines in Latin script in Serbia was constantly growing. It seemed to make sense that in a unified country we could use either of the two official scripts as we pleased, and the publishers didn’t mind because it meant a bigger market for them. Even then everybody knew that a literate Serb could read both Cyrillic and I have always argued that the percolation of Latin Latin, and that Croats each other where we script into Serbia is not a result of a cunning plan didn’t know Cyrillic write friends’ names, or were allergic to it addresses, informaof domestic traitors, communists, Croats, Soros tion on cultural events, (but no one asked why or NATO supporters and the like, but a historical recipes, letters (enothing was printed phenomenon that gradually develops and becomes mails and handwritten in Cyrillic in Croatia). stronger because the national community doesn’t ones), etc, etc. To forWhen you have two bid or penalise the use tools for the same purpay attention to it and is not aware of the pose, you will not be of Latin script would dangers that come with it using them alternately. be unthinkable in a Instead, you’ll stick to the one that has a wider use. Latin script is democratic society. So the only thing that remains is to protect more universal not because it is used in the countries much bigger Cyrillic as a cultural good, to make it compulsory in official and than ours but because we in Serbia need it too for maths, physics public documents, to give an incentive to publishers who still publish and chemical formulas, for websites and email addresses, for car in Cyrillic. However, we should avoid making Cyrillic a “sacred”, registration, for Latin quotations, for marking chords and as other “ceremonial” script used only by the state but not by the people. symbols in music, and for many other things. In addition, there is a “common” Latin alphabet of 26 letters, without any additional ■ Is language today as important for national identity as symbols, and history would have it that this particular alphabet it used to be in 19th century? - Probably not to the same extent because of the globalisation that has was adopted by the English language, the undisputed language happened in the meantime. Radio, television, the internet and other of global communication today, while all other languages using innovations have helped us communicate more with the world rather Latin script (except Dutch) have to add diacritics: two dots in than just within our own national community. However, there is no German, accents and tildes in Roman languages, hyphens and doubt that language will remain an important element of national hooks in Slavonic languages using Latin script. Cyrillic scripts, identity ‒ although neither the only element nor the crucial one. ■ however, are all national. Our letters “љ”, “њ”, “ђ”, “ћ” and “ј” do JUNE

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YOGA: THE NATURAL IMMUNITY BOOSTER

Stretch Your Body

TO CALM YOUR MIND The benefits of yoga provide both instant gratification and lasting transformation. In the fitness world, both are extremely important. Too much time with too few results can be incredibly discouraging, and monotonous routines week after week can lead to stagnation. Yoga can change your physical and mental capacity quickly, while preparing the mind and body for long-term health

Y

oga is an ancient physical and spiritual discipline and branch of philosophy that originated in India reportedly more than 5,000 years ago. Today many of yoga studios and local gyms offer yoga classes that are open to all generations and fitness levels. It’s exciting to enter a room full of young teens, athletes, middleaged moms, older gentlemen, and businessman. Everyone can feel accepted and included and, unlike other sports or classes that focus on niche clients, yoga tends to offer open arms. Whether you are 92, 53, or even 12, yoga can help you.

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Yoga is not just about working out, it’s about a healthy lifestyle. The practice of yoga allows students to find stillness in a world consumed with chaos. Peace and tranquility achieved through focused training appeals to everyone. Yoga’s deep breathing and meditation practices help foster an inner shift from to-do lists, kids and spouse’s needs, financial concerns, and relationship struggles to something a little bit bigger than the issues you face. Yoga helps relieve stress and declutters the mind, helping you to become more focused. One of the benefits of yoga is that you can choose a yoga style that’s


full breaths versus the usual one to three breaths. Muscles are tailored to your lifestyle, such as hot yoga, power yoga, relaxation challenged as the mind and body have to work together simultayoga, prenatal yoga, etc. Whether you prefer to practice at home, in neously to hold a position without giving up. Breathing, posing, a private session, while watching a DVD or at a studio or gym, there moving, and increasing flexibility happen together at one time, are a huge variety of options available to suit your goals and needs. which unearths a new level of discipline in your mind and body. If you’re a yoga beginner, hatha yoga, which focuses on basic Isometric exercises are one of the best ways to build core strength. postures at a comfortable pace, would be great for you. If you want to increase strength through using more of your own body’s resistance, power yoga may be right for you. If you’re ready for a deeper practice, Bikram, also called “hot yoga,” may be just what you’re looking for. In Bikram yoga, the room temperature is set to around 105 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in greater elimination of toxins from the body through the increased production of sweat. No matter your fitness level, fat percentage, or health history, yoga has a style for you. Yoga’s focus on strength training and flexibility is an incredible benefit to your body. The postures are meant to strengthen your body from the inside out, so you don’t just look good, you feel good, too. Each of the yoga poses is built to reinforce the muscles around the spine, the very center of your body, which is the core from which everything else operates. When the core is working properly, posture is improved, thus alleviating back, shoulder, and neck pain. The digestive sysIsometric, stemming tem gets back on track A key point in yoga is finding balance, when the stretching in physically but also within ourselves. In business, we from the words “same” and “length,” simply yoga is coupled with a seek the balance between growth and profit in the translates to holding healthy, organic diet, most efficient or cost effective way possible. one position without which can relieve moving. Power yoga constipation, irritable In practicing yoga, we can learn to be sensitive to bowel syndrome (IBS), all opposing forces in any scenario through practice uses isometric exercises along with other and acid reflux. Another one of the benefits of and testing. Over time, you become open minded to postures that are definding the easiest or newest ways to solve signed to make the yoga is that stretching core and back stronger. and holding postures problems and find real balance Flexibility and balance also causes muscles to stem from your core, so it’s important to train this area of the lengthen, which gives the body a longer, leaner look. body. In turn, you can increase the strength and health of your Adapted from the basic Ashtanga yoga, power yoga requires entire body. Generally a high-temperature room is used in this increased energy, focus, and strength. Although power yoga evolved practice to help keep the muscles warm and release additional from the basics, it certainly is not a basic course. toxins from the body. ■ How does it help build muscle? Most poses are held for five

Power Yoga’s Effect On The Body

• It increases endurance, strength, and flexibility; • Mental endurance and physical stamina are tested through holding postures for extended breaths; • Arm and shoulder strength is increased as you use your own body weight for resistance;

• Lats, traps, and other back muscles begin to support the spine better than before; • Abdominals and obliques are refined and toned through building core muscles; • Posture begins to correct itself over time; • Hip flexors are stretched and strengthened; • Glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves are strengthened;

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CHILL OUT GAZA

GAZANS ‘RED CARPET’ FILM FESTIVAL ▶ Gaza doesn’t have much space for cultural events but this month the city’s port has been transformed into a venue for outdoor screenings.The Red Carpet Festival showcases films focusing on human rights issues, aims to provide Palestinians with a rare opportunity to explore their dreams, or at least practice a little escapism. True to its name, the festival’s organizers have laid out a 100-meter long red carpet. But there are no celebrities — it’s for the thousands of ordinary Gazans turning out to watch the films. The festival, which is in its third year, coincides with the Cannes Film Festival and aims to show that there is an alternative to the catwalks and glamour of its French counterpart. This year for the first time, all of the festival’s entries are being screened simultaneously in Ramallah in the West Bank and in the Israeli city of Haifa.

COLOMBIA

WORLD’S LARGEST VERTICAL GARDEN ▶ Edificio Santalaia, a plantcovered building in the middle of Bogota, Colombia, is considered one of the most amazing urban gardens ever created. With over 3,600 sq/m of plants covering the building’s 11 stories (9 above ground and 2 underground), this is the world’s largest vertical garden. CHINA

CHINA'S FIRST DOMESTICALLY BUILT PASSENGER PLANE ▶ The narrow-body, twin-engine C919 successfully took off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 2pm local time (7am BST) amid much fanfare.

The result of a collaboration between Spanish green designers Paisajismo Urbano and Colombian company Groncol, this stunning vertical garden was completed in December 2015, after eight months of planning, and another eight months of hard work. Today, it is often referred to as “the green heart of Bogota”, and acts both as an icon of sustainability, as well as a reminder of the important role that plants play in our daily lives.

The single-aisle aircraft has been billed as China’s answer to the Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 as the nation aims to take on western airlines. The C919 flight is Beijing’s first step toward independence from Boeing and Airbus as it attempts to replace all 6,000-6,800 of its western aircraft at a cost of around $1 trillion.

JAPAN

CRYING BABY FESTIVAL 2017 ▶ The Crying Sumo Festival is undoubtedly one of Tokyo’s more unusual events—and one which has attracted the attention of numerous foreigners over the years. It is held at several shrines throughout Japan, but the event at Sensoji in Asakusa is one of the most famous. The Crying Sumo Festival is a competition between one year old babies to see which one cries or laughs first after being dangled in the air by sumo wrestlers. If both babies start weeping at the same time then the winner is decided by who cries the loudest. The Festival is held to pray for the baby’s healthy growth and development.

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SWITZERLAND

NEW SWISS GUARDS SWORN IN ▶ The world’s oldest standing army has 40 new members after a Vatican Swiss Guard swearing-in ceremony. Each man took a loyalty oath in a ritual-rich ceremony in the St. Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace. The May 6 date commemorates the day in 1527 when 147 guardsmen died while protecting Pope Clement VII during the Sack of Rome. The recruits, who enroll for at least two years, must be single, upstanding Swiss Catholic males younger than 30. Wearing blue-and-gold uniforms and holding halberds — spear-like weapons — they are a tourist delight while standing guard at Vatican ceremonies. Their main duty is to protect the pope.

POLAND

CROOKED FOREST IN POLAND ▶ A veil of mystery surrounds a piece of forest located outside the village of Nowe Czarnowo in Poland, where a grove of 400 oddlyshaped pine trees exists. The strange sight known as FINLAND

Crooked Forest was planted in the 1930’s, probably by the local population, and it is one of the weirdest natural locations to be seen on the planet. Surrounded by normal pines, these 400 trees are bent at 90 degrees, just above their base, with the curve going back upright after some 1 to 3 metres of veering sideways.

WORLD

ONLINE AUCTIONS TRENDS 2017 ▶ A new report from leading art and auction search engine Barnebys reveals some surprising trends. Among other things, the report reveals astonishing growth in demand for 20th century design, with the market for design increasing by almost 330 percent between 2009 and 2016.

JAPAN

JAPAN’S TOP UNUSUAL BATHROOM

FINLAND'S NEW FEMINIST SPORT: HOBBY-HORSING ▶ Hobby-horsing, a sport made up mostly of Finnish teen girls, mimics traditional equestrian events, such as show jumping and dressage. But rather than ride an actual horse, competitors straddle a horse head on a long stick, replete with glued-on eyes and manes. Hobby-horsing also has a strong element of female empowerment, some riders say. Young girls are building their own scene and setting their own terms, free of strict standards and the scrutiny of official committees. “No boys are coming and saying what we need to do, or bossing around,” Alisa Aarniomaki, 20, told the Associated Press. “I think hobby-horsing has a feministic agenda.” About 10,000 people, nearly all of them tweens and teens, are thought to be involved in Finland’s hobbyhorsing scene, though no official statistics exist.

▶ Everyone knows that the Japanese love their toilets. A young woman, named Maritomo, literally wrote the book on Japanese toilets titled Nippon no toire hoka (Japanese Toilets and More). After visiting over 800 bathrooms, here is one of the most of fantastic, bizarre, weird, and serene Japanese toilets, called Garden Toilet, with three types: Tea, Hill, and Dry. Each allows the viewer to appreciate the majestic splendor of nature. However, the seafood restaurant Resuto Ujō in Fukui Prefecture allows you the special ability to turn a Hill garden into a Wet garden by using the toilet placed among the greenery.

The report’s findings are based on an analysis of more than 31 million realised auction prices from 315 auction houses in 29 countries. It focuses on works by 15 ‘designated designers’ from Denmark, France, Finland, Sweden, and the US and estimates their total market value in 2016 at €38.3 million. The growth is due in large part to the increased transparency and access that comes with online auctions, which provide more opportunities for more people to buy iconic design furniture. “Buying design is a better investment than, say, buying art, no matter what the price range,” says Barnebys co-founder and CEO Christopher Barnekow.

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CULTURE CALENDAR

Carmina Burana 7 - Serbian National Theatre, Novi Sad - 20:00 The scenic cantata and carefree anthem of the joy of life, Carmina Burana, the most popular work of Carl Orff, will be performed for the first time this season on 7th June.

Directed by Sonja Vukicevic, with choreography by Leo Mujic and under the baton of conductor Mikica Jevtic, soloists include soprano Darija Olajos Cizmic, tenor Igor Kzionzik and baritone Basa Stajkic.

12th Belgrade Early Music Festival 10-25 – Kolarac – 20:00

The 12th International Belgrade Early Music Festival, which this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the establishing of the Studio for Early Music, which organises this festival, starts on 10th June with a Baroque Gala Concert and culminates on 25th June. Numerous concerts will

include international soloists and ensembles, performance of Handel’s opera Orlando and a number of workshops with famous early music artists. Join us this year for the biggest celebration of early music in Belgrade.

Belgrade Latino Marathon 10 – Republic Square – 16:00 The 8th Belgrade Latino Marathon will take place on Belgrade’s Republic Square (Trg Republike) on Saturday 10th June, under the slogan “Go Dance Belgrade”.

The Belgrade Latino Marathon will gather dance couples from Serbia and abroad, as well as presenting junior and senior representatives and dancers from Belgrade’s Latino dance schools and organisations. Visitors to this year’s event will have the opportunity to attend junior performances and a free, open Latin dance school, as well as learning about the wide variety of different types of Latin dances from professional representatives of latino dance schools based in Serbia. This will be followed by dance performances of international and local dance couples. Belgrade’s Latino Marathon is organised annually by the Tourist Organisation of Belgrade. According to TOB, Belgrade’s Latino Marathon deserves massive credit for the fact that Belgrade is now ranked as a major Latino dance destination not only in Europe but worldwide, with more than three different Latino dance parties available in the city every day, while it has also contributed greatly to the fact that Belgrade is being visited every year by more and more foreign and domestic tourists.

The Spanish National Ballet 4 - Sava Centre - 20:00 After a magnificent guest appearance in 2014, the Spanish National Ballet is preparing for a new sensational success on the stage of Belgrade’s Sava Centre. The Ballet Nacional de España is a grandiose structure at the highest artistic level that serves to affirm the highest values of the art of ballet, as well as representing the tradition of the classical Spanish dance schools of flamenco, a style of music and dance that originated in Andalusia in the 18th century, and not only in this form of dance, but also in zarzuela and in grand escuela bolera, which adapted to the Spanish style from French and Italian dances during the 18th century. The Ministry of Culture of Spain established this ballet company in 1978, and

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for the last 39 years it has also worked to popularise flamenco – a dance that UNESCO has included on its World Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Admirers of the passionate flamenco style will have the opportunity to see four breath-taking performances in one amazing spectacle. More than 40 top dancers, accompanied by dozens of musicians, will for the first time perform for the Serbian audience the Bolera to the music of Maurice Ravel, Ritmos, Soleá del mantón and Alento.

Days of Korean Culture xx The Days of Korean Culture, organised by the Korea Embassy in Serbia, is continuing on from the series of events in May with events in June that also celebrate the culture of Korea. The TAGO performance, which is a fusion of percussion, dance and acrobatics, will take place at 8pm on 14th June in the Hall of Belgrade’s Union House (Dom Sindikata). The TAGO Group includes younger generations of Korean musicians and combines traditional Korean instruments, from the largest to the smallest percussion instrument, with martial arts. Percussionists perform all rhythms, from traditional to contemporary, and are joined by dancers with exciting moves and acrobatics. TAGO has already impressed many European audiences – check out why

Darko Rundek 15 – Tašmajdan Stadium – 20:00

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the release of his first solo album, “Apocalypso”, the former frontman of influential Zagreb band Haustor, Darko Rundek has again gathered a large band for a regional tour starting on 15th June with a concert at Belgrade’s Tašmajdan Stadium. “Apocalypso” was the album with which Rundek presented himself to audiences as a solo artist for the first time in 1997. The production of this album was completed with a musical stage project that included seven accompanying musicians, an original video and lighting effects designed for large performances with thousands of spectators. The “Apocalypso” tour will present all the intimacy, beauty and grandeur of Rundek’s music and poetics, which have become part of the lives of several generations, from teenagers to those with more than half a century behind them. For this concert Rundek has brought together musicians of different generations, from excellent twenty-year-old saxophonist Ana Kovačić and the eternally youthful Igor Pavlica on trumpet, through young members of the new Zagreb scene Rok Crnić (Porto Morto) on bass, Mira Manojlović (Cul-de-Sac) on percussion and Janko Novoselić (TBF, Chui) on drums, to members of Cargo Trio Isabel and Duca Vranić.

Les Misérables 19 – Madlenianum – 19:30 Love; Spectacle; Revolution: The new life of Victor Hugo’s classic novel Les Misérables. All this could

for yourself. Admission to the performance is free of charge, with tickets able to be booked via the eventim.rs website. On 17th June, starting at 7pm, the Belgrade Youth Centre will host a contest that you can join, under the title ‘K-pop World Festival Serbia’. After last year’s excellent inaugural competition in Serbia, which provided a great atmosphere and excellent results, the doors of the K-pop World Festival are again opening in Serbia. For further information and enquiries, please contact us at: danikoreje@gmail.com be said for the musical Les Misérables by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, which is presently being performed in 38 countries, has had over 39,000 repeat performances and been seen by an incredible 51,000,000 spectators. Visit Madleniuanum and enjoy this musical that has smashed records around the world.

Bach In Demand 20 – Belgrade City Hall – 21:00 Milan Zaric (harp) and Sasa Mirkovic (viola) will perform works by Johann Sebastian Bach and works by contemporary composers inspired the music of Bach. Programme: J.S. Bach Suite + ‘Passing notes’ Ana Gnjatović for solo harp (2012) JS. Bach Sonata for viola da gamba and harpsichord transcription for viola and harp J. S. Bach Suite No. 2 for cello (viola) Drasko Adzic Study No. 4 for viola and electronics according to 4 Suite for cello (2016)


Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra 22 – Kolarac – 20:00

First guest performance of the Saint Petersburg Opera in Serbia Madlenianum Opera & Theatre Not Only Love - 24 - 19:30 Betrothal in a Monastery - 26 - 19:30

The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra has been providing a musical education through orchestral programmes and performance opportunities of the highest calibre since 1946. The CYSO was founded by a group of parents whose children – energised by a summer music camp – wanted to explore music closer to home throughout the school year. Over the past 70 years, the CYSO has earned local and national awards, partnered with some of the most prestigious artists and organisations, and continues the legacy of musicianship upon which the organisation was founded. Conductor: Allan Tinkham Programme: A. Dvorak (Carnival - Overture Op.92, B) Edward Elgar (In the south (Alassio) - Overture op.50) P.L. Tchaikovsky (Symphony No.6 h mol op.74 Pateticno) Admission is free of charge.

Japanizam 2017 22-25 – Belgrade Youth Centre – 20:00

The Saint Petersburg Opera is set to appear at Madlenianum and perform in Serbia for the first time! After the very successful performing of the operas La Traviata (premiered in 2006) and Pagliacci (premiered in 2011) at Madlenianum, directed by Yuri Alexandrov and with sets and costumes designed by Vyacheslav Okunev, we will have the opportunity to see their artistic interpretations of R. Shchedrin’s opera Not Only Love and S. Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery. These two operas performed by the St. Petersburg Opera will have their premiere performances on the stage at Madlenianum. The opera Not Only Love was created on the basis of themes from the stories of Sergei Antonov, with the libretto of added limericks. This opera is dedicated This year is quite a special one for ‘Japanizam’, as it marks its 10th anniversary! Just like last year, the convention will take place on both floors of the Belgrade Youth Centre and will last four days, from 22nd to 25th June. This year’s theme will be celebrating Japanizam’s 10th anniversary, so you can expect special panel discussions and events dedicated to a retrospective of the last 10 years of Japanizam, as well as discussions with the “old timers“ of Sakurabana, the organiser of Japanizam. There will also be numerous panel debates, workshops, lectures, film screenings, board games and video games, sales booths and exhibitions of your artwork (the best examples of which will be rewarded). Programme details will be posted on the Sakurabana website, sakurabana.rs

16th Night of Books 16 - nationwide - 17:00-00:00 On Friday 16th June the Laguna Readers Clubs and Delfi bookshops will host the sixteenth regional Night of Books event, sponsored by Eurobank Serbia, from 5pm to midnight. This will provide yet another opportunity to buy global bestsellers at the best prices, as well as books by local authors, children’s books and other publications. Discounts on Laguna publications during this event will be 25 per cent for the purchase of a single book, 30 per cent for two books, 35 per cent for three books and 40 per cent for purchases of four or more books. Discounts on foreign editions will be 20 per cent, while the prices of titles of other publishers will also be reduced by 20 per cent. Prices of varied gift assortments will be reduced by 10 per cent.

All discounts will also be able via the website www.delfi.rs. And this night will also be marked by the release of new exclusive titles! The Night of Books will be held simultaneously at 53 locations in 26 towns and cities across Serbia and the region. The regional character of this event is provided by Laguna Readers Clubs in Banja Luka, Tuzla, Sarajevo, Podgorica and Nikšić. This event has been held in Serbia and the region since 2009. Twice a year, in June and December, Laguna Readers Clubs and Delfi bookshops are visited for a few

RECOMMENDS

4321 Paul Auster 2500rsd

to the composer’s wife, great Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. Not Only Love is a cheerful, bright work that is close to a musical in its genre. As seen by director Yuri Aleksandrov, the main focus is on love, of course. The plot of Sergei Prokofiev’s comic opera Betrothal in a Monastery is based on Richard Sheridan’s popular drama The Duenna. This show was created as a kind of joke, something like a student party where acting and reality are organically linked. The story begins as an acting class, before becoming a cheerful festive theatre play in which reality gradually begins to dominate.

In 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, was born. From that singular beginning, Ferguson’s life would go on to take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four Fergusons made of the same genetic material, four boys who are the same boy, will go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, 4 3 2 1 is an unforgettable tour de force, the crowning work of this masterful writer’s extraordinary career.

Bebel Gilberto

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

29 – Bitef Art Cafe – 22:00

Colson Whitehead 2240rsd

Bebel Gilberto, a multiple Grammy Award nominee, arrives with his trio at Belgrade’s most beautiful summer venue this June. The daughter of famous singer Joao Gilberto, she created her own sound, a laidback Bossa nova style, at the very start of her career in her twenties in her hometown of New York. Her synthesising of electronics with authentic Brazilian rhythms and melodies that float to the top of Bossa-coloured modern arrangements have seen her ranked among the best-selling Brazilian artists of all time. hours by tens of thousands of readers and customers. With the interest it generates in books, attendance figures, quality and variety of titles, as well as the unusually large discounts, this event can only be compared with the Belgrade Book Fair in terms of importance. The number of visitors attending the Night of Books increases annually, while the event itself is spreading throughout the region and represents an unmissable opportunity, as the only night when titles of all genres can be purchased at incredibly low prices, with attendees able to familiarise themselves with new titles and mingle with local writers. Publishing house Laguna, which produces over 550 titles, including 350 new titles, annually, is rightly known as one of the biggest publishing houses in the country and the region.

From award-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, this magnificent work chronicles a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but it is particularly bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. As Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors for African-American people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.

SEVENEVES Neal Stephenson 1550rsd

This astounding new novel from the master of science fiction was recently optioned by Ron Howard and IMAGINE to be made into a major motion picture. The Earth was ticking like a bomb. To ensure survival, they had to look beyond its atmosphere. So they became pioneers. Five thousand years later, they represent a progeny form seven distinct races and they must journey to an alien world: Earth. This magnificent, visionary work of speculative fiction from a true visionary will dazzle you with its depth, psychology and awesome imagination.

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AFTER WORK

SEE MORE: WWW.CORDMAGAZINE.COM

27 APR

Nikola Tesla Airport: “Story In 55 Images”

SAŠA VLAISAVLJEVIĆ AND LJUBOMIR AĆIMOVIĆ

08 MAY

An exhibition of archival photographs of some of the many celebrities who have passed through Belgrade Airport since 1962, entitled “Story in 55 images”, has officially opened at Nikola Tesla Airport to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the airport’s existence. The photographs, on display in Terminal 2, include never-before-seen images of historical figures, music icons and actors, goldwinning athletes and other personalities who have arrived at and departed from this airport. The host of the exhibition’s opening ceremony was Saša Vlaisavljević, Director of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, while the special guest was Ljubomir Aćimović, the former managing director of the airport, who – having worked for this enterprise for 40 years – met many of the figures and witnessed many of the historical events depicted in this exhibition.

Days of Macedonian Tradition

08 MAY

FEFA Conference Held To Mark Europe Day

On the occasion of Europe Day, with the support of the EU Delegation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration (FEFA) organised a conference on the topic of the creative industry, which accounts for seven per cent of the world economy today, generating profits of €3 trillion. “Economics is the science of scarce resources, but that has today changed and it has gained a new dimension – creativity and innovation, as well as unlimited human resources,” said Goran Pitić. “The creative industry today generates 7% of the global economy and that’s three times higher than the auto industry,” said Frank Hannigan, coordinator of the EBRD team for the creative industries. Participants were also addressed by Dušan Kovačević, founder of the EXIT Festival, Aja Jung, director and founder of the Belgrade Dance Festival, and Bojana Maljević, FEFA professor and dramatic artist.

Prompted by great interest, this year’s traditional “Days of Macedonian Tradition” event lasted for two weeks, running from 8th to 22nd May. The Kovac Restaurant offered its guests traditional Macedonian food and drinks, while the host of the event – the Stobi Winery – hired Skopje’s most famous chef, Vlatko Ognenovski, who has devoted his skills to promoting traditional Macedonian cuisine paired with excellent Macedonian wines, like Stobi wines. The many guests included H.E. Kyle Scott, U.S. Ambassador, H.E. Gordan Markotić, Croatian Ambassador, H.E. Philip Pinnington, Canadian Ambassador, and host Ambassador H.E. Vera Jovanovski -Tipko.

08 MAY

10th Beldocs Opens

FESTIVAL OPENING

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The 10th Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival opened with a screening of Andrew Dominik’s “One more time with feeling”, about famous musician Nick Cave. “When I look back on the past 10 years, only two things will mark them: incredibly hard work and vision, which brought us here,” said Mladen Vušurović, director of the Beldocs Festival. Australian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Julia Feeney, addressed the audience, saying: “I congratulate you on the tenth anniversary of the festival and hope that together we will await the twentieth anniversary”. Film lovers in attendance were addressed by Frank Baumann, director of the Goethe Institute, Elena Boggio, representing the Creative Europe MEDIA programme, and Paul Pauwels, director of the European Documentary Network. The honour of opening the festival was given to Swedish director Stig Björkman, author of the documentary film “Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words”.

CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS


09 MAY

Europe Calling

10 MAY

The conference “Europe Calling – born Europeans” has been organised by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the Women’s Platform for the Development of Serbia, with the aim of promoting women and cooperation in Europe, particularly in developmental processes, in which the voice of women, coming from the women’s movements of Serbia, should be heard more loudly and be more present. The universal project called “Europe Calling - born Europeans” is being organised throughout Europe, and for the first time in Serbia. The theme of this year’s series of events was “Who holds Europe together?” The event brought together MPs, politicians, representatives of institutions, activists from women’s organisations, scientists, entrepreneurs and many others.

Eurobank And Manchester United Sign Agreement To Continue Cooperation

The exclusive partnership between Eurobank and Manchester United has resulted in the issuing of 20,000 Eurobank Manchester United co-branded payment cards, as well as numerous socially responsible activities. Continued cooperation was crowned with the support to the Serbian Sports Association of Disabled Persons, which for the first time in its history formed a football team. “We are proud to announce the start of cooperation with the Serbian Sports Association of Disabled Persons. We want to support them and promote inclusion through all aspects of social activities, as one of the basic pillars of corporate social responsibility,” said Slavica Pavlović, President of the Eurobank Executive Board. According to Simon Hoppe, Head of Financial Services at Manchester United, the continuation of the club’s partnership with Eurobank best testifies to its success.

NEMANJA VIDIĆ

AGREEMENT SIGNING

10 MAY

Speed Business Meeting

Belgrade’s Hotel Falkensteiner hosted a three-way Speed Business Meeting that was attended by 40 member companies of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia), the Chamber of Italian-Serbian Entrepreneurs (ISCC) and the Hellenic Business Association (HBA), with the aim of enabling direct meetings and promoting cooperation between the member-companies of these three associations. Every participant had the opportunity to present their company in ten “1 to 1” ten-minute meetings, after which they also had the opportunity to meet other participants in the informal atmosphere of a cocktail reception organised on this occasion. This Speed Business Meeting was supported by Hotel Falkensteiner, which was also the general sponsor of this event, alongside Generali Insurance JSC.

10 MAY

Open Door Days At The Embassy Of Belgium

On the occasion of the Open Door Days at the Embassy of Belgium, H.E. Leo D’Aes, Ambassador of Belgium to Serbia, welcomes Serbian students who are studying law, economics and political science. In a pleasant and open atmosphere, Ambassador D’Aes introduced student to the current state of international relations, particularly in terms of the EU integration process of Serbia and the countries of the region. “We support and help Serbia on this path, as do other organisations, such as the Council of Europe, the OSCE, financial institutions like the EBRD and EIB, but clear support for the European perspective of Serbia also comes from countries that are not part of the EU, such as Norway or the U.S.,” said Ambassador D’Aes. He said that the mechanism of the Western Balkan Sextet (WB 6) is an important instrument given to the countries of the region to help them jointly prepare for EU membership.

FANINA KOVAČEVIĆ- POPAZ, DORIS DANILOVIĆ AND MIRJANA KOJIĆ

H.E. LEO D'AES

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12 MAY

2nd SSCC Members’ Reunion

13 MAY

Malaysian Charity Bazaar 2017

15 MAY

Academic Palms Awarded

The Swiss- Serbian Chamber of Commerce’s second members’ reunion was held on the premises of company Nestle Adriatic, and saw SSCC President Yana Mikhailova welcome guests and present the results of the “SSCC Business Climate Survey”. Three SSCC member companies then presented their corporate activities: SR Technics, BDK Law Office and Omya Venčac. The reunion was followed by a networking cocktail reception.

During a ceremony at the French Embassy, H.E. Christine Moro, French Ambassador to Serbia, awarded the Order of Academic Palms to Milica Vinaver, assistant professor at the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Philology, in recognition of the success of the university, and the Order of Academic Palms, in the rank of knight, to Radan Džodić, professor of oncology surgery and director of the Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia. Finally, Stevan Jokić, Research Fellow at the Vinča Institute, received the Order of Academic Palms in the Rank of Commandeur.

18 MAY

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xCEEd: Roadmapping The Digital (r)Evolution

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The Embassy of Malaysia in Belgrade and Mr Nik Ady Arman Bin Nik Mohd Kamil, Counsellor and Chargé d’Affairs at the embassy, organised the 5th Malaysian Charity Bazaar at Belgrade’s Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel. The Bazaar, a charitable fundraising family event that offered many attractions for visitors of all ages, was open to the public with free admission. Every year, the Bazaar focuses on assisting and creating awareness on a particular socially disadvantaged group or a specific humanitarian organisation. This year it was channelled to the “Podrzi zivot” Foundation, which helps children with serious illnesses to obtain adequate medical treatment. The Bazaar was supported by approximately 50 socially responsible companies as well as several other Asian Embassies.

Photo by FoNet/Aleksandar Levajković

Photo by FoNet/Aleksandar Levajković

AWARD CEREMONY

Belgrade hosted the first digital finance and FinTech event in Central and Eastern Europe, organised by financial institutions for financial institutions, which gathered together in one place the top leaders of the financial sector. xCEEd, introduced banks, insurers, regulators, telecommunications companies and retailers from the region with UK’s FinTech pioneers – each of which is at the cutting edge of digital transformation in UK banking - to provide a blueprint of how to plan and execute your digital transformation projects and create a winning formula for your FinTech ambitions. This three-day event was a mix of keynote sessions from leading UK banks, insight from regulators, interactive panel debates and live demonstrations from the UK’s hottest FinTech start-ups, covering a range of topics: from user experience to AI and ZHIYU CHEN, Chief Commercial and Product Officer, AliExpress Blockchain.


19 MAY

10th Anniversary of the Ana & Vlade Divac Foundation Commemorated The National Theatre in Belgrade hosted the formal marking of the 10th anniversary of the Ana & Vlade Divac Foundation, which started working in the U.S. in 2007, after which it continued its activities aimed at helping people in need in Serbia, gathering $13.5 million. This humanitarian organisation’s impressive budget has been used to help over 600,000 people, providing shelter for 700 families, support in securing work for 800 families, renovating 90 public facilities and implementing 450 youth initiatives. “By the end of my life I don’t want to present only Serbia, but rather the world that stands behind the values of love, peace, honesty and humanity,” said Vlade Divac. “I invite you to join us in changing values and changing the meaning of elite in Serbian society,” said Ana Divac in her address.

19 MAY

Grand Final Of The LEADER Project Serbia 2017 The Canadian educational programme, “LEADER Project Serbia”, from the Richard Ivey School of Business in Western Ontario, has officially concluded. The very end of the twoweek programme saw participants – comprising the selected forty best entrepreneurs from Serbia – simulated a discussion with investment banks and funds, presenting their business plans to an eight-member jury. The jury, composed of five Canadian LEADER instructors, Canadian Ambassador H.E. Philip Pinnington, CANSEE BoD member Gordana Gavrilović and VIP mobile’s Natali Delić, selected the four participants with the most outstanding business plans, ideas and analysis. They were announced as Sanja Milosavljević, Mirna Ivić, Srđan Marković and Sreten Komlenović, while the overall winner was declared as Una Vidaković, whose idea of creating a web platform for connecting handicraft proUNA VIDAKOVIĆ, winner (centre) ducers and buyers was announced as the best.

21 MAY

10th Spanish meter

The tenth Spanish Meter Festival of Spanish-language films opened at the Yugoslav Cinematheque Film Archives with the cycle in honour of famous Spanish actress and singer Ana Belen. This year’s Spanish Meter, according to organisers of the Cervantes Institute in Belgrade, including screenings at three locations and was the largest to date. The film cycles “Honorary Goya Awards” and “Imaginary Geography” were introduced by lovers of motion pictures in an exciting adventure called “Contemporary film”, which this year brought as many as 12 films from Spain and Latin America. The “Honorary Goya Awards” programme, dedicated to this year’s winner of this recognition, Ana Belen, opened with the film “The House of Bernarda Alba”.

23 MAY

From Nalanda To Hilandar

H.E. Narinder Chauhan, Ambassador of India to Serbia, officially dedicated the first library of Indian cultural history to the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Philology. This occasion also saw the presenting of the book From Nalanda to Hilandar, published by the Belgrade Faculty of Philology and Matica Srpska. This book, the compiling of which was spearheaded by Professor Aleksandar Petrović, represents a description of the first library of Indian culture in Serbia and a short introduction to defining century of interrelatedness between Serbia and India. Speaking in her opening address, Ambassador Chauhan referred to the development of bilateral relations between India and Serbia, emphasising India’s traditional openness to Serbia, along with existing possibilities for the further development of cooperation, particularly in the field of Indian culture, yoga and science.

Director of the Cervantes Institute in Belgrade, ENRIQUE CAMACHO GARCIA

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23 MAY

“Hop Into Korea”

H.E YOO DAE JONG, Korean Ambassador (left), welcomes guests

25 MAY

From 20th May to 14th June, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea is organising the Days of Korean Culture event in Belgrade and Novi Sad, which was formally opened by H.E. Yoo Dae Jong, Korean Ambassador to Serbia. Under the slogan “Hop Into Korea”, this programme is aimed at promoting Korean culture, but also forging stronger links between the Korean and Serbian peoples. The programme encompasses various locations and includes concerts, exhibitions, opera, fashion shows and culinary events, lectures on language and culture, a political seminar and a presentation of popular Korean culture. The organisers particularly emphasise the significance of the programme’s exhibition of traditional Korean costumes – by Hanbok designer Hye-Soon Lee, who recently displayed her creations in Paris’s Louvre.

Grand Prix Of The French-Serbian Chamber Of Commerce

25 MAY

Bulgarian Holiday Commemorated

On the occasion of the Day of the Slavonic Alphabet, Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture, which is celebrated on 24th May, several activities in Belgrade were organised by H.E. Ambassador Radko Vlaykov and the Bulgarian Embassy. The embassy organised a ceremony on 24th May at the Monument of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Belgrade, while in the evening a great concert was held at the National Theatre in Belgrade by folk ensembles from Serbia and Bulgaria – “Kolo” and “Filip Kutev”. Festivities continued the next day, on 25th May, with a reception hosted by Ambassador Vlaykov for representatives of the Bulgarian national minority in Serbia, members of the diplomatic corps, senior Serbian officials, media representatives and members of the Serbian cultural elite.

The French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce has held the sixth consecutive edition of its now traditional Gala Evening for members, partners and friends, this time on the topic of talent, with guests enjoying a programme of young performing artists. This occasion also saw the Chamber present its annual Grand Prix awards in three categories. The CCFS Awards were presented to: Societe Generale Bank, for its strategic cooperation with ICT hub; Fly Fly Travel, for its CSR activities, and Dr Radan Džodić Ph.D., for his special contribution to the development of bilateral cooperation. “France nurtures talents in different areas, and also in those companies that operate in Serbia,” said CCFS President Dragoljub Damljanović. H.E. Christine Moro, French Ambassador to Serbia, noted that the level of economic exchange between France and Serbia has increased by 12 per cent since the beginning of 2017 and that this upward trend is continuing, after which she announced that her term in Serbia would soon come to an end.

Presenting of awards

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H.E. RADKO VLAYKOV


CorD Magazine No. 152  
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