H.E. JUICHI TAKAHARA, AMBASSADOR OF JAPAN: COOPERATION BASED ON STRONG CULTURAL TIES ● YOSHIFUMI KANNO, FIRST SECRETARY AT THE EMBASSY OF JAPAN: JAPAN SEES SERBIA AS A TRUE FRIEND ● IRENA VOJÁČKOVÁ-SOLLORANO, UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR AND UNDP RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE IN SERBIA: TRUSTED PARTNERSHIP ● GORAN PEKEZ, PRESIDENT OF THE JAPANESE BUSINESS CLUB AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS AND COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR AT JAPAN TOBACCO INTERNATIONAL FOR THE WESTERN BALKANS: BETTER BUSINESS CLIMATE WILL BENEFIT SOCIETY ● MILOJE OBRADOVIĆ PH.D., PRESIDENT OF THE COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION OF COMPETITION: WE PROTECT THE “RULES OF THE GAME”, NOT THE PLAYERS ● NAOKI TSUKADA, GENERAL MANAGER OF MITSUBISHI CORPORATION BELGRADE LIAISON OFFICE: TOWARD A SEAT IN THE EU OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD ● DIDIER ELLENA, VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER AT JAPAN TOBACCO INTERNATIONAL FOR THE WESTERN BALKANS: SERBIA IS A VALUABLE INVESTMENT CHOICE ● IVAN MLADENOVIĆ, COUNTRY MANAGER FOR THE BALKAN REGION, ALLIED TELESIS INTERNATIONAL B.V. HOOFDDORP BEOGRAD: HIGH EFFICIENCY WITH A SMALL INVESTMENT ● THE MUNICIPALITY OF ŠID: JAPANESE ASSISTANCEWHEN MOST NEEDED ● SET D.O.O. (LTD.) ŠABAC: RELIABLE PARTNER TO JAPANESE INVESTORS ● VLADICA DIMITROV, PRESIDENT OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF DIMITROVGRAD: HELP AT THE RIGHT MOMENT ● THE MUNICIPALITY OF BUJANOVAC: AMONG THE FIRST HOLDERS OF THE NALED CERTIFICATE IN SERBIA ● VLADIMIR ZAHARIJEV, PRESIDENT OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF BOSILEGRAD: MINERAL WEALTH - GREATEST POTENTIAL ● PUC “DUBOKO REGIONAL CENTRE FOR WASTE MANAGEMENT”, UŽICE: COOPERATION WITH JAPAN AS A GUIDING IDEA FOR THE FUTURE ● NENAD KRSTIĆ, PRESIDENT OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF TRGOVIŠTE: A FRIEND HELPS WHEN MOST NEEDED ●
Close Relations Despite Distance
Although excellent bilateral relations are not matched by an appropriate level of trade and investment, Japan and Serbia are always finding new ways of expressing their commitment to fostering links between the two nations in the cultural, academic, scientific and humanitarian fields
nterested high school students who are learning the Japanese language recently had the opportunity at the Eighth Belgrade High School to hear from Japanese Ambassador to Serbia Juichi Takahara about how Japan and Serbia have been nurturing bilateral relations since 1882, when letters were exchanged for the first time between then Japanese Emperor Meiji and Serbian King Milan Obrenović. Ambassador Takahara used the opportunity to mention examples of good cooperation that exist between our two countries, in order to best demonstrate to students how Japan and Serbia, despite the great geographical distance separating them, cooperate successfully, but also to show that there is still plenty of room to improve that cooperation in the future. The Japanese Ambassador has held a series of lectures on this topic and has found interested audiences wherever he has appeared. Serbian citizens have the opportunity to learn about the values of Japanese society at every step: through the scholarships received by Serbian students and researchers interested in topics related to Japan, this country’s rich cultural heritage, philosophy, economy and other social and political topics; through the guest appearances of renowned Japanese professors who often come to hold lectures for students; and through visits to Japanese gardens in Serbia and the cultural events that the Japanese Embassy organises in order to bring the rich tradition of Japan closer to Serbian citizens. We should certainly primarily add to this the continuing humanitarian assistance that the Embassy of Japan provides for numerous local communities in Serbia that are undeveloped or hit by difficulties, but also for Serbia’s health institutions and schools, for
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the improving of utilities services and road infrastructure, and for many other citizens’ needs. Total Japanese grants and loans to Serbia since 1999 amount to approximately €490 million, provided through donations, technical cooperation and credit in yen. Japan supports Serbia’s European Union integration, which it also sees as another important aspect in bringing the two countries closer together.
comprise a small but important Japanese business community in Serbia. The arrival of every new Japanese company represents a sign that Serbia is on the right path when it comes to reforms and improving the environment for doing business. And Japan also supports Serbia in this field in different ways. For example, Japan provides full support to Serbia in further strengthening legislation in the fields of competition protection and transparency in public procurement procedures, which are two very important aspects of the business environment for Japanese companies, especially in the pharmaceutical and IT sectors. According to the statistics of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Serbian exports to Japan in the January-September 2016 period had a total value of €44 million, while imports from Japan during the same period were worth €74.7 million. In the period from January to December 2015, imports to Serbia from Japan
Japan provides full support to Serbia in further strengthening legislation in the fields of competition protection and transparency in public procurement procedures Although there are unfortunately few Japanese investments in Serbia, one of the first Japanese companies to invest in Serbia, Japan Tobacco International, this year celebrated ten years of operations in Serbia, during which it has invested both in its own facilities and in the local community, in the training of a highly qualified workforce and in relations with its partners. In addition to this, several dozen Japanese companies, such as Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Fujitsu, Astellas, and others,
amounted to €98.8 million, while exports totalled €38.2 million and total annual trade for 2015 amounted to €137 million. Although these are very modest figures, exports from Serbia have been growing continuously in recent years, thanks primarily to the contributions of Japanese investment. Compared to the $2.3 million worth of goods that Serbia exported to Japan in 2011, for example, current figures represent a nominally modest but significant step forward.
Cooperation Based on Strong Cultural Ties Although Yazaki is only the third Japanese company to invest in Serbia, the two countries cooperate closely on the international scene when it comes to topics that are of common interest, in the fields of culture, scientific interchange and tourism. Given the reform processes in Serbia, both sides are looking forward to more vigorous trade exchanges and investment activity
H.E. JUICHI TAKAHARA, AMBASSADOR OF JAPAN
e spoke with H.E. Japanese Ambassador Juichi Takahara about many important issues related to the major geopolitical events that are shaping the world scene, from nuclear threats to terrorist threats, and from Japanese ties with the U.S. to its links with Russia, but also cooperation between Serbia and Japan in many fields, including international relations and investment climate improvement, as well as the humanitarian assistance that Japan is providing to Serbia. â€˘ Your region has once again found itself in the focus of international politics following the latest, fifth, and so far largest nuclear test in North Korea. The Japanese Prime Min-
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• Japan is a reliable ally of both the United ister announced that this kind of testing must States and Western Europe. In light of the not be tolerated. What can be expected in the recent meeting of Prime Minister Abe and coming months if Pyongyang says that the Russian President Putin, and the declaration latest test is not the end of the development on the strengthening of relations with Russia, of its nuclear capacity? is it possible in today’s world to lead a policy - The countries concerned, including Japan, and that implies good relations with both Moscow the international community have repeatedly and Washington? called on North Korea, with strong warnings, - Strengthening the Japan-United States Alliance not to conduct any further provocation, including nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches. and enhancing relations with neighbouring countries, including Russia, are among three pillars of This nuclear test that North Korea conducted in September, despite these calls, is totally unacceptable. In light of the fact that North Korea went ahead with a series of nuclear tests in an unprecedentedly short period of time, as well as the fact that North Korea has this year launched more than 20 ballistic missiles that could serve as a means to deliver weapons of mass destruction, and that it has been enhancing their capability, North Korea’s nuclear development constitutes a grave threat to Japan’s security and seriously undermines the peace and security of the region, as well as the international community. The nuclear test by North Korea is a clear and repeated violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, and represents a serious challenge to the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime centred on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to which many DONATION TO PRE-SCHOOL "PERKA VIĆENTIJEVIĆ" OBRENOVAC countries, including Japan and Serbia, are Party States. Japan lodges a serious proThe international community should strengthen pressure on North test against North Korea Korea to end its nuclear tests and other provocative actions and condemns the country’s actions in the strongest posJapan’s foreign policy. Therefore, Japan has been sible terms. seeking to develop good relations both with The international community should Moscow and Washington at the same time. strengthen pressure on North Korea to end its In May, September and November 2016, nuclear tests and other provocative actions. In Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held this regard, Japan highly appreciates that the Japan-Russia summit meetings with the United Nations Security Council unanimously President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir adopted Resolution 2321 on 30th November, which notably reinforces sanctions against Vladimirovich Putin. Prime Minister Abe invited President Putin to visit Japan’s Yamaguchi North Korea by further restricting the flow of Prefecture on 15th December and the two sides people, goods and funds to North Korea. Japan agreed to hold a Summit Meeting. will take appropriate measures, in close cooperation with other UN Member States, to enJapan has been engaging in political diasure the effectiveness of this resolution. Japan logue with Russia aimed at concluding a bilateral peace treaty through the resolution of the strongly urges North Korea to comply faithfully and fully with Resolution 2321 and the series issue of the attribution of the Four Northern of relevant resolutions, as well as to take posiIslands of Japan. It is an unnatural state of aftive actions towards denuclearisation. fairs that these important neighbours, Japan BUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
rule of law and market economy, and also enjoy strong partnerships in various fields, including politics, the economy and security. In today’s international community, where the global order is beset with challenges, the presence of a strong, united Europe is essential. Japan hopes to further cooperate with Europe, with a view to maintaining the rules-based global order in the international community. On the issue of the refugee and migrant crisis, the world faces an unprecedented level of refugee and migrant movements, which amounts to serious ongoing humanitarian crises. Therefore, close cooperation among all the relevant states and organisations is essential. Japan, as the holder of the G7 Presidency in 2016, and as an advocate for human security, has been contributing proactively to improving the refugee crisis, working closely with United Nations organisations. I highly appreciate the Government of Serbia and its local municipalities acting in a responsible and humanitarian manner, despite the hardship caused by the increased transit of refugees and migrants from the Middle East to Western Europe, passing through Serbia, and I encourage them to continue to offer favourable consideration to those people. In order to support such Serbian efforts, Japan has been extending grant aid worth approximately seven million U.S. dollars to implement assistance projects for refugees and migrants through international organisations like UNDP, UNHCR, Japan, as the holder of the G7 Presidency in 2016, and as an advocate UNICEF, IOM and IFRC. In for human security, has been contributing proactively to improving parallel, Japan is extending the refugee crisis, working closely with United Nations organisations aid worth approximately half a million U.S. dollars directly to the municipalities affecthave been close and active in a wide range of ed by the mass influx of refugees and migrants, fields, including politics, the economy, security and such as Preševo and Šid, through the provision of culture at various levels. Indeed, Prime Minister ambulance vehicles, water tank trucks and waste Abe was one of the first foreign leaders to meet collection vehicles. I am sure that the provision of with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on a face Japanese assistance will also be beneficial to the to face basis. The meeting, held at Trump’s home citizens of these municipalities. in New York on 17th November, was conducted in The threat of terrorism is rapidly growing a friendly atmosphere and was highly meaningful worldwide. Many innocent people, including Japanese people and Europeans, have been victims in terms of building personal trust between Prime of recent terrorist attacks. Terrorism cannot be Minister Abe and President-elect Trump. justified for any reason and must be resolutely condemned. • How does Japan view the topics currently dominating the European political scene – the miThe international community must unite grant crisis, the threat of terrorism and Brexit? across a wide range of fields and continue to take - Japan and European countries share basic valenduring measures over the long term to prevent ues of freedom, democracy, human rights, the and eradicate terrorism. In this regard, at the G7 and Russia, which surely have unlimited potential, have still not concluded a peace treaty some 71 years after the end of World War II. We expect President Putin’s upcoming visit to Japan will develop Japan-Russia relations in various areas, including the negotiations on a peace treaty. Japan and the United States are unwavering allies, linked firmly through the bond of universal values like freedom, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law. The cooperation and exchanges between Japan and the United States
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strengthen our ties in the areas of direct investSummit Meeting held in Japan in May, leaders ment, trade and tourism. endorsed the G7 Action Plan on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism to take the lead in On the other hand, I am impressed by the interest shown by Serbian people in Japanese culinternational efforts to combat terrorism. ture and sports. This year approximately 7,000 As a responsible member of the international people participated in “Japanizam” and about community, Japan will continue to be active in 8,000 people are practicing Japanese martial fighting terrorism. arts. Japanese professors and researchers, on Regarding BREXIT, the withdrawal of the their part, visit Serbia to complete studies in byzUnited Kingdom from the European Union constitutes an event that will have a substantial impact, antine art, frescoes, Balkan history etc. Moreover, the University of Belgrade has very intense not only on the future of European integration, but also on the international community as a whole, which is why the world is paying close attention to the BREXIT negotiations. This testifies to the expectation that the UK and the EU will continue to lead the world in enlarging and promoting a free and open market economy. Japan respects the will of the British people, as demonstrated in the referendum, and is keenly monitoring the actions of the British Government. We also admire the way in which the EU has responded to the outcome of the referendum in a quick and calm manner. Although the negotiations are sure to encounter difficulties from Prime Minister ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ and H.E. JUICHI TAKAHARA Photo: Tanjug, Tanja Valič time to time, Japan has no cooperation and exchanges with many academic doubt that the UK and the EU will overcome such institutions in Japan. difficulties and lay the foundations for the creaIn addition, I hope that the exchange in sports tion of a new Europe. will be further enhanced as we approach the 2020 Japan hopes earnestly that the BREXIT proOlympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. cess will move forward smoothly so that the world economy avoids major disruption. • You previously announced the arrival in Šabac of Yazaki, one of the world’s largest manufac• You have been in Serbia for a year already. How turers of auto parts. Will these expectations be do you assess the level of cooperation between realised? the two countries? - Japanese direct investments are still limited to - I am satisfied with the close cooperation and only two companies in Serbia: Japan Tobacco Inlively exchange between Serbia and Japan in various fields and levels, to which many players give ternational (JTI) in Senta and Panasonic Lighting their active contribution. Devices Serbia in Svilajnac. However, I am proud to For instance, our two governments cooperate note that, since the inception of their operations, on the international scene in various fora, with rethese companies have been contributing continugard to topics of our common interest. ously to the Serbian economy, both national and On the economic side, there is still room to local, in terms of the creation of jobs, acquisition of BUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
foreign currency and tax revenue. They have been making progress in hiring new employees and constantly expanding their production and export. In May this year, representatives of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the City of Šabac and Yazaki Corporation, a global automotive parts supplier, signed a Memorandum of Understanding and in 2017 Yazaki Corporation will start building its wire harnesses factory in Šabac, investing about 25 million dollars in the process. This is the first Japanese greenfield investment in Serbia and plans are
given very thorough consideration, taking into account various elements in each possible investment location. Therefore, attracting investments is a competition, with other countries and between regions and municipalities. Central and local governments are expected to constantly attempt to create and maintain good conditions for investments. Japanese businesspeople seek political and economic stability, transparency and accountability of various systems, consistency in policy implementation, regulatory efficiency, as well as assurances of fair market competition, which enables them to receive assurances about the predictability of the investment situation of the host country and the reduction of business costs, which are of great importance to any investor. In this regard, I highly appreciate the efforts of the Government of Serbia in terms of economic reform, which leads to the improvement of the country’s business and investment environment. We recently witnessed a further increase in the GDP growth rate, a reduction of the unemployment rate, as well as exceptional results in fiscal consolidation and budgetary surplus for the first time in a long period. The positive outcome of macroeconomic data is also reflected in the latest World Bank Doing Business List and the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum, where Serbia has made steady improvements. DOLLS OF JAPAN EXHIBITION Provided the strategic course of action taken by I highly appreciate the efforts of the Government of Serbia in terms the Government of Serbia of economic reform, which leads to the improvement of the country’s remains unchanged, I expect business and investment environment the constant improvement of Serbia’s business environment, which would lead to employ 1,700 people by 2019. to further economic development, despite ocI expect that the success stories of these casional ups and downs. companies will attract the attention of more JapFor its part, the Embassy of Japan is ready anese investors. to help in the creation of an encouraging climate for investors in this country, in cooperation with • In a previous interview for our magazine you the JETRO (Japanese External Trade Organisation) Office in Vienna, which is in charge of the spoke about preconditions for the greater presence of Japanese investors in Serbia. You said promotion of investment and trade, for the at that time that the most important conditions dissemination of information on Serbia among for foreign investors are the rule of law and the Japanese business circles, and for drawing their enforcement of laws, strong institutions and a attention to this country, as well as the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Balkan level playing field for all market participants. Office in Belgrade for the improvement of the Have you seen a shift in any of these areas, and economic and social infrastructure of Serbia where else do you see challenges? and for institutional capacity building through - On the side of the investor, a decision to invest economic and technical cooperation projects. in a country is a long-term policy, and it has to be
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In order to realise economic development in • Serbia was promoted as a potential tourist Serbia, it is an imperative that the private secdestination in Japan at the end of September. On tor is soundly developed through investments that occasion, offers of trips to three countries – from foreign countries, including Japan. In that Serbia, Albania and Montenegro – were promoted. Given the habit of Japanese tourists to stay context, it is essential to improve the investment climate. Japan assists Serbia in this field in one place for shorter periods, or to prefer more through Japanese technical assistance, utilisvaried arrangements, how interesting do you ing Japanese expertise and knowhow in the think this region can be for Japanese tourists? area of small and medium-sized enterprises, - Japanese people like travelling abroad, visiting production management for raising producnumerous places, such as historical monuments tivity and promoting tourism, as well as by and world heritage sites, tasting local food and drinks, appreciating traditional festivals and other cultural events, as well as searching for interesting souvenirs. After visiting many corners of Serbia, and after seeing, among other sights, Fruška Gora and the Ovčar-Kablar Gorge, I was impressed by the country’s history, monasteries with frescoes, scenic beauties and delicious food and wine. I am convinced that Serbia has the potential to attract more Japanese tourists. Unfortunately, Serbia is still not so well known as a tourist destination in Japan. It needs to gain more attention from the Japanese public and to be better promoted. Japan is willing to cooperate with Serbia in this field as well, and has dispatched its expert – the JICA Regional Advisor for National Tourism Organisations in the Balkan Region. In that context, I welcome the participation of Serbia in the Tourism Expo Japan every year. DONATION TO KRUPANJHEALTH CENTRE I sincerely hope that these efforts will bear fruit, Japan is willing to assist Serbia with its measures in the field and that many Japanese people would choose Serbia as of environmental protection, such as reducing air pollution and their travel destination, to developing sewer systems, by using financial assistance schemes, enjoy its various attractions such as ODA loans and small-scale grant aid, as well as technical and charms.
• Japan is a major donor in Serbia. The total value of projects implemented to date is around 500 million euros. Some of the areas in which investments have been made include education and ecology. Why are they a priority for your country? - Japan has been providing economic and technical assistance to Serbia since 1999, in order to secure a stable society and sustainable development, and to promote Serbia’s efforts in its accession to the EU by using Japan’s advanced technology and experience. The main areas of assistance are based on three pillars: private sector development, environmental protection and healthcare & education.
developing economic infrastructure financed through ODA loans. Japan is willing to assist Serbia with its measures in the field of environmental protection, such as reducing air pollution and developing sewer systems, by using financial assistance schemes, such as ODA loans and small-scale grant aid, as well as technical cooperation. From the viewpoint of human security, Japan continues to assist Serbia in its efforts to reduce wide disparities between developed and underdeveloped areas of the country, in particular in the field of healthcare and education, and to directly support socially vulnerable people. ■ BUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
CORPORATE NAOKI TSUKADA, General Manager of Mitsubishi Corporation Belgrade Liaison Office
Working towards a Seat in the EU Opportunities Ahead Apart from our core business in the region, which is trading, our next step is connected to Serbia’s future EU membership and our interest is related to infrastructure projects. Entering the EU will give you, and us, new opportunities for further cooperation
itsubishi Corporation’s Belgrade office was established more than 50 years ago in 1965, making it one of Mitsubishi Corporation’s oldest offices in the world. Today, we cover seven countries in the region from Belgrade – says Naoki Tsukada, General Manager of Mitsubishi Corporation Belgrade Liaison office.
kets and political and economic projections during the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. How do you assess the Serbian market when it comes to the implementation of these plans? - We have certain priorities in this market. We value Serbia’s position in geopolitical as well as economic -e.g. its trade advantages (FTA) with the U.S., Russia, Turkey and the EU. We have an investment in a Turkish engineering company, and are looking for development with them in the EPC sectors of infrastructure projects. We have had a joint venture with the Serbian based company, NIS in crude oil exploration and production in Angola since the 1980s. Gazprom, who is the parent company of NIS, is also our strategic business partner, with whom we do LNG exploration and production
ity goods, such as tires and automobiles. We are also selling higher value products, such as pharmaceuticals and food ingredients. In addition, we are focusing on promoting the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) to Air Serbia. Our next step is connected to Serbia’s future EU membership and related to infrastructure projects. Entering the EU will give you, and us, new opportunities for cooperation.
• In May 2016, Mitsubishi Corporation announced its Midterm Corporate Strategy • Economic reforms are underway in Serbia. 2018, which evolves our business model from From the perspective of Mitsubishi Corporation and you as a Japanese businessman, investing to managing. To what extent are what would you add as reform priorities that these global objectives implementable in the would be able to speed up and advance the business environment of the Western Balkans reform process? and Serbia? - I think it’s necessary and important to reform - I would like to raise two points on this subject. First, we will continue to observe Serbia’s EU accession process and its I would suggest you to promote your country more to the world, efforts to open new chapters. We would not just in terms of business opportunities, but the country itself also like to see the development of infrastructure throughout the region, in Russia. We will keep optimizing this relapublic sector or public companies. This is one of which Serbia needs to achieve EU status. Secondly, we see industries relocating from Westtionship for our business in this region. the bottlenecks when it comes to business. In ern and Central Europe to Eastern Europe. Ingeneral, I had such a positive impression when vestments are moving even further away from • Mitsubishi Corporation is a global enterprise I first arrived in Serbia 18 months ago, which is advanced economies such as Poland, the Czech that operates in more than 90 countries and a beautiful country with nice people, good food Republic and Hungary, to this region as it offers covers almost all sectors of industry. In which and wine, and with considerable possibilities for better opportunities. sectors are Mitsubishi Corporation Serbia tourism as well. I would like to suggest that you mostly engaged with? promote your country more to the world not just • The most important goal in Mitsubishi Cor- First of all, there is our traditional core busiin terms of business opportunities, but the counporation’s plans is to achieve sustainable deness, which is trading in Balkan countries, in try itself because there is a lot more for people velopment based on an analysis of world marterms of petrochemical products, commodin Japan and elsewhere to learn about Serbia. ■
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A Corporation in Step with the World A Corporation Needed by Society Yazaki’s timeline of success dates back to 1929, when Sadami Yazaki began selling electric wires for automobiles. After important changes to government regulations in 1935, Japanese companies were allowed to start domestic automotive production – with positive effects for Yazaki. The company extended its business in 1939 and established Yazaki Electric Wire Industrial Co. Ltd. in 1941 with about 70 employees. Yazaki has been a family-owned company ever since. Today Yazaki is a market leader in the area of automotive wiring harness systems, supplying all major
OEMs with innovative solutions. More than 290,000 committed and highly motivated employees working at 487 locations in 45 countries contribute to Yazaki’s global success. In June 2017, Yazaki will open a new plant in Šabac, Serbia, with approximately
1,700 new employees. With the term EEDDS (Electrical/Electronic Distribution and Display Systems), Yazaki combines all key technologies to offer its customers modern and customised solutions in the areas of wiring systems, components, elec-
tronics, instrumentation and high voltage. Our customers value our outstanding expertise in the fields of consulting, development, industrialisation and manufacturing. Special attention is always paid to ensuring a reasonable balance between our customers’ needs and environmental responsibility. Yazaki offers an intercultural working environment, global opportunities and resources to help our employees achieve their personal career goals. By using state-of-the-art technology and our employees’ creativity and dedication, we connect our customers with the future – worldwide.
YAZAKI D.O.O. ŠABAC, BEOGRADSKI PUT – SLOBODNA ZONA BB, 15000 ŠABAC, SERBIA BUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN | 17
Serbia is a Valuable Investment Choice JTI has tripled its market share in ten years, becoming one of Serbia’s key taxpayers and a valued employer that directly employs 300 people and cooperates with farmers, providing a living for 1,000 people in Vojvodina
DIDIER ELLENA, VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER AT JAPAN TOBACCO INTERNATIONAL FOR THE WESTERN BALKANS
ur continuous growth and investments send a clear positive signal to potential investors that this country offers plenty of business opportunities, says Didier Ellena, Vice President and General Manager at Japan Tobacco International for the Western Balkans. In the ten years of its presence in Serbia, the company has established a successful track record in every aspect of its operations, starting from revenue growth to its involvement in development of the local community. JTI welcomes the reforms carried out so far and urges the government to continue its efforts to improve the business climate and combat illicit trade. “In the past years we have witnessed some major developments in the economy and business regulations”, says Didier, who particularly values the simplification of procedures, infrastructure development and the quality of the dialogue with governmental bodies with regard to key industry issues.
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•This year saw you celebrate a decade of operations in Serbia. What do you consider as the company’s biggest successes during this period? - We came to Serbia with a long-term strategy to sustainably and responsibly develop our business, both locally and regionally, and I am proud to say that a lot has been achieved since 2006. We have invested more than $170 million in Serbia, modernised the factory, launched the production of cigarettes and begun exporting cigarettes to other Western Balkan markets, as well as exporting tobacco to the EU. Tobacco Industry Senta had 84 employees when we acquired it, but today we employ almost 300 people in Senta and Belgrade. In addition, we have established a unique partnership with farmers, providing a living for 1,000 people in Vojvodina. We have tripled our market share in ten years, increasing it from seven to 21 per cent, positioning JTI among Serbia’s key taxpayers, with contributions of $1.3 billion to the state budget. • To what extent has the investment environment changed in Serbia and would you recommend Serbia as an investment destination to other Japanese investors? - I believe that our continuous growth and investments send a clear positive signal to potential investors – not only Japanese ones – that this coun-
try offers plenty of business opportunities. The prospects of operating in a predictable and supportive business environment are of paramount importance. In previous years we have witnessed some major developments in the economy and business regulations. Processes have been simplified, while infrastructure has been developed. The quality of the dialogue with governmental bodies, aimed at tackling key industry issues, is an invaluable asset and it definitely contributes to establishing the Republic of Serbia as an attractive place for doing business. In this regard, as a longstanding partner of the Government of Serbia, we very much appreciated the opportunity to host Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and members of the Government at our factory in October for the celebration marking 10 successful years of JTI’s factory in Serbia and 60 years of Tobacco Industry Senta.
tives and we regularly implement the best proposals for further enhancing both efficiency and the working environment. We often organise best practice sharing sessions with business partners, as we believe that the broader use of Kaizen may contribute to speeding up the development of the Serbian economy. • Considering that you pay close attention to staff training, can you tell us what your experience has been like with the workforce in Serbia? - People here are dedicated, hardworking and eager to learn. Our employees are definitely a fundamental element of our success and JTI is very fortunate to do business here. As an employer, we aim to attract the most talented individuals by closely collaborating with professional associations, student organisations and universities. We participate in events such as job fairs and business
• Japan Tobacco International was ranked as the fourth company in Serbia in terms of budget contributions in 2015. Do you think the Serbian government and local governThe Serbian workforce has a very good reputation within JTI ments respond to tax payers by provid– to date, more than 50 employees from Serbia have started ing a level playing field and a stimulatinternational careers around the world ing business environment? - We welcome the efforts of PM Vučić to create a stable and predictable business climate, especially regarding tax policy lectures, and regularly organise internship programmes. and the fight against illicit trade. State bodies have We strive to offer a fulfilling working environment with a achieved tangible results in the joint fight against specific focus on people development and career paths. the illegal trade of tobacco products, with a positive This approach has been recognised through prestigious impact on excise revenues in the state budget. These Top Employer and Investors in People certificates. I efforts should continue and remain a permanent pracwould also like to underline that the Serbian workforce tice. Illegal trade is a joint challenge that requires has a very good reputation within JTI – to date, more joint efforts – JTI is participating in the government’s than 50 employees from Serbia have started international careers around the world. working groups and donating equipment to Serbian law enforcement agencies. • How important is nurturing good relationships in the community when it comes to a company’s overall • To what extent have you been able to embed the reputation? Japanese business culture into your operations in - JTI is committed to supporting the society in which Serbia, and to transfer that culture to your employees it operates. With the long-term goal of contributing to and business partners? the improvement of the quality of life of community - Our factory in Senta is the first in Serbia to fully members, with a specific focus on socially vulnerable implement the Japanese Kaizen business philosophy, groups, we have launched and participated in numerthanks to which productivity has increased by 50 per ous community investment activities worth $1 million cent, while the amount of waste generated has been all around Serbia. In addition, JTI Foundation donated reduced by 70 per cent. $400,000 for relief from natural disasters. For our Continuous improvements are at the heart of the donations in financial assistance, equipment and the Kaizen philosophy and can be achieved with minimum voluntary work of our employees, JTI received the financial investments and optimal use of available prestigious VIRTUS award in 2015. ■ resources. JTI strongly encourages employee initia-
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Japan Sees Serbia as a True Friend Japan has recognised Serbia’s need for support every time that it has faced difficult times, such as during the 2014 floods and the ongoing struggle to accommodate migrants. Moreover, the mutual friendship between two countries has been confirmed many times and in different areas of cooperation
YOSHIFUMI KANNO, FIRST SECRETARY AT THE EMBASSY OF JAPAN
n this interview Yoshifumi Kanno, First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Belgrade, discusses the economic, cultural and humanitarian aspects of cooperation between Japan and Serbia, offering important advice to Serbian companies looking to debut on the Japanese market. • Given that you are a diplomat with many years of experience in Serbia, can you tell us how much progress you have noted in Serbia in terms of reforms and approaching the standards of the EU? - The three and a half years that I have so far spent in Serbia working at the Embassy have provided me with enough of a timeframe to analyse the progress of Serbia’s EU integration process. It is especially interesting to do that during times of global political turmoil and to see how Serbia handles these unpredictable times. In my view, Serbia has a stable course towards the European Union that is in line with its govern-
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ment’s policy, which has set EU accession as a fouryear goal. The process requires further adjustment of Serbia’s legislation, procedures and policies to suit those of the European Union. We could see that several official documents, including the EU Progress Report and the White Book presented by the Foreign Investors Council, confirm that the level of adjustment is high and that your country is on the right road to fulfilling the necessary criteria for joining the EU in the near future. Of course, the complete implementation in the field of changes, primarily new legislation and regulations, requires some time, as we can witness through disputes between lawmakers and citizens or the business sector. To reduce this, the Serbian Government needs to work hard on improving the efficiency of the public sector, especially in administrative procedures and the bureaucracy system. This is a problem everywhere in the world, which is no excuse for Serbia in comparison to other countries.
• The Government of Japan provides not only finanSerbia, and that is confirmed by the recent confircial assistance to Serbia, but also technical support. mation that the Yazaki Corporation, a manufacturer Could you tell us about some of the projects that you of vehicle cables, will open a factory in Šabac in 2017 have implemented during your stay in Serbia? and will employ 1,700 people within a three-year period. After JTI and Panasonic, this is the third Japa- The Government of Japan, through the Embassy nese direct investment, but the first greenfield inof Japan to Serbia, but also through some other institutions, such as the Japan International Cooperavestment. That is a very positive signal for Serbia tion Agency (JICA) and Japan External Trade Organand other Japanese companies that list Serbia as a isation (JETRO), intends to enable the further develpotential location for their investments. opment of bilateral ties through various projects in Companies from Japan operate in various industries in Serbia: tobacco, pharmaceutics, medthe public and private sectors. Through the exchange ical, automotive, home appliances, creative& IT, of state employees, often of lower ranks, experts and consultants, Japan tries to implement some of our knowledge and experience in sectors like investments, SME organisation, culture or sports, and to help Serbia improve its results in these fields. One long-running project that the Embassy and JICA implement is the introduction of Kaizen to Serbian companies. Kaizen, or the process of constant improvement in Japanese, helps Serbian SMEs develop their business by improving and perfecting small procedures, details that might not seem important at first but which can save you significant time and money for future improvement and investment. On the other hand, JETRO cooperates continuously with the Serbian Development Agency (RAS) and sends investment consultants that help this Agency improve its work, but also introduces Japanese companies with the potential of Serbia. We hope that very soon The Government of Japan, through the Embassy of Japan to we will organise a mission of Japanese companies that would receive Serbia, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and information on the ground about the the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), intends to business potentials of this country. enable the further development of bilateral ties through various We are also proud to see that projects in the public and private sectors more and more Serbian citizens enjoy traditional Japanese martial arts, electronics, system management and others. The including kendo. JICA has for years been supporting previous six-seven years have been difficult globalthe Kendo Federation of Serbia by sending experts ly for business. The crisis reduced purchasing powand teachers to help the federation further develop its potential. er and demand, which affected the work of these That is not the end of the long list of different companies in Serbia. Slowly but surely, the situation is improving. Companies are increasingly sattechnical and knowhow assistance Japan provides to isfied with the general economic situation in SerSerbia year after year, but it is the list of my favourite bia and we can understand that from their business projects and I hope we can continue working on them. successes in the last two years. The advantages that your country offers to • You cooperate closely with Japanese companies them – skilled labour, which provides good value in Serbia and have had the opportunity to take for money; a favourable tax system; FTAs with the close look at their work in this country. How does EU, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkey; investthe Japanese business community evaluate the investment environment in Serbia? ment incentives; state institutions like RAS and - The Japanese business community is growing in PKS dedicated to investors – are all quite signifiBUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
cant advantages, and that is not only my claim, but is also claimed by these Japanese companies. The potential to further improve your country’s business environment definitely exists in three areas: improvement of the efficiency of state administration, tax system predictability and the strict implementation of adopted laws. With upgrades in these segments, investors – not only Japanese ones, but all others, be they foreign or domestic – will perceive Serbia as a reliable, transparent, predictable and trustworthy partner in business. This brings more invest-
ments and more employment, more tax revenue – that can be used to construct roads, hospitals and schools – and will finally result in better living standard for Serbian citizens. • If you were to advise one Serbian company about their export to Japan, what would be the first three things you would tell them? And likewise in the case of a Japanese company interested in exporting or investing in Serbia? - My advice for Serbian companies intending to export to Japan is: introduction, planning and patience. Japan and Serbia are distance countries, geographically and in terms of culture, habits and heritage. In order to prepare themselves – even to enter into negotiations on exporting to Japan – Serbian companies need to be well acquainted with Japanese customers’ demands and habits, and
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with the market’s potentials. In short, they need to have good knowledge of the Japanese market. Planning is the key point of a good strategy for Japanese market entrance; I believe that is also the same for any other market. Due to the aforementioned distance between our two countries, Serbian companies need to investigate which institutions might be a good source of necessary information, or even to find good examples of Serbian companies already exporting to my country. The selection of a good distributor is also a very good advantage that could shorten the time needed to place a new product on the market. Finally, any strategy or plan relating to doing business with Japan demands patience and long-term planning. Once a new product enters the Japanese market, it will not necessarily make a great success immediately, since the Japanese market is filled with products from all over the world. This is a rare case, only if some product is either luxury or very popular worldwide. This is also true for potential exporters/investors from Japan to Serbia. However, these steps are usually already practiced by Japanese companies in the internationalisation of their business. • Since your arrival in Serbia you have witnessed two events that overlapped your professional and private life: the floods of 2014 and the continuing migrant crisis. Japan supported Serbia in both cases and once again proved its friendship in the hardest times for our country. How would you describe this support, both as a diplomat and an experienced resident of Serbia? - The floods that hit Serbia in May 2014 caused a very difficult time for your people and it was difficult for me to watch your country being devastated during that time. Unfortunately, just three years previously, Japan had faced same problems after an earthquake and tsunami and I could even personally feel the suffering of your people. I was proud to participate in the swift response of the Government of Japan in supporting Serbia to collect materials of urgent need for recovery. We late offered our financial and technical assistance through projects which increased your country’s future resilience against flooding. In my view, you cannot influence force majeure, but you
can prepare for it in order to handle the consequences in the best possiThe potential to further improve your country’s business ble manner. This is exactly what Jaenvironment definitely exists in three areas: improving the pan’s policy is, and what we try to efficiency of state administration, tax system predictability support in the case of Serbia. I hope and the strict implementation of adopted laws your people will no longer suffer from the disastrous consequences of flooding. the flow of migrants: Bujanovac, Preševo, BosiThe migrant crisis is one of the most serious legrad, Dimitrovgrad, Šid, Subotica and Belgrade. consequences of the global geopolitical and geostrategic situation. Serbia found itself in the midWhen I look back over the past 3.5 years, I see that dle of this situation, with very few tools to influJapan has recognised Serbia’s need for support eveence it. Despite that, and thanks to the activiry time your country has faced difficult times. Howevties of your citizens and government, Serbia has er, our friendship is confirmed even when it is not demanded by the urgency of the moment: yellow buses, been marked as an example of how to approach 150 eco-friendly vehicles, mammography units, donathis crisis positively. Of course, Serbia’s sources, both financial and technical, are limited, and tions to clinical centres, the Recycling Centre in Novi Pazar – these are just some of the projects we rethat’s why we decided to offer Serbia financial alised together during calm times. All of this reminds support through international institutions, such us that Japan sees Serbia as a true friend. as the UNHCR, UNICEF, IOM, UNDP and IFRC. The Therefore, let us rephrase the famous saying to Government of Japan also provided assistance to “a friend indeed is a friend when there is no need”. ■ local municipalities affected in different ways by
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Following successful cooperation on flood relief efforts in 2014, UNDP once again joined forces with its trusted and long-standing development partner, the Government of Japan, to tackle another burning issue in Serbia: the migrant and refugee crisis
IRENA VOJÁČKOVÁ-SOLLORANO, UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR AND UNDP RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE IN SERBIA
he implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals for everyone in the Republic of Serbia, as well as support for the EU accession agenda, are in the focus of the UNDP’s engagement in the country, says Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia. In this interview we speak with her about the experience and achievements of the UNDP-Japan partnership in responding to the 2014 floods, and on the migrant and refugee crisis. During both processes, the UNDP has constructed an outstanding partnerships at all levels of the Serbian administration and with civil society and citizens. • How would you assess the overall progress achieved under the UNDP-Japan partnership in terms of building resilience in Serbia when it comes to the refugee and migrant crisis? - Following successful cooperation on flood relief efforts in 2014, we once again joined forces with or trusted and long-standing development partner, the Government of Japan, to tackle anoth-
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er burning issue in Serbia: the migrant and refugee crisis. Nearly a million migrants and refugees transited through Serbia during last year, while this year we are observing that some are staying for longer periods and requesting asylum. This creates enormous pressure, not only on the state authorities, but also on local service providers, creating additional challenges to social cohesion between the local population and migrants and refugees, especially in border communities. While other UN agencies are focusing on supporting state authorities at the central level, UNDP is prioritising the most vulnerable communities by building infrastructure and capacities to ensure social cohesion where it matters most. The $1.1 million provided by the Government of Japan is used to enhance the resilience of the hardest hit local communities. UNDP makes sure that such targeted support as building municipal waste management capacities in Dimitrovgrad, small-scale infrastructural upgrades in Kanjiža, the provision of designs for infrastructure upgrades in Šid, including transport and sporting facilities, Dimitrovgrad, Bosilegrad and Preševo, is delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible. • You have already mentioned the earlier cooperation with the Government of Japan on supporting Serbia in dealing with the floods of May 2014, what was done there? - The floods of May 2014 were an unfortunate and tragic event that required a swift response to rescue, recover and rebuild the regions hit in Serbia, but it also drew attention to the importance of prevention. Thanks to Japanese government development
support totalling $3.64 million, UNDP’s efforts were focused on recovery, but also on prevention, by addressing the infrastructural shortcomings identified in the aftermath of the floods. We joined forces with our national partners to build resilience, improve disaster risk management and ensure women’s inclusion in emergency response, as more than 50 per cent of the effected population were woman. In numbers, 46 municipalities were supported, with some 160,000 beneficiaries. To give you a few examples of other important work UNDP has done to ensure that Serbia’s future infrastructure will be resilient to potential disasters: The Study on Flood Risk Management in the Kolubara River Basin provides a guide to safeguard the Kolubara river basin against future floods; The design to rehabilitate the landfill tailing next to the Stolice antimony mine will prevent the further escalation of dangerous environmental hazards; Production of a landslide cadastre and GIS–based area vulnerability mapping aims to reduce the potential for future hazards by ensuring that no building permits will be issued in landslide prone areas etc.
flood risks in the entire Kolubara river basin, which now informs all stakeholders about the variety of measures that can be taken to minimise future risks to lives and property, is a clear example. The way in which it brought together the variety of national and local stakeholders, including public, private and civil society sectors, is quite illustrative of the way in which people and organisations were able to unify their ranks and begin building a new culture of prevention. • Where do you see future challenges and room for joint action? - Unfortunately, we see that both natural and manmade crises increasingly cross borders and we therefore call for more and wider partnerships to address them. We often find ourselves at UNDP being perceived by our partners at all levels as the trusted convenor of such partnerships. Take for example our recent conference in Belgrade, which brought together around a dozen municipalities from across the Balkans and Turkey to facilitate a crossregional network for resilience, one in which the local communities and local authorities affected by the current migrant crisis can share knowledge and exchange best practices in sustaining local development and minimising inequalities. One issue that increasingly appears to demand a simi-
• Were your efforts met with an adequate response from all levels of government? - Response is not the right word, I think. I really feel this should be an opportunity to highlight one more time the UNDP made sure that the $1.1 million provided by the Government outstanding partnerships of Japan was used to enhance the resilience of the hardest hit local that the UNDP has expericommunities, such as Dimitrovgrad, Kanjiža, Bosilegrad, Preševo enced at all levels, which were and many others, as efficiently as possible much more than just responsive. I could recall the commitment of local authorities to forward-looking and proactive relar kind of attention seems to be the need for the prevention of silience measures, which did not focus only on built infrastrucradicalisation and violent extremism in the face of persistent inture, such as dozens of torrential barriers that we have built stability, real or just perceived inequality, and conflict, which has together across Serbia, or equipment, such as water rescue persistently characterised the last few years. gear for the Interior Ministry’s Sector for Emergencies. I really should commend, for example, the multitude of local author• Which other areas does UNDP in Serbia see as its priorities in ities that joined forces with local civil society organisations to the coming period? amplify the role of women in risk reduction efforts and to give - UNDP Serbia is dedicated to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals for everyone in the Republic of them to their rightful and productive place, recognising their Serbia, as well as the country’s EU accession agenda. In this reimportance in the provision of services to the entire population. gard, we are committed to supporting resilience and sustainable local development, as well as environmentally-friendly soWe saw the same proactive attitude at the national level, with Serbian government agencies, such as the Government lutions for creating more jobs, while reducing greenhouse gas Office for Flood Relief and Reconstruction, or with public utiliemissions and improving energy efficiency across all sectors in ty companies and institutes, such as Srbijavode. The study of the Republic of Serbia. ■ BUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
Better Business Climate Will Benefit Society The companies gathered together in the Japanese Business Club want to support the Serbian Government in its efforts to provide the private sector with the best possible business conditions. This will benefit both the State and the citizens, as higher employment will bring a better standard of living
GORAN PEKEZ, PRESIDENT OF THE JAPANESE BUSINESS CLUB AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS AND COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR AT JAPAN TOBACCO INTERNATIONAL FOR THE WESTERN BALKANS
increased predictability and stability, which has a lot to do with the open dialogue that the Government has with investors. We strongly support all measures that have been taken to suppress the shadow economy and illicit competition, as well as the simplification of procedures like tax applications and building permits, which makes it much easier for new businesses to enter the market. A favourable business environment enables investors to maintain their current level of investment, growth and employment, which contributes to achieving a stable macroeconomic outlook and GDP growth, and the Government has exerted a lot of effort to make that a reality.
e strive to establish close ties with public institutions, as we recognise them as being crucial to establishing a favourable business environment during the year ahead, says Goran Pekez, President of the Japanese Business Club and Corporate Affairs and Communication Director at Japan Tobacco International for the Western Balkans. Here we speak with Mr Pekez about reform achievements and the next steps that have to be taken in 2017. â€˘ How do you asses the overall business climate in Serbia at present? - The overall business climate is currently positive, thanks to
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â€˘ What are the most significant changes that the Government is expected to make by Japanese companies operating in Serbia and potential investors? - Continuing efforts to battle illicit trade and continue implementing the National Programme for Combatting the Shadow Economy is important for all foreign and domestic investors. One of the next steps is completing inspection reform in accordance with the new Law on Inspection Oversight, including maintaining a joint electronic platform to be used by all inspections. We could see that the Government recently introduced Managed Entry Agreements that enabled the inclusions of innovative medications on the Reimbursement list. This was a big step
forward, to the benefit of patients, and also a positive signal for further communication with this industry. As such, we expect the dialogue to continue in order to ensure the implementation of clear and transparent processes that will make our companies’ operations sustainable and predictable. • It seems that business associations and mixed chambers are increasingly active in maintaining a dialogue with the Government. How does the Japanese Business Club communicate its initiatives regarding improvements to the business climate in Serbia? - Gathering foreign business representatives together in different types of associations or chambers is a noticeable trend. It enables a more efficient dialogue with the Government and its institutions, which are the private sector’s partners in everyday activities. The Japanese Business Club was founded two and a half years ago with that idea, as a platform for communication between the Japanese business community and public institutions that are significant to the business operations of the Club’s members. We established our communication with the Government regarding improvements to the business climate in Serbia by organising joint conferences and multilateral meetings, as well as by participating actively in bilateral visits to Serbia of representatives of Japan. Our general impression is that the Government respects the opinions of Japanese companies regarding the business environment in the country, which Government representatives confirm by participating in events organised by the Club or its members.
• How do you asses the collaboration of the Japanese Business Club with other business associations and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce? - Our experience has been very positive. The Club and its members have had excellent collaboration with institutions like the Serbian Development Agency, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, the Commission for the Protection of Rights in Public Procurement and Commission for the Protection of Competition. This just confirms that the Government sees the private sector as a key stakeholder in the dialogue, and as a partner in improving the way Government bodies support investors. The moment in which the Japanese business community decided to improve its association’s activities coincides perfectly with the
• What will be the goals of the Japanese Business Club during the coming year? - The Club is a voluntary, informal organisation, and we believe that we have laid solid foundations for intensifying its activities by introducing it into the formal legal framework. That We strongly support all measures that have been taken to implies possibly registering the Club as suppress the shadow economy and illicit competition, as well a business association and further proas the simplification of procedures like tax applications and fessionalising its activities, which we are building permits working hard on. As a group of companies who either come from Japan or are in close business relations with Japanese companies, we want to support the Government’s intentions of improving the collaboration of its Serbian Government in its efforts to provide the private sector institutions with domestic and foreign companies. with the best possible business conditions. This will benefit the • How much has the good example set by JTI, with its successState, through higher employment, improved budget revenues ful business operations, encouraged other Japanese investors and a higher standard of living for citizens. That’s why we will to consider Serbia as an attractive business destination? strive to establish close ties with public institutions that we - JTI cooperates intensively with the Serbian Development recognise as being crucial for establishing a favourable business environment during the coming year. Agency in order to promote Serbia as an attractive investment Besides the commercial aspect of their operations, Japadestination. We also provide regular presentations to the Japan nese companies are very active when it comes to supporting External Trade Organisation (JETRO), emphasising all the advantages of investing in Serbia. Of course, one of the reasons we the local community through various corporate social responsibility projects. I’m sure that their activities, and the wholeparticipated in founding the Japanese Business Club in Serbia hearted support of the Japanese Government, will contribute was precisely to provide encouragement to new investors from to enhancing citizens’ living standards. Japan and to actively promote business cooperation. ■
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We Protect The “Rules of The Game”,
Not The Players During the previous decade, the Commission has strengthened in terms of personnel and institutional capacities, and it now sees the fight against cartels as its priority in the period ahead. The Commission has had support in its work for years from the Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA and the Japan Fair Trade Commission – JFTC
MILOJE OBRADOVIĆ PH.D.,
PRESIDENT OF THE COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION OF COMPETITION
rotecting competition is one of the fields in Serbia where great strides have been taken towards approaching EU standards, says Dr Miloje Obradović, President of the Commission for the Protection of Competition, with whom we discussed the results of the Commission’s work during the previous decade and Japanese assisted which has helped the Commission strengthen its resources.
• The Commission celebrates a decade of its existence this year. To what extent has this institution now become an essential participant in strengthening the creation of equal market conditions? - Providing equal conditions for all participants in the Serbian market is one of the most important tasks of the Commission for the Protection of Competition. In the preceding ten years of its work, the Commission has undoubtedly strengthened in terms of human resources and institutional capacities, as well as gaining certain experience that has enabled it to also utilise the benefits of good practice, but also to more easily detect and resolve the many challenges it faces. We can already boast of the fact that a qualitative shift has been made in terms of the importance of the processes launched and the profession-
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al way they are led at the Commission. I also consider the number of confirmed decisions as significant, because these decisions of the Commission have been aimed directly at establishing effective competition. This is also all confirmed by the international institutions we work with, as well as the European Commission, which mentioned the significant progress in the work of the Commission for the Protection of Competition in its last report on Serbia’s progress. • What are the Commission’s biggest professional and institutional constraints? - The Commission for the Protection of Competition works as a functionally independent state institution, which provides is with the space to completely fulfil the mandate entrusted to us by the Law on the Protection of Competition. More specifically, investigating possible infringements on competition has not been limited only to market participants from the private sector, nor even those established by the state. The Commission has the possibility of sanctioning a state body in the case that its activity, while acting as a market participant, has led to an infringement against competition. In that sense, there is no limitation. For a long time, the Commission had a very small number of
employees. That trend has changed significantly in recent years, in terms of the engagements of a larger number of highly educated young people, who – I can say unreservedly – already have expertise in this area. In our work we also carefully record what requires change, in terms of institutions, and we are planning to soon propose certain changes in the legal framework. • What do you expect in this respect from the change in the legislative framework? - I think the adoption of the new Law on the Protection of Competition is not something that should be done in haste and enacted overnight. As I have already said, we carefully record all institutional barriers that we currently recognise, but we will propose changes to the legislative framework at the moment when, in cooperation with the expert and business public, we reach the best solutions. We will not rush, because this is an extremely important issue.
The Commission is entrusted by Law with monitoring and analysing the state of competition on various markets within the Republic of Serbia. I would remind you that we are currently leading processes on some so-called “strong markets”, such as the tobacco products market or sales in edible oils. A priority in the Commission’s work is fighting against cartels. I expect that, by using the available legal instruments, such as the programme of leniency in sanctioning or unannounced inspections, we will have more results in detecting and punishing cartels. The Commission launches proceedings when it notices competition violations itself or when it receives an initiative about such violations. • What are the Commission’s most important activities when it comes to Serbia’s EU accession process? - I must highlight that the protection of competition is one of the few fields in Serbia that is largely harmonised with the primary and secondary legislation of the European Union. Major strides have also been taken in terms of approaching the standards of the European Union, which was the unified conclusion after the very successful bilateral screening for Chapter 8 in Brussels. Of course, there’s more work to be done. That’s why, starting with the assessment and recommendations provided in the European Commission’s report on Serbia’s progress, but also from our own observations and experiences, we are also considering the improvement of certain legal solutions.
• Japan provides support to the work of the Commission, through projects aimed at strengthening the capacities of the Commission for the Protection of Competition. How important is this help to you? - We would express our great gratitude to Japan for its support and assistance to the work of the Commission to date, through various projects. This assistance is of great importance to us, especially the programmes that are organised by the Japan Agency for International Cooperation – JICA, in conjunc- The Commission’s role is crucial not only in ensuring the establishment tion with the Japan Fair Trade Commisof the rules of competition, but also in developing and raising sion – JFTC. For years, thanks specificalawareness about the need and importance of protecting competition ly to this cooperation, the Commission’s employees have promoted the application of competition rights and policies on the basis of the experi• How well do businesspeople in Serbia understand the signifence of Japanese colleagues. All of this valuable experience and icance of the Commission and the protection of competition, knowledge has been implemented in applying competition proand how often do they address you with complaints? tection policy in Serbia. - If we were to judge on the basis of the number of initiatives regarding competition infringements, as well as the questions we • There is often talk in Serbia about the existence of strong carreceive from market participants, we could say that the role of tels and oligopolies in almost all areas of business, from banking the Commission is increasingly recognised and appreciated, but to pharmaceuticals and the media sector. To what extent can the still not enough. The situation has certainly changed significantly over the course of the past ten years of the work of the ComCommission deal with these actors on the market, given their economic strength and even political backing? mission, particularly in the past year, when we increased activities to advocate the policy of protection of competition not only - The Commission is, as I have already said, a functionally independent institution that is professionally, and in terms of personamong market participants, but also with state institutions, exnel, capable of dealing with any kind of violation of competition on perts and the general public. The Commission’s role is crucial not the market. I always emphasise – our job is to protect the “rules of only in ensuring the establishment of the rules of competition, the game”, not the players. We do not look at who the participants but also in developing and raising awareness about the need and in the market are and whether they are, as you say “strong” or not. importance of protecting competition. ■
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JAPANESE EMBASSY ECONOMIC SECTION ACTIVITIES IN 2016 15.11.2016
Partnership Between Mellon Serbia And NEC
Astellas: “What Inspires You To Donate?” Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas organised an event to launch its campaign “What inspires you to donate?”, which is focused on rising awareness regarding organ donating and the benefits of transplantation in Serbia. The ceremony was attended by leading experts in transplantation, media representatives and guests of the Embassy.
The strategic partnership between Mellon Serbia and NEC was further confirmed on 15th November, when the companies jointly organised a business networking cocktail reception on the premises of the Embassy of Japan for members of the Japanese Business Club. In the presence of more than 40 guests, Mellon Serbia once again confirmed its dedication to cooperating with Japan’s NEC.
Promotion of Nipro DMed
Infiniti Q30 Promotion Grand Motors, the local partner of Japanese luxury car brand Infiniti, organised a promotion of its latest Q30 model at the Embassy of Japan on 30th October. This was the first time that the Embassy had ever hosted such an event, which took place in the evening hours and was attended by numerous participants, guests and media representatives.
Japanese company Nipro and its Serbian partner, Nirpo DMed, organised a promotion of the Surdial-X dialysis machine, which was presented for the first time to numerous nephrologists from various health institutions, including the Military Medical Academy, clinical centres of Serbia and general hospitals in several Serbian cities.
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Canon Business event
Japanese company CANON organised its Digital optimisation solution for CFOs event at the Embassy of Japan on 27th October. The event, which was aimed at promoting CANON’s digitisation services, brought together around 20 CFOs of renowned Serbian companies.
Business Lunch at The Japanese Ambassadorial Residence
The traditional annual Business Lunch intended to bring together members of the Japanese business community in Serbia was organised at the Japanese Ambassadorial Residence in Belgrade on 18th October and hosted by H.E. Ambassador Juichi Takahara. In the presence of more than 50 guests, including representatives of Japanese companies, institutions in Serbia and Serbian government bodies, such as the Development Agency of Serbia, views were exchanged regarding the business climate in the country over the past year and discussions addressed the future activities of the Japanese Business Club.
ˇ´ Ambassador Visits JTI Factory In Senta With PM Vucic
Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Serbia, H.E. Juichi Takahara, together with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and JTI President and CEO Tomas McCoy, visited the JTI tobacco factory in Senta on 6th October. The visit was organised as part of celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the opening of JTI’s factory in this city in northwest Vojvodina.
AMBASSADOR TAKAHARA AND TOM McCOY TOUR FACTORY
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Canon Hosts GRAFIMA Fair
DIFOL: Presentation of The Latest ROLAND Printing Machine
Masahiro Suga, Minister at the Embassy of Japan to the Republic of Serbia, attended the official opening ceremony of the 38th GRAFIMA Fair at the Belgrade Fairgrounds. GRAFIMA is the graphics industry fair that has been organised continuously since 1979 and which represents the most important regional event in this field, gathering together international companies active in the paper, graphics and creative industries. This year’s GRAFIMA was officially hosted by Japanese company CANON, which is a leader in the graphics industry globally and has had an active presence in Serbia for over 10 years.
Serbian company DIFOL, in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, organised a presentation of the latest printing machine produced by Japanese company ROLAND: the LEF - 300. The presentation, organised in the Ceremonial Hall of the Embassy of Japan in Belgrade, was attended by Japanese Embassy First Secretary Yoshifumi Kanno, ROLAND company representative Yoshihiro Tate, DIFOL owner Dragan Popović and numerous guests and partners of DIFOL.
Mellon Serbia And NEC: Strategic Partnership
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Japanese Embassy First Secretary Yoshifumi Kanno attended an official 31st March ceremony at Belgrade’s Metropol Palace Hotel announcing the establishing of a strategic partnership between Mellon Serbia and Japanese company NEC.
ˇ ´ visit Panasonic Ambassador Takahara and PM Vucic
H.E. Japanese Ambassador to Serbia Juichi Takahara visited company Panasonic Lightning Devices Serbia on 16th March. The Ambassador was joined on his tour of the company’s premises by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, Panasonic Corporation director Shuusaku Nagae and Panasonic’s senior European management.
Embassy of Japan and Takeda Organise Seminar
Technical Cooperation Agreement Signed Between Toshiba and Post Serbia Japanese Ambassador Juichi Takahara visited the logistical centre of Public Enterprise “Post Serbia”, the Serbian postal service, on the occasion of the 29th January signing of a memorandum on technical cooperation between Japanese company Toshiba and Post Serbia.
SIGNING CEREMONY FOR TECHNICAL COOPERATION AGREEMENT
Company Takeda and the Embassy of Japan jointly organised a 1st March seminar, entitled: “Presentation of modern treatment methods in orthopaedics”, in the Ceremonial Hall of the Embassy of Japan in Belgrade. The seminar was attended by doctors from the most eminent Belgrade health institutions: the Military Medical Academy, the Orthopaedics Institute Banjica, the Clinical Centre of Serbia and the Bežanijska kosa Clinical Hospital.
AMBASSADOR TAKAHARA ADDRESSES TOSHIBA AND POST SERBIA REPS
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Trend of Moderate Economic Expansion Japan's economy has continued its moderate recovery trend, although exports and production have remained sluggish, due mainly to the effects of the slowdown in emerging economies. The outlook through the 2018 fiscal year envisages that, although sluggishness is expected to remain in exports and production for the time being, domestic demand is likely to follow an upward trend, with a virtuous cycle from income to spending being maintained in both the household and corporate sectors, while exports are expected to increase moderately on the back of emerging economies emerging from their deceleration phase. Thus, Japan's economy is likely to enjoy a trend of moderate expansion
he year-on-year rate of change in the consumer price index (CPI, all items except fresh food) is likely to remain at around zero per cent for the time being, due to the effects of the decline in energy prices, and then, as the underlying trend in inflation steadily rises, it should accelerate towards two per cent. Meanwhile, assuming that crude oil prices will rise moderately from the recent level, it is likely that the contribution of energy items to the year-on-year rate of change in the CPI will decrease gradually from the current level of slightly more than minus one percentage point, but will remain negative until the beginning of the fiscal year 2017.2. Based on this assumption, the timing of the year-on-year rate of change in the CPI reach-
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ing around two per cent â€“ the price stability target â€“ is projected to occur during fiscal 2017.3,4. As such, the year-on-year rate of change in the CPI is likely to average around two per cent.
Comparing the current projections through the 2017 fiscal year with the previous ones, GDP growth is somewhat lower, influenced mainly by weaker exports that reflect the slowdown in overseas economies. The projected rate of increase in the CPI for the 2016 fiscal year is lower, mainly reflecting downward revisions in projections for GDP growth and wage developments. As for the conducting of monetary policy, the Central Bank of Japan will continue with “Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQE) with a Negative Interest Rate”, aiming to achieve the price stability target of two per cent, as long as it is necessary to maintain that target in a stable manner. It will examine risks to economic activity and prices, as well as taking additional easing measures in terms of three dimensions – quantity, quality, and interest rate – if that is judged as being necessary for achieving the price stability target.
most recently hit to an extent by the Kumamoto Earthquake. Business sentiment has generally remained at a favourable level, but has become cautious, mainly reflecting the slowdown in emerging economies. Financial conditions are highly accommo-
THE CURRENT SITUATION Japan’s economy has continued its moderate recovery trend, although exports and production have remained sluggish, due mainly to the effects of the slowdown in emerging economies. Overseas economies have continued to grow at a moderate pace, but the pace of growth As for the conducting of monetary policy, the Central Bank of Japan has somewhat decelerated, will continue with “Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing mainly in emerging economies. (QQE) with a Negative Interest Rate”, aiming to achieve the price In this situation, the pick-up stability target of two per cent, as long as it is necessary to maintain in exports halted recently. On that target in a stable manner the domestic demand side, business fixed investment has experienced a moderate increasing trend as corporate profits have been at high levels. dating. On the price front, the year-on-year rate of change in the Against the backdrop of steady improvement in employCPI (all items except fresh food, and the same hereafter) stands at around zero per cent. Although inflation expectations appear ment and the income situation, private consumption to be rising on the whole from a somewhat longer-term perspechas been resilient, although some indicators show relatively weak developments. Meanwhile, the tive, they have recently weakened. pick-up in housing investment stopped recently and public investment has been on a moderOUTLOOK FOR ECONOMIC ACTIVITY Looking ahead, although sluggishness is expected to remain ate declining trend, albeit remaining at a in exports and production for the time being, domestic demand high level. Reflecting these developments is likely to follow an upward trend, with a virtuous cycle from inin demand, both at home and abroad, industrial production has continued come to spending being maintained in both the household and to be more or less flat, while it was corporate sectors, while exports are expected to increase modBUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
firms and households are expected to rise moderately against erately on the back of emerging economies moving out of their the backdrop of progress in the implementation of the govdeceleration phase. Thus, Japan’s economy is likely to experience a moderate expansion trend. ernment’s growth strategy, including regulatory and instituAgainst the backdrop of such an outlook, the growth rate durtional reforms, an increase in labour participation by women and the elderly under such a strategy, companies continued ing the projection period is expected to be generally above its potential, although fluctuations due to a front-loaded increase and subsequent decline in demand prior to and after the consumption tax hike planned in April 2017 are expected. The projection above assumes the following underlying developments. First, as the Bank of Japan continues with “QQE with a Negative Interest Rate”, aiming to achieve the price stability target of two per cent, as long as it is necessary for maintaining that target in a stable manner, financial conditions are likely to remain highly accommodative, with real interest rates being negative throughout the projected period, and continue stimulating the economy. Second, overseas economies are projected to remain in a state of slight deceleration for the time being, although their growth rates Japanese Prime Minister SHINZO ABE are expected to increase modefforts towards improving productivity and discovering potential domestic and external demand, and steady progress in overcoming deflation. Given these assumptions, we can elaborate on economic activity during the projection period as follows. In the 2016 fiscal year, exports – despite being likely to continue exhibiting sluggishness for the time being – are expected to head towards a moderate increase thereafter, on the back of emerging economies emerging from their deceleration phase. Corporate profits are expected to maintain their upward trend, especially in the nonmanufacturing sector, and to reach record levels. In this situation, fixed business investment is projected to continue its uptrend, additionally pushed up by a further decline in real interest rates with the Bank’s monetary easing. Private consumption is projected to rise moderately, led by steady improvement in the employment and income situation, including the continued
Looking ahead, although sluggishness is expected to remain in exports and production for the time being, domestic demand is likely to follow an upward trend, with a virtuous cycle from income to spending being maintained in both the household and corporate sectors erately, as it is likely that advanced economies will continue to see firm growth and emerging economies will move out of their deceleration phase on the back of developments in advanced economies. Third, public investment has been experiencing a moderate declining trend, but it is expected to gradually level off, mainly reflecting the earlier implementation of the budget for the 2016 fiscal year, and then, from the middle of the projection period, it is likely to remain more or less flat, partly due to increasingly large investment related to the hosting of the Olympic Games. Fourth, the medium- to long-term growth expectations of
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tightening of labour market conditions and in accordance Japan’s potential growth rate is expected to follow a moderate with the positive effects of increasing trend throughout the projection period, pushing up the energy price declines through economy’s growth pace in the medium to long term the raising of real income. In addition, in the second half of the fiscal year, the front-loaded increase in demand prior to the consumption tax growth, albeit at a level below the potential growth rate. hike scheduled in April 2017 is likely to push up domestic private In the 2018 fiscal year, the growth rate is once again exdemand. Reflecting these developments in demand at home and pected to exceed its potential, with exports expected to inabroad, the economic growth rate is expected to exceed its pocrease moderately and domestic private demand likely to increase, while the effects of the demand decline after the tential. consumption tax hike will dissipate. In the 2017 fiscal year, while household spending is likely to Japan’s potential growth rate is expected to follow a moderbe negatively affected by the front-loaded spending prior to the consumption tax hike, exports are projected to continue ate increasing trend throughout the projection period, pushing increasing moderately, due to economic growth overseas, up the economy’s growth pace in the medium to long term. while fixed business investment is likely to maintain its modComparing the current projections through the 2017 fiscal year with previous projections, GDP growth is somewhat lower, erate upward trend, supported by accommodative financial influenced mainly by weaker exports that reflect the slowdown conditions, heightened growth expectations and increases in in overseas economies. ■ Olympic Games-related demand. Reflecting these develop ments, the economy is projected to maintain slightly positive Source: The Bank of Japan
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The Japanese Government issued an energy outlook in July 2015 projecting Japan's future energy mix in the wake of the March 2011 nuclear power plant accident. This policy proposal presents five perspectives that will be essential in making the government’s energy outlook substantive and realistic
n July 2015, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry approved a Long-Term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook indicating the future composition of Japan’s energy mix in the wake of the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. This outlook is an important guideline for Japan’s energy policy in such areas as strategy for the procurement of resources from overseas, plans for energy supply and demand, and plans for domestic energy infrastructure construction. Similar roadmaps have been presented for Japan’s energy mix in the past. For example, in June 2012, the government released a document titled “Options for Energy and the Environment,” which presented three scenarios for future energy use. The breakdowns by type of energy source have tended to be unrealistic, however, consisting of percentages calculated on the
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basis of such theoretical factors as energy potential, power generation efficiency, and generating capacity—without sufficient consideration of the actual issues relating to the use of each power source and relevant global conditions. The 2015 outlook, too, appears divorced from reality, as coalfired thermal power, which is projected to decline in the period up to 2030, has instead continued to rise in response to the liberalization of the retail electric power market in April 2016. The global energy picture has been changing rapidly as well; since the adoption of the 2015 outlook, oil prices have taken a record plunge, and a global shift in energy use could accelerate with the adoption of the Paris Treaty by all the participating countries at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21). These and other developments are sure to affect Japan’s energy mix.
The 2015 outlook will lose its relevance in shaping Japan’s energy mix unless close attention is paid to both domestic conditions and international trends. The following five perspectives will be essential in making the government’s energy mix outlook substantive and realistic.
JAPAN IS BUILDING SOLAR ENERGY PLANTS ON ABANDONED GOLF COURSES
The retail market for electricity in Japan was deregulated in April 2016. Previously, power company’s rates were set on a cost-plus basis, and each company held a monopoly on the retail market for electricity in its region, but now transactions in the market have been liberalized
KEEP ABREAST OF THE GLOBAL ENERGY SHIFT Over the years since the March 2011 nuclear accident, Japan has been scrambling to rebuild its energy policy, but the global energy situation has undergone substantial changes in the interim. In December 2014 the price of oil dropped below $60 a barrel for the first time since 2009, and in February 2016 it plunged to less than $30—the lowest since 2003. In December 2015, meanwhile, the countries participating in COP 21 adopted the Paris Agreement by consensus, setting forth their intention to head for an energy shift by promoting a full-scale move away from fossil fuels and expanded use of clean energy regardless of the price of crude oil. Through this energy shift, countries are aiming to improve their competitive positions by investing in clean energy sources and seeking to establish technologies and reduce costs, while also building up their clean energy industries. The clean energy sector is expected to grow to
a scale comparable to that of the global auto industry, and Japan cannot let itself fall behind in this field. Japan has the technological prowess to lead the clean energy sector. In order to tap this know-how and become a major player in this sector, greater use of clean energy must be promoted domestically so as to build up a home market for the industry. This is another reason for Japan to keep abreast of developments in the global energy shift and to reflect such trends in its energy mix. IMPACT OF THE UNPRECEDENTED CHANGES The retail market for electricity in Japan was deregulated in April 2016. Previously, power company’s rates were set on a cost-plus basis, and each company held a monopoly on the retail market for electricity in its region, but now transactions in the market have been liberalized. In the deregulated wholesale market, electricity with low marginal costs will be consumed first, and so the idea of deliberately packaging electricity categorized BUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
An energy mix blueprint should present not just the shares of each power source but also the concrete steps, including a timetable, for solving the issues relating to each source.
JAPAN COULD TRIPLE POWER FROM WIND ENERGY AND SOLAR POWER BY 2030
DO NOT RIGIDLY FIX THE ENERGY MIX BUT REVISE IT FLEXIBLY The energy mix is generally formulated from a medium- to long-term viewpoint, but conditions change on a daily basis. Japan needs to keep a watch on the progress toward
as base load power, mid-range load Energy is a major concern for a broad range of fields, power, and peak load power—as including economic activity, technological development, has been done up to now—no longer makes much sense. environmental protection, national security, land use, and In Europe, a pioneer in electricregional development. Formulating an energy mix thus ity market deregulation, the use of requires close coordination among the relevant government renewable energy with zero marginal ministries and agencies cost was promoted, pushing unprofitable nuclear power and thermal resolving the issues for each power source and respond accordpower out of the market. In Japan, there have been moves to ingly. To have the energy mix reflect actual conditions, including build new coal-fired power plants, whose generating costs are progress toward the resolution of issues, it should not be set riglower than those for liquefied natural gas. Market deregulation idly but be subject to flexible revision. will have a major impact on the power mix, and this should be fully considered. CREATE A PLATFORM FOR GREATER COLLABORATION AMONG GOVERNMENT MINISTRIES SET SHARES FOR DIFFERENT POWER SOURCES Energy is a major concern for a broad range of fields, inEach power source has its advantages and disadvantages, so cluding economic activity, technological development, envisimply ranking one over another is not possible. Also, there are ronmental protection, national security, land use, and regional issues in the use of each power source, and we must consider the development. Formulating an energy mix thus requires close prospects for and difficulties in resolving those issues in setting coordination among the relevant government ministries and energy mix targets. An energy mix containing sources with problems for which no solution is in sight will not be realistic. agencies. ■
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INTERVIEW IVAN MLADENOVIĆ, Country Manager for the Balkan Region, Allied Telesis
High Efficiency With a Small Investment
apanese company Allied Telesis International will this year mark the 30th anniversary of its founding, and the fact that during that time it has become one of the recognised leaders on the global market.
Allied Telesis offers corporate clients efficient and advanced SDN solutions, which are available to both large and small companies auto-backup, auto-recovery, auto-upgrade and diagnostics. Apart from that, virtual management of the AMF Cloud enables management from the cloud, either private or public. With this it is possible to access and manage network infrastructure from any location in the world. AMF is not limited to a single LAN environment. Adding a remote location (geographically) to one AMF environment enables the remote management of devices. AMF is a system that fully satisfies the IoT (Internet of Things) con-
tional concept of presenting new smart technologies. Following contemporary trends, we have developed the training concept for network engineers, whether they are engineers in the field, project developers, sales engineers or network administrators, our programme is tailored to their needs. At our Training Centre we have developed two basic concepts: Workshops, which offer basic insight and knowledge of the most commonly used technologies and solutions worldwide, and an
• To what extent are the standards and procedures that Japanese company Allied Telesis International relies on harmonised with the regional operations of Allied Telesis? - In the development of new products and technologies, current trends have the Our management system, AMF (Allied Telesis Management greatest influence. The Framework), offers complete automation and autonomy of network rapid development of infrastructure, takes control of the most common tasks of an IT SDN is for now mainly intended for large data system: central management, auto-provisioning, auto-backup, centres and Telco sysauto-recovery, auto-upgrade and diagnostics tems. SDN solutions for corporate networks are today too expensive and unavailable cept and in the future it will provide the official Certification Programme (Net. to most users. That’s why we have de- basis for the management of all items (IP Campus) that consists of specially preveloped an advanced SDN concept that cameras, IP phones, tablets and all other pared network courses, ranging from is also acceptable for very small clients. devices based on IP protocol). basic through to expert. Our management system, AMF (Allied Due to its superior network solutions Telesis Management Framework), offers • On which services, products and ben- and recognised enthusiasm of the comcomplete automation and autonomy of efits for customers do you base the op- pany’s employees, Allied Telesis has benetwork infrastructure, takes control of erations of Allied Telesis in the region? come an integral and indispensable part the most common tasks of an IT system: - The regional office of Allied Telesis of many systems in Serbia and neighbor central management, auto-provisioning, has developed an interesting educa- countries. ■ BUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
Senmon Gakko â€“
Japanese Vocational Education
Many countries have complex education systems, with types of schools ranging and varying depending on the goals and abilities of the student. Similarly, in Japan, there are multiple different types of schools and universities, for students looking for degrees, vocational qualifications, language ability, professional training, etc 42 |
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ne such type of school is the “senmon gakko”, or professional training college. In the Japanese educational system, a professional training college is positioned as “a higher education institution,” which is the same as a university or junior college. A professional training college, or senmon gakko, has taken on an important role in vocational education, on the level of Japanese higher education. Some 7.7 million graduates have gone on to become active in a variety of ways. The title of “Diploma” is granted to students who have completed more than a two-year term of training (more than 1,700 school hours), and the title of “Advanced Diploma” to students who have completed more than a 3-year Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) survey showed that about term of training (more than 3,400 school hours). People earning a 80 per cent of senmon gakko graduates find jobs post graduation. “Diploma” are eligible to transfer to universities, and people with an Senmon gakko is arguably quite similar to the vocational educa“Advanced Diploma” are eligible to enter graduate schools. tion and training system, which combines theoretical and practiA senmon gakko runs courses that last on average two to three cal teaching system that exists in Germany, Switzerland, Austria... years rather than the four years associated with standard JapaFinancially, senmon gakko is not really any different to atnese universities. About a sixth of secondary school graduates go on to attend senmon gakko - it is definitely a large part of the JapaA professional training college, or senmon gakko, has taken nese education system. on an important role in vocational education, on the level of There are eight different Japanese higher education. Some 7.7 million graduates have fields of study available at sengone on to become active in a variety of ways mon gakko: industry, agriculture, medical care, health, education tending a standard university or college in Japan, bar the lessand social welfare, business practices, apparel and homemaking, er amount of time it takes to complete the course and gain a and culture and the liberal arts. These are obviously large parts of qualification. It costs on average about 1.2 million yen (€10,300) what make up a society and therefore and integral to Japan and a year to attend senmon gakko, about the same as the annual its social and cultural standing. Graduates from senmon gakko tuition fee of a private university. Again, there are scholarships are viewed accordingly; Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, to look out for, which can significantly reduce this cost. There has reportedly been very high student satisfaction as well at senmon gakko in comparison with at regular universities and colleges in Japan, perhaps as a result of greater social and academic flexibility. At the end of the day, it can be hard to imagine something like a senmon gakko if this system is not in place in your own country. However, there are many perks associated with senmon gakko, and particularly for those with vocational goals or who already have a profession in mind, it can almost be argued that senmon gakko is a fast track path to success. ■ BUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
Sushi - The Famous
Sushi is the most famous Japanese dish outside of Japan, and one of the most popular dishes among the Japanese themselves who usually enjoy sushi on special occasions
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hat has become a Japanese culinary art with delicious flavor and colorful form, actually evolved from very meager beginnings. In the 7th century, Southeast Asians introduced the technique of pickling. The Japanese acquired this same practice which consisted of packing fish with rice. As the fish fermented the rice produced a lactic acid which in turn caused the pickling of the pressed fish. Nare-Sushi is 1300 years old and refers to the finished edible product resulting from this early method. As with most foods, there are several variations and different ways to cook it. All it takes is a little bit of courage to try out the different variations and who knows, you may find something that you like.
Sushi is one of the best Sushi is one of the best nutritional sources available to us. There nutritional sources available are hundreds of recipes for making sushi: the basic hand rolled to us, which may be one reason people are turned off by sushi and vegetable hand rolled sushi, but there are also several it. There are some people that ways to get unique while making sushi have it in their head that all health food is going to taste wasabi oil and soy syrup. This is a little more complex to make, bad. Others may be turned off by the fact that it is seafood. But but worth it when it is cooked. As with the recommendation sushi is packed with lean protein, nutrients, and is low in fat. above, you can find the recipe at the food network online. Some A couple of other healthy parts to sushi are the seaweed of the main ingredients you will find with this dish are a half kiwrap, wasabi and ginger. The seaweed wrap, which is called nori, los of somen noodles, chopped scallions, soy sauce, rice wine is rich with vitamins and minerals that get lost with many other vinegar, and wasabi oil. kinds of foods. As for wasabi and ginger, they contain antibacterial qualities and ginger also aids digestion and improves circuNot everyone is going to be a big fan of sushi. But try to muslation. ter up the courage to try the different variations and recipes out By now you get the point that sushi is good for you, but that there, because it can be one of the better kinds of seafood you does not make it appetising to everyone. However, there are will try. Just because it is seafood and healthy for you, it does hundreds of recipes for making sushi. There is the basic hand not mean you will not like sushi. So give it a chance. rolled sushi and vegetable hand rolled sushi, but there are sevTo begin with, we recommend you to try one of the many eral ways to get unique while making sushi. recipes that offer Belgrade’s take-a-way restaurants “Sushi Go” If you are not a big fish fan, try out somen sushi noodle with (www.gosushi.rs). ■
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MANNERS & ETIQUETTE
Table Manners Some restaurants in Japan have low tables and cushions on tatami floor instead of (or in addition to) Western style chairs and tables. Shoes and slippers have to be removed before stepping on tatami. Also, avoid stepping onto cushions other than your own. See our sitting page for more details about sitting techniques and rules
deshita” (“thank you for the feast”) which includes gratitude not only toet towels (oshibori) are provided at most restaurant to clean your hands before eating. After ordering, it is common wards the cook but also the ingredients consumed. to wait for everyone’s order and then to start the meal with Rule of thumb: at the end of the meal, return all your dishes to how the phrase “itadakimasu” (“I gratefully receive”). If a dish is they were at the start of the meal (minus the food) better eaten right away but others at the table have not been served yet, the phrases “osaki ni dōzo” (“please go ahead”) or “osaki ni itadakimasu” DRINKING (“allow me to start before you”) can be useful. Do not start drinking until everybody at the table has a drink and the When eating from small bowls, it is correct manner to pick up the glasses are raised for a drinking salute, which usually is “kampai”. bowl with your hand and lead it close to your mouth when eating from it; When drinking alcoholic beverages, it is customary to serve each othhowever, larger types of dishes should generally not be picked up. When er, rather than pour your own drink. Periodically check your friends’ cups eating from shared dishes (as it is commonly done at some restaurants and refill their drinks if their cups are getting empty. Likewise, if someone such as izakaya), it is polite to use the opposite end of your chopsticks or wants to serve you more alcohol, you should drink some from your glass dedicated serving chopsticks for moving food. before holding it towards that person. Blowing your nose at the table, burping and audible munching are After finishing your meal, it is generally good manner to return considered bad manners in Japan. all your dishes to how they were at the start of the meal On the other hand, it is considered good style to empty your dishes to the last grain of rice. If there are food items that you do not like or cannot eat, replacements may be availWhile it is considered bad manners to become obviously drunk in some formal restaurants, for example high-end restaurants that serve able at restaurants or ryokan if you tell them in advance. Otherwise, it is kaiseki ryori (Japanese haute cuisine), the same is not true for other types advisable to leave the items on the dish. of restaurants such as izakaya, as long as you do not bother other guests. After finishing your meal, it is generally good manner to return all your If you do not drink alcohol, it is not impolite to say so and request for dishes to how they were at the start of the meal. This includes replacing other beverages instead. Non-alcoholic beverages that are usually availthe lids on dishes and putting your chopsticks back on the chopstick rest or in its paper holder. Conclude the meal with the phrase “gochisōsama able include alcohol-free beer, tea, juices and carbonated drinks. ■
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SET D.O.O. (LTD.) ŠABAC
Reliable Partner to Japanese Investors
ET d.o.o. – an enterprise for engineering, consulting, project design and construction, was established in November 2003 with the aim of carrying out the planning, design and construction of buildings in the field of civil engineering, from residential and mixed residential-commercial properties, to industrial buildings, and in the field of infrastructure building, from roads to complex infrastructure and utilities facilities. Milenca Srećković, director of “Set”, is proud that such a powerful Japanese company as “Yazaki” has shown its trust by hiring local company “Set” to design and construct its business complex for the production of electronic components for the automotive
industry, but she is also satisfied that this project will create 1,700 new jobs for the local population in Šabac. The technical approval of the facility is expected in July next year, after which op-
Šabac-based company “Set” is working busily on several projects throughout Serbia. Among others, it is working on the design and construction of a commercial complex for the production of electronic components for the automotive industry, for “Yazaki” erations will be launched at the plant. Director Srećković says that the company plans to continue training in new construction and design technologies in the future, primarily in the areas of municipal infrastructure (wastewater treatment and solid waste management), as well as residential and industrial construction. She sees every new job as an opportunity to improve and further develop the company and its employees. ■
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From Humble Houses to
Japan has an interesting variety of buildings that exhibit different architectural forms from humble farm houses to grand imperial palaces. Architectural styles have evolved from pre-historic to modern times. Early native designs were exposed to strong influences from the Asian mainland, imported styles were subsequently adapted to suit local tastes, and recent history saw the introduction of Western architecture into Japan
uildings were traditionally built in wood - in part because of the abundance of timber and due to the material’s relatively good resistance to earthquakes. Unfortunately, many buildings were lost through the years to natural disasters, the humid climate, fires and wars. Efforts have been made to preserve some monumental buildings including temples, shrines, palaces and castles, of which many are very old and require periodic renovations. Furthermore, efforts are ongoing across the country to reconstruct some lost buildings of importance. EARLY JAPAN The Jomon Period lasted from around 13000 BC to 300 BC. The inhabitants of Japan at that time were mainly gatherers, fishers and hunt-
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ers. Dwellings were built directly over an earth floor with a wood foundation and a thatched straw roof. Inside the house, the floor may have been hollowed in, which is why Jomon Period houses are often called “pit dwellings”. The Sannai Maruyama Archaeological Site in Aomori is one of the best places to see an entire village of Jomon Period houses. Following the Jomon Period, the Yayoi Period lasted from around 300 BC to 300 AD. The period is characterized by the start of widespread rice farming, resulting in the appearance of permanent settlements with bigger populations. Communities became organized in villages as a whole, with areas demarcated for granaries, storehouses and living quarters. Houses, especially the granaries, were built on stilts to keep away mice. Structures such as village fences and watch towers appeared.
EARLY JAPAN SANNAI MARUYAMA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE IN AOMORI
SHRINES In ancient times, Shinto ceremonies were held outdoors at temporarily demarcated sites without buildings. Later, temporary structures were used which eventually got replaced by permanent shrine buildings housing the deity. Early shrine buildings predate the introduction of Buddhism and reflect native Japanese architecture styles. Among the earliest shrine architecture styles are the Shinmei style as represented by the Ise Shrines whose halls resemble ancient storehouses, and the Taisha style as represented by the Izumo Shrine whose buildings resemble ancient residences. Furthermore, there is the Sumiyoshi style as represented by the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Osaka which is also considered to be close to a natively Japanese shrine architecture style. The arrival of Buddhism in the 6th century brought along strong architectural influences from the mainland. Kasuga Shrine and Usa Shrine are among two early shrine construction prototypes which already show more distinct foreign elements. Towards the Edo Period, shrines became increasingly ornate as exemplified by the most spectacular of them all, Nikko Toshogu Shrine, which was built in the 17th century. TEMPLES Temples came along with the import of Buddhism from China around the 6th century. At first, temples resembled those in China closely in features, such as having wide courtyards and symmetrical layouts. Some of the oldest surviving temple buildings exhibiting these features can be found in Nara, in particular at Horyuji (the world’s oldest wooden structure), Todaiji (the world’s largest wooden structure), Yakushiji and Kofukuji. Asukadera, located about 25 kilometres south of Nara City, is considered the oldest Buddhist institution in Japan. As time passed, temples were increasingly designed to suit local tastes. Newly introduced sects
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from the mainland contributed to new temple architecture styles. Temples began to exhibit less symmetrical features, and many started to incorporate gardens in their compounds. Temples were also founded in more remote places and in the mountains, which had more varied layouts owing to complex topographies. PALACES Imperial palaces are the seat of the Emperor. In the past, a new palace was built with the relocation of the capital every time a new emperor ascended to the throne. In 710AD, the first permanent capital was set up in Nara, and thus the first permanent palace, the Heijo Palace, was built. The palace’s former site is open to tourists today and exhibits a few rebuilt structures. The imperial capital was later moved to Kyoto where it remained
PAGODA AT TODAIJI TEMPLE IN NARA
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for over a thousand years until 1868. Along with the Kyoto Imperial Palace, several imperial villas still exist, exhibiting a grand and dignified, yet not overly-ostentatious style. The Kyoto Palace, Sento Palace, Katsura Villa and Shugakuin Villa are open to the public today. Furthermore, some temples such as Kyoto’s Ninnaji and Daikakuji utilize former palace buildings. From the 14th to the 16th centuries, Japan went through a period of civil war. With the arrival of peace in the Edo Period, feudal lords started to build palaces for themselves too. These palaces were usually situated within the castles but separate from the main keep. They served as residences, offices and reception halls. Most castle palaces have been destroyed, leaving only a handful of original ones, most notably the Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle and some recent reconstructions at the castles of Nagoya, Kumamoto and Hikone.
CASTLES The civil war also gave the impetus for the construction of castles. Initially built for purpose of fortification, the castles became the center of government and status symbols for the provincial lords as war drew to an end and Japan was reunited in the late 1500s. Hundreds of castles used to stand across the country, but due to wars, natural disasters and past governments’ policies to limit their numbers, today only twelve castle keeps survive from the feudal era, while a few dozen others have been rebuilt in the 20th century. The primary material for castle construction used to be wood, but most of the rebuilt castles were constructed using ferro concrete, and thus they look authentic from the outside but not from within. Two of the best original castles, i.e. castles that survived the post-feudal years, are Himeji Castle and Matsumoto Castle. SAMURAI RESIDENCES During the Edo Period (1603 - 1867), the samurai were required to reside in the castle towns that surrounded the castles. The grandeur of a samurai’s house was determined by his rank in the hierarchy. Strict regulations had to be followed; for example, the size of the pillars and the type of gates to be used were pertained by status. While higher ranking samurai lived closest to the castle in large houses with spacious tatami rooms and gardens, lower ranking samurai had more humble residences further away from the castle. Today, former samurai residences are best seen in cities which preserve some of their samurai districts, such as Kanazawa or Hagi. A few of them date back to the Edo Period.
CHERRY TREES BLOSSOM IN THE GARDEN OF SHOHO-JI TEMPLE
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TOWNHOUSES Townhouses were inhabited by craftsmen and merchants, further down the social ladder in the past. Many townhouses had relatively narrow fa-
TAKAYAMA TOWNHOUSE INTERIOR
YOMEIMON OF TOSHOGU SHRINE AT NIKKOON GATE
cades but extended wide into the back because taxation was often based on road access. A typical townhouse had its store in front, the living quarters behind, and a storehouse (kura) in the back. Storehouses were fire-insulated with earthen walls to protect valuable goods from the threat of fires. Several merchant districts exist today with nicely preserved townhouses, such as those in Takayama and Kurashiki. This is due to the tendency to preserve only the houses of the richest merchants, who towards the end of the Edo Period had become successful enough to design their houses in a style similar to that reserved for the samurai. FARMHOUSE Farmers made up the majority of Japanâ€™s population into the Meiji Period (1868-1912). Different farmhouse construction styles developed according to widely varying weather patterns. However, architectural similarities can be seen between dwellings across the country, such as the wooden facades, thatched roofs, sunken hearths (irori), earth floors for stable and kitchen, and living spaces on elevated wooden floors that may have included some tatami rooms in case of the more well-off families. Farmhouses were the most numerous among the old buildings but were rarely preserved, and thus the remaining ones that we see today tend to be the more prestigious ones, such as those that belonged to village heads or those in remote locations such as Shirakawago and Miyama where entire villages have been preserved to a certain degree. Open air museums are also good places to see regional styles of farmhouses. MEIJI PERIOD The Meiji Restoration of 1868 saw an influx of Western concepts on almost all aspects of life, from clothes to food, entertainment to architecture. Brick buildings are legacies left behind from this era, and they can be found especially at the handful of port towns
that were early opened to international trade, such as Yokohama, Kobe, Nagasaki, Hakodate and Moji. MODERN Japan is a hotbed for contemporary architecture, with lots of eyecatching creations mainly in the leading cities, especially Tokyo. The growth of big cities has led to the appearances of skyscrapers and a variety of buildings exhibiting artistic imagination. Many Japanese architects have made their mark on the international scene. Star architects include Ando Tadao, who has won numerous architectural prizes and has designed many buildings both in Japan and abroad. Multiple museums designed by Ando can be found on Naoshima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea that has become famous as a site for contemporary art. â–
SHANGHAI'S POLY GRAND THEATRE, DESIGNED BY JAPAN'S ANDO TADAO
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Poetry Reading at Motsu-ji Temple (Iwate)
n the 4th Sunday of May, Motsuji Temple invites poetry lovers to write by the stream of the templeâ€™s garden pond. This elegant poetry contest from the Heian period (from about the 8th to the 12th century) is reenacted in this festival at the Pure Land Garden of Motsuji. Following the opening and announcement of the poetry topic, the Young Woman Dance (Jakujo) of the Ennen no Mai longevity rites is performed. Sitting by the feeder stream for the temple gardenâ€™s pond, participants clad in Heian-style costumes compose poetry before a floating cup of sake reaches them, after which they take a sip from the cup. During the contest, there are elegant entertainments such as a traditional musical performance on a boat. Finally, the master of ceremonies reads the poems aloud, and this graceful event comes to a close. Like the floating sake cups, time seems to flow slowly and gracefully in this festival.
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PEOPLE WHO CHANGE THE WORLD AKIRA KUROSAWA, FILMMAKER, DIRECTOR (1910–1998)
The Man Who Changed
Seven Samurai, directed by Akira Kurosawa is the most well-known and influential film to have ever come out of Japan The potency and humanism of Seven Samurai’s message and theme speak for themselves. There is a whole host of movies that have been made all over the world that were either pointedly modeled after it, made reference to it, or mentioned its archetypal plot
orn in Tokyo in 1910, Akira Kurosawa begin his career as an assistant director in the years leading up to World War II. In 1950, he gained international acclaim for the samurai tale Rashomon, which he followed with such influential films as The Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood and Yojimbo After a difficult period during which he failed to find backing for his projects and also attempted suicide, his influence on a younger generation of directors led to the resurrection of his career with the films Kagemusha and Ran. Kurosawa died in 1998, leaving behind an impressive body of work that has earned him a place as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century. His well-to-do family can trace its lineage as far back as the 11th century, and the young Kurosawa was taught early on that he was a descendant of samurai. But despite this esteemed, distinctly Japanese background, Kurosawa’s father believed he and his siblings should be exposed to Western culture as well, so he frequently took them to see films. Initially, Kurosawa found himself drawn to art; after finishing high school, he studied at the Doshisha School of Western Painting. However, in 1936, his essay application to work at the Photo Chemical Laborato-
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ries film studio caught the eye of Kajirō Yamamoto, one of Japan’s biggest director’s at that time, who insisted on hiring Kurosawa. Employed as an assistant director for the next seven years, Kurosawa made about 24 films with Yamamoto and other directors, and learned, in particular, the importance of being able to write a good script. RISING SUN Because he had been labeled unfit for military service after failing an earlier physical, when Japan entered World War II Kurosawa was able to stay in Tokyo and continue to work. Despite the inherent economic hardships of the conflict, it was during this time that Kurosawa was promoted to director and made his first film, Sanshiro Sugata. A martial arts picture set in 19th-century Japan, it was released in 1943 and showcased Kurosawa’s talents as both a writer and director. Kurosawa followed with the World War II–themed Ichiban utsukushiku in 1944, an achievement made even sweeter when he married its star, Yōko Yaguchi, the next year. After the war’s end, Kurosawa returned to filmmaking with his own criticism of Japan’s pre-war militarism, No Regrets for Our Youth in 1946. Two years later, he made his first significant breakthrough with Drunken Angel,
a melodrama set in post-war Tokyo that not only demonstrated Kurosawa’s However, despite Kurosawa’s continued successes, television’s range, but also marked his first collaboration with actor Toshirō Mifune. negative impact on filmmaking and an economic depression in Japan led Kurosawa followed his first domestic success with what would behim to seek work in Hollywood. Unfortunately, none of his projects there come his first international hit, Rashomon (1950), a samurai murder story came to fruition. told from the perspective of four different characters. It is now considOn the verge of fading into obscurity, Kurosawa was approached ered a masterfully innovative storytelling device for the time, but it was by a Russian production company to make the adventure epic Dersu met with mixed reactions in Japan. However, its genius was not lost on Uzala about a hermit. Shot on location in Siberia and premiering in the international circuit and it won both the Venice Film Festival’s top 1975, international audiences enthusiastically received the film. However, the production took a toll on Kurosawa’s health. Although he was prize and the Academy Award for best foreign film. finding it increasingly difficult to win backing for his projects, KuroNow recognized as an important voice in cinema, over the course of the next decade, Kurosawa made some of his most influential and entertaining films. In 1952, he released the internationally acclaimed Ikiru and in 1954 the epic Seven Samurai, a homage to Westerns that would later come full circle when it was remade as The Magnificent Seven (1960). Once more demonstrating his range and flair for adaptation, in 1957 Kurosawa released Throne of Blood. A reimagining of Macbeth, it is widely considered to be one of the finest interpretations of Shakespeare’s works. Following on its heels was 1958’s Hidden Fortress, the story of princess, her general and their two bumbling peasant companions on a quest to reach home. It marked a milestone as the first film in Japan to SEVEN SAMURAI make use of the widescreen format, but it is arguably even more important for the influence it had on the young American For all that Kurosawa had contributed to the world of cinema, it filmmaker George Lucas, who is fitting that his profound influence would someday repaid names Hidden Fortress as a primary influence for Star Wars. sawa persevered in his efforts to bring his vision to the screen. For all that Kurosawa had contributed to the world of cinema, it is fitting that his profound influence would someday repaid. In the late ’70s, Kurosawa admirer George Lucas leveraged his massive success with Star Wars to bring Francis Ford Coppola and Twentieth Century Fox on board to produce Kagemusha, a medieval samurai story of epic proportions. Released in 1980, it won the Grand Prize at Cannes and was nominated for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards. Reinvigorated by the success of Kagemusha, Kurosawa followed it up in 1985 with Ran, his samurai adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear. In 1990 the 80-year-old director returned with Dreams, an experimental offering brought to the screen with help from yet another of his admirers, Steven Spielberg. Though the film met with a lukewarm reception, at that year’s Academy Awards Spielberg and Lucas presented Kurosawa with an honorary Oscar by in recognition of his body of work. The director made the mildly successful Rhapsody in August in RASHMON 1990 and Madadayo in 1993. In 1995, he was working in his next project when he fell and broke his back. The injuries he sustained confined him DARK CLOUDS to a wheelchair for the remainder of life and led to a rapid deterioraTo gain greater artistic freedom in his work, in 1960, Kurosawa started tion of his health. his own production company. His first film from this new venture was Yojimbo (1961), which follows a nameless wandering samurai as he plays the Akira Kurosawa died from a stroke on 6th September 1998, in Tokyo. He was 88. Since his passing, his impact on film continues to be felt middle between the two warring factions in a small town. Among his most through new interpretations of his work and the lasting influence he has popular and accessible films, Sergio Leone remade it as A Fistful of Dollars had on some of the industry’s brightest lights. ■ (1964), with Clint Eastwood starring as the archetypal “Man with No Name.”
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World's Most Revered
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Natural, simply elegant, delightful, relaxing, refreshing, all of these thoughts and more come to our minds when we think about Japanese Gardens. As one of the most revered garden traditions in the world, the design principles and techniques are both inspiring and effective
JEVREMOVAC BOTANICAL GARDEN, BELGRADE
espite Western influence, the Japanese spirit, sense of beauty, and attitudes toward nature remain essentially intact. The Japaneseâ€™s view of nature is completely opposite from that of Westerners. The Japanese believe that humans should live in harmony with nature, in that humans are part of nature. On the contrary, Westerners believe that humans should be in control of nature; we can break, build, or shape nature, as our hearts desire. Humans and nature are separate from each other. The opposite beliefs in nature are expressed in each cultureâ€™s garden design. The Japanese approach to garden design exemplifies the expression of simplification and purity of nature. The Japanese design their buildings as part of nature. Large doors open immediately to the garden in full view, as though the garden were part of the living environment. To emphasize the importance of the garden, the Japanese place it at the front of the main hall. For over one thousand years many famous gardens have been built, and kept up in Japan. Many of these gardens surround villages, and beautiful buildings that are still standing today. These gardens reflect the quality of design work that has evolved in the Japanese tradition and that have stood the test of time. The Japanese use the land they have wisely, as the amount they have to work with is minimal. A great deal of emphasis is placed on the design process before a site is constructed. It is important in the Japanese culture for man and nature to live in harmony. It is for this reason that garden space is integrated so closely with architecture. The garden is endowed with many spiritual and symbolic meanings. A purpose of the gardens is to bring forth a deep BUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
COURTYARD GARDENS - TSUBO NIWA
emotional response from the viewer through symbolism. However, great sensitivity is required to fully appreciate the careful thought that goes into Japanese garden design. Come explore our virtual garden site and learn about the history, philosophy, and design techniques that make the Japanese gardens eternally unique and fulfilling. Japanese gardens derive their beauty from a mixing and blending of different elements: sand, rocks, water, ornaments such as lanterns, water basins (tsukubai), and bamboo fences natural plants and surroundings Part of the beauty of the Japanese gardens comes from the symbolic expression of religious Buddhism and Shinto beliefs. The design of the Japanese gardens is based on three basic principles, reduced scale, symbolization, and borrowed view. Gardens in reduced scale represent famous scenes and places in small and confined spaces. Mountain views and rivers are miniaturized using stones, sand and gravel. Symbolization is used in almost every Japanese garden. Raked sand or gravel symbolizes rivers, groupings of stones and rock can represent islands. Shakkei or borrowed view is the use of existing scenery and plants to supplement the garden. The garden design is made in such a way that the existing scenery becomes part of the total design. There are several different styles of Japanese gardens. Karesansui, or waterless rock and sand garden, is a very well known type of Japanese gardens. This type of garden appeared in the Muromachi period (1333-1568) and is influenced strongly by the Zen-Buddhist doctrine. This type of garden include some though limited plant life, mostly moss, raked gravel symbolizing streaming water, groupings of rocks and stones. A famous example of this type of zen-garden is Ryoanji in Kyoto.
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TEA GARDENS - CHA NIWA OR ROJI Contrary to what one could expect from the name, one does not drink tea in a tea garden. This type of garden has the following elements: Japanese lanteren (toro), crouching water basin (tsukubai), stepping stones (tobi ishi), and a waiting place (machi-ai). Most of the time these are small enclosed gardens. They are the passage to the teahouse where one performs the tea ceremony. It is a passage from the outside world to the inner world of the teahouse. The purpose is to have a peaceful mind before starting the tea ceremony. The tea garden is usually part of a larger garden. The Kimura-en in Kashiwasaki in the province of Niigata is a beautiful stand alone tea garden.
TEA GARDEN (KOTOIN TEMPLE, KYOTO)
COURTYARD GARDENS - TSUBO NIWA Courtyard gardens are small gardens. One tsubo is a Japanese measurement equalling 3.3 square metres. The origin of the tsubo niwa lies in the 15th century, when Japanâ€™s economy was thriving. A lot of merchants had large houses surrounded by several storage buildings. The first courtyard gardens were made in the open spaces between the house and the storage buildings. The elements of a courtyard garden are similar to the elements of a tea garden, however more shade tolerant plants are used. The design principles of traditional Japanese courtyard gardens, are very suited for create contemporary small spaces on roofs or terraces.
STROLLING GARDENS - TSUKIYAMA These are large landscape gardens. Often existing landscapes are reproduced on a smaller scale, or an imaginary landscape is created. STROLLING GARDENS - KAIYU-SHIKIEN These are pleasure gardens, mostly built during the Edoperiod. Most of these gardens are now public parks.
basins should be placed with consideration to scale of other elements around them. For example, a tall lantern should not be placed alongside a short tree and short shrubs. Motion reflects the ever present change one sees in life. Everything on earth is always in motion. Motion is conveyed in the garden through diagonal projections that connect the main horizontal and vertical forces in the landscape. Vertical and horizontal forces cannot move until connected with a diagonal. This diagonal can be achieved with a tree branch or angled bridge positioned in the frame. â–
DESIGN When designing a site, it is important to understand the concepts of balance, rhythm (proportion), and motion (directional forces) as they relate directly to the design of the garden and conceptually or symbolically to the garden. Everything in the garden should have relative scale. Dimensions are important. Irregularity and opposed to symmetry is an important design element that reinforces and maintains interest in the frame of the garden from any perspective. The idea of balance is important as a fundamental aim of Japanese gardens are to reflect on man in harmony with nature. The concept of rhythm in a garden or in life reflects recurrence of elements and patterns. This element adds to the cohesiveness and stability of the garden, allowing us to imagine what we see as naturally occurring beauty. For example, waterfalls should be kept proportionate in relation to their height/breadth . A low waterfall should not be too broad. Proportion should be maintained throughout the rock groupings, maintaining relationships between principal and subordinate rocks. See composition of rocks. Elements placed in the garden such as lanterns or water
STROLLING GARDENS - TSUKIYAMA
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The Japanese Nation Has Donated €490 Million to Serbia
Since 1999, the Government of Japan has used its programme of projects for the basic needs of the population (POPOS) to implement 192 projects in the Republic of Serbia. Including these projects, the total amount of Japanese assistance through POPOS projects in Serbia since 1999 has reached €11 million. Total Japanese aid to Serbia during the same period exceeds €490 million
DONATION TO UB HEALTH CENTRE: Dr BILJANA NIKOLIĆ and H.E. JUICHI TAKAHARA, Ambassador of Japan
uring Japan’s 2015 fiscal year (running from April 2015 to the end of March 2016), the Government of Japan used the programme of POPOS projects to provide the Republic of Serbia with overall aid worth €995,016. December 2015, as well as February and March 2016, saw the official signing of contracts on donations from the Government of Japan for 16 projects that were approved during 2015 in the following areas:
POPOS PROJECTS IN THE HEALTH DOMAIN With the aim of improving health services in the Republic of Serbia, funds worth a total of €376,248 were allocated for 2015. Eight donation contracts were signed with the following institutions:
POPOS PROJECTS IN THE FIELD OF EDUCATION With the aim of improving the conditions of education in the Republic of Serbia, funds worth a total of €136,035 were allocated for 2015. Two donation contracts were signed with the following institutions:
2. HEALTH CENTRE MALO CRNIĆE For procuring emergency vehicles and medical equipment €63,195
1. PRIMARY SCHOOL “VUK KARADŽIĆ” in Tutin – department in Dubovo For roof repairs and replacing roof windows €66,195 2. PRIMARY SCHOOL “DRINKA PAVLOVIĆ” in Kuršumlija For replacing windows and doors, and renovating the concrete walkway beside the building €69,840
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1. HEALTH CENTRE MEROŠINA For procuring emergency vehicles and medical equipment €61,003
3. HEALTH CENTRE TRGOVIŠTE For procuring emergency vehicles and medical equipment €67,700 4. HEALTH CENTRE PREŠEVO For procuring emergency vehicles
5. HEALTH CENTRE BUJANOVAC For procuring emergency vehicles
CEREMONY CONFIRMING THE DONATION TO THE BLIND INSTITUTE OF SERBIA FOR PROCURING A BRAILLE PRINTER AND BRAILLE LINES
6. MUNICIPALITY OF ŠID For procuring emergency vehicles
7. MUNICIPALITY OF DIMITROVGRAD For procuring emergency vehicles
3. MUNICIPALITY OF ŠID For procuring a water tank vehicle and a waste removal vehicle €144,500
8. MUNICIPALITY OF BOSILEGRAD For procuring emergency vehicles
4. MUNICIPALITY OF BOSILEGRAD For procuring a waste removal vehicle and waste containers €72,450
POPOS PROJECTS IN THE FIELD OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION With the aim of improving environmental protection in the Republic of Serbia, funds worth a total of €343,850 were allocated for 2015. Four donation contracts were signed with the following institutions:
POPOS PROJECTS IN THE FIELD OF SOCIAL PROTECTION With the aim of improving social protection in the Republic of Serbia, funds worth a total of €138,883 were allocated for 2015. Two donation contracts were signed with the following institutions:
1. PUBLIC UTILITIES & SANITATION COMPANY SENTA For procuring a waste removal vehicle
1. BLIND INSTITUTE OF SERBIA For procuring a braille printer and braille lines
2. HOME FOR THE ACCOMMODATION OF ADULTS “KULINA” For procuring a vehicle and equipment for the Home €68,983 ■
2. MUNICIPALITY OF BUJANOVAC For procuring a water tank vehicle
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CORPORATE PREDRAG VUKOVIĆ, President of The Municipality of Šid
Japanese Assistance When Most Needed
During the period of the transit of more than 700,000 migrants, thanks to Japan’s assistance, capital infrastructure projects were initiated that will improve hygiene and road infrastructure, while significantly improving how the municipality is equipped in terms of utilities and healthcare facilities, improving the ability to overcome regular and extraordinary needs of the Municipality’s residents
he Municipality of Šid is in the focus Balkans migrant routes towards the countries of the European Union, which has a great impact on both living and working conditions, characterising the atmosphere in this area. Apart from the transit of more than 700,000 people during the past year, around 2,000 migrants are housed in continuity at three reception centres in the Municipality. Along with the needs of the local population, it is also necessary to preserve and improve living conditions and life in all essential aspects, in order for transit and the residential period of temporary populations to flow in the best possible way. The migrant crisis brought particular pressure when it comes to meeting basic needs with regard to general hygiene, road and utilities infrastructure, sanitation, accommodation capacities, cultural life or, in short, the general conditions for life and work in our area. In the first year of the migrant crisis, the Municipality of Šid would not have succeeded in overcoming these difficulties without the help of developed countries and people who understood the difficulties and problems which escalated during that time. Šid received particular understanding and a respectable level of assistance from the representatives of the people of Japan, who are unparalleled in dealing with complicated situations and who first came to help with very significant material resources, as well as a high level of
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understanding for difficulties, great support and useful suggestions for ways of overcoming the current difficulties. Thanks to the help of Japan, capital infrastructure projects were initiated that will improve hygiene and road infrastructure, as well as significantly improving how the municipality is equipped in terms of utilities and healthcare, and improving the municipality’s ability to overcome regular and extraordinary needs of the residents of the municipality. Residents of the municipality are thrilled by the level of understanding among all representatives of Japan with whom the municipal authorities collaborated. Special emphasis should be placed on the speed of
of the municipality, which is favourable for agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. The Industrial Zone, which has a determined location and necessary project documentation, equipment and infrastructure, represents the backbone of future investments. Several economic and tourist events, historical destinations and famous painters are permanent lures that attract lovers of food, drinks and the arts, bringing more visitors to the area each year. In terms of development, following the resolving of infrastructural and communal problems, and improvements to general medical and cultural conditions, Šid sees its possibilities in
In all development prospects, along with other countries, Japan has a special place and role realisation of everything that has been jointly agreed and implemented. In all development prospects, along with other countries, Japan has a special place and role. The Municipality of Šid, according to its geopolitical position, which is assessed as favourable, is located in the border zone with the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, alongside the Belgrade-Zagreb highway, which places us in the lobby of the European Union. Forested areas, large areas of agricultural land, the slopes of Fruška Gora, rivers and lakes all serve in many ways to determine the character
the development of agriculture, especially fruit cultivation and winegrowing, the increasingly common production of tobacco, as well as processing capacities reliant on the production of agricultural produce and livestock. The primary task of the Municipality of Šid is to work actively in order to improve economic and general development, strengthen competitiveness, develop entrepreneurship and raise the standard of living, promoting the territory of the municipality of Šid as a respectable area for investment and a place that is pleasant for living and working. ■
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CORPORATE VLADICA DIMITROV, President of The Municipality of Dimitrovgrad
Help at The Right Moment Dimitrovgrad is a municipality located on the eastern branch of Corridor 10, the road that connects Europe to Asia, so its residents have since ancient times been in contact with people of different colours, races and nationalities
imitrovgrad represents a multi-ethnic environment with all the prerequisites for citizens to react positively to migrants in terms of human relations and being good hosts. On the other hand, the municipality also prepared for the oncoming wave and immediately opened a budget line where funds were earmarked for assistance to migrants in terms of hygiene, transportation and temporary accommodation.
the Government of Japan in the form of a refuse collection vehicle worth $90,000. How much will this donation help utilities services, in the current situation, to improve your service throughout the entire territory of the municipality? - On the occasion of the Day of the Municipality, a refuse collection vehicle was handed over to us by the Embassy of Japan, in the presence of H.E. Japanese Ambassador Juichi Takahara. Testifying to the significance of this donation is the fact that the only waste collection truck that the municipality had was 15 years old and it transports waste to the regional landfill site located
are defined through three development funds: 1. The Fund for the Economy, through which subsidies are granted for private entrepreneurs (for employment, subsidies on loan interest, direct subsidies for infrastructure works, subsidies for employing sections of the population categorized as difficult to employ. 2. The Fund for the Development of Tourism (grants for improving the tourist offer, for the construction and reconstruction of accommodation facilities etc.) 3. The Fund for the Development of Agricultural (grants for the procurement of agricultural
• Dimitrovgrad is one of the border municipalities on the route for migrants coming via Bulgaria. How have you been dealing with this problem to date? - There was no way that the municipaliAlso envisaged in the function of development is construction of the ty could possibly cope with the migrant Željuša - Poganovo road, which is important for the development of crisis and help came very quickly from tourism and agriculture in the southern part of the municipality of domestic and international organisaDimitrovgrad, the construction of a road link connecting Corridor 10 tions, associations and institutions, with the Beleš Industrial Zone, reconstruction of the road that connects which assisted in taking care of mivillages with the city core etc grants through the provision of accommodation facilities, health protection, 35km away. In any case, the donation will lead to machinery, for the construction of facilities for hygiene, food and other needs that imposed themselves. Moreover, a lot of donations also arrived to a manifold improvement in the quality and quanhousing animals, for artificial insemination etc.) tity of services for maintaining hygiene in the help the inhabitants of Dimitrovgrad, for which we Moreover, the Municipality of Dimitrovgrad, municipality of Dimitrovgrad. are immensely grateful. The first wave of migration in cooperation with the Economy Ministry, is I would also note that in mid-November anhas passed, but we as a municipality, together with currently building the Beleš Industrial Zone for other donation from the Embassy of Japan arour domestic and foreign partners, are preparing greenfield investments. rived in the form of an ambulance equipped with for another coming crisis: we are preparing accomAlso envisaged in the function of developmodation facilities, equipping public utilities comment is construction of the Željuša - Poganovo resuscitation equipment, which was directed to panies with the necessary equipment and raising road, which is important for the development of the health centre. the capacity of the local government to respond in tourism and agriculture in the southern part of • What are the Municipality of Dimitrovgrad’s crisis situations. the municipality of Dimitrovgrad, the construction of a road link connecting Corridor 10 with the priorities for economic development in 2017? Beleš Industrial Zone, reconstruction of the road • On the occasion of the Day of the Municipality, - The priorities of the Municipality of Dimitrovgrad aimed at furthering economic development that connects villages with the city core etc. ■ 21st September, you received a donation from
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CORPORATE SHAIP KAMBERI, President of The Municipality of Bujanovac
Among The First Holders of The NALED Certificate in Serbia
The Municipality of Bujanovac is situated in the central part of the Balkans, in the gentle Bujanovac High Valley, alongside the busiest road and rail routes leading to Europe. It is located at the centre of the main communications routes, directly beside road and rail routes along international corridor E-10, which links Belgrade, Skopje, Thessaloniki and Athens
lso making the location of the municijanovac has a total of 4,395 unemployed persons among the first seven local governments in the pality favourable is its proximity to and the average age of residents is 30.5. Some Republic of Serbia to be certified in 2010. three international airports, as well as 216 companies (206 small, 8 medium-sized and The municiaplity is distinctive for its efficient administration, skilled workforce with the closeness of border crossings with 2 large) operate in Bujanovac, as well as 668 entrepreneurial workshops, while 90 per cent of a developed work ethic, great potential for the Macedonia – Čukarka, 23km, Prohor Pčinjski, the Bujanovac economy comprises SMEs. development of several economic sectors, com32km – and Bulgaria – Dimitrovgrad, 140 km. The petitive operating costs and many years investThe most important local industries are the average annual temperature is 10.8C. ing in infrastructure development. food industry, non-ferrous metals, furniture, The Office for Local Economic Development The municipality of Bujanovac has introplastics, mining, the tobacco industry, textiles, of the Municipality of Bujanovac has prepared a duced standards ISO 9001 - Quality Managemining and construction. written description of the procedures required for issuing building permits, which contains information about the enThe Municipality of Bujanovac is the holder of the certificate for tire construction process, consisting municipalities with a Favourable Business Environment (NALED), of the following stages: construction and is among the first seven local governments in the Republic of land leasing, location permit, building Serbia to be certified in 2010 permit; construction, usage permit and registration in the land cadastre. ment System, QMS and ISO 14001 - EnvironmenThe Municipality of Bujanovac has also According to the 2014 general regulatory tal Management System, EMS. produced the “Invest in Bujanovac” catalogue, plan, the municipality of Bujanovac has earmarked locations for an industrial zone, while The Municipality of Bujanovac wrote a project containing an inventory of locations available a detailed elaboration, which is currently unproposal for the POPOS programme, following an for investment (brownfield and greenfield) and derway in partnership with the European PROinvitation from the Embassy of Japan in Serbia, vacant business premises. GRESS Programme, will define construction of and was subsequently approved for the procureThe Municipality of Bujanovac has 365km of ment of drinking water tanks and ambulance vethe “Sector 6” production and business zone, categorized roads: 32km of national road; 67km hicles, with relevant contracts concluded on the and a business zone alongside Corridor 10, on a of regional roads; 266km of local roads. donations. The ambulance was handed over to the surface area of 60ha, which are 30 per cent conThe local heating system covers the urban structed. These locations, with donor support Bujanovac Health Centre, while delivery of the wacore with industrial buildings, as well as part of ter tank is expected following the completion of from the European PROGRESS Programme, are Bujanovac Spa. There is coverage of bulk energy the procedure of public procurement in the open being developed in detail for the needs of the ininfrastructure with a high and medium level of frastructural equipping of the zones. procedure with its publishing on the website. voltage, while water supply systems cover 80 The Municipality of Bujanovac is the holder The total value of donations from the Emper cent of the territory of the municipality. bassy of Japan to the Municipality of Bujanovac of the certificate for municipalities with a FaThe municipality is home to 43,302 inhabitants, 25,000 of whom are of working age. Buvourable Business Environment (NALED), and is is €109,050. ■
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CORPORATE NENAD KRSTIĆ, President of the Municipality of Trgovište
A Friend Helps When Most Needed Despite the fact that it has a real basis for the development of agricultural production, especially of health food, but also of tourism, the Municipality of Trgovište is ranked among the most underdeveloped municipalities. At the beginning of 2016, the Government of Japan donated the most essential communal and medical equipment to this impoverished Municipality
arly 2016 saw the Government of Japan donate ambulance vehicles and other medical equipment, including a biochemical analysis machine, to the Trgovište Health Centre.
provided a better service to patients, more accessible healthcare and reduced costs for citizens when it comes to travelling to the nearest health centre, in our case in the city of Vranje, for check-ups. This is the first biochemical analysis machine that our health centre has had since its foundation.
• How much has this donation impacted on improving the healthcare protection of the local population? - We would like to express our enormous grati• The Municipality of Trgovište tude to the Embassy of Japan and H.E. Japanese is ranked among Serbia’s unAmbassador Juichi Takahara for the donation that our municipality received. The donation derdeveloped municipalities. In mass of rocks in Europe, while at the very top is given to the Trgovište Health Centre is of enorwhich direction would Trgovište have genuine located the 14th Century Church of the Holy Virspace for economic development? mous significance to our municipality, as well as - An unpolluted environment, the potential of the Trgovište Health Centre. gin. Of course, there is also special significance natural resources, organic food production and With the ambulance vehicle we have enain the close proximity of the famous 11th Century bled the provision of emergency medical assistance to the populaAn unpolluted environment, the potential of natural resources, tion of our municipality, as well as organic food production and rural tourism are areas where Trgovište the resuscitation of patients. has realistic room for development The donation in the form of the biochemical analysis machine has rural tourism are areas where Monastery of the Venerable Prohor of Pčinja. Trgovište has realistic room for development. • As a border municipality, how is cooperation The very centre of Trgovište with the Bulgarian side when it comes to apis situated on three rivers plying for the EU’s cross-border IPA funds? Tripušnica, Kozjedolska and - The Municipality of Trgovište is located in Lesnička – which merge to form southern Serbia, close to the border with Macthe River Pčinja, which flows edonia and Bulgaria. Its composition includes into the Vardar. five local communities from 35 settlements. Moreover, in close proximity The Municipality of Trgovište has applied with to Trgovište there are still underBulgaria for numerous projects and will continue exploited tourism tourist, such as to cooperate with them, as well as participating Devil’s Town, a probably unique in every Serbia-Bulgaria tendering procedure. ■
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VLADIMIR ZAHARIJEV, President of the Municipality of Bosilegrad
PUC “DUBOKO REGIONAL CENTRE FOR WASTE MANAGEMENT”, UŽICE
With Japan as a Guiding Idea For The Future
Mineral Wealth- Cooperation The first donation from the Embassy of Japan resulted in the renovating of the local primary school, while a second, worth €102,000, recently arrived in the form of an ambulance vehicle, 15 waste containers and a refuse collection vehicle
osilegrad Municipality is located along one of the main migrant routes traversing Serbia. The Embassy of Japan recognised the problem confronting the population of Bosilegrad and immediately stepped in to help.
• From the start of the refugee crisis you have been one of the first places occupied by refugees. Why is this specific kind of donation important to you? - The large number of migrants caused a much greater involvement of utilities, medical and other services in the municipality. The Embassy of Japan recognised our problems and immediately donated a vehicle to transport the growing number of patients, which the old vehicle was unable to do. We also received 15 waste containers and a seven-tonne truck for the disposal of garbage. Cleanliness will now be maintained at a much higher level. The Japanese Embassy has again demonstrated brotherly relations towards us. • What represent the greatest potential for the municipality’s development? - We have the largest reserves of phosphates in Europe, with incredible purity, which has been confirmed by research. There is also another mine where we are in the phase of researching amounts of lead, copper and zinc. In both cases, better infrastructure and state assistance would encourage investors to engage more and employ as many people as possible. We are rich in forests, have beautiful ski slopes, as well as the Crnook and Besna Kobila mountains, which provide a great opportunity for the development of tourism. Apart from the spring that is the source of Rosa water, we also have the Plavilo spring, with 43 litres per second of exceptionally high quality water, as has been confirmed at an institute in Germany. We also have commercial blueberry plantations and are renowned for our mushrooms. With such potential, it is essential for the municipality to receive assistance from the state for attracting investors. ■
hanks to the great support of our dear friends from Japan, for three years, on the territory of the City of Užice, within the framework of the programme Grassroots Human Security Projects and the POPOS Fund, we have been successfully implementing one of the important projects that has the aim of improving the system of municipal waste management. Užice’s citizens and businesses are able every day to use containers of 5m3 and 7m3 to dispose of municipal waste, which is then delivered but truck to the dump in Duboko. This project has increased the percentage allocations of recyclable materials and the level of awareness among citizens about the importance of the continuous process of selecting waste. The visit to our centre of Masayoshi Yamato, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Serbia, once again confirmed the fact that this project is an example of good practice and guiding idea of further cooperation in the future. Our regional centre owes great thanks to the Government of Japan and we believe that the next joint projects in the field of environmental protection will further strengthen the ties between our two nations. ■ BUSINESS PARTNER JAPAN
he Japanese archipelago is located in an area where several continental and oceanic plates meet. This is the cause of frequent earthquakes and the presence of many volcanoes and hot springs across Japan. If earthquakes occur below or close to the ocean, they may trigger tidal waves (tsunami). Gaman has been attributed to those affected by the 2011 TĹ?hoku earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. The 50â€“70 workers who remained at the damaged and radiation-emitting Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, despite the severe danger, demonstrated what was regarded as gaman. If a person with gaman were to receive help from someone else, they would be compliant; not asking for any additional help and voicing no concerns. Gaman means enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.
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