December / January 2019 / '20 | ISSUE No. 20 | FREE COPY
THE WORLD IN 2020 CONFERENCE
WE CAN DO IT BETTER AND FASTER DARKO HORVAT Minister of Economy
D&C 2nd BIRTHDAY
Diplomacy & Commerce Magazine celebrated its second anniversary in Croatia
EMMANUEL MACRON WARNS EUROPE:
NATO IS BECOMING BRAIN-DEAD
WE ARE THERE FOR EACH OTHER
President of the International Women's Club
BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR IS POPULAR NOWADAYS
CEO and the originator of the idea Women in Adria
CAN CITIZEN KANE BE SAVED?
World Media Congress in Las Vegas
WE SHOULD ALL BE THURSTING IN THE SAME DIRECTION OGNIAN ZLATEV
European Commission, Head of Representation in Croatia
Years of Living Dangerously When, in December, analysts start summarizing the events of the year that is nearing its end, they usually say that we have lived in dynamic time and that coming years will bring “many challenges”. This December, it’s going to be exactly 10 years since we’ve launched a special edition of The Economist magazine called “The World in….” that contains forecasts from state officials, economists and geopolitical, scientific and cultural experts about what awaits us next year. I reached an agreement on publishing this issue at the FIPP Magazine Market Place which was held in November 2009 at the luxurious Jumeira Beach Hotel in Dubai. The lavish interior of the hotel was in stark contrast to the galloping economic crisis, which, combined with the Internet penetration via smartphones was literally gnawing away at the media industry. However, we believed that the strength of a brand such as The Economist could handle all these challenges, and we were right. This year, we published "The World in…." in Serbia, North Macedonia and Croatia, and Diplomacy & Commerce magazine, syndication of The Economist, is available in Austria, Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia. Some of the experts, whose opinions were mentioned in the edition, were wrong in their forecasts. For instance, four years ago, in “The World in 2016”, they were sure that Hillary Clinton would win the US election and that the UK population would mostly vote for the “remain in the EU” option at the Brexit referendum. Quite the opposite happened in both cases. I remember the editor of our edition, Žikica Milošević, telling me that the British ambassador in Skopje almost scoffed at him at the reception on the occasion of the Macedonian launch of this magazine in December 2015, when Žikica said that it was possible for the British to decide to leave the EU next year. His Excellency thought it was a bad joke and did not even entertain the idea of the UK leaving the EU for a second. We had a chance to see for ourselves who won the US election and what has been happening in the UK in the last four years. The past four years of “living dangerously” have taught us to be careful what we say, and to think before writing something and hopefully, before we vote.
WE CAN DO IT BETTER AND FASTER DARKO HORVAT Minister of Economy
WE SHOULD ALL BE THURSTING IN THE SAME DIRECTION OGNIAN ZLATEV
European Commission, Head of Representation in Croatia
WE ARE THERE FOR EACH OTHER JENNER PEŠUT
President of the International Women's Club
BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR IS POPULAR NOWADAYS IVANA MATIĆ
CEO and the originator of the idea Women in Adria
A BRIDGE BETWEEN CULTURES Dr PETAR RADOSAVLJEVIĆ www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr BOBAN SPASOJEVIĆ Executive director
TANJA BANKOVIĆ Editor-in-chief
ALEKSANDAR KOSTIĆ Designer
Translation SNEŽANA BJELOTOMIĆ
RUŽA VELJOVIĆ Magazine director
SVEN DARRER Advertising manager 091 766 5479, 091 377 4358
ROBERT ČOBAN Director
ILIJA PETROVIĆ INDIGOCHILD Art director
Photos GETTY IMAGES TOMISLAV SMOLJANOVIĆ
Senior Lecturer at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb
DIGITAL LITERACY THE NEW IMPERATIVE OF COMMUNICATION DANIJEL KOLETIĆ CEO of Apriori World
DIPLOMACY & COMMERCE CROATIA MAGAZINE CELEBRATES ITS 2nd BIRTHDAY Anniversary
'THE ECONOMIST: THE WORLD IN 2020' IN CROATIA Conference
NEW RHETORIC – EQUIPMENT FOR LIVING JAGODA POROPAT DARRER
Business Communications Professional
CAN CITIZEN KANE BE SAVED? WORLD MEDIA CONGRESS IN LAS VEGAS Travelogue
Print ZLATNA KNJIGA Jagodina, Bagrdanski put bb Predstavnik za RH
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Emmanuel Macron warns Europe: NATO is Becoming Brain-dead America is turning its back on the European project. Time to wake up, the French president tells The Economist
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has warned European countries that they can no longer rely on America to defend NATO allies. “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” Mr Macron declares in a blunt interview with The Economist. Europe stands on “the edge of a precipice”, he says, and needs to start thinking of itself strategically as a geopolitical power; otherwise we will “no longer be in control of our destiny.” During the hour-long interview, conducted in his gilt-decorated office at the Elysée Palace in Paris on October 21st, the president argues that it is high time for Europe to “wake up”. He was asked whether he believed in the effectiveness of Article Five, the idea that if one NATO member is attacked all would come to its aid, which many analysts think underpins the alliance's deterrent effect. “I don't know,” he replies, “but what will Article Five mean tomorrow?” NATO, Mr Macron says, “only works if the guarantor
of last resort functions as such. I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States.” And America, in his view, shows signs of “turning its back on us,” as it demonstrated starkly with its unexpected troop withdrawal from north-eastern Syr-
by Brexit and political instability.This toxic mix was “unthinkable five years ago,” Mr Macron argues. “If we don’t wake up [...] there’s a considerable risk that in the long run we will disappear geopolitically, or at least that we will no longer be in control of our destiny. I believe that very deep-
MR MACRON’S UNDERLYING MESSAGE IS THAT EUROPE NEEDS TO START THINKING AND ACTING NOT ONLY AS AN ECONOMIC GROUPING, WHOSE CHIEF PROJECT IS MARKET EXPANSION, BUT AS A STRATEGIC POWER ia last month, forsaking its Kurdish allies. In President Donald Trump, Europe is now dealing for the first time with an American president who “doesn’t share our idea of the European project”, Mr Macron says. This is happening when Europe is confronted by the rise of China and the authoritarian turn of regimes in Russia and Turkey. Moreover, Europe is being weakened from within
ly.” Mr Macron’s energetic recent diplomatic activity has drawn a great deal of interest abroad, and almost as much criticism. He has been accused of acting unilaterally (by blocking EU enlargement in the Western Balkans), and over-reaching (by trying to engineer direct talks between America and Iran). During the interview, however, the president is in a defiant but relaxed mood, sitting in
shirt sleeves on the black leather sofa he has installed in the ornate salon doré, where Charles de Gaulle used to work. The French president pushes back against his critics, for instance arguing that it is “absurd” to open up the EU to new members before reforming accession procedures, although he adds that he is ready to reconsider if such conditions are met. Mr Macron’s underlying message is that Europe needs to start thinking and acting not only as an economic grouping, whose chief project is market expansion, but as a strategic power. That should start with regaining “military sovereignty”, and re-opening a dialogue with Russia despite suspicion from Poland and other countries that were once under Soviet domination. Failing to do so, Mr Macron says, would be a “huge mistake”. From The Economist, published under licence. The original article, in English, can be found on www.economist.com
Text: ŽELIMIR MARAŠ
How to Ruin the Opportunity of the Century? We turned left at Albuquerque
Western Europe and the US have truly seized the opportunity of the century. When, after 74 years of existence and being a "threat", the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, the opportunity opened up for everything to be just as in the Scorpions song, “Wind of Change”. But, to no avail! GODZILLA WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CONSIDERATE
After declaring themselves the winners of the Cold War, from 1991 to 2008, with their „bull in a china shop“-style politics, the Western countries (although they were not Cold War winners, but it was all an act of by Mikhail Gorbachev, which, we can see now, was in vain) created chaos in all of the former Yugoslavia, and also meddled together with Russia in a deadly clash of interests in the Caucasus region, Moldova and Ukraine. What a CV! Godzilla would have been more considerate. HOW TO MAKE THINGS NORMAL AGAIN?
Now, it is up to the people of Eastern Europe, especially the Balkans, the Caucasus and Ukraine, but also other regions, to bring back things to normal again. It seems that normalization will start from the east, and the last ones that went under will have to stand up first against the forces of nationalism and war. It seems that Ukraine will assume that role first. President Volodymyr Zelensky brings great hope to the entire failed Eastern Europe, but he also does not have much time and has difficult tasks ahead. He is soon embarking on a big "gas showdown" with Gazprom, will have to dissolve, silence or even arrest the extreme nationalists from the Azov Battalion (Ukraine was prompted to do something when all joking aside, the US contemplated branding Azov a terrorist organization), as well as reverse the process of linguistic unification of Ukraine, abolish the problematic language laws, and continue fighting against corruption. So, how is he going to deal with the nationalists and the
AS LONG AS WE PLEDGE OUR ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG, OUR POCKETS WILL BE EMPTY. OUR POCKETS! NOT THE TYCOONS’ OR POLITICIANS’ POCKETS… Nord Stream-2 at the same time, as well as adhere to the country's formal direction of joining NATO and bring back the territories which can only be done if Ukraine remains neutral like Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Azerbaijan? This will be Mission: Impossible for Zelensky, but he seems like a smart person. FIRST ASK YOURSELF!
Ukraine is demographically shrinking very rapidly, and its population will soon fall to below 40 million. Others are in a similar
situation. Each of the countries will have to answer two questions: why some of your citizens do not feel like citizens of your country and are ready to rebel (Donetsk, Kosovo, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, Lugansk, Transnistria) and why are loyal citizens willing to leave without even looking back, disgusted with corruption and partocracy, nationalism and poverty? The politicians in breakaway entities will have to understand that whoever protects them has to agree with the central government because the popula-
THE DEMOGRAPHIC CRUMBLE 9 out of 10 countries, whose population is declining the fastest, are located in the Eastern European region, with the EU members Bulgaria and Lithuania taking the lead. Nationalism is the most prominent in Eastern Europe, which will lead to the following: no more people, even if you have the territory. How do you think you will be able to live in the globalized world and migrate while nurturing nationalism and not adhering to the rules of the West that you aspire to? Cheers!
tion is leaving very fast. Albin Kurti putting up the Albanian flag in his office will be in vain if everybody leaves Kosovo and there will be nobody left. It is all futile when we know that Donetsk and Transnistria have only 50% of the population they once had. And time goes by quickly… In September 2021, the children who were born at a time when there was no longer any Ukrainian government in Donetsk, are already starting school. The children who were born when Serbia no longer had political authority in Kosovo are university students now, while those who were born in Abkhazia at the time of upheaval are 28 years old today. The toxicity of the nationalism can be seen in the fact that the greatest hopes for improvement lie with those people whose mother tongue and the nationality are different to their homeland, namely Alexander Lukashenko, a Ukrainian who speaks Russian as his first language, Igor Dodon (Moldova), who also speaks Russian as his first language, and Volodymyr Zelensky, who is a Russian-speaking Jew. As long as we pledge our allegiance to the flag, our pockets will be empty. Our pockets! Not the tycoons’ or politicians’ pockets…
We Can Do it Better and Faster The current economic growth is good, but our ambitions are greater than that. It is important that we continue to create a positive entrepreneurial environment in Croatia if we want to develop even faster and create new quality jobs
DARKO HORVAT Minister of Economy
„We cannot be dissatisfied with economic growth, but our ambitions must be greater than that if we want to create quality jobs,“ said Darko Horvat, Minister of Economy. „Despite all the challenges we have had to deal with, Croatia will end this year with economic growth of around 3 per cent. We can be very pleased with this, given the fact that public and private sector wages have increased this year and tax and administrative burdens have decreased, while the trend of reducing public debt with consolidated public finances has continued," the Minister of Economy adds. Mr Horvat points out that 2019 was distinctive given several other good indicators. First of all, the
highest real GDP growth rate since 2007, which stood at 3.9 per cent in the first quarter, which is no longer based solely on personal consumption, since both private and public investments and exports have started to make a big contribution. Also, the number of employees in July reached one
How would you rate 1 Croatia's resilience to challenges coming from the global and European levels?
— It is important that we continue to create a positive entrepreneurial environment in Croatia, because the foundation we have laid this year is of top quality and
ACCORDING TO EUROSTAT, THE AVERAGE COST OF INVESTING IN CROATIA IS ABOUT 30 PER CENT LOWER THAN THE EU AVERAGE. THIS POSITIONS CROATIA AS A WESTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRY WITH REASONABLE PRICES million and 578 thousand, which is also the highest number of employees since Croatia declared independence. "It just goes to show that the direction we have set is good and that in the year ahead, we must go even faster," the minister concludes.
quite stimulating. This has also been confirmed by some of the relevant world rankings, such as the global competitiveness scale or the Doing business List, on which we have made significant strides. This is important feedback that shows that the trends are
good, and this fact is increasingly recognized by foreign investors too. That is why we now have to present Croatia as a desirable investment destination even more, in order to attract greater investments in our territory, which, in turn, will create new jobs. Of course, in doing so, we must be aware of the global economic downturn resulting from tense international trade relations, the demand for new sustainable business models and the increasing technological change. Of course, this can be felt in Europe, especially in the countries in our surroundings some of which, like Germany and Italy, are our most important external trade partners. Under these circumstances, it is clear that Croatia cannot remain completely immune, which is why it is important for us to continue to implement responsible fiscal policy, but also to open up new investment prospects through various
measures so that the potential consequences of such developments could be minimized. Which economic segments receive most foreign investments and are you happy with the current situation?
— Investments have been steadily increasing in Croatia, which is the result of the improvements in the legislative framework that facilitate investments, but also the proactive approach we have taken towards foreign investors. Namely, in the past two and a half years, more investments have been made under the Investment Promotion Act than in the previous five. Almost half of the investments are related to manufacturing activities, which makes me especially happy, followed by investments in tourism and IT. It is important to understand here that attracting new foreign investments has become a kind of international market game, which is becoming increasingly competitive. Croatia has to play such a game in an even more offensive manner, in order to attract other investments in our country, such as the one that will be realized in Jakovlje by the Austrian company FACC.
Namely, while facing competition from several countries, this company has chosen Croatia as the place where it will have built an aircraft parts factory by the end of 2021, worth about 30 million euro. There are many more such positive examples lately that we have to use in international circles as a bait to attract new investments. We are primarily focusing on private investments, namely those that relate to the implementation
investment in Croatia was welcomed is no longer. Now, the most important ones are those that create higher added value, create new jobs and are export-oriented. I know I have mentioned this several times already, but I believe that Croatia is ready to accept a new major investment in the automotive industry, and we have already fulfilled many prerequisites for that – from infrastructure to various incentives and subsidies.
WE SIMPLY HAVE NO RIGHT TO REPEAT THE „SINS“ FROM THE PAST WHICH ARE LEFT TO THIS GOVERNMENT TO HANDLE of innovations and new technologies and oriented towards R&D, thus creating better quality and more competitive jobs. This relates to the manufacturing and processing sector, with wood and metal processing industries in Croatia being quite developed. It is especially important for us to monitor and encourage the further development of the ICT sector, which employs more and more young professionals in Croatia who are in strong demand in the market. The time when every kind of
What is the government doing to attract some of these industries to Croatia, such as the automotive industry you mentioned? This was also a topic of discussion after the German Minister Peter Altmaier's visit.
— Through the "Infrastructure Development in Entrepreneurial Zones" competition, the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts has secured HRK 270 million, which is currently being invested in the infrastructure in 46 entrepreneurial zones across the country.
When we added to this the financial support from local and regional self-governments, we reach a figure of almost HRK 500 million, which is aimed at creating the prerequisites for attracting the kind of investments we are talking about. Furthermore, other competitions that were launched or are about to be launched are focusing on this type of investments. For example, the call for the tender for the allocation of grants for innovation in S3 areas, which closed in mid-November, totalled HRK 634 million. When we add to this HRK 770 million from the 'IRI 2' competition, which is aimed at boosting the development of new products and services through R&D activities, and another HRK 100 million through the 'Integrator' competition, we are talking about a total amount of HRK 1.5 billion, available to entrepreneurs. Also, by following the market trends and listening intently to the needs of the entrepreneurs themselves, for the third time during this Government's mandate we are putting together amendments to the Law on Investment Promotion, which will enable grants for those investments that may not create new
jobs, but raise company's technological level. Speaking of cost competitiveness compared to other countries, Croatia is not an expensive investment destination. Of course, we are not the cheapest, and neither do we want to be. We have topnotch people, excellent business and transport infrastructure, and according to Eurostat, the average cost of investing in Croatia is about 30 per cent lower than the EU average. These are all advantages that position Croatia as a Western European country with reasonable prices, which is actually what foreign investors say about us. How much space and what kind of state's support domestic entrepreneurs have in Croatia?
— We do not want to differentiate between foreign and domestic investors, but we rather want to offer a competitive investment framework that will encourage both to make new investments here, in Croatia. I would like to remind you that the Law on Investment Promotion stipulates numerous incentives, with one of the most attractive being the tax exemption for up to 10 years. We also offer up to EUR 18,000 for new jobs, up to EUR 1 million in grants for investment in high-tech equipment, as well as numerous other measures. Therefore, an investor who invests a minimum of EUR 50,000 or EUR 150,000, depending on size and sector, can qualify for these incentives. Additionally, we stimulate investments in R&D through the Law on State Aid for research and development projects. Project financing sources have never been more accessible and affordable. Under very favourable conditions, today's entrepreneurs have various financial arrangements at their disposal, ranging from commercial banks, through HBOR credit lines, to loans and incentives from HAMAG-BICRO. They all offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to take a new leap or launch an investment cycle on very competitive terms, like in the
the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2020, followed by Germany for the rest of the year. I would just like to mention that we have recently raised our bilateral relations with Germany to a very advantageous level. This is where I see the great opportunity for Croatia to set the future priorities of Europe together with Germany, not only for the next year but for the entire financial period until 2027, since this financial period will have to be defined during the presidency of our two countries.
CROATIA NO LONGER HAS THE RIGHT TO EXPERIMENT AND WASTE TIME, BUT TO COOPT AND IMPLEMENT PROVEN AND SUCCESSFUL MODELS THAT HAVE BEEN USED IN THE COUNTRIES SUCH AS AUSTRIA AND GERMANY surrounding countries. I have already underlined several times that those entrepreneurs who have made big investments towards digitization or innovation are the biggest winners this year. This is what we, the Government, have also addressed. So, on 1st July, we introduced mandatory e-invoices in public procurement processes, and next year, we e-invoices will be mandatory in the business segment too. Also, this month we launched a new digital business start-up service in Croatia called START, thanks to which you can launch a business just by filling out one digital form, in one place in one go, in just a few days. We will continue to develop this system to become a recognizable digital box for every entrepreneur doing business in Croatia in the future. You recently said that, in the next EU Financial Perspective (2021-2027), Croatia will focus on stimulating and investing in innovative technologies. What are the Croatian comparative advantages in this area?
— Creating an innovation eco-
system, modelled after European countries, remains one of the main prerequisites for focusing on innovation, new technologies and increasing the withdrawal of grants from the EU funds. For this reason, over the past year, we have been working a lot on establishing and positioning the National Innovation Council, as a central meeting point for the state, academia and the real entrepreneurial sector. This triple helix formula has already resulted in several concrete things, the most important of which is the fact the entrepreneurs make up 70 per cent of the membership, and that they lead the way. It is up to us to listen to them, create a framework and find funding sources for their projects, of which over 300 have been submitted through Thematic Innovation Councils. Thanks to the Smart Specialization Strategy, Croatia has defined five thematic areas to stimulate, namely health and quality of life, energy and sustainable environment, safety, food and biochemistry, and transport and mobility. It is important to underline again that Croatia will preside over
How prepared is the Croatian education system to respond to the needs imposed by the new demands of economic development?
— You mentioned my recent meeting with my German colleague Peter Altmaier in Zagreb a little while ago. We took his words as a very clear and important message. Specifically, this year alone, Germany has produced around 60 new curricula, thus, in education, creating the prospect of forming new quality workforce that will be able to follow new trends and handle with them successfully. The Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts is doing its utmost in its field, and through the Unique Education Model, we are creating and promoting new staff through the secondary vocational education system. This year alone, we doubled the annual scholarship amount from HRK 9,000 to HRK 18,000 for this segment, while giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to cover the cost of apprenticeships, mentoring and procurement of machines that will help students learn on the job. The goal of such a practice is for young people to become ready to cope with the competitive job market after graduating. In any case, I think that Croatia no longer has the right to experiment and waste time, but to coopt and implement proven and successful models that have been used in countries close to us, such as Austria and Germany, for years.
THE PAST IS A GREAT BURDEN FOR US The economic legacy from the Republic of Croatia's past is a great burden not only for me as the Minister of Economy, but also for the Minister of Finance, as well as some other ministries and the state budget. I often underline that there Croatia has been going through a certain type of crisis for a long time, that is the crisis of quality management. Simply, some industries or business models we have carried over from the former state have not been able to fully transform into something that is contem-
porary, profitable and marketable. We need a major turnaround in this segment because we cannot give state funds, in the form of guarantees or some kind of credit arrangements, without a clear vision of how that money will be multiplied and somehow end up in the state budget again, and for that vision to be ultimately realized. We simply have no right to repeat the „sins“ from the past which are left to this government to handle.
PBZ Named Bank of the Year in Croatia Privredna banka Zagreb d.d. (PBZ), a member of Intesa Sanpaolo Group, has been named Bank of the Year in Croatia – by the renowned financial magazine The Banker (a publication from the Financial Times)
DINKO LUCIĆ president of the Management Board
Dinko Lucić, president of the Management Board, received the award on behalf of PBZ at The Banker's Bank of the Year Awards 2019 ceremony held in London: "We are extremely proud of this prestigious international award that is regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence. My fundamental belief is that people make the difference. Today, many believe that technology is by far the most important. Technology is important, but at the end of the day the best technology can be bought. Motivated, welltrained, committed and positively oriented teams are what money can’t buy. It takes full devotion, skill, time and belief to create them. Once you've done it, compe-
tition stays behind" said Lucić. A wide range of criteria was taken into consideration for this prestigious award. Banks had to demonstrate not only the resilience of their balance sheets and good financial indicators, but also success in the areas such as the overall strategy, innovation, and achievements in development and
According to its business results, Privredna banka Zagreb has consistently been at the top of the Croatian banking sector and has further strengthened its leading role in new technologies, continuously developing new and innovative products and services for retail and corporate clients and taking a significant part in
MOTIVATED, WELL-TRAINED, COMMITTED AND POSITIVELY ORIENTED TEAMS ARE WHAT MONEY CAN’T BUY availability of banking products and services through multichannel platforms, and their actions promoting financial inclusion. This year, the global and regional winners got their awards in 138 countries.
the financing of the economy and development of small and medium entrepreneurship in the country. Also, considerable efforts have been invested into its transformation into a full-fledged bank for digital services. Contents and
availability of digital services on all available platforms have been carefully redesigned and substantially upgraded. At PBZ more than 96 per cent of transactions are carried out electronically. The new PBZ digital banking platform is a multichannel concept of online and mobile banking with a number of innovative functionalities and the possibility of application personalisation according to the client's needs and wishes. Also, PBZ was the first commercial bank in Croatia to offer its clients Google Pay services back in 2018 and from this year also Apple Pay. It should be noted that PBZ is the centre of excellence for many banking areas in the Intesa Sanpaolo Group and has recently become a regional banking hub following the acquisition of majority ownership of the Intesa Sanpaolo banks in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia.
in December & January
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES
THE NETHERLANDS Kingdom Day
KAZAKHSTAN Independence Day
ational Day N (Emperor's Birthday)
NEW AMBASSADORS PRESENTED THEIR CREDENTIALS The following ambassadors presented their credentials to the President of the Republic of Croatia H.E.Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović: H.E. Ashot Hovakimian, the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia (seat in Prague). H.E.
Ricardo Rojas Gonzales, Ambassador of the Republic of Chile, H.E. Aleksandar Vranješ, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Mokhtar Amine Khelif, Ambassador of People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.
I ndependence and Unity Day
Leaves Zagreb Brewery
Due to assuming his new duty starting January 1 - Marko Njavro will no longer serve as the Chairman of the Management Board of Zagreb Brewery, as said in a statement. After 15 years of service at the company - for the last three years he successfully held the
position of the Chairman of the Board and CEO for Croatia, BiH, and Slovenia - Njavro decided to leave Zagreb Brewery and Molson Coors. New appointments to the Zagreb Brewery Management Board will be announced in the coming period, the statement concluded.
New member of Petrokemija Management Board
At the end of the year, Goran Pleše’s term of office shall expire and he will be succeeded by Juraj Kojundžić, who will take over the post on the very first day of 2020. Kojundžić previously held the position of the Director of Risk Management at INA. Prior to joining INA, he worked for
Independence Day Siemens where he actually began his career. This professional reinforcement is completely logical, given that INA and PPD (First Gas Company) acquired the majority stake at Petrokemija (transaction has been carried out through a company that is jointly set up - Terra Mineral Fertilizers).
MYANMAR National Day
nification Day of U Wallachia and Moldavia
BORIS DRILO Another term of office in the Management Board of Croatian Telecom
The Supervisory Board of Croatian Telecom, at its today’s session, appointed Boris Drilo as a member of the Management Board and Chief Technical and Information Office for another three-year term of office, beginning on January 1, which is set to be the expiration of his current term of office. As of January 1, 2020 the Board
of HT shall consist of: Konstantinos Nempis, Chairman of the Management Board - also responsible for business customers, Daniel Daub - in charge of financial management, Boris Drilo - in control of technology and IT, Nataša Rapaić - in charge of the residential customers, and Ivan Bartulović - at the helm of HR department.
AUSTRALIA National Day
Independence Day 10
OGNIAN ZLATEV European Commission, Head of Representation in Croatia
Croatia has recently outlined the political priorities for its Presidency of the Council of the European Union titled "A Strong Europe in a Challenging World": Europe that develops, Europe that connects, Europe that protects and Europe that is influential". "The political priorities of the presiding country are very important because they are also the priorities of the whole EU during the presidency period, and these priorities give direction to the work of the European institutions, and the European Commission as well," comments Ognian Zlatev, Head of the European Commission's Representation in Croatia. Priorities of the Croatian Presidency coincide with the political priorities of President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. "Of course, this is not a coincidence but good coordination of all European institutions - we should all be thursting in the
the events related to the Presidency will take place in different parts of Croatia, which is why I urge the media and citizens to bolster their European identity and to be actively involved in these processes," says Mr Zlatev. "The European Commission stands at the disposal of the Croatian government for cooperation during this important period, and after it, of course." What are your expectations from the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU and how are you involved in the activities conducted in Zagreb?
â€” As we have heard recently from the European Union's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, during the Croatian Presidency, we are expected to move from a negative Brexit negotiation phase to another more positive and constructive Brexit phase, which is to build new, strong relationships with this great country. Likewise, Member States will continue to negotiate the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), i.e. the European budget for the next seven-year period, from 2021 to 2027.
I WOULD LIKE TO USE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO INVITE SMES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT INVESTEU PROVIDES FOR THEM TO STRENGTHEN THEIR BUSINESSES
We Should All be Thursting in the Same Direction The Croatian Presidency of the EU, which starts on 1st January 2020, is a great opportunity for the whole society. The European Commission stands at the disposal of the Croatian government for cooperation in this important period, with the agenda that includes topics ranging from a more constructive Brexit phase to a new financial framework
same direction if we are to achieve the goals we have set ourselves," says our interlocutor. "The Presidency is a great opportunity for the whole society, for all its segments - it is not a mere diplomatic event, on the contrary," explains the Head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia and adds: "The Presidency is responsible for initiating the Council's work on EU legislation, ensuring the continuity of EU programmes, the regularity of legislative processes and the cooperation between the Member States. And to do so, the Presidency must act as an Honest Broker, a term we will often hear during this period." The conclusions of the European Council and the decisions of the ministerial Councils have a direct impact on the lives of EU citizens and they will have the opportunity to speak about various policies as part of the events that will be organized around these meetings. "The Government of the Republic of Croatia has announced that
On the other hand, the European Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, presented the European Green Deal, a top political priority for the European Commission for the years to come. These are some of the priorities that the Croatian Presidency will tackle, and the role of our office the Representation of the European Commission to Croatia is to inform the public promptly, mobilize its interest and proactively foster public debate on the Future of Europe. How agile is Croatia in taking advantage of the opportunities created by the Juncker Plan?
â€” In Croatia, by October 2019, total funding under the EFSI amounted to EUR 284 million, and an additional EUR 1.1 billion of total investments is expected to be stimulated. Croatia is currently ranked 16th in terms of EFSI-boosted investments in relation to the GDP. The Investment Plan for Europe, that is, the Juncker Plan, has certainly bolstered the economic growth of the Union and Croatia and played a key
role in stimulating employment and growth. Investments under the Juncker Plan, by 2019, led to a 0.9 per cent increase in the Union's GDP and the creation of 1.1 million additional jobs compared to 2015. By the end of 2019, the Plan will have mobilized € 439.4 billion in additional investments across the Union. By 2022, investments are expected to increase the Union's GDP by 1.8 per cent and create another 1.7 million jobs.
current goal is to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030. But we must be more ambitious! There will be a proposal to extend the emissions trading system to more sectors and to include the road transport and construction sectors. However, these measures should not intimidate anyone, as, at the same time, a Just Transition Mechanism will be put in place to support a fair transition. What is good for our planet must be good for our citizens, our regions and our economy. With the help of the new Just Transition Mechanism, we will support the most affected people and regions. This is what Europe does - we are ambitious and do not neglect anyone.
Does the European Commission intend to continue supporting investments in the EU?
— The EU will certainly continue to encourage and support investments in the next period under a programme called InvestEU. The InvestEU Programme aims to consolidate the European Fund for Strategic Investments and 13 other EU financial instruments currently supporting investments in the EU and facilitating access to finance. Like the Juncker Plan, InvestEU is the EU's budget guarantee. That guarantee will amount to at least EUR 38 billion, with mobilization of at least EUR 650 billion. The President of the European Commission, Ms von der Leyen intends to more ambitiously incorporate climate change in the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). As public funding alone will not be sufficient, we will have to attract private investments by putting green and sustainable financing at the heart of the European investment chain and financial system. As part of this, we will propose that one part of the European Investment Bank become the European Climate Bank. Investments under the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan will amount to EUR 1 trillion over the next decade. This is also a great opportunity for the Croatian economy. We have recently heard from Minister Horvat that Croatia intends to be even more active within the InvestEU Programme. I would like to use this opportunity to invite SMEs to take advantage of the opportunities that InvestEU provides for them to strengthen their businesses. What will be the backbone of the new EC and where do you see the biggest number of opportunities and where the problems?
— President von der Leyen presented the European Commission's policy guidelines based on common ideas and priorities that bring us together. They focus on
EMPOWERING DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES AND DEMOGRAPHICS WILL BE THE FOCUS OF THE NEW COMMISSION'S WORK. I THINK THAT THIS IS A GREAT SUCCESS FOR CROATIA, AS DUBRAVKA ŠUICA, THE EC VICE PRESIDENT, IS IN CHARGE OF THIS VERY IMPORTANT PORTFOLIO the six main objectives for Europe over the next five years and beyond. These are: the European Green Deal, the economy in the interest of citizens, Europe ready for the digital age, protecting the European way of life and stronger Europe in the world. In line with the demands of the citizens of Europe, Europe plans to become a leader in the transition to a healthy planet and a new digital world. European voters, even those who were too young to vote, have expressed that loud and clear. Becoming the world's first climate-neutral continent is the greatest challenge and opportunity of our time. We will need to invest in innovation and research, reshape our economy and modernize our industrial policy.
All of that sounds very ambitious. How is that going to be achieved?
— I agree. These are very ambitious goals. That tells you a lot how much will that priority become the backbone of our work in the next term. The European Green Deal will incorporate the first European climate law to include the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 in legislation. We are witnessing that millions of young people are very adamant in demanding this - we are obliged to listen to them and act accordingly. We are well on the way to achieving the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030. However, we must go further and faster if we really want to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In particular, our
WE DO NOT WANT YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE EXPOSED TO POVERTY The future of Europe rests on young people. Therefore, they must be given continuous support from childhood to adulthood. We will establish a European guarantee for children that will guarantee the most basic rights, such as health and education rights, for every child in Europe at risk of poverty or social exclusion. We will work to make the Youth Guarantee a permanent instrument for combating youth unemployment and to provide a larger budget for this purpose, while EUR 3 billion has been secured from the European budget for the Erasmus+ student exchange programme in 2020.
Can you briefly outline other priorities that the European Commission will focus on in the next term?
— Working towards the goal of a climate-neutral and healthy planet must be based on a strong and resilient social market economy. The EU citizens and businesses can only thrive if the economy works in their best interest. This is exactly what our social market economy serves for. That is why, to begin with, we will focus on strengthening the backbone of our economy, our SMEs. They account for 99% of all businesses and are responsible for creating 85% of new jobs in the last five years. These are our innovators and entrepreneurs who allow young people to become vocationally qualified and represent all that is good in our economy. Therefore, the Commission will propose the adoption of a specific strategy for SMEs to provide them with room for progress by reducing red tape and improving market access. Concerning digital Europe, technological sovereignty will be pursued in certain key technological areas. To secure a leadership position for the next generation of technology giants, we will invest in blockchain technology, high-performance computing, quantum computing, algorithms and tools that enable data sharing and data usage. Empowering democratic processes and demographics will be the focus of the new Commission's work. As you know, Dubravka Šuica, the EC Vice President, is in charge of this very important portfolio. I think that this is a great success for Croatia, especially as it comes at a time when Croatia is presiding over the Council of the European Union.
We are There for Each Other The main objective of our Club is to stimulate social gathering and support the network of international women of all affiliations, residing in Croatia. You could have gotten a real taste of our unique dynamic at the Christmas Bazaar, which, this year, took place on 1 December at Velesajam
JENNER PEŠUT President of the International Women's Club
The Christmas Bazaar, organized by the International Women Club, was held on Sunday, 1 December at the Zagrebački Velesajam, Pavilion 8. It’s one of the oldest and most traditional charity events in Zagreb which has been taking place for over 25 years. The Christmas Bazaar provides a unique opportunity for countries to introduce themselves to the local community through their vibrant and informative tables. “This year, we had over 40 country tables from our international community offering their food and beverages, gifts, toys, books, handicrafts and products from all around the world. We are so thankful to our participating embassies and international companies stationed in Zagreb, for their generous donations”, says Jenner Pešut, President of the International Women's Club. This year, the event’s beneficiary was the organization called Little Dragon (Mali Zmaj), which focuses on improving the quality of life for poor or indigent children. Little Dragon is a non-profit voluntary association that is fund-
ed by neither the city nor the state and depends solely on donations from private institutions and individuals. “Our goal is to raise 350,000.00 kuna to help restore their space damaged by floodwater so they can continue their work as soon as possible. Everyone is free to attend and all proceeds go to our charity,” says Pešut.
are concerned, we provide our members with many different opportunities - from hosting and participating in charity lunches to organizing and donating in clothing drives. Our members find it fulfilling to volunteer and support charitable organizations, as well as offer their time and resources for the benefit of the charity.
How important are the charity activities for your Club and for the recipients?
Apart from the humanitarian activities, what is the strongest bond among your members?
THIS YEAR, WE HAD OVER 40 COUNTRY TABLES FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OFFERING THEIR FOOD AND BEVERAGES, GIFTS, TOYS, BOOKS, HANDICRAFTS AND PRODUCTS FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD — Our charity activities are very important for our Club members. I would like to point out that the main objective of our Club is to stimulate social gathering and to support the network of international women of all affiliations, residing in Croatia. As a secondary objective, the Club supports various charities throughout Croatia which assist women, children, the sick and the elderly. As far as charity activities
— The next strongest bond is the camaraderie we have amongst each other. We are close, loyal and upbeat in spite of the many differences in our cultural backgrounds, native languages and familiar customs. English is the official language all through our Club. We are aware that we are in it together and that we are working toward the same goal to accomplish what the club stands for in our new home country, Croatia.
You could have gotten a real taste of our unique dynamic at the Christmas Bazaar, which, this year, took place on 1 December at Velesajam. Who can join the Club?
— International women who are currently living in Croatia can join the Club. Croatian citizens can also join the Club. As I mentioned earlier, our main objective is to provide a support network of international women. Many Croatian women, who lived abroad and returned to Croatia, are looking to give back to their home country. This is a very important element in our Club. How do your members contribute to the organization’s development? What are your plans for 2020?
— Our members contribute by giving their time to assist with the many different social activities that are being offered all through the year. We have a monthly calendar full of different activities to accommodate interests of each lady. They range from language classes to sports activities. For example, there are also Croatian language lessons to make them fit into the community much easier. We also have French and Italian. We offer
Homeopathy, Bridge, Walking Groups, Meditation, Mahjong, Pilates, Hiking, workshops and organize many charitable lunches. These are some of the offers that the ladies can choose from. These activities bring each other closer and long-term friendships are formed even after some ladies leave Croatia, especially the wives of diplomats who are usually in Croatia for only 2 to 4 years. Our plan for 2020 is to recruit as many new ladies to become fullfledged members to this auspicious group of women. It is really exciting to welcome all newcomers to Croatia. We wish to share our own experiences with them that we had when we arrived and to warmly welcome them so they don’t feel so homesick. During the year, we organize a Christmas Party and the following year, a Spring Ball. Many ladies get so excited to dress up and spend a glorious evening in a fun and friendly atmosphere. We look forward to continuing with our yearly Hat Party where you can see many talented ladies with exceptionally creative styles. We are also hoping to raise even more awareness and money to assist as many charities as we can since there are
WE OFFER HOMEOPATHY, BRIDGE, WALKING GROUPS, MEDITATION, MAHJONG, PILATES, HIKING, WORKSHOPS AND ORGANIZE MANY CHARITABLE LUNCHES
so many of them. We have a major challenge to decide which ones we will assist and which one will be chosen at the end of the year, which is what we are doing right now, for this year’s Christmas Bazaar. Bearing in mind that Croatia will start presiding of the EU next year, how do you see your role in this important moment for the Croatia diplomacy?
— As the President of the IWCZ and, as of recently, an EU citizen, I take great pride in the Croatian diplomatic community and to be involved in it in any way. We hope that the Croatian government will ask us for our participation. If they do, we will gladly accept and get involved since this is the most important task to undertake. It is a historic moment for Croatia and history books will write about it. This is a moment to shine for a small country like Croatia. Being voted to host this presidency, I am hoping that everyone will take the opportunity to welcome all the different nations who will arrive in Croatia to experience Croatia’s "Full of Life" slogan.
ZAGREB HAS A DIVERSE CULTURAL SCENE Which cultural experiences in Zagreb and Croatia you and your members would recommend to the people coming to Croatia? — Advent celebration is one of Zagreb's biggest annual cultural events. It's one of the most beautiful and impressive Christmas markets in Europe which has been awarded and recognized as such for the past several years.
Besides, museums in Zagreb are very diverse and offer free entry at the end of January. I also have to mention international festivals and concerts in Zrinjevac, Maksimir, Tomislav, Strossmayer parks, the main square Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića and the Lisinski concert venue. In summertime, there are many uptown venues featuring drinks, music and dance. Last but not least, the Zagreb Film Festival is a must see.
Being an Entrepreneur is Popular Nowadays The Entrepreneur of the Year Award, presented by Women in Adria for five years now, strongly promotes the success of female entrepreneurship. More importantly, this project allows every entrepreneur to find their role model in one of the winners or finalists and move boldly forward IVANA MATIĆ CEO and the originator of the idea Women in Adria
Women in Adria defines itself as a brand for aspiring women: women entrepreneurs, corporate women, women who want to have a successful career in any field. Judging by the number of women in Croatia entering the business sector today, Women in Adria's mission to inspire, inform and connect women who want to enter business is undoubtedly a
successful one. However, it is difficult to say whether it is comforting or, conversely, devastating that men and women entrepreneurs in Croatia are facing the same things in terms of the problems created by the state and make it difficult
for them to successfully enter the business. Although she is facing this very challenge herself, Ivana Matic, the originator of the idea of Women in Adria and its CEO, is also ready to grow her business outside Croatia too.
WE ARE CONTRIBUTING IN THE WAY THAT WE OBTAINED THE LICENCE TO PUBLISH „GIRL WHO CODE“, A BOOK DESIGNED FOR GIRLS, AND ARE PLANNING TO HOLD TRAINING SESSIONS FOR THEM
How much easier or harder is it to state "I am an entrepreneur" in the Croatian society today compared to the time when you founded Women in Adria?
— In comparison to the beginning, many more women now want to become entrepreneurs, and I think have contributed greatly to that. The experience shows that they follow our website, absorb the information, start entertaining the idea of starting a business and then, at one point, they do exactly that. So, we can say that it is popular to be an entrepreneur in Croatia
today. On the other hand, our state has been increasing the levies and hindering entrepreneurial startup, making it increasingly difficult to survive as an entrepreneur. What do you, as an organization, provide to women who are just considering venturing into entrepreneurship?
— The most important thing we give them is a community of women who share the same ambitions and challenges. This is very important in entrepreneurship. In the last few years, we have been organizing networking breakfasts and conferences for women entrepreneurs throughout Croatia where they can get educated and inspired. We have also published several books for entrepreneurs. The first is "How to Start and Run a Home-Based Business" that helps mothers entrepreneurs, and the book "From Employee to Entrepreneur" which is for women who are just thinking about entrepreneurship and those who have been running their business for up to 3 years. How can the services you provide to women in the business help them grow their businesses?
— Through our membership programme, entrepreneurs get a lot of promotion that often goes viral in other media, so they get the marketing they could never afford. Then there are the benefits of our partners thanks to which they can make substantial savings for their business. Also, through networking with other entrepreneurs they can expand their business. Every year, you give out the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In which sectors do women mostly operate and how big are companies that they run, considering the number of employees and the size?
— In our experience, 75% of women-owned businesses have up to 4 employees. We give out the award in 4 categories: Micro (up to 5 employees), Prospective (over 5 em-
ployees), Inspirational (minimum 5 years of business and more than 5 employees) and Startup Entrepreneur of the Year. This year, we have presented the awards for the 5th consecutive time. This project is the best promotion of female entrepreneurship not only because
It is often said that, with the development of a knowledge-based economy, the importance of women's entry into these sectors is growing. Are there enough women today in innovative sectors, startups and IT?
THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH WOMEN IN INNOVATIVE SECTORS, STARTUPS AND IT, SO OUR PLAN IS TO SOON LAUNCH TRAINING FOR GIRLS IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THEIR ENTRY INTO THESE SECTORS of the media response, but also because every entrepreneur can find a role model in one of the winners and finalists, depending on what stage of business development they are in.
— Unfortunately, there are not enough women in these sectors. We are contributing in the way that we obtained the licence to publish „Girl Who Code“, a book designed for girls, and are
planning to hold training sessions for them. How different are women's and men's entrepreneurship (if there are any differences at all) and is there a need to tailor business courses to the needs of women?
— The success of a business depends on the business model, the market and the like. However, the path to success is different for women and men. When a woman becomes a mother, her business is doomed to slow down and it is questionable whether it will ever recover. That is why we say that time is just as valuable for women as money. This is also the direction that the support for female entrepreneurs should take - for instance, co-financing childcare costs for beginner entrepreneurs.
I AM READY TO GROW MY BUSINESS You run a women's business yourself. What is your company's prospect? — I started my female business while being the mother of 3 kids. The kids have grown up a little bit since then and now my business is ready to grow. We help the private sector understand the idiosyncrasies
of the women's market and tailor the offer, but we can also help the public sector. On the other hand, we are entrepreneurs, so it makes sense to grow and develop these two verticals together. We have a franchise in Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and are working to expand to other markets.
New Wave of Private Equity Funds in Croatia Several market development initiatives are promising to boost the availability of both private equity and venture capital market in Croatia Venture capital is a subset of private equity investment focusing on startup companies. Venture capital investors support entrepreneurs with bright ideas but need both finance and expertise to develop their businesses into scalable and commercially viable operations.
MIRNA MAROVIÄ† Director, VentureXchange Ltd. and President, Croatian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (CVCA)
This year has witnessed the launch of the first Croatian venture capital fund with EUR 42 million available for investing in early stage and startup companies by providing both financing and expertise need to support promising entrepreneurial ideas and develop those in scalable and viable commercial ventures. Next year, five new private equity funds are expected to come to the market with total of EUR 235 million.
SHORT HISTORY OF CROATIAN PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS
WHAT IS PRIVATE EQUITY AND VENTURE CAPITAL?
Private equity is provision of long-term investment in companies in exchange of ownership interest (equity). Private equity fund managers are specialists with knowledge of building a better business. The objective is to provide a transformational change in the company usually by making companies bigger, better and stronger. Sometimes, private equity provides much needed patient (long-term) capital to provide turnaround opportunities and rescue business operations burdened with too much debt. Private equity partners do not provide only financing, but also skills, acumen and network of contacts (industry specialists, strategic investors and other financiers) to improve business operations, strengthen management and expand into new markets. Private equity fund managers raise funds from range of provides including institutional investors (pension funds, insurance companies), as well as private high net worth individuals. In our CEE region, usually a recognized international financing institution such as EIF or EBRD is a cornerstone investor.
VENTURE CAPITAL MARKET DEVELOPMENTS ARE CERTAINLY VERY ENCOURAGING FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE FACT THAT NOW CROATIA HAS FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR ALL STAGES OF RISK CAPITAL DEPLOYMENT
Private equity funds have long dated history with Croatia. The first generation of local funds started back in 1997 with two internationally backed initiatives (SEAF Croatia and Coperinucs Adriatic). Further on, two first time fund management teams formed private equity funds with local institutional investors in 2005 (Quaestus) and 2008 (Nexus). However, the market remained embryonic before the Croatian Government launched the initiative called the Economic Cooperation Funds (FGS) to support development of private equity and venture capital market in Croatia. The FGS initiative consisted of direct intervention to boost the availability of financing for growth and restructuring capital (private equity). Croatian Government, as public investor, invested on pari passu terms with private investors
Source: Invest Europe, VentureXchange analysis
to qualifying private equity and venture capital funds. Under the FGS initiative, five new private equity funds became operational since 2011 (February – April), including Alternative FGS, Honestas FGS, Nexus FGS, Prosperus FGS and Quaestus Private Equity Fund II. The private equity / venture capital funds jointly raised commitments from both public and private sector amounting to the maximum amount of the programme HRK 2 billion (EUR 268 million).
CROATIAN PRIVATE EQUITY INVESTMENT IN NUMBERS
Croatia is lagging behind its regional peers and other EU members in attracting private equity investment. Average private equity investment in the period 2007 – 2018 per annum was 0.06% of GDP for Croatia, while the average private equity investment in the same period for the CEE EU member countries and Serbia was 0.13%. Western European (NonCEE) EU member countries in the same period attracted on average 0.40% of GDP private equity investment per annum. Total private equity investment in the period 2007 – 2018 amounted to EUR 327 million which was invested in total number of 59 transactions, including the follow-on investments in the same companies. Past data show great volatility of private equity investments in Croatia ranging from EUR 7,2 million in 2007 (0,02% of GDP) to EUR 76,7 million in 2018 (0,15% of GDP). However, increase in private equity investment is not linear, but shows great volatility from year-to-year which can be explained to very
Source: Invest Europe, VentureXchange analysis
few large buyout transactions. In 2018, Enterprise Investors made two direct acquisitions in the Croatian market in 2018 investing in Studenac (100% ownership stake) and Pan-Pek (65% ownership stake) with total equity investment in those two transactions exceeding EUR 67,2 million. In April 2019, Mid Europa has made investment in Mlinar for the equity consideration of EUR 75 million. Total private equity investment in the first half of 2019 amounted to EUR 78 million (0,16% of GDP) comprising of 3 venture capital transactions, 1 growth capital transaction and 1 buyout.
fund managers which focus a significant part of their investments into Croatian companies. Second, two new funds are expected to become operational at the beginning of 2020 with headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia, including Invera Equity and Feels Good Capital. Invera Equity set up by IMAP partners (formerly Ascendant Capital Advisors) is expected to be launched in Q1 2020. The fund focus will be regional buy-and-built consolidation opportunities in sectors including food and beverages, manufacturing and industrials, information and communication
IN 2020, THERE WILL BE FIVE NEW PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS COMING TO THE MARKET NEW WAVE OF CROATIAN PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS COMING TO THE MARKET IN 2020
In 2020, there will be five new private equity funds coming to the market. First, we expect two-to-three fund to be supported by the Croatian Growth Investment Programme (CROGIP). EIF is managing the process and is currently contacting due diligence and selecting the private equity fund managers. Under the CROGIP, public investment will be funded by both EIF and HBOR and private equity fund managers will need to also fundraise funds from private investors. The objective of CROGIP is to support Croatian SMEs, small midcap and midcaps, to attract private equity investment to Croatia and to build local capacity by supporting
technologies, services (including healthcare and transportation) and hospitality. The fund will target a diversified portfolio with a typical investment size of EUR 4-12 million. The countries in focus include Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. Feels Good Capital is expected to be launched in Q1 2020 for investing in Croatian and Slovenian companies providing growth capital with objective to make measurable impact by contributing to one or more of the 17 United Nations’ sustainable goals and delivering measurable social and/or environmental impact with profitable returns to their investors.
VENTURE CAPITAL MARKETS DEVELOPMENT
The venture capital market developed impressively over
the period of the past five years. Several Croatian companies have received venture-capital funding, albeit most at the cost of relocating their headquarters to one of the investors’ friendlier and more recognized jurisdictions (such as England, California, New York, Ireland or other). Not all of the companies pursued that strategies, with some remaining with headquarters in Croatia. Rimac Automobili was certainly the most successful Croatian company receiving several rounds of venture capital funding summing up to USD 125,9 million. In 2014, the company closed its Series A-founding amounting to EUR 10 million by raising funds from three investors including Frank Kanayet Yepes, Tek Cheung Yam through his company Integrated Asset Management Asia Limited (IAMAL) and China Dynamics. The company has received total of six financing rounds with the latest comprising of corporate venture capital from Porche (2018, 2019) and Hyundai Motor Company (2019) and Kia Motors (2019). In 2015, South Central Ventures was launched having received the funding under the closed call procedure managed by EIF under the Enterprise Innovation Fund (ENIF) programme (part of Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WBEDIF). South Central Ventures was established by partners of Slovenian venture capital fund RSG Capital and has regional focus with Croatian investments playing an important part. The partners have fundraised EUR 40 million and have since 2015 invested in 38 companies with median round amounting to USD 0,81 million. Their portfolio currently comprises of 29 companies with 3 realized exits with median valuations amounting to USD 7,65 million. In April 2019, Fill Rouge Capital II was launched under the Croatian Venture Capital Initiative (CVCi) fundraising total of EUR 42 million, including EUR 32,5 million from EIF under CVCi. The fund aims to run until the end of 2023 with plans to invest in up to 250 companies operating in Croatia by providing seed capital through the startup school, early stage capital through accelerator program and venture capital investment for funding-ready startups with funding.
Text: ŽELIMIR MARAŠ
Russia and Africa in an Embrace While you were sleeping…
"While You Were Sleeping" is the title of a romantic comedy from the 1990s, starring Sandra Bullock. In the movie, Bullock falls in love with a suave man who did not pay any attention to her whatsoever. After he was hurt in an accident and fell in a comatose state, she got involved with the man’s brother who was much more down-to-earth and much less suave than his brother, but treated her much better. When the surprised brother woke up from the coma and saw the two love birds, he asked when did all of that happen. The answer was - "while you were sleeping". We can use this analogy to describe how Africa found not one but two “handsome suitors” – China and Russia - while Europe and America were sleeping. A CHINESE BREAKTHROUGH AS AN OUTPOST
At the Russia-Africa summit, the leaders of over 50 African countries found themselves in Sochi, the "southern capital" of Russia, and the place where Vladimir Putin settles all the world's conundrums. As the Westerners „slept“ while trying to condition reforms and investments with democratic change during their post-colonial fervour of democratization, it was the Chinese who first 'landed' on the African continent, with their infrastructure investments such as the first overhead subway in Black Africa (Addis Ababa), or the modern railway in Kenya, as well as their Belt and Road investments and establishing a base in Djibouti. Of course, this is all very humorous and farcical. Westerners never had sincere demands for the democratization of Africa, as they
duly cooperated with the Republic of South Africa also during the apartheid and their branch offices were protected by guards with long barrels. Democratic conditioning is used only when someone does not like a particular regime. RUSSIANS AS THE BEARERS OF PEACE AND ENERGY
Russians were quick to spot investment vacuum and peace vacuum, and slowly started to enter Africa, first in the Central African Republic and then everywhere else. They, just like the Chinese, used the tried and tested "companion-
mulated enough credibility in the eyes of Africans, Putin organized the aforementioned summit. The two-day event brought together more than 3,000 delegates from Africa and the topics of discussion varied from nuclear energy to mineral ore extraction. All 54 African states sent their representative to the meeting, including 43 heads of state or government, according to Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov. And all of this was happening behind the back of the yet again surprised West. THE USSR’S HERITAGE AND RUSSIAN FUTURE PERSPECTIVE
"We currently export $ 25 billion worth of food to Africa – which is more than the value of our arms export worth $ 15 billion. In the next four to five years, I think we are going to double this figure at least," said Putin. Indeed, Putin has succeeded in branding Russia as: a) a bearer of peace and b) a bearer
PUTIN HAS SUCCEEDED IN BRANDING RUSSIA AS: A) A BEARER OF PEACE AND B) A BEARER OF ENERGY. ALTHOUGH, ONLY THE THIRD WORLD AND PARTS OF THE BALKANS PERCEIVE HIM LIKE THAT ship" method that is the Chinese bring investments and infrastructure and are willing to work with everyone. They do not impose any conditions and they are not interested in the level of parliamentary democracy, as they do not have their own. And it's not that they complain - they often point out the superiority of the one-party system. It's not their fault when they have to deal with the unpleasant task of working with someone who does not prefer Western democracy, but would be happy to recommend their system. Just like in Syria, and to a lesser extent in Libya, C.A.R. and elsewhere, Russians come as peace-makers, i.e. the only ones who can talk to all parties involved, as well as energy-bearers. Both peace and energy are missing in Africa. That is why, when he saw that he had accu-
of energy. Although, only the Third World and parts of the Balkans perceive him like that. In the West, they still see him as: a) a warmonger and b) a bearer of energy dependency. But Putin no longer cares about the West. After returning from Saudi Ara-
bia, where he secured $ 2 billion in investments for his country, he is now opening the door to Africa, where the USSR was very active from 1960 to 1990, and where it is fondly remembered by the countries that embraced socialism - Mozambique, Angola, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now, Russia is restoring the USSR’s position in Africa, as well as in other places. Actually everywhere! Since the USSR helped so much to decolonize Africa, Russia can now use that as a springboard. "Without the firm stand of the Soviet Union during the Cold War and the heyday of the anti-colonial struggle, many of our countries would never have seen the light of independence," Obadiah Mailafia, a former deputy governor of Nigeria's central bank, told Deutsche Welle (DW). "Rwanda perceives Russia to be dealing with Rwanda on an equal basis and therefore it does not interfere in its internal affairs," says Christopher Kayumba, a political analyst at the University of Rwanda. Enveloped in instability, Ivory Coast is giving up French protection and is now seeking Russian. The country sent 70 delegates to Sochi. Elsewhere, Russia will fight Ebola and will train African staff across the continent. Two Russian nuclear bombers have landed in South Africa "to intensify peacekeeping activities". Roastom will build a nuclear power plant in Ethiopia, and probably in Zambia, which is very short on hydro-generated electricity. The same goes for Rwanda, Egypt and Nigeria.
DEBT ACQUITTANCE The most important thing for African countries was for their debt to be written off which is exactly what Putin did at the Summit, writing off $ 20 billion worth of debt from the USSR era. The African countries would have not been able to pay it anyway and the debt only hindered their development, even if they were paying off only the interest rate. Of course, satisfied Africans will now sign new contracts with the country that has just forgotten about their debt, which could be a good signal for Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schaeuble to handle the situation with Greece in the same way. But wait! Greece plunged into debt only in 2015, so it is too late. Some lessons are learned way too late. Now, the Greeks would love to host Germans and German firms and consume much more of the German goods.
New Technologies are a Friend of Legal Teams The implementation of advanced technology solutions will enable law firms and legal departments to be more efficient, through better cost control and more predictable and consistent results. It will also open up space for more creative work and better performance of legal teams
PETAR PETRIÄ† Attorney-at-Law
Is there a future for the legal profession? This is a question that has been discussed at almost all legal or technological conferences in recent times. What will happen to legal services, i.e. services provided by lawyers, what are the new financial models of doing business in the legal services market, and does the virtual world threatens the survival of traditional lawyers are all questions that legal theorists but also practitioners have been trying to answer since these issues are crucial for the future of their careers and business models. The current legal business model has remained largely unchanged for over 100 years. Proponents of change have been critical of the fact that lawyers charge every second of their work and every communication, no matter how brief, which is an archaic notion given the efficiency of modern communication. Lawyers need to adapt their business model. Clients do not want to pay for every text, email, postage or call. Clients are also less and less willing to pay for coming to traditionally-looking lavish attorney offices. Client expectations are growing and they expect a better and more modern experience, delivery and overall service from their lawyer or a law firm. The future of the legal industry lies in the flexibility of both lawyers and clients. This means flexible payment settings (such as billing), remote and virtual offices, and Internet connectivity. Regardless of whether these opinions are correct, it is certain
that machine-assisted learning and robotics will change almost every segment of work from manufacturing to services, including in the legal profession. Technological development leads to several activities, which, in the past, have been performed by legal professionals, such as lawyers, now being executed by machines, equally or better than legal professionals. Thus, in many developed systems, they have already replaced the work that is done by law trainees or young attorneys in bigger law systems, such as researching regulations, court practice, reviewing a large number of contracts for due diligence purposes, etc. The fact remains that in every profession, those with a developed and stable business gener-
new technologies bring increased efficiency, faster job performance and thus more new jobs and new service users. By incorporating appropriate advanced technological innovations, law firms and law departments will become more efficient, gain rigorous cost control, achieve more predictable and consistent results, enable more creative work and have better legal teams. It is wrong to believe that the implementation of technology will leave the legal profession without work, judges without courtrooms, lawyers without offices and clients. This will not happen only if they can use technology. For those who think they are irreplaceable, that they don't need technology at all "because the machine cannot replace a
APART FROM HIGH TECHNOLOGY, LAWYERS WILL HAVE TO DEVELOP SOFT SKILLS, ESPECIALLY COMMUNICATION, AND TO BOOST THEIR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE BECAUSE THE HUMANIZATION OF LAW WILL LEAD TO A NEW WAY TO RESOLVE DISPUTES ally do not see the need to make changes, and if they do, they usually do so too late. Technological advancement, AI and blockchain strike fear in some members of the legal profession, while it generates optimism for others. Some argue that many people will become economically redundant, while others will create new jobs and benefits, such as release from many technical jobs, and thus have more time for other, more complex and meaningful legal jobs. The latter firmly believe that
person", this is exactly the scenario that will happen. The humanization of the legal profession is of great importance for its survival. What is the humanization of the legal profession, what skills do legal professionals need to master in order to humanize the profession and open it to users, what is there to do? Part of the answer to these questions is provided by some of the great law firms in the UK, which send their young attorneys to be trained, namely to develop soft skills, especially communication, and to boost their
emotional intelligence. The great prospect of survival and humanization of the legal profession is attributed to mediation as a sophisticated way of preventing and resolving conflict. Even though courts and litigation are an important part of our systems, mediation, as an alternative and a truly dominant and effective way of resolving disputes, offers parties an effective and cost-effective problem-solving process where the parties in the dispute seek to resolve the dispute amicably with the assistance of a third party (mediator), who has no power to impose a settlement on the parties in the dispute. In many of the most developed legal and economic systems, mediation has become the primary means of dispute resolution. The future of the legal industry lies in diversity, not only in genders, races, religions, but in dispute resolution procedures available to the parties. For too long, the legal system has only relied on court litigation. The humanization of law also consists of increasing access to justice for parties, regardless of their socio-economic status. It is necessary to incorporate other dispute resolution options in courts and outside the courts. Mediation in courts will continue, but parties will increasingly choose private mediation outside the courts or online dispute resolution. Legal professionals, especially lawyers, will need to become more familiar with these new services, otherwise they will lose the market. The world is changing and working with clients is becoming more subtle and complex. This requires lawyers, as legal professionals, to continuously and systematically acquire new knowledge, skills and behaviour.
A Bridge Between Cultures
Many great men have marked the history of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at University of Zagreb's Faculty of Philosophy, which centenary was fittingly commemorated with a conference in Zagreb. Even today, this is the only department at a Croatian higher education institution that offers undergraduate and graduate studies of the biggest number of Romance languages and literature and has an enviable scientific production
Dr PETAR RADOSAVLJEVIĆ Senior Lecturer at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb
The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Zagreb marked this year centenary of its formal establishment. The teaching of Romance languages and literatures began even before the formal establishment of the relevant departments, including the Department of Romance languages itself. Thus, the French lectures at the Faculty of Philosophy began in the academic year 1882/83, with the Italian language following suit eight years later. Subsequently, Italian studies became a separate segment, and in 1964, an independent department of Italian language and literature was founded. "Thanks to the effort invested by professors at today's Department of Romance Languages, other Roman language classes were held from the very beginning (in 1922, intermittent classes of Romanian, in 1927, Spanish and in 1942, the Portuguese language). The first students enrolled in the Spanish language and literature classes in 1968, Portuguese in 1982 and Romanian in 2003,” says Dr Pe-
tar Radosavljević, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Romance Languages at the Faculty of Philosophy, the University of Zagreb. Which people, who marked the development of the Department of Romance Languages throughout history, would you like to mention here? What is their significance and how does that affect the current state of affairs?
— Petar Skok (1881-1956), who received his doctorate in Vienna under the guidance of the renowned Wilhelm Meyer-Lübke, is justifiably called 'the father of Romance language studies in Croa-
eratures: Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romansh and Provencal. One of Skok's students was Peter Guberina (1913-2005), the author of the famous verbotonal system for the rehabilitation of deaf people, which made him famous in the world scientific circles. Together with French experts from St. Cloud he created an audio-visual global-structural method of learning a foreign language. Antun Polanšćak (1910-1978) was a prominent interpreter and promoter of French writers in Croatia and a translator of Croatian writers in France (especially Krleža, Marinković, Krklec, Desnica and Kaštelan).
IN TERMS OF SCIENTIFIC WORK, THE LECTURERS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ROMANCE LANGUAGES HAVE GREAT ACTIVE SCIENTIFIC POTENTIAL IN CROATIA tia'. Skok's body of work (about 500 bibliographic units) has made him famous in European and global linguistic circles. During his working life, he lectured over a hundred different courses, ranging from French and Italian language and literature, through Romance Phonetics and General Romance, to other Romance languages and lit-
Vojmir Vinja (1921-2007) is one of the greatest and most influential Croatian novelists in the post-Petar Skok era. He devoted most of his scientific research to Croatian-Romanic linguistic connections in the Adriatic area, as well as to the terminology of the Adriatic fauna. I would like to single out his fantastic Spanish-Croatian dictionary
and Grammar of the Spanish Language. Academician Vinja also became famous as a translator of capital works from the older French and Spanish literature. Academician August Kovačec (1938), who we are fortunate enough to have as a professor emeritus still working in our department, studied at the University of Bucharest and in France under the mentorship of important linguists. We can mention his most famous book, awarded by the Romanian Academy, called „A Description of Today's Istro-Romanian“ (1971). He also wrote an Istro-Romanian-Croatian Dictionary with grammar and texts. Furthermore, he studied Sephardic speeches in the former Yugoslavia and has published several scholarly papers on the French language and comparative Roman syntax, encyclopaedic chapters on French literature from the 14th to 16th century and Romanian literature. He also served as editor-in-chief of the Croatian General Lexicon (1996–2001) and the Croatian Encyclopedia (2001–2005). Other well-known names of former members of the Department of Romance Languages worth mentioning are Predrag Matvejević, who is known primarily as an award-winning writer and essayist („Mediterranean
Breviary“, „Eastern Epistolary“, „Second Venice“), Gabrijela Vidan („Croatia, its cultural history and ties with Europe“ / „La Croatie , son histoire culturelle, ses liens avec l'Europe“). Ingrid Šafranek and Jere Tarle are also known as authors of esteemed works such as „Of Albert Camus“ (Tarle), „Of Proust, Stendhal, Flaubert“ and "the female script" (Šafranek). Milivoj Telećan is known as a literary translator from Spanish and French (especially the works of García Márquez and Borges). There is also Karlo Budor, who focuses on Spanish grammar, older Spanish literature, and Spanish-Croatian cultural and diplomatic ties. Yvonne Vrhovac's field of expertise is glottodidactics, and is the author of numerous teaching materials and textbooks in French. We can also mention Blaženka Bubanj, textbook author, and Nataša Desnica-Žerjavić, who wrote „Phonétique française“. What is the position of the Department of Romance Languages today?
— Today, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures is the only department at a Croatian higher education institution that offers undergraduate and graduate studies for of the biggest number of Romance languages and literature, that is four of them French, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish. It is also one of the largest departments at the Faculty of Philosophy, with a substantial number of students studying and 30 professors in 7 chairs. In terms of scientific work, the lecturers from the Department of Romance Languages have great active scientific potential, and regarding the Portuguese language and literature and Romanian language and literature, the only active scientific potential in our country.
What kind of scientific and research contribution did the conference you organized in November make?
THE TEACHING OF ROMANCE LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES BEGAN EVEN BEFORE THE FORMAL ESTABLISHMENT OF THE RELEVANT DEPARTMENTS, INCLUDING THE DEPARTMENT OF ROMANCE LANGUAGES ITSELF
— The international scientific conference „100 Years of Romance Languages in Zagreb: Tradition, Contacts and Prospects“, organized by the Department of Romance Languages and the Department of Italian Studies of our Faculty, which took place from 15th to 17th November 2019, brought together over 250 participants from around 20 countries. The authors presented their recent research in a wide variety of Romanesque fields, from linguistics and literature through translation to glotodidactics in as many as 51 thematic sections. Also, our two sections held presentations in all the Romance languages taught at our Departments (French, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Italian), as well as the Croatian language. In addition to presenting various scientific papers, such a large gathering created a good opportunity for getting to know each other, experts and scientists from a particular field sharing their knowledge, and discussing future cooperation and possible projects. The conference was also an opportunity for our students to attend quite varied and interesting lectures. Which lecturers and conference topics would you like to single out?
— I would like to single out our plenary lecturers, academician and professor August Kovačec, Professor Ilde Consales from the University of Roma Tre, Professor Javier de Navascués from the University of Navarra, Professor Paulo Borges from the University of Lisbon and Professor Nicolae Saramandu from the University of Bucharest. We are especially proud of the wide variety of thematic sections that covered many relevant areas of Romanesque research.
LANGUAGE OPENS MANY DOORS What is missing from both the university and society, in terms of teaching languages and boosting young people's interest? How can we improve knowledge and information to better the situation? Certain departments are shutting down and there aren't enough students. How can we animate future generations? — Although the trend today is such that STEM studies are promoted the most, humanities, including Romance languages, are very important and necessary for society. Studies of Romance languages and literature represent a bridge between different cultures, and we should not neglect the fact that there are also minorities in Croatia whose moth-
er tongues are Romance languages (e.g. Italian, Romanian). Upon completion of our studies, those students who have a Master's degree in particular Romance language and literature possess highly relevant knowledge that is applicable in different domains. In addition to the "classic" areas of employment such as education and translation (we should bear in mind that all the Romance languages taught at our department are the official EU languages, while French is also a working language of the EU), they also work in tourism, culture, publishing, various institutions and business, because of the important generic competencies they acquired during their studies.
PEOPLE & EVENTS
15 SLOVENIAN NOV
Slovenia celebrates Slovenian Food Day on the third Friday in November every year. This is also the day on which the Traditional Slovenian Breakfast takes its place when children in primary schools and nurseries are served a breakfast packed of products from the local environment. The main purpose or purpose of the Slovenian Food Day is
to support Slovenian food producers and processors, to raise awareness of the importance of domestic self-sufficiency, to preserve a clean, healthy environment and preservation of the countryside, to familiarize young people with food production processes and stimulate interest in activities in the agricultural sector.
H.E. Vojislav Šuc, Ambassador of Slovenia to Croatia
15 SLO CRO NOV
The Triglav Insurance Company, which also has its representative office in Zagreb, signed a four-year sponsorship agreement with the Croatian Basketball Association (HKZ) in June. After the round table, Vladimir Mišo Čeplak, Procurator of the Triglav Insurance Company, briefly presented the history of the company in Croatia, its business results and the
BUSINESS CLUB A BUSINESS BREAKFAST
Mr Saša Muminović, President of SLO CRO Business club
19 IV. ITALIAN NOV
CUISINE WEEK IN THE WORLD
Panelists at Work Breakfast
The Embassy of the Republic of Italy and the Office in Zagreb organized a presentation of the "Italian Cuisine Week in the World" at the restaurant of the Le Premier Hotel in Zagreb. The aim of the initiative is to show, in the wake of the positive experiences after the
Mrs Margherita Lo Greco, Director of ICE Zagreb, H.E. Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani Ambassador Of Italy To Croatia
latest insurance packages that appeal to business people as well. The president of the SLO CRO Business Club, Saša Muminović, PhD, also addressed those present. The business breakfast was attended by over 80 representatives of various companies from Slovenia and Croatia, who found the event to be extremely interesting and useful.
Expo Milano 2015 World Expo, how Italians prepare and educate themselves in food, how to inform consumers, how to promote the excellence of Italian cuisine and the art of good cooking. All this further stimulates Italian exports and gives momentum to the gastronomic tourism sector.
Mrs Margherita Lo Greco, Director of ICE Zagreb, Chef Piero Di Turi
26 REXPO 2019 NOV
- THE LARGEST INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT FAIR IN CROATIA
REXPO is visited every year by investors from China, the United Kingdom, India and the United Arab Emirates, all to learn about investment opportunities in Croatia. The eighth international REXPO investment fair hold in Zagreb's City Plaza from November 26 to 27. The main goal of fair is to
27 ITALIAN-CROATIAN NOV
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: BUSINESS REWARD 2019. AND THE 5th JUBILEE IN CROATIA
Mrs Andrea Perkov Secretary of Italian-Croatian Chamber Of Commerce
03 AHK I ADVANTAGE DEC
The gala dinner held at the Mimara Museum in Zagreb, sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, and with the support of the City of Zagreb and the Embassy of the Republic of Italy, was awarded the Ita Cro Business Award in 2019. Italian - Croatian Business reward is an initiative that promotes,
protects and strengthens the image of Italian entrepreneurship in Croatia. With this award, we pay tribute to the members of the Chamber, who have distinguished themselves with their business operations and achieved significant and noticeable results in Croatia, thus promoting excellent bilateral relations between our two countries.
Chamber Board of Directors
AUSTRIA, CHRISTMAS RECEPTION
Mr Thomas Sichla Vice-President of the AHK Board, Mrs Sonja Holocher-Ertl, Director of Advantage Austria, Mr Mladen Fogec
strengthen the national business climate, and numerous investors, architects and investment funds will present their projects as well as all those who contributing to the development of the Croatian and regional economy Each year, REXPO is visited by more than 1500 visitors, and the fair is divided into two sections.
The German - Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the I Advantage Austria traditionally organized a Christmas
party at the Mimara Museum. The event attracted a large number of chamber members, business associates, officials and the media.
Mr Hrvoje LapiÄ‡ Porshe Croatia, Mr Thomas Sichla Vice-President of the AHK Board, Mrs Sonja Holocher-Ertl Director of Advantage Austria
Mr Thomas Sichla Vice-President f the AHK Board, Mrs Sonja Holocher-Ertl, Director of Advantage Austria, Mr Boban SpaosjeviÄ‡ Director of Diplomacy&Commerce Croatia
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Digital Literacy the New Imperative of Communication
Digital literacy represents a serious strategic challenge which politicians, public administration and public companies should address. For the e-government program to work, there has to be a nationwide education and no one should be left behind DANIJEL KOLETIĆ CEO of Apriori World
When we are talking about brands and their communication towards people with disabilities, we can see that there aren’t many brands devoted to this specific group. New European directive about digital literacy, which was put in effect as of September 23rd 2019, includes all government institutions and some NGOs (non-governmental organisations). They are in function of communicating projects of government importance. Such projects are: „If you drink, don’t drive. “, „Healthy life - healthy food“. Simply put, all the projects from different institutions whose goal is to inform and educate citizens about a specific domain. The laws are different in every country so the adjustment period will differ as well. However, they all have a common deadline. What we do know about the WCAG standard (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is that there is not enough room to explain everything in detail here. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general. Every state president, government, a state agency, embassy and public company, which is partly owned by the state, will have to
adhere to this standard. This creates a new opportunity and new possibilities for all private sector companies to adjust their websites under the WCAG standard, as part of their social responsibility strategy. Everyone talks about innovation; this is an opportunity for all companies to be innovative, while also including their employees in the process. This way, they will send a clear message about the importance of including all people to the consumers of their services or products. We, who can see and hear, who are born with the ability to live simpler, have trouble understanding people with disabilities, especially their life in the digital age.
related to digital literacy. We, the people from Southeast Europe, due to the demographic structure and despite the guidelines and life habits from which we get information, communicate via our smartphones – we send messages to our dearest, but also the general public. We often forget about millions of pensioners who are stunned by life in the digital age. Because of that, free and systematic education must be considered for this specific group of citizens. Digital literacy is a serious strategic challenge for politics for a multitude of reasons. One being the decision to implement education for all civil servants
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WEB CONTENT ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES (WCAG) 2.0 OFFERS A POSSIBILITY FOR ALL COMPANIES TO MAKE THEIR WEB CONTENT ACCESSIBLE TO A WIDER RANGE OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES Nowadays, digital literacy does not concern only people with disabilities, but also those who make decisions. I find the results of knowledge analysis about procedures and methodologies of digital literacy in politicians and people who make decisions devastating. Unfortunately, we are facing the fact that numerous politicians, who are elected by citizens or their political parties, do not understand what digital literacy even means. They must have heard about terms like political campaigns on social networks and different online platforms, but, unfortunately, in most cases, they do not understand the details of those processes which aggravates the decision making the process of implementation and use of tools and techniques
and public companies so the ones who serve the citizens can be the first ones to understand what the European Commission wants to implement. This way, they will be able to adjust to the new life and communications standards and to have a better understanding of the new generations that live with completely different communication habits and lead their life in complete subordination to their smartphones, without which, their life is simply unimaginable. To put it bluntly, digital literacy is stuck between trends which politics wants to follow through the e-citizen and e-government systems, which simply have not caught on due to lack of systematic education. Government policies sometimes want to keep the form, but don’t think about their
implementation too much, the time needed and the limitations, and what is most important, about people. If a certain country wants to become digitally literate, or better said, for the e-government program to work, there has to be a nationwide education, as if it is a national census. As a popular Croatian saying goes: “You either are or you are not“. The same can be said about this particular example: you either carry out the e-government program properly or it is just a toy with which a country wants to keep the form. Unfortunately, we are talking about digital literacy, yet nobody is talking about how many people there are who do not know how to write, or how many poor people there are who can’t afford themselves to buy computers or tablets, or those who have been forgotten by everyone, who have become mere statistics in the system. Artificial intelligence, which is getting wind these days not only as a term but also as a part of business life is one of the imperatives of public and private partnerships and recommendations of the European Commission. In terms of its use, ethics norms present a big challenge. An even bigger challenge is that people do not understand what that term even means, and especially what are its benefits and shortcomings. Where is Artificial Intelligence used and where it will be used, we are not sure ourselves. Does the rise of digital literacy and artificial intelligence signify the decay of human emotions? Only time can tell whether it will lead to improved efficiency or human alienation. What we can do at the moment is simply be closer to the ones we don’t see sometimes, even though they live among us, and those are people with disabilities in the digital age.
Diplomacy&Commerce Croatia Magazine nd Celebrates its 2 Birthday Diplomacy & Commerce Magazine celebrated its second anniversary in Croatia, with the celebration at the Mimara Museum in Zagreb
Members of Academia Cravatica
Many representatives of the diplomatic corps, business and public life in Croatia attended the event including the US Ambassador to Croatia, H.E. W. Robert Kohorst, the French Ambassador, H.E. Gaël Francois Veyssière, the Serbian Ambassador, H.E. Mira Nikolić, the Swedish Ambassador, H.E. Diana Helen Madunic, the Austrian Ambassador, H.E. Josef Markus Wuketich, representatives of the Embassies of Albania, Slovenia, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom, Director of AHK, Sven Thorsten Potthoff, President of the SLO-CRO Business Club, Saša Muminović, President of the Swiss Business Club, Ivica Jakić, President of the International Women’s
Club, Jenner Pešut, President of the Franco-Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Višnja Ježić Sorić, Head of Legal Affairs of UTPUH, Hrvoje Grenac, Director of Communication Division of CCE, Martina Sokač Saraga, Krešimir Macan, Duško Luština, Nenad Korkut, and representatives of numerous companies, agencies, associations and business The Executive director of Diplomacy & Commerce Croatia, Boban Spasojević, recalled the many challenges the magazine has faced since its inception, but also revealed that the magazine has been a success with readers for the past two years. “We have become a recognizable brand to our readership, and
that is the most important thing for us – to be sought-after and for our readers to be interested in what we are planning to do,”- said Spasojević. The next to address the guests was Robert Čoban, the CEO of Color Media Communications, which publishes the magazine. “It was March 2016 when the first issue of Diplomacy & Commerce magazine was launched in Belgrade. In November of the following year, we launched D&C Croatia. In the meantime, we also launched D&C Austria in February and D&C Slovenia in September this year. We plan to launch D&C Greece next spring too. As you can see, Diplomacy & Commerce has become a major regional under-
taking. In three days it will be 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and we saw that there was no 'The End of History' as envisioned by Francis Fukuyama, but I deeply believe that the values of the Western civilization - democracy, independent media and the free market - are what we all share in the space between Vienna and Athens,” said Čoban. The event began with a procession of members of Academia Cravatica, the only institution in Europe and the world that has been studying, safeguarding and improving the necktie as a Croatian and global moving cultural heritage for over 20 years, while promoting Croatia as the homeland of the necktie.
Mr Robert Čoban, the CEO of Color Media Communications, publisher
Mr Boban Spasojević Executive director DC, US Mr Boban Spasojević, Mr Gordan Markotić Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia Ambassador to Croatia, H.E. W. Robert Kohorst and Mr Robert Čoban
Mr Robert Čoban, Mr Ivica Jakic Swiss Croatian Business Club and Boban Spasojević
Mr Boban Spasojević, Mr Krešimir Macan managing director of public relations agency, Manjgura
Head of Legal Affairs of Utpuh Mr Hrvoje Grenac, Mrs Andrea Perkov Utpuh, Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Robert Čoban, the French Ambassador to Croatia H.E. Gael Francois Veyssiere, Mr Boban Spasojević Mr Boban Spasojević, Mrs Sanja Brkić
Mr Robert Čoban , President of the International Women’s Club Mrs Jenner Pešut, Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Robert Čoban, Mr Tomislav Kero Mr Boban Spasojević, the Serbian Ambassador Commercial Director Palma Travel Croatia, Mr to Croatia H.E. Mira Nikolić Boban Spasojević
Mr Robert Čoban, Mr Nenad Korkut with a friend, Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Robert Čoban, Director of AHK Mr Sven Thorsten Potthoff,Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Robert Čoban , Mrs Srebrenka Saks director DHL, Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Robert Čoban, Mr Duško Ljuština, Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Boban Spasojević, Mr Vanja Ovčar Special Advisor to the Minister Drako Horvat
Mrs Anja Picelj- Kosak US Embassy, Mrs Snježana Vukić UK Embassy
Mr Robert Čoban, Director of Communication Division of CCE Mrs Martina Sokač Saraga, Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Marko Klenović Franco-Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, President of the Franco-Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mrs Višnja Ježić Sorić, Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Robert Čoban, the Swedish Ambassador to Croatia H.E. Diana Helen Madunic, Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Robert Čoban, Mr Christos Framakis Greek Embassy, Mrs Ermioni Mitsiou, Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Robeert Čoban, the Austrian Ambassador to Croatia H.E. Josef Markus Wuketich,Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Sven, Mrs Jagoda Poropat Darrer, Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Petar Petrić, Mr Ivica jakić
Mr Robert Čoban, President of the SLO-CRO Business Cluc Mr Saša Muminović, Mrs Vesna Vukšinič Zmaić , Mr Boban Spasojević
Mr Robert Čoban, Mrs Damjana Domanovac, Mrs Boban Spasojević
Mr Robert Čoban, Mr Bruno Boban, Mr Boban Spasojević
'The Economist: The World in 2020' in Croatia
Photos: Josip Regović (Pixell) Davor Puklavec (Pixell), Tomislav Smoljanović
The leading political and business figures gave their views of global trends in international relations and certain economic sectors in 2020 at the event which took place at the Croatian National Bank
Mr Ivan Vrdoljak, Mr Robert Čoban, PM Mr Andrej Plenković, Governor Mr Boris Vujlić, Minister Predrag Štromar
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, officially opened the conference. In his speech, he underlined that Croatia, as the only successful EU accession project from the region, was ready for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which begins on 1st January. "We want a Europe that will tackle the problem of migration, terrorism, climate change and human rights, but also create global trends,“ said Prime Minister Plenković. The event's host and the Governor of the Croatian National Bank, Boris Vujčić further noted that the activities regarding Croatia joining the ERM II exchange rate mechanism would be another important
step to mark 2020. „This is certainly a turning point in Croatia's path towards the introduction of the euro. Croatia hopes to join ERM II in the second half of 2020,“ Governor Vujčić said at the 'The World in 2020' conference. Just a few days before the snap parliamentary election in the United Kingdom were due to take place, the conference welcomed a special guest, Joseph Johnson, the former minister in the last three British governments who resigned from his government post in November due to disagreeing with his brother Boris Johnson over Brexit. He said that Brexit caused the deepest political crisis on the island in the last 300 years. „Since the UK should leave the EU during the Croatian Presidency, I can hardly
imagine a better place to part with the EU than Zagreb. You even have the Museum of Broken Relationships,“ joked Joseph Johnson. President of Color Press Group and Director of Color Media Communications, the company that holds The Economist’s license for the region, Robert Čoban talked about what awaited us in 2020, which is also covered in the magazine ‘The World in 2020’ which will be available on Croatian newsstands from mid-December. Mr Čoban said that the global geopolitical and economic topics that the world population would have to face in 2020 include the possible slowdown of the global economy, climate change and China’s global influence. Ambassadors of the USA, Israel, Spain and Sweden spoke in the
first panel, as did Gordan Markotić from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, which is in charge of Croatia's six-month EU presidency starting on 01.01.2020. The second panel featured business leaders from Croatia and the region, including the top executives from Fortenova Group, INA, Uber, HUT and Janaf. In addition to the conference, ‘The World in 2020’ magazine will have its worldwide launch in late December, and for the first time, some of the magazine’s content this year will be published in the Croatian language. Color Media Communications was the conference organizer and the holder of The Economist’s license for the region, while the Livit Company was the project’s partner in Croatia.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Mr Andrej Plenković
Governor of the Croatian National Bank, Mr Boris Vujčić
Croatian Chamber of Commerce President Mr Luka Burilovic
Joseph Johnson, the former minister in the last three British governments
Mr Gordan Markotic, Head of the EU 2020 Council Presidency Sector, H.E. William Robert Kohorst, US Ambassador to Croatia, H.E. Mr Alosno Dezcalar, Ambassador of Spain to Croatia, H.E. Ilan Mor, Ambassador of Israel to Croatia, H.E. Diana Helen Madunic, Swedish Ambassador to Croatia
Mr Fabris Perusko, CEO of ForteNova Group, Mr Niko Dalic, Member of the Management Board of INA, Mr Davor Tremac, Director of UBER Croatia, Mr Veljko Ostojic, Director of the Croatian Tourism Association, Mr Ph.D. Dragan Kovacevic, CEO of Janaf
Mr Robert Čoban President of Color Press Group and Director of Color Media Communications
H.E. Fakhraddin Gurbanov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Croatia, H.E. Ilan Mor, Ambassador of Israel to Croatia
Mr Saša Popovac CTB, Direktor CTB and Mr Kristijan Staničić
Mr Ivica Jakić Swiss Business Club and Petar Petrić, lawyer
H.E. William Robert Kohorst, US Ambassador to Croatia and Joseph Johnson, the former minister in the last three British governments
Mr Fabris Perusko, CEO of ForteNova Group, Mr Niko Dalic, Member of the Management Board of INA, Mr Davor Tremac, Director of UBER Croatia, Mr Veljko Ostojic, Director of the Croatian Tourism Association, Mr Ph.D. Dragan Kovacevic, CEO of Janaf
Croatian Chamber of Commerce
The Ministry of Economy
IRI 2 STARTS IN JANUARY
Grants scheme ranging from HRK 1million to HRK 30 million available to companies.The contest known as IRI2 awards total grant amount of HRK 770 million for R&D projects. The competition for new grant funds starts on the last day of January at 11:00 sharp. According to the recent public call launched by the Ministry of Economy, project proposals on the next stage of the call “Development of new products and services resulting from R&D activities” can be submitted by all entrepreneurs - micro, small, medium,
large; individually they will be able to withdraw grant amounts ranging from HRK 1 million to HRK 30 million.
Franjo Tuđman airport
100 SELECTED TAXI DRIVERS WILL HAVE A PERMANENT TAXI POSITION
According to the purchasing power standard, four Croatian counties are among the worst in EU. Differences in economic development between our counties are significant, and they can be observed by considering a range of indicators. One of the most common ones, GDP based on PPP per capita, is featured in the publication of Croatian Chamber of Commerce under “GDP per capita by NUTS 3 regions”. Namely, the GDP per capita in the city of Zagreb was 3,1 times the GDP per capita in our least developed counties. In addition to comparing Croatian counties to each other (at the same time they are included in NUTS 3 region at EU. A. level), this statististic makes their economic development comparable to other EU regions of the same level.
The airport Franjo Tuđman, ie. MZLZ, the concession company operating the Zagreb airport, launched the tender to select 100 taxi drivers who will be able to use licensed taxi ranks at the airport. Due to oversupply of taxi drivers in Croatia, particularly in Zagreb and Adriatic region, which resulted in traffic chaos in overcrowded and not so spacious airports and historic cores of Dalmatian cities, taxi transport had to be partially regulated. Thus, from 4 to 6 December, MLZL conducted an online
competition in which each bidder could apply for a maximum of four vehicles. The airport officials point out that the interest in obtaining a one-year access tag to the airport ranks was big and more than 300 interested contestants submitted their applications. Eventually, 100 taxi drivers were selected chronologically, according to the date and time of receipts of completely and correctly filled online requests. On the other hand, the Kiss&Fly zone stays unchanged with its gratis up to 10 minutes stay.
THE FIRST GEOTHERMAL POWER PLANT IN CROATIA
The product does not comply with the European regulation laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety, as stated by Ministry announcement. The Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday has informed consumers about the recall of Tirolska kobasica XXL due to inadequate heat treatment. It is Tirolska kobasica XXL pack, 1000 gr lot 9433, use
by date January 20, 2020, produced by Meso Kamnik, Slovenia and marketed by Lidl, Croatia.
The project value reached 45 million EUR - 70% of the value was subcontracted to domestic contractors and suppliers of goods and services. New opportunities for the local oil and gas sector. Twenty days ago, in Velika Ciglena near Bjelovar, Turkish MB Holding opened the first Croatian geothermal power plant, an investment worth HRK 325 million. On that occasion, MB Holding came to the subject of investment experiences in Croatia. According to Ali Ergün Özdemir, vice president of Energy group in MB Holding, the project that began in 2015 was completed at the beginning of this year. The project value reached 45 million EUR - 70% of the value was subcontracted to domestic contractors and suppliers of goods and services.
SEPARATES ITS GAS AND POWER UNIT
Siemens Gas and Power unit (GP), comprising of the company’s oil and gas, conventional power generation, power transmission, and related service businesses, upon separating from Siemens AG will be set up as an independent, stock-listed company. In addition to this, Siemens AG will transfer the majority stake (59%) of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy(SGRE) to GP thus completing its energy portfolio by adding renewable energy sources.
APPLE IS ABOUT TO LAUNCH FOUR 5G MODELS Apple is about to launch as many as 4 new iPhones, in different technical specifications and sizes.
Zagreb Stock Exchange
THE SHARE OF THE YEAR Soline automotive parts manufacturer AD Plastic has broken record that a tourism company Valamar Riviera has held for seven years, by winning this year’s Zagreb Stock Exchange Award for the Share of the Year in the public vote. Kraš won the most awards as the laureate in as many as three categories: share with the best turnover ratio, share with the best PEG ratio, and share with the best rising turnover ratio.
LONG LAYOFF LIST
As part of its strategic plan to reduce costs by one billion euros in Western Europe, the Bank plans to close 500 branches by 2023. CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier does not want to specify where the cuts can be expected, saying only that the measure will be implemented in a “socially responsible manner”, as reported by Financial Times. The plan includes an increase in UniCredit net income by 2023 to five billion euros, compared to a projected net income of 4.7 billion euros this year. Revenues should reach up to 19.3 billion euros in 2023. By mid-year, the Bank intends to establish bank unit for digital payment operations in Italy, its home country, and in 2021 in Germany and Austria. In Central and Eastern Europe, a digital bank should be established by 2023. The Zaba owner also announced a faster decrease of bad loan expenses, which would be bellow nine billion euros by the end of next year.
TO OPEN A NEW CENTER IN SLOVENIA
Mate Rimac expands Rimac Automobiles company’s operations to Slovenia, in Novo Mesto where it will open a test center codenamed Hyper E-Car Lab. Rimac entered into this business in cooperation with Slovenian company Lastinski inženjer-
ing owned by the Slovenian former Minister of Infrastructure Samo Omerzel. The Hyper E-Car Lab in Slovenia will serve to test Rimac car batteries and driving systems, but it will also offer such services to other car manufacturers.
New Rhetoric – Equipment for Living Homonymous title of the recently held international rhetorical conference in Gent, Belgium implies the urge of mastering the public speaking tools to excel not only in public appearances but also in business, politics, commerce and management
JAGODA POROPAT DARRER Business Communications Professional
„Great leaders build amazing communities. They do so in a variety of ways and over an extended period of time. One of the most effective tools to accomplish that is to shape and articulate powerful narratives of what’s possible. Effective leaders share stories about what great leadership looks and feels like when individuals come together as teams, and teams come together as communities, with a unifying sense of purpose and collective ambition“ (Douglas A. Ready, 2019). This insight has emerged from both survey data and dozens of C-suite-level interviews as part of a major global study, Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy, that MIT Sloan Management Review is conducting with Cognizant. In this new world of work, where being connected and resilient are of paramount importance, 82% of our global survey respondents and virtually all of those interviewed indicated that an individual in the digital world would need a certain level of digital savviness to be an effective leader. Yet, when asked what skill or behavior was the most important to leadership effectiveness, the answer was being able to articulate a clear sense of purpose, vision, and strategy. What at first seems old is new again: Clarity of communication in a hyper-speed world is a key difference maker in the eyes of current managers and leaders from around the world (sloanreview.mit.edu). Rhetorical fields such as argumentation, persuasive communication, deliberation, public speaking, composition and new
rhetoric are important fundaments to a strong leadership. No matter how compelling it may seem, data alone will not win people over. It needs to infuse the data with a story, suggests Nancy Duarte. Both scholars and business people explore the impact of rhetoric. The best places to argue the issue is certainly the international conference Rhetoric in Society, which in this year edition wanted to explore if and how rhetoric can still be relevant in an increasingly media-saturated knowledge society that is con-
theory focuses on discourse as action: writing or speech is perceived in terms of its capacity to do something for people, inform them, persuade them, enlighten them, change them, amuse them, or inspire them. The new Rhetoric challenges the classical division between and rhetoric, seeing rhetoric as referring to all sorts of discourse, whether philosophical, academic, professional, or public in nature and so seeing considerations as applicable to all discourse types. Marie Hochmuth Nichols summed up the differ-
WHAT AT FIRST SEEMS OLD IS NEW AGAIN: CLARITY OF COMMUNICATION IN A HYPERSPEED WORLD IS A KEY DIFFERENCE MAKER IN THE EYES OF CURRENT MANAGERS AND LEADERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD tinuously in transition and that is becoming ever more complex and paradoxical by political, economic and cultural differences on a global scale. According to Theresa Enos, Instead of focusing on the formal or aesthetic features of a spoken or written text, New Rhetoric
ences between 'old' rhetoric and the 'new' rhetoric in this manner: whereas the key term for the 'old' rhetoric was persuasion and its stress was upon deliberate design, the key term for the 'new' rhetoric is identification and this may include partially 'unconscious' factors in its appeal.
Identification, at its simplest level, maybe a deliberate device, or a means, as when a speaker identifies his interests with those of his audience. But identification can also be an 'end,' as 'when people earnestly yearn to identify themselves with some group or other.' The new rhetoric is defined as a theory of argumentation that has as its object the study of discursive techniques that aim to provoke or to increase the adherence of men’s minds to the theses that are presented for their assent. It also examines the conditions that allow argumentation to begin and to be developed, as well as the effects produced by this development. It should be noted, moreover, that the new rhetoric is opposed to the tradition of modern, purely literary rhetoric, better called stylistic, which reduces rhetoric to a study of figures of style, because it is not concerned with the forms of discourse for their ornamental or aesthetic value but solely insofar as they are means of persuasion and, more especially, means of creating “presence” (i.e., bringing to the mind of the hearer things that are not immediately present) through the techniques of presentation. The alternative offered by the new rhetoric would furnish a complementary tool to traditional logic, which is limited to the technique of demonstration, or necessary proof according to the rules of deduction and induction; it would add the technique of argumentation. This would allow men not only to verify and to prove their beliefs but also to justify their decisions and their choices. Thus, the new rhetoric, elaborating a logic for judgments of value, is indispensable for the analysis of practical reasoning (britannica.com).
By: ROBERT ÄŒOBAN
WORLD MEDIA CONGRESS IN LAS VEGAS
Can Citizen Kane be Saved? The Vegas Congress was interesting in many ways - starting with a rather bizarre interior for a congress at the Planet Hollywood Hotel with hallways between conference rooms decked in photographs, sculptures of zombies and similar creatures. Some people commented that Zombieland as the best allegory of the media industry today
The ten-minute walk took us from our Flamingo Hotel on the Strip to the Planet Hollywood Hotel which hosted the World Media Congress organized by the FIPP, the global magazine publisher association. At the Paris CafĂŠ under the Eiffel Tower, drowsy gamblers, who spent all night in casinos inhaling the pumped-in oxygen that kept them awake, were having breakfast. Girls with feather dresses were taking pictures with passers-by on the sidewalks, and I occasionally ran into an Elvis impersonator. The younger ones, who had been clubbing until dawn, sit in Oxygen Bars, popular new spots in Vegas,
in which they treat a hangover by inhaling oxygen with spicy fruit flavours instead of having coffee and squeezed orange juice.
500,000,000,000 dinars and the war raged in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Vegas and all of America seemed like a dream.
THE FIPP CONGRESSES, THAT TAKE PLACE EVERY OTHER YEAR IN ANOTHER CITY, ARE A GOOD TESTAMENT TO THE DYNAMIC AND DRAMATIC CHANGES THAT ARE HAPPENING IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRY In February 1994, Las Vegas was one of the 7 cities that hosted the US Embassy's International Visitors Program that I attended. The last issue of Svet magazine, before my trip to the US, cost
Then, in 2004, I went there with Sandra while our daughter Elena, who was a four-month-old baby at the time, stayed in Novi Sad. Fifteen years later, all four of us are in Vegas and it seems to me that
the whole world has changed over the decades, only this city has remained the same. Looking at the architecture of the hotels on the Strip (the central Las Vegas Boulevard), we can match the tastes and economic opportunities of various decades in Las Vegas, from 1946, when the Flamingo was built, to the present. The Flamingo is inspired by Art Deco and Miami. Then came the Sahara in 1952, the Tropicana in 1957 and the Linq in 1959. The 1960s were marked by the Planet Hollywood in 1963, the Caesars Palace in 1966 and the Circus, Circus in 1968. In the 1970s, came the Harrah's and the Bally's (1973), the Casino Royale (1978) and the
Cromwell (1979). For ten subsequent years, there was no new hotel on the Strip, until 1989, when Polynesia-inspired Mirage opened, followed by the Excalibur in the 1990s, inspired by the Middle Ages, and three new large hotels, that were built in 1993, the Luxor (Pyramid and Sphinx), the Treasure Island and the MGM Grand (back then the largest hotel in the world, with over 4,000 rooms). The Stratosphere and the MGM Park were built in 1996, the New York, New York in 1997, the Bellagio in 1998, the Mandalay Bay, the Venetian and the Paris in 1999. The hotels built after the year 2000 no longer had special themes – the Wynn (2005), the Encore (2008), the City Center (2009) and the Cosmopolitan (2010), all featuring modern designs, simple and clean lines. Bugsey Siegel and Meyer Lansky, two Jewish gangsters from New York, are credited with making Vegas what it is today. In 1946, they built the hotel Flamingo, the oldest on the Strip. Siegel was killed a year later in LA, while Lansky lived to the ripe old age in Miami, where he regularly went to the synagogue on the corner of the 3rd Street and the Washington Avenue. The city in which the Mafia has played a significant role has also been given the National Organized Crime Museum, the famed Mob Museum, one of Vegas' major tourist attractions. The fact that I'm in Vegas with my family and that my daughters are underage, so they can't even stay in the casino and watching their parents play the roulette table and they can’t swim in the pool because it’s too cold in November, in the Nevada desert, I decided to listen to the advice of the US ambassador in Zagreb. He told me, on the eve of my trip to the United States, at the party apropos the 2nd anniversary of the Croatian edition of the Diplomacy & Commerce magazine at the Mimara Museum, told me that spending seven days in Vegas with my family while attending a three-day congress was utter nonsense and that we must go to see LA or San Francisco. So, we took a two-day trip to San Francisco while being accommodated in Vegas and that turned out to be a smart decision. Delighted by the sight of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, we returned to Vegas where the World Media Congress took place from 12th to 14th November. I remembered writing an article from New Delhi for Novi Magazin
after the 2011 congress in the Indian capital. The FIPP congresses, that take place every other year in another city, are a good testament to the dynamic and dramatic changes that are happening in the media industry. The first FIPP Congress I attended was in 2005 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on New York’s Park Avenue. Three years before the global economic crisis and two years before the first smartphone appeared, it was the Golden Age of publishing: circulation figures ran
into hundreds of thousands and millions of copies and earnings were in the region of hundreds of millions of dollars. The welcome reception was held at MoMA, we had dinner under Monet's "Water Lilies", there were bowls with lime on the tables and it seemed as if the Golden Age would last at least another 50 years. However, even in such an atmosphere, there were "voices of common sense" that pointed to a potential problem in the industry (the economic crisis and dramatic technological
Descendants Did Not Appear: William Randolph Hearst and Orson Wells as "Citizen Kane"
THE STATE OF THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY IS ALSO EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT, EXCEPT FOR A FEW PEOPLE WHO WERE ALSO IN NEW YORK IN 2005, ALMOST NO-ONE IS IN THE SAME MEDIUM ANYMORE, NOT EVEN IN THE SAME INDUSTRY
changes were not yet mentioned by anyone present). So Jonathan Newhouse, CEO of Condé Nast ("Vogue", "Vanity Fair", "Glamour") gave a presentation called "Branding is not enough" at lunch, citing a dozen examples of major magazine brands that have failed in certain markets. Newhouse also explained the reasons why these magazines were extinguished in some countries: from the concept of the magazine digressing too far from the original and vice versa, i.e. the concept was not sufficiently adapted to the local market, to too much competition or the wrong partner. Three years later, two more were added to the aforementioned ones - the economic crisis and smartphones. Thousands of magazines and dailies around the world have been shut down over the past 11 years. After New York in 2005, the next conference was in Beijing in 2007, the Golden Era was still going on, but numerous indicators were already heralding its end. Two years later, in 2009, the congress took place in London and the media industry was already on its knees. The year 2011 and New Delhi… Some publishers set out to recover and find new revenue models while others failed. In 2013, we were in Rome and 2015, in Toronto, Canada. The 2017 congress was supposed to be held in Warsaw, but recently the decision was made to change the location because of the suppression of media freedoms in Poland, so the congress returned to London. The Vegas Congress was interesting in many ways - starting with a rather bizarre interior for a congress at the Planet Hollywood Hotel with hallways between conference rooms decked in photographs, sculptures of zombies and similar creatures. Some people commented that Zombieland as the best allegory of the media industry today. Some major publishers we work with on issuing licensing magazines in our region have not participated in the FIPP Congress for the first time; like The Economist and Hola! / Hello!, for instance. The reasons? Economic hardship or Brexit or something else? We can only speculate. I did not even meet the descendants of the famous William Randolph Hearst of the Hearst Company, whose character was an inspiration behind Orson Welles’ "Citizen Kane" from 1941. The state of the publishing industry is also evidenced by the fact that, except for a few people
who were also in New York in 2005, almost no-one is in the same medium anymore, not even in the same industry. It always makes me happy to meet Alfred Heinze and Eckard Bollmann, the doyens of the Hamburg media industry who, in 2002, gave us a license to publish Bravo magazine, our first franchise, without even seeing us. At the time, Heinze and Bollmann worked for Bauer. Now Alfred is in Burda and Eckard has his own consulting firm. Over lunch, we talked about how was everyone coping with the fact that Google and Facebook spend almost 90% of their money on online advertising. This year's conference used the Deal Room app to schedule meetings, which was convenient, but the slots were 20 minutes each, so a delay of 5-10 minutes led to the chain change in the time of meetings. Many conversations I had with people we already work with, as well as some companies that will become our licensed partners in the future, prevented me from attending all the presentations and panel discussions I wanted to see and hear. "How the Brand Saved Playboy" reads the headline of a presentation by David Israel, CFO and COO of Playboy, which has suffered severe blows in the years since the founder's death and massive online content migration: many issues around the world have been
How the brand saved Playboy: The magazine’s first issue with Marilyn Monroe on the cover (1953)
Changed sources of revenue: Forbes Magazine
THE DRAMATIC CHANGES IN THE STRUCTURE OF FORBES' REVENUE FROM PRINT, ONLINE EDITIONS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES CAUSED THE COMPANY TO RADICALLY CHANGE ITS ORGANIZATIONAL CHART AND INTRODUCE NEW PROFESSIONS closed, including Playboy in Serbia. I commented with a colleague sitting next to me that only someone with such a biblical name can talk about "saving Playboy" because such an operation must have required the rod of Moses to separate the Red Sea. David Israel was not that convincing, although he talked about how they were no longer a classic media company and that, apart from the content, they also sold various branded
products, including condoms, among other things. Another major magazine brand also introduced its "rescue model". Mike Federle, CEO of Forbes Media, talked about the company’s new business models. I was particularly interested in the chart showing Forbes' 2010, 2014 and 2019 revenue structure. In 2010, print at Forbes accounted for 62% of revenue, online 30% and "other" (conferences, licenses,
syndication) for 8%. Just four years later, in 2014, the print dropped to 52%, online grew to 35% and the rest to 13%. This year, the structure of Forbes' revenue will be as follows: print 21%, online 52% and the other 27%. These are dramatic changes that led to the need to completely change the organizational chart of the company, and for some professions to disappear completely and others, nonexistent only until yesterday, to be crucial for the survival of the company. I ended my participation in this somewhat surreal FIPP Congress in a fitting manner - with David Copperfield's show. We went to see Copperfield who, after Houdini, is probably the most famous magician in the world. The 63-year-old illusionist, with his raven-black hair and the skin on his face stretched like a drum’s batter head, performed his stylized tricks while toying with the emotions of the audience by frequently mentioning his late father, whom he was obviously very attached to. Copperfield has been topping the list of the highest-paid celebrities for three decades now, and it's a shame that I didn't see many of my fellow publishers in the audience. I am sure that some of David's tricks would help them to save their companies until Lisbon and the next congress in September 2020.
DIMITRI'S TORMENT During a taxi ride, a driver in his late thirties heard our conversation in the Serbian language and asked us where we were from. When we answered, he opened his soul. Dimitri was a Russian from around Moscow and had been working in Vegas as a taxi driver for seven years. He has his say on almost all geopolitical topics and in the 20 minutes, which is how long our ride the Flamingo Hotel to Vegas Airport, lasted, I learned many things: • " You have to wait for America to become weak (!?), and then take Kosovo back." • " In recent years, there haven't been many tourists from Russia in Vegas, since America imposed the sanctions. Many wealthy people have become impoverished so they no longer come." • “ The Ukrainians are to blame for everything; they start the war, but we get the sanctions. Everyone knows that Crimea has always been Russian and that there are many Russians in the eastern part of Ukraine." • " There are Russians in Vegas, but they live in other parts of America, especially the Russian Jews. We, in Russia, do not like Jews, they are to blame for the October Revolution."
• "Stalin was cruel but did many good things for Russia." • "Here, in America, I cannot always say that I am Russian. When I see that someone is Trump's voter, I can reveal where I come from. They love us. But these shitty Democrats, they hate the Russians.“ If I had closed my eyes for a moment, I could have well been in a Belgrade taxi that was taking me from the airport to the city. I could imagine an almost identical conversation. It is quite clear that this is the ideological and mental matrix that was fed both to Dimitri from Russia, who has lived and worked in the 'despised' America for seven years, and many other „Dimitris“ in Serbia who curse America and the
West. They are almost identical. They curse Gorbachev and the fall of the Berlin Wall but send children to schools in Europe and the USA. Their women shop in Milan and London, and they, when they have money, fill the coffers of football clubs from Manchester, Barcelona, Madrid or Munich. When playing in Kazan or Tiraspol, they always have some important business obligations in Belgrade. Although Moscow and St. Petersburg have great universities, imagine a proud dad/patriot having to inform guests at the Slava about his child studying in Moscow. What will neighbours and relatives say?! Mothers would have nothing to upload to Instagram if their daughters and their girlfriends were studying at the University of St. Petersburg, knowing very well that the green in Switzerland is much greener and the sky over the US campuses much bluer than in Russia so that no filter is needed. Others, „the poor“, share the same views, but do not send their children to school, but rather to work in the West – from construction work to waitressing on cruisers and in pubs. Some also drive taxis, like the poor Dimitri, and talk bitterly, in front of carefully chosen people, about the imminent demise of the corrupt West.
MAJOR COOPERATION PROJECT BETWEEN HUNGARY AND CROATIA
FILM “THE FAVOURITE” HAS EARNED THE MOST EFA PRIZES With eight awards - including the Best European Film - British film “The Favourite” is a big winner at the 32nd European Film Awards (EFA). Among the nominees was a Croatian producer Ankica Jurić Tilić. At the Award ceremony in Berlin, she was presented with the Best European Coproduction award. The actual Award ceremony was hosted by a well-known hall at “Haus der Berliner Festspiele”. Since 1997, the Award ceremony has taken place in Berlin the official seat of EFA - on every other odd-numbered year. On every even-numbered year, the ceremony is hosted by other European cities.
The Minister of Culture, Nina Obuljen Koržinek and her Hungarian counterpart, Miklos Kasler signed an Agreement on Hungarian - Croatian cultural cooperation in the year of Croatian EU presidency. Especially highlighted are the two major projects that will be featured in Budapest: a Zagreb - Budapest exhibition and a large display of paintings by Miroslav Kraljević. The central event during the Croatian EU presidency will be a Zagreb - Budapest exhibition, initiated and co-organised by Klovićevi dvori gallery. Mrs. Obuljen - Koržinek added that Croatian National Theatre and Lado Ensemble will be giving guest performances in Hungary on multiple occasions. The Ministry also pointed out the excellent
cooperation aimed at the preservation and promotion of cultural programs of national minorities in Hungary and Croatia. She expressed her deep gratitude to Hungarian authorities for supporting Croatian National Theatre in Pecs. Hungarian Minister of Human Resources Miklos Kasler, whose area of responsibility includes cultural policy, expressed his thanks to his Croatian counterpart and confirmed that they signed negotiated agreement on cooperation programme. He also concluded that Croatian - Hungarian cultural relations have recently been dynamic in all areas - whether it concerns performing arts, education or cultural heritage of national minorities.
CAROLL SPINNEY, AMERICAN PUPPETEER DIED AT 85
THE PERFORMER ATE $120K WORTH INSTALLATION
Caroll Spinney, American puppeteer famous for playing characters on children’s TV show Sesame Street, died at the age of 85. Spinney, who had suffered from dystonia - a neurological movement disorder, died at his home in Connecticut. He was best known for Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch - the characters he had portrayed since the show’s start in 1969. Sesame Workshop said in a statement that Caroll was an artistic genius whose gentle view of the world helped define Sesame Street from its earliest days in 1969 through the next five decades.
The art installation worth $120K, consisting of a single banana taped to a wall with duct tape, was on display at the Art Basel Miami exhibition, when on Saturday it was eaten by a performer, David Datuna who posted his art performance named “Hungry artist” on Instagram. Video footage shows him approaching the installation, removing the banana from the wall and eating it in front of stunned onlookers. “I love Maurizio Cattelan artwork and I really love this installation. It is very delicious”, Datuna wrote in the post, commenting Italian artist work. Catellan is famous for his golden toilet, named America, that was installed in Guggenheim Museum. This fully usable toilet, made of 18-karat gold, was subsequently stolen in London.
BANKSY’S RAINDEERS PULLING A BENCH UNDER 24-HOUR SECURITY MONITORING British authorities put the newest Christmas mural - made by street artist Banksy with aim to highlight homelessness problem - under protection, after unidentified vandals added red noses to the raindeers. Last week in Birmngham, Banksy painted the new mural. It depicts reindeers pulling a homeless man on the bench instead of sleighs. A 20-minutes video footage that Banksy posted via Instagram, reveals a homeless man named Ryan lying on a street bench and raindeers ready to fly up with the bench in a tow. The video has been viewed more than two million times since its release. But a couple of hours later an unidentified vandal sprayed red noses on raindeers.