October 2021 | ISSUE No. 68 | Price 350 RSD
NALED - MAKING A DIFFERENCE
TOGETHER FOR 15 YEARS
WE CREATE A POSITIVE IMAGE OF AN INNOVATIVE STATE TATJANA MATIĆ
Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Government of Republic of Serbia
INDONESIAN EMBASSY Embassies and Residences Buildings
TIME TO CHANGE THE GROWTH MODEL Professor GORAN PITIĆ, PhD
President of Council of the FEFA Faculty
IT'S TIME TO REBUILD! Castles of Serbia
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES, FOCUS ON THE FUTURE H.E. KIMMO LÄHDEVIRTA Ambassador of Finland S P E C I A L
E D I T I ON
Cyprus ENERGY POLICY
H.E. YORGOS DIACOFOTAKIS Ambassador of Greece to Serbia
H.E. DEMETRIOS THEOPHYLACTOU Ambassador of Cyprus to Serbia
Darwinism 4.0 FOLLOW US TO STAY UPDATED
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ROBERT ČOBAN Director
population of Serbia, most of them young people, resolutely refuse to be vaccinated, believing in conspiracy theories that they read on social media every day or hear from experts who have guest appearances even on TV stations with a national broadcasting frequency. Are we witnessing a strange, new Darwinism that will decimate a part of our population, one that stubbornly, despite all the evidence, believes that vaccines are dangerous to their health, that they cause sterility and that people are implanted a chip through them? In nine months, Serbia has crossed over from the country that was the first in Europe in terms of the number of the vaccinated people and had four types of vaccines
available in January this year to the country with the highest number of infected people per 100,000 inhabitants. Fearing those 40% and their votes in the next elections, the authorities do not want to decisively introduce so-called ‘green certificates’ and in that way additionally "motivate" those who have not been vaccinated so far. As things stand now, many of them, convinced of the correctness of what they read on social networks, will not be able to vote in April 2022. Could Charles Darwin have guessed that more than a century and a half after his capital work, the human race in the most civilized part of the planet, namely Europe, would find itself in such a situation?
t has been 163 years since Charles Darwin wrote his book "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Race in the Struggle for Life". In 2021, it is as if we are facing a new proof of Darwin's theory which emerged in a completely unexpected way. Namely, we hear news reports every day about dozens of people dying from the Covid-19 infection. Many of them are young and the vast majority are unvaccinated. Despite that, at least 40% of the
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ANGELA MERKEL’S HERITAGE
WE CREATE A POSITIVE IMAGE OF AN INNOVATIVE STATE TATJANA MATIĆ Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Government of Republic of Serbia
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES, FOCUS ON THE FUTURE H.E. KIMMO LÄHDEVIRTA Ambassador of Finland
TIME TO CHANGE THE GROWTH MODEL Professor GORAN PITIĆ, PhD President of Council of the FEFA Faculty
GAS PRICES ARE SKYROCKETING
WESTERN BALKANS RAIL SUMMIT MATEJ ZAKONJŠEK Director of the organisation, Transport Community
LOGISTICS IS A KEY FACTOR IN MARKET INTEGRATION Professor MILORAD KILIBARDA, PhD Head of Logistics Department, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, University of Belgrade
A CONSTANT PUBLIC-PRIVATE DIALOGUE IS NEEDED GORAN ALEKSIĆ Director General of the Srbijatransport Road Traffic Business Association Belgrade and member of the Executive Board of the Union of Employers of Serbia
TRANSPORT PRICES HIGHEST EVER Managing Director at Pluton Media Serbia
TRADITIONAL HANDICRAFTS FROM SERBIA AT THE WORLD EXHIBITION IN DUBAI Exhibition
DIGITAL 2021 Regional Event
IT'S TIME TO REBUILD! Castles of Serbia
INDONESIAN EMBASSY Embassies and Residences Buildings
Angela Merkel’s Heritage Stability at any price ngela Merkel leaves Europe, Germany and the world significantly different than to what it had been when she came to power in Germany in 2005. At that time, there was only one "partially recognized" country in Europe (Northern Cyprus), now there are 4 (in addition to Northern Cyprus, there are Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia). Back then, marriages were allowed only between men and women, and now all genders can marry between themselves in Germany too. Russia was in "rapprochement", now it is the evil witch of the West. There was no crisis in the making when she came to power and in the meantime, she had to deal with seven of them. Some people still consider her the best figure in the "democratic world" and others think that, in her Lutheran moderation, she contributed a lot towards destabilization under the pretence of stabilization. Germany's Der Spiegel writes that her term in the office was shaped by seven crises and catastrophes - world financial crisis; euro crisis; Russian President Vladimir Putin; a huge influx of refugees; Donald Trump as a synonym for attacks on liberal democracy; climate change and the coronavirus pandemic. That is, of course, from a German perspective. We could add Brexit, Kosovo, Euromaidan and Saakashvili's war adventure in the Caucasus. But let's look at how Angela coped, with special reference to the Balkans.
for the EU, led by German values, to separate from the United States and impose itself as a benevolent force in a world full of less benevolent powers.
GERMANY BECAME A CONFIDENT SUPERPOWER During her tenure, Germany became the strongest country in Europe. In 2006, the World Cup was held in Germany, and the Germans reclaimed their pride: for the first time since World War II, they began to speak proudly of being Germans, waving their flags everywhere they could. Germany has become a promised land like America used to be. Everyone rushed to Germany to become German. Millions of Eastern Europeans have found their homeland in Germany, and millions are still
MIGRANT CRISIS The migrant crisis was the biggest internal challenge for Merkel. It may not matter to the Germans whether the Uyghurs have or have not certain rights, but a million Arabs and other migrants could not go unnoticed. Although the open door policy was again inspired by the protection of German businesses that needed a workforce, soon public opinion turned against migrants. She concluded a pragmatic agreement with Erdogan, who will go aggressively against the protesters a year later. This agreement was also good for business and overall relations with Turkey.
MUTTI LEFT GERMANY MUCH STRONGER THAN IT WAS BEFORE SHE CAME TO POWER AND CREATED A EUROPEAN LEADER. BUT SHE COULD HAVE DONE MUCH MORE getting ready to do so, from all over the world. German has again become the most popular language in schools.
RUSSIA AND CHINA, USA AND BREXIT One of the better things during her presidency over the German government was the pragmatic and sober relationship with Russia and China. Both countries expressed that they were not satisfied with the balance of power as early as 2007. Putin did so on Merkel's turf, at the Munich Security Conference. The problem is that Angela did not hear him, because if she had, the West's policy towards Russia, which led to escalation, would not have continued. Also, Merkel underlined back in 2006 that she would recognize an independent Kosovo, which directly provoked a countermove in
terms of Russia recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia as symmetrical revenge for Kosovo: "You are taking Kosovo as a hostage from our ally, so we are going to take two 'Kosovos' from your ally, Georgia.“ But she did persist with the construction of Nord Stream-2, and the sanctions against Russia were not as aggressive as the United States would have wanted. In the game of superpowers around Ukraine, one could not expect much better from a country that has traditionally interfered little in other people's affairs, especially a country that had been involved in creating horror for millions of people several times in the last 100 years. The new AUUKUS pact showed that every American president apparently had "America First" in their mind, be it Bush, Obama, Trump or Biden. But the opportunity was missed
Angela underachieved in the Balkans. She inherited a situation whereby Montenegro peacefully separated from Serbia in 2006 but failed to prevent the growth of authoritarian corruption, crime and nationalism in Montenegro, in the name of stabilocracy. In 2008, Germany recognized an independent Kosovo, destroying the chance for a stable agreement for decades to come while, at the same time, causing a crisis in the Caucasus, Cyprus and elsewhere. She pushed Greece into poverty in 2015, forgetting that Germany was forgiven much worse in 1945. She turned a blind eye to doings of local authorities in order for German companies to do well in all of Eastern Europe. The opposition was disappointed, believing that the "beacon of democracy" would export German democracy and federalism to them as well. But that did not happen. Mutti left Germany much stronger than it had been before she came to power and created a European leader. But she could have done much more. The problem is that „much more“ means different things to different people and Angela certainly did not want to move too far away from the centre.
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by Nevena Kuveljić
We Create a Positive Image of an Innovative State Serbia is a modern, innovative and resilient country, ready to tackle crises. It is important to present our know-how and experience of ideas, as well as to establish cooperation and utilize business opportunities TATJANA MATIĆ Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Government of Republic of Serbia
erbia's participation in the World Exhibition Dubai (EXPO for short) provides a unique opportunity to present Serbia as an innovative and modern country, all with the end goal of further developing our economy, attract foreign investments and create dynamic business opportunities for our business people. The Expo is being held at a time when the world is still struggling with the pandemic and its negative effects. In that fight, Serbia proved to be a resilient, stable and innovative country, especially when it comes to our success in vaccination roll out
and achieved economic stability. The Government of the Republic of Serbia has adopted the Strategy for the Development of the Information Society and Information Security. What key measures and activities have been de-
toral strategy which determines the goals and measures for the development of the information society and information security. As the title suggests, the Strategy covers two important areas, namely the information society and information security, the
RECENTLY ADOPTED STRATEGY COVERS TWO IMPORTANT AREAS, NAMELY THE INFORMATION SOCIETY AND INFORMATION SECURITY fined in the Strategy and what does the strategy mean for Serbia? — The Strategy for the Development of the Information Society and Information Security in the Republic of Serbia for the period from 2021 to 2026 is a cross-sec-
further development of which is a prerequisite for the complete digitalization of our society. The areas of information society and information security are comprehensive and imply application in almost all segments and activities on which the develop-
ment of an economy and society is based, and at the same time, they relate to citizens, public administration and the economy of a country. Information systems are an indispensable part of the work done by public administration and businesses, and in order for these systems to have an adequate security level, it is necessary to protect devices, networks, and data, but also organizations and individuals. Accordingly, as a general goal, which is pursued through the Strategy’s implementation, is to have the developed information society and e-government in the service of citizens and businesses, as well as improved information security of citizens, public administration and the business sector. Namely, the adoption and implementation of a strategic infor-
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mation society development and information security document is important to continue with the further improvement of digital knowledge and skills of all citizens, while boosting the capacity of employees in both public and private sectors to use new technologies and improving the digital infrastructure in educational institutions, as well as to step up the activities related to digitalization of services and business in the public and private sectors and to increase the information security of citizens, public administration and businesses. For a society to progress through the digitalization of all its segments, it is necessary to build trust, raise knowledge levels and create a safe environment that has a stimulating effect on citizens for them to recognize the benefits of digitalization and electronically provided services which is the goal pursued through the implementation of the strategy and accompanying action plans. The Strategy and Action Plan that will be implemented from 2021 to 2023 define numerous measures and activities for the realization of special goals. However, we should underline that, in addition to the measures and activities defined by the Strategy and Action Plan, the Government of the Republic of Serbia drafted other strategic documents that define in more detail the areas that
are important for digitalization and those that relate to e-government, digital skills, smart specializations, artificial intelligence, etc. In which way is Serbia committed to developing digital infrastructure and regulations in the field of electronic communications, digital services and the digital society? — The number of adopted strategic documents that cover those segments best shows the commitment of the Republic of Serbia to the development of digital infrastructure and regulations. Specifically, in addition to the Strategy
Industrial Policy Strategy of the Republic of Serbia, Smart Specialization Strategy, Strategy for Combating High-tech Crime, Electronic Government Development Programme. So, there are several acts that have already been adopted which regulate specific areas that are an integral part of digitalization, such as the development of digital skills, artificial intelligence and its potential to improve the quality of life of each individual and society as a whole, and last but not least, smart specialization aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the economy, econom-
WE BELIEVE THAT THE SERBIAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET IS EXTREMELY DEVELOPED AND COMPETITIVE for the Development of the Information Society and Information Security, the Government of the Republic of Serbia has also adopted the following documents: Law on Electronic Administration, Law on Electronic Document, Electronic Identification and Trust Services in Electronic Business, Strategy for the Development of New Generation Networks (valid until 2023), Digital Skills Development Strategy, Artificial Intelligence Development Strategy,
ic growth and progress of society by connecting research, industrial and innovation forces and resources and enabling domestic companies to more efficiently use their potential and better position themselves in global markets. In the previous period, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, as the line ministry for electronic business, enabled further development of trust services and electronic identification schemes thanks to the
implementation of the Law on Electronic Document, Electronic Identification and Trust Services in Electronic Business. Through the development of trusted services and the use of qualified signatures and seals, especially remote signatures, we facilitate faster and more efficient business and easier and safer access to the services provided by public authorities and other entities electronically, as well as access to a higher number these services. What is the situation in the tourism sector in 2021 like and how long will it take for the Serbian tourism to completely recover? — The tourism sector has been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. 2019, which was a record-breaking year, we had 10 million overnight stays, while the latest data show that we had over 8.7 million overnight stays in Serbia and over 2 million arrivals, which exceeded all our expectations and is a great success. When it comes to foreign currency revenue generated by tourism, it is 40% higher than in the previous year, and we hope that, once the epidemiological situation becomes better, this revenue will grow by the year-end. These official data show a significant recovery and gradual growth of tourist visits this season, but in order for this trend to continue and for the autumn and
winter seasons to become equally successful, we need a stable epidemiological situation and return to normal when it comes to travel and tourism activities. At present, this is only possible if a large percentage of people are vaccinated. How do you assess the situation on the Serbian telecommunications market, but also the increasingly fierce competition between telecom operators? — We believe that the Serbian telecommunications market is extremely developed and competitive, and this is supported by the fact that in addition to the stateowned mobile operator in Serbia, two other mobile operators from large European groups covering dozens of countries (A1 and Telenor, owned by PPF) operate here. Over 99% of households in Serbia have the option of 4G access, which is significantly better than coverage in many European Union countries. When it comes to ground telephony operators, in recent years was saw market consolidation taking place which is both justified and logical business-wise, but we also have a situation whereby the vast majority of people living in urban areas can choose between at least 2 or 3 operators. Regarding the coverage in rural areas, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications is implementing an incentive programme that, during its first phase which ends in late 2022, will cover 400-600 smaller towns and villages and over 80,000 households and provide them with unhindered access to all modern and most demanding services such as fast Internet connection speed. A total of five electronic communications operators (Telekom Srbija, SBB, A1, SatTrakt and Orion Telekom) participated in the launched competitions. As the Serbian Commissioner General at Expo 2020 - Dubai, you presented the Serbian Pavilion at the World Exhibition. How important is Serbia’s participa-
IN THE COMMERCE SECTOR, WE WILL CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE TO BOOSTING FAIR MARKET COMPETITION AND CREATING A GREATER OFFER OF RETAIL CHAINS tion in Expo Dubai? — The World Expo is the first global event since the outbreak of the pandemic. That is why it is a unique opportunity for all countries, including Serbia, to present their technological and industrial innovations and achievements, talented people and successful scientists, and their success in digitalization, in addition to economic, business and investment opportunities, rich history and culture and tourism potential. The main goal of Serbia's participation in the Expo is aimed at creating and developing a business network for our business community and creating a positive image of a modern and innovative state, plus to show ourselves as a partner in solving global problems. The World Exhibition in Dubai is an opportu-
nity to send a strong message to the world about the potential of modern and innovative Serbia, with the possibility of realizing new business, but also of boosting political and economic ties. We view Serbia's participation in Dubai Expo 2020 as an investment in our future and development and our good economic and political relations with the whole world, considering that 192 countries are participating in the Expo. We already have excellent political and economic relations with the country that organizes the Expo. What are the Ministry’s plans by the year-end, considering that elections will take place in April 2022? — Our plans are unchanged despite the election year ahead. We will continue with the consolida-
tion of the tourism sector, which has suffered the biggest blow due to the COVID-induced crisis, next to the transport sector. First and foremost, we will focus on strengthening and preserving human resources in this industry, and then we will continue to invest in key infrastructure projects, primarily those related to the development of nautical tourism, which was unfairly neglected in the previous period. In the telecommunications sector, we will continue with the development of the broadband Internet in the rural areas in Serbia, as well as with the completion of the construction of a local computer network in all school buildings in Serbia. As a result, we are going to have a total of 30,000 digital school cabinets. We will also continue with the digitalization of the entire tourist offer in Serbia through the creation of a unique digital platform. In the commerce sector, we will continue to contribute to boosting fair market competition and creating a greater offer of retail chains, and in particular, by working on greater consumer protection.
ROAMING AGREEMENT What are your first impressions after the start of the implementation of the Roaming Agreement, which brought about lower roaming prices in the Western Balkans? — The regional agreement on roaming charges, which was concluded in April 2019 at the Second Digital Summit of the Western Balkans in Belgrade, had extremely positive results and both individuals and businesses are quite satisfied with it. Now, thanks to the agreement, individuals can make calls, send text messages and transfer data at national prices. We believe that this is an important step in achieving regional digital integration, but also that in the future, the agreement will generate even better results for individuals and the entire business sector.
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We Create Visionary Projects Mobi Banka is creating a triple-win situation – for the citizens, the country, and the bank itself MILKA RAJČEVIĆ Member of the Executive Board of Mobi Banka
e interviewed Milka Rajčević, Member of the Executive Board of Mobi Banka, about development, the concept of humane banking, a new government service which has been recently launched and other services which Mobi bank successfully develops for the October issue of the D&C magazine.
Mobi Banka is the fastest-growing mobile and online bank in the region. What has contributed the most to your development and progress? — I believe our growth is a result of the mobile bank model being built to thrive in the digital age. Last year we celebrated our half-amillionth customer but now our family exceeds 600,000 members. With this growth, the challenges are growing as well, and no one is perfect, but I am proud we are here for the citizens of Serbia. All the functionality you need from a bank is in your pocket 24/7. That kind of convenience is easy to get used to, and we work hard to make all our services as easy and hassle-free as possible. You said that one of the pillars of Mobi Banka is the concept of humane banking. What exactly does that concept entail? — One of the many ripple effects of the 2008 banking crisis was that it created a lot of distrust towards the banking industry. Humane banking is the equal and opposite reaction to that way of doing business. We believe that the only way forward is to win back the confidence and trust of regular people. Banking should be about making people’s lives easier, not harder. We work to improve the wellbeing of the community through innovation, philanthropy, and fair hiring practices, with a clear understanding that our work is more than just managing money - our actions have a direct effect on society at large. Recently you launched the e-government service called "My data
THE GOVERNOR AND HER TEAM DO AN AMAZING JOB MAINTAINING THE STABILITY OF THE BANKING SECTOR WHILE ALSO CREATING A GREAT FRAMEWORK FOR BUSINESSES IN VERY CHALLENGING TIMES for the bank". How does this service affect citizens, and how did the idea come about? — In addition to immensely facilitating access to banking, this project was a leap forward in the digitalization of Serbia. The service is accessed through the eGovernment web portal which allows customers to completely digitally and automatically collect all the necessary data to apply for cash loans and other products with no paperwork, no waiting in lines, and without wasting time and money. This visionary project, created in partnership with the Government of Serbia and the National Bank of Serbia, was the first of this scope of cooperation between the private and public sectors. And really, we have to thank them because, without their agenda of digitalization, which is in many
ways ahead of many of the more advanced European countries, this project could not exist. How did that cooperation go? Are you satisfied with the regulatory framework and the Government’s work? — The cooperation with the Prime Minister and her team was extremely good. Additionally, the Governor and her team do an amazing job maintaining the stability of the banking sector while also creating a great framework for businesses in very challenging times. A recent example of this is the decision of the National Bank to allow cash loans of up to 90,000 dinars based on a statement in which the citizens declare their monthly income. This made life easier for people, but not only that, it allowed us to credit the
purchase of thousands of modern devices. That is why we hope that this measure will remain even after the crisis is over and that the amount will be increased so that people could afford the latest generation of digital devices, such as tablets and phones. You are a new member of the Executive Board, but have worked for the Bank for years before that. What are the biggest challenges of being part of the Board in charge of the finance and risk sectors, as maybe two of the most demanding? — It is one of the most challenging sectors, but that is why the ride is so interesting. I believe that to run those sectors prudently you should know your customers and their goals but primarily follow data minutely and create very accurate analysis and estimates. For example, based on our data, loans up to 90,000 dinars, that I’ve mentioned earlier, carry low risk and thus provide an invaluable benefit for our customers while furthering the governments’ digitalization agenda. Mobi Banka is creating a triple-win situation – a win for the citizens, the country, and for the bank itself.
Which are the Most Economically Equal Countries? t’s one thing asking which country is the richest (a question we answered last month), and another thing is trying to assess which country is economically most equal, that is, where are the smallest differences in wealth? Because, if a country is rich, but the social differences are great, that creates fertile ground for crime, anger, revolutions and other not-so-pleasant scenarios. If the population is roughly equal, they may not be fantastically happy, but at least, they won’t fight against each other. And here are the results. The metric used here is the so-called Gini coefficient, whereby the smaller coefficient means the greater economic equality. If the Gini coefficient is 0, it denotes perfect equality, and if it is 100, we are talking about a society of the greatest possible inequality. In the first place, believe it or
not, is one of the former Yugoslav republics – Slovenia - with the Gini coefficient of 24.2, followed by the Czech Republic with 24.9. Belarus has a peaceful economic life, but sometimes a turbulent political one, but close to 30 years of no unrest and conflict positively contributed to the country getting the Gini coefficient of 25.2. Slovakia has the same coefficient, which means
that Czechoslovakia, if it existed today, would be the most peaceful country in terms of economic life and the balance between the rich and lesser rich. Moldova and Ukraine, with the coefficient of 25.7 and 26.1 respectively, demonstrate that it is not enough to be equal if you are poor, but we can only imagine what kind of bloodshed would happen in the streets of those countries if their Gini coefficient was higher. This way, you can walk peacefully through Kyiv and Chisinau at midnight. Azerbaijan, with 26.6, is in a similar situation, while Iceland is the best country to live in, with the Gini coefficient of 26.8 and great wealth. Okay, the weather there is terrible but let’s not split hairs. Norway, with 27.0 and Finland and Belgium with 27.4, also found their way on the list, which puts them at the top of the most desirable countries to live in.
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German Unity Day
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1 956 Revolution memorial day
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES
H.E. EMANUELE GIAUFRET Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of European Union to the Republic of Serbia Emanuele Giaufret has been appointed the EU Ambassador to Serbia in September 2021. He took this position after serving four years as the EU Ambassador to Israel. 5Previous to that he served at European External Action Service as the Head of the Division for Democracy and Electoral Observation and as Political Assistant to the Managing Director responsible for North Africa and the Middle East. He was also posted at the EU Delegation to the United Nations in New York, and again at the EU Delegation in Israel,
as Head of the Political and Trade Section. At the beginning of his career at European Commission, he worked at the Directorate General for External Relations, as desk officer for electoral observation. Before joining the EU, H.E. Emanuele Giaufret worked at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. He has a PhD in History of International Relations from the University of Florence, and a Master in European Affairs from the College of Europe in Bruges. He is married and a father of three.
MEDEJA LONČAR New director of Siemens Serbia
Medeja Lončar was appointed the new director of Siemens Serbia on October 1, 2021. She is also the director of Siemens Slovenia and Siemens Croatia. In her almost thirty-five-yearlong career, Ms Lončar has been an executive in reputable Slovenian and international companies operating in several sectors - mobile communications, retail, industry and utilities. She has work experience in strategic development, sales and marketing. During her eighteen-year-long career at Siemens, she has successfully managed the company in Slovenia for fourteen years and in Croatia for
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three years and has been actively involved in many strategic projects in these countries, as well as in the entire Adriatic region. Medeja Lončar is an advocate of the importance of the Industry 4.0 concept and the induction of Siemens customers into the new era of digitalization. Thanks to her engagement and executive position in prominent associations and chambers, she actively contributes to society's progress thus advocating the topics like sustainability, digitalization, representation of women in management positions, business ethics and managing change.
tart of the War of S Independence
BELGIUM King's Day
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by Žikica Milošević
Learn From Your Mistakes, Focus on the Future Once the pandemic subsides, we are ready to expand our cooperation H.E. KIMMO LÄHDEVIRTA Ambassador of Finland
e took the opportunity to talk to H.E. Kimmo Lähdevirta, Ambassador of Finland, about the culture, economy, infrastructure and tourism, the possibility of learning from Finnish experiences, as the Estonians and Hungarians did, and of course, the Finnish pop and rock music and Nordic skiing
How would you assess the relations between Serbia and Finland, both military non-aligned countries, considering that we have had only slight misunderstandings, apart from the Kosovo issue, throughout history? — The relationship between our countries is traditionally very good and continues to be so. There are no unresolved issues between our two countries. We also have, for example, very good cooperation with the Serbian embassy in Helsinki. Our main priority here in Belgrade is to support Serbia on its EU path because we are a strong advocate of EU enlargement. We see it as natural that Western Balkans countries join the Union. This can only happen when membership criteria are met. Also, candidate countries must show strong political commitment, and act upon it. But as you mentioned earlier, just like Serbia, Finland remains a militarily non-aligned country, thus being one of the few countries in the EU in this position. As an EU member country and a close partner of NATO, politically-speaking, we are not neutral anymore, but part of the West. We do hope to develop the relations further when the situation with COVID stabilizes. For example, it would be good to have high-level visits again, and of course, business travel and contacts between citizens as the situation allows. Serbia wants to join the EU but to remain neutral military-wise, as well as be democratic and
HISTORY CANNOT BE CHANGED, SO THE FOCUS MUST BE ON THE FUTURE AND LEARNING FROM OUR MISTAKES wealthy. Finland did not have it easy throughout history. You lived next to a superpower that was the USSR and now Russia. This requires a certain amount of wisdom, a calm attitude and equilibristic capabilities. We think we need them here too. What advice can Finland give us? — Indeed, during the Cold War, Finland sort of had to keep its calm. But today, the EU offers us a strong backbone. I would say that being part of the EU has made us freer than ever before because we can travel and work and get deliveries from abroad easier than before. At the same time, European integration contributes to Finland’s security too as we know that we would not be left to defend for ourselves if a crisis would arise. So there are clear benefits of
being offered EU membership. I also think that regional cooperation is something that should not be overlooked. Serbia, as well as the other Western Balkan countries, could perhaps benefit from the Nordic model of economic integration. Good Nordic cooperation has been reflected already, in the setting up of the Nordic Council in 1952, which means that the Nordic countries had free movement of workforce even before the EU was created. Nordic cooperation means that our common voice is stronger on the international scene, while exchanging ideas stimulates sustainable solutions as does sharing best practices. Even though Nordic companies are often direct competitors, we believe fair competition brings benefits in the long run.The West-
ern Balkan countries could follow the example and apply the experiences, while negotiating the EU entry. It's not always easy and Western Balkan countries need to show readiness to resolve the deeply rooted social and political problems in their countries and between them. I really do think that Western orientation is a natural course of action and basic choice for Serbs, also because Serbia is part of Europe and Serbia has already had very close and regularly maintained ties with its European neighbours. Is the mutual trade following in the footsteps of good political relations? What more can we do in the segment of the economy? — The current trend in mutual trading is positive and has maintained momentum even during the COVID pandemic. Of course, there are a lot of untapped potentials which is why we just need to keep on advertising the potential of mutual companies in both countries and establish people-to-people and
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business-to-business contacts. Finland has also made important investments in Serbia. The biggest investment from Finland, looking at the number of newly created jobs, is the one made by the PKC Group in Smederevo. Also, lately there has been more interest towards, for example, investments in renewable energy. Money-wise, the biggest Finnish investment is by a company Taaleri Energia, which is one of the major investors in the largest wind farm in the region, Čibuk 1, with 100 million euros or 1/3 of the total investment. Large investments in coming years are needed for the green transition of the service economy. Consequently, I would like to see more cooperation in this area. This autumn, we will be sharing Nordic experiences in circular economy at events in Belgrade, Nis, Kragujevac and Novi Sad, together with other Nordic embassies. I'm also glad to say that we got a new staff member, a trade counsellor who is focusing on trade promotion in the whole Balkan region. Therefore, all prerequisites for more investments and more trade between our countries have been met. Finland has taught the world a lesson in tolerance 100 years ago when you recognised two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, and two official religions, Protestant and Orthodox. You never removed any monuments from the past, let alone buildings. It seems you are a kind of a role model for the rest of the world. Many countries, which were formed after Finland, did not follow down that path. How can you unobtrusively teach the world to be more Finnish in a way? — Well, thank you for that. This is a difficult question to answer because dealing with history is often painful. Also, there are still some unhealed wounds in Finland, from our brutal civil war in 1918 and of course, WWII. But I think that being future-orientated perhaps has been the key for Finland in overcoming some of these tragedies. History should not be forgotten. But I think we also must accept that past cannot be changed. Therefore, the focus should be on the future, i.e. how to make it better for all. I’d also say that that's perhaps the inclusion of all groups in society is of great importance as we saw in the 1920s and 1930s. For example, we are proud to have been one of the four
frontrunners of gender equality, but on the other hand, we have had some failures. For instance, look at how our indigenous Saami population was treated only a few decades ago. So, one just has to admit the mistakes and learn from them. Perhaps I should mention education too. In terms of the European integration, I have noticed that some Serbs are afraid of losing their identity if Serbia joins the Union, but I can't find any rational reasoning for this, because
economies are, to a large degree, already integrated. I think that EU membership is something that has made this all possible. The situation with Covid-19 has been terrible worldwide but it is calming down now. How is your economy bouncing back and how the vaccination process is going on in Finland? It seems that you are one of the new European leaders now. — The Delta variant caused yet
WE GOT A NEW STAFF MEMBER - A TRADE COUNSELLOR - WHO IS FOCUSING ON TRADE PROMOTION IN THE WHOLE BALKAN REGION being part of something bigger does not mean letting go of your own identity. I think this is also what the EU motto is about - united in diversity. Hungary, for instance, has learned so much from the Finnish experience. — Hungary is just one case, but I think, a more important case from our point of view is perhaps Estonia, because it's our closest neighbour in many ways. Helsinki and Tallinn are almost like twin cities nowadays. During more normal times, many people travelled between the two cities and their
another wave of Covid cases in Finland too. Even though the situation seems to be calming down again, we are still wary and worried about how things will go now in autumn and winter. Of course, the big difference between now and spring as well as last year is that now we have a fairly good situation with the vaccination and we are on par with many other EU countries.As of late September, more than 80 % of Finns above 12 years of age have got the first shot, and around 70 % the second shot as well. The ratio of people who have got second shot is a bit lower than in some other countries
because we chose to have a longer period between the two shots, so that as many people as possible could get the first shot as quickly as possible. Vaccination of kids between 12 and 16 started in August. This should also improve the situation now when the school year has started. Regarding other age groups, 90% of population over65 is fully vaccinated. In the younger groups, I am glad that the rate is high as well, more than 70 % of people below 30 have got at least their first shot. We have now fewer patients needing hospital care than during the previous waves. Almost all of the serious cases are among unvaccinated people. I believe this shows the importance of getting the shots. Furthermore, our economy has bounced back faster than expected. For instance, we have seen record employment rates this summer, and also our gross national product has been recovering from the slump that we experienced last year. Things are moving in a good direction, but we still need to be careful What can we do culturally to bring our nations closer? Maybe we can promote Nordic skiing together with the other ambassadors of Nordic countries. Maybe we can do the same with the arts? The Serbs are very fond of your music, you know. — Nordic skiing is a very good sport - actually, it's one of the healthiest ways of exercise and is suitable for anyone. Skiing requires snow and then that's a problem even in southern Finland nowadays. However, there is an alternative, which is Nordic walking, i.e. walking with sticks, which also originates from Finland. So there are possibilities. I've seen that there are a lot of investments into Serbia’s ski and mountain resorts, and I think Nordic skiing would fit very well. As for culture, we have a Finnish film festival every two years, both here in Serbia, but also in North Macedonia and Montenegro. We hope that next spring we could do that again. You mentioned music and I think that both Finns and Serbs have a somewhat peculiar taste in music. We have this love for heavy metal music that I've also noticed here. I would also like to mention the Balkan brass music. I am confident that the cooperation in this field can bring our countries closer together.
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We Create Solutions that Simplify Life A1 Serbia is strongly committed to the development of such technologies that are the future, but also the present
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Ookla, a global leader in Internet speed and performance testing and the company behind the world’s most popular speed measuring app – Speedtest. The next major step is definitely the introduction of the 5G network.
Nenad Zeljković, Chief Technical Officer A1 Serbia and A1 Slovenia
s one of the largest European operators, with more than 25 million customers in 7 countries, we have the opportunity to implement products and services from other A1 markets in Serbia and vice versa.
A1 is one of the most innovative companies in the region; how do you perceive the Serbian market when it comes to innovation and what are A1’s plans in this field? Digitization is penetrating every area of society and economy it has become a powerful field for the development of various innovative services. However, only those solutions that have a concrete use value and in all aspects improve and simplify life in the digital era are endorsed in the market. A1 Serbia is strongly committed to the development of such technologies that are the future, but also the present. On a special internet platform www.a1ict.rs, we have presented numerous advanced ICT solutions that can already be used by our customers for greater efficiency, security and expansion of their businesses. What benefits can the development of ICT solutions bring to the economy? — Advances in ICT have brought about a sea of savings, opportunities and benefits for companies. Some of them are: highly automated business processes that have reduced costs and the Big Data Revolution, where companies use the vast amount of data generated by ICT technologies to create new products and services or further optimize their business. One of the main drivers of digital business transformation in modern business is the Internet of Things technology. Narrowband-IoT is the most reliable global technology for more efficient, secure and cost-effective data transfer for Internet-con-
SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR, WE HAVE IMPROVED THE NETWORK CAPACITY IN ALL MAJOR CITIES nected devices. It is particularly important for business customers, because it connects devices in almost all conditions and provides a wide range of applications. Following the needs of the market, we have covered more than 90 percent of the territory of Serbia and made it accessible to 99% of the population. Therefore, we are the absolute leader in the region and beyond. During the first six months from the rebranding to A1 you received the Ookla award. What is the next big step for A1?
— Since the beginning of this year, we have improved the network capacity in all major cities (Belgrade by 40%, Kragujevac by 25%, Niš by 29%, Novi Pazar by 39%, Kraljevo and Kruševac by more than 50%, Novi Sad by 81% Sombor by more than 100% and many others). As much as 70 percent of our network has been significantly enhanced, owing to which a considerable number of A1 customers will have an improved user experience. I am particularly pleased that our network has been recognized as the Fastest mobile network in Serbia by
Certain markets have already introduced 5G technology. What are your experiences? — The introduction of the 5G network is no longer a “nice to have” but a “must have” conditioned by the growing need of customers for higher volumes of data transfer and the development of new more demanding services primarily in terms of less latency. The 5G spectrum auction is anticipated in Serbia. In most countries in the region where the auction was finished, the implementation phase is underway and in the countries where 5G has already been released, such as in Austria and Slovenia, for example, the impressions are positive. 5G will also enable significantly larger number of connected devices, which will provide much wider possibilities for further development - from automation of agricultural processes and traffic to the evolution of digital solutions and substantially better user experience in all segments of private and business life. Are you working more closely with Telekom Austria Group and what does that cooperation bring to the customers? — The synergy of expertise and knowledge within the Group has already resulted in the development of the Cumulosity IoT and Exoscale Cloud Platform. We took part in the development of the SARA digital platform, which is used to support the introduction and operation of existing RAN networks in all A1 countries and which brought us the prestigious “Leading Lights Award 2020”. We have recently presented the first solutions in the field of Internet security- Offencity and A1 Net Protect. We plan to keep going at the same pace.
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The Fight for Gender Equality Begins With Each of Us The importance of gender equality at the global level is evidenced by the fact that the United Nations has declared this area one of the 17 goals of sustainable development n recent years, gender equality has been one of the most current topics in the world. Boosting gender equality has become a key issue for the progress of modern society, without which it is impossible to achieve a balanced functioning of all its segments. Although much progress has been made recently in reducing gender inequalities, disparities remain significant and the economic gap between men and women is widening. The importance of gender equality at the global level is evidenced by the fact that the United Nations has declared this area one of the 17 goals of sustainable development. These goals are, at the same time, a call for global action to combat poverty, provide equal access to natural resources for all inhabitants of the planet and provide them with equal conditions for development regardless of gender, race, nationality or any other personal characteristics.
WOMEN’S POSITION IN THE BUSINESS WORLD The business world is a particularly interesting segment in terms of gender equality. We live in a time when we spend most of our day in the office, and mega-companies have a great impact not only on the economy but also on community development, adoption of social trends and ecology. That is why the responsibility of companies is growing when it comes to creating equal opportunities for both sexes. Although the situation has been improving over time, it is clear that there is still much room for improvement globally. According to the United Nations, women hold only about 28 per cent of managerial positions in the business world. At the same time, on average, they are still paid less than men for the same jobs, and they are also at a significantly higher risk of poverty. The Covid-19 pandemic has further aggravated the situation in this
Photo: Nikola Tomic
GENDER EQUALITY IS A COMPLEX AREA IN WHICH PROGRESS IS MADE THROUGH THE SYNERGY OF THE STATE, COMPANIES, AND THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL SECTOR area, having in mind the jobs that women do, but also the fact that in the household they usually do unpaid household chores and take care of children and the elderly. It was also recorded that women are underrepresented in almost all fast-growing areas of business. Therefore, large companies, which have the capacity and ability to positively influence change, play a significant role in the positive shift in equality between men and women, especially because the latest human resources trends are focusing on satisfied and motivated employees as one of the most important prerequisites for business success.
SUPPORT AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL NIS is one of the companies that operate in our market that has gender equality deeply rooted in its business. Its employees are the most valuable resource for this company, about 11,000 of them, a third of whom are women. In NIS, diversity is perceived, not as a threat, but as an oppor-
tunity to merge the best experiences and thus improve the operations of the entire organization. Numerous activities that NIS is undertaking in this field speak in favour of that, and the gradual return of employees from maternity leave and a day off for employed mothers whose children are starting elementary school are just some of them. Furthermore, the company makes no difference in salaries based on gender and encourages the training and professional development of all its employees. "For us, equality is a daily practice that we diligently improve on a day-to-day basis. A working environment in which the equality of all employees is unconditionally respected is a priority for NIS. Gender equality is one of the foundations of the company's sustainable development," NIS has said.
NIS AS A GOOD EXAMPLE The importance of gender equality for our largest oil company is also evidenced by the fact that NIS participated in holding
a panel discussion dedicated to gender equality, in partnership with the Coordination Body for Gender Equality and the UN Agency for Gender Equality UN Women. At that panel, Jelena Popara, Director of NIS's Internal Audit and Risk Management Function, pointed out, among other things, that NIS encourages women to pursue occupations that are traditionally perceived as male, and that there are more than 500 women among the 1,850 engineers in the company. “Gender equality is a complex area in which progress is made through the synergy of the state, companies, and the non-governmental sector. That is why the support our company provides to the community is of great importance for us. Through various programmes, the company has spent more than 4 billion dinars for those purposes since 2009. We will continue in that direction," said Jelena Popara. Blerta Cela, UN Women's Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, said women were key drivers of change that could shape the habits of the whole family when it comes to energy use and other environmental activities. She also stated that we cannot develop sustainable energy solutions if we do not take into account the main energy consumers who take care of the household, and those are women.
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by Tanja Banković
Time to Change the Growth Model Serbia will have very competitive quantitative figures at the end of the year, although its inner structure is not competitive at all in the long run due to the negligence of developing strong institutions Professor GORAN PITIĆ, PhD,
approaching the election time, and hopefully public finances will not be put under high pressure.
President of Council of the FEFA Faculty
he health crisis has also posed economic challenges to many countries, especially for countries in transition. We talked about the impact of Covid on the economy, projections on GDP trends and other topics with the President of the FEFA Faculty Council, Prof. Dr. Goran Pitic.
Could you give us your projection on the GDP trends until the year-end? — There are four major economic issues that the whole world is following with a high attention, and Serbia certainly not being an exemption. First one is uncertainty regarding the future development of pandemic and consequently its impact on mobility, supply chains stability, macro developments, and on different industries. Second one is GDP recovery, and Serbia will achieve (most probably exceed) its targets for this year. Third one is fear of inflation and possible raise of interest rates, which may be having a strong adverse impact on the fourth one, high public debts at the world level (Central banks have enormously increased their balance sheets and cost of servicing the debts would increase in that case, which is further questioning the effectiveness of eventual new short term QE measures). Serbia will have very competitive quantitative figures at the end of the year, although its inner structure is not competitive at all in the long run due to the negligence of developing strong institutions, independent legal system and rule of law, anti-corruption mechanisms, and above all tolerance and genuine dialogue in the society that could contribute in moving forward towards EU values, and thus boosting highly needed fresh entrepreneurial potential. The state responded to the crisis with measures and programmes to support both businesses and citizens. What impact will
SERBIA IS MOVING FORWARD ALBEIT CRITICALLY SLOW IN SOME VITAL AREAS THAT COULD BRING US CLOSER TO EUROPEAN STANDARDS these measures have on economic trends but also on public finances? — Serbia has enacted fiscal reforms already in 2014 and this has provided a buffer to be used at the time of crisis. The measures have been very much alike in the other countries, using extensively both monetary and fiscal instruments. This has certainly contributed both to companies and citizens to mitigate their urgent problems, although some measures could have been more targeted (in particular those linear measures that were large by size and with the significant impact on raising the public
debt, instead of targeting companies and citizens that were mostly hit by crisis). In the meantime, large contracts have been signed regarding building the infrastructure that will certainly help the economy, but it has opened the issues of transparency and public debt sustainability in the medium run (since the optimistic projection on public debt development are based on strong GDP growth in upcoming years for which the major prerequisite is democratization of society and enaction of qualitative drivers of growth – education and human capital, institutions, rule of law, etc). We are
From October 2000 to March 2004, you were the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations in the first democratically-appointed government. If you were to compare Serbia from 20 years ago with today, what would you say has changed the most and where are we now on our road to EU membership? — It is very difficult to compare those two periods. Serbia is moving forward albeit critically slow in some vital areas that could bring us closer to European standards. We must not forget that we have started from the scratch. Country was at the end of 2000 devastated economically, high public debt, triple digit inflation, average salaries in dozens of deutsche marks, shortage of electricity, years of delays in some payments, etc. But there was a clear vision at that time, European path with private sector in front, there was a clear understanding of the needed values for building prosperity, the expectations were risen that Serbia may improve its democratic and economic capacity at the fast track. Today there is an evident effort to improve the infrastructure, there are some white spaces where good stories have emerged in the areas of digital, fiscal consolidation was important for current spending. On the other hand, polarization has widened today in the society, strong partisan interests are blocking the needed reforms in justice, in fighting corruption, in building strong institutions, and consequently slowing the path toward EU. You have been the head of a bank for almost 15 years. What is your view of the growing banking market and what does this expansion mean for Serbia? — Too many players have been on the Serbian banking market for years. This number has been diminishing permanently, but in the last few years this process has
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There is a lot of talk about the effect that COVID-19 has had on the Serbian and global economy. What do you think will be the biggest challenges for not only large but also smaller countries in the coming period? — Uncertainty is certainly the major factor that is worrying both big and small countries. Different scenarios are warning that we still cannot foresee the end of pandemic, but on the contrary. Protective measures are already escalating that fill further challenge the world economy. In the meantime, companies and citizens have certainly learnt how to live in the time of covid and have adjusted accordingly, but with the expectations that there is the near end. The major challenge is the capacity of Central banks and Governments to step in with new quantitative easing, that may require new ways of adjustment for companies and citizens. The next one is certainly the expectations about raising interest rates in US and EU, due to some inflation fears and liquidity traps issues. Business wise, it will certainly be again a big challenge for industries that very much depend on people mobility, on supply chains stability, and on the cost of raw materials. What can single out a country from others in terms of making it more competitive and attractive to investors? — It very much depends on its
strategy and vision. You have countries that do attract investors either by its size, or by long term stability, or by level playing field for all investors, or by strong and independent institutions, and/or very skilled labor force. You have also countries that seek for their opportunities in offering significant subsidies to investors that obviously compensate to some extent for certain risks in some other areas that have not achieved satisfactory level. Certainly, the first strategy is preferred long term strategy but it requires persistent and continuous, very often
selves as satisfied with a practical knowledge being offered at their faculties, but less than 25% have been given some tasks in which originality, creativity and relevant analytics have been asked for. Furthermore, 70% did not have a chance to get acquainted with topics such as entrepreneurship and/or innovation throughout their entire studies. Labor market today is demanding for relevant analytical skills, for creativity, adaptive capacity for the new digital world. There is no room anymore for the philosophy of one single correct answer and in
What does Serbia need to do to achieve faster economic growth? What opportunities does our country have? — As I already mentioned, it is good that we are investing in infrastructure, that we have provided a fiscal buffer in this crisis time through achieved consolidation few years ago. It is essential now to change the paradigm, and to focus on long term drivers of sustainable growth. If the vision is to have modern society with market competition and level playing field in place, the we have to introduce new priorities and to mo-
been further accelerated. It has been driven both by external and internal factors. World crisis, new stringent regulations, and foreign banks consolidations at the global level had an impact on Serbian market as well. Two biggest French banks have left the market (Societe Generale already, and Credit Agricole in a closing phase) which is certainly not a good news due to their recognized corporate governance, reputation, professional standards, European business values, investment potential. The opportunities have been grasped by regional and local players. Undoubtedly, they have strong interest for Serbian market. Hopefully, they will bring further modernisation/digitalization whilst embracing/preserving European standards of corporate governance. This process is still ongoing since there are still few banks whose shareholders should reconsider their perspectives due to continuous poor performance.
WE ARE APPROACHING THE ELECTION TIME, AND HOPEFULLY PUBLIC FINANCES WILL NOT BE PUT UNDER HIGH PRESSURE politically unpleasant reforms, but these choices make the differences among countries. The simplest answer, but most difficult to achieve, is people. Human potential. Educated and qualified workforce with relevant knowledge and skills. This requires continuous investment in education and science with a genuine focus on young talents and promotion of true values. In regard to education and staffing, how should faculties adapt their curricula to the needs of the market in general, and specifically the labour market? — The most recent research conducted by FEFA students research team is pointing out to very worrisome features of education system in Seriba, reflected by attitudes of interviewed sample of young population. Namely, less than 40% has expressed them-
particular not for the outdated program curriculums and academicians with their empty curriculums. FEFA faculty, being an affiliated institution of Harvard Business School is proud of having its professors with rich international both academic and business curriculums. Every year we are adjusting our program curriculums in line with the fundamentals of world academic and business trends. That is why we have the first accredited master program in Digital Transformation, the first program linking Psychology and Business, innovative program Creative Production and many others. Our students have a privilege to have regular webinars/talks with leading domestic and foreign experts in all those areas, and to further experience business world through organized internships with our numerous partner companies.
bilize new potential for sustainable growth. Prosperous countries have identified a human potential as a key driver of raising their competitiveness and contributing to their growth. The answer is investing and focusing more on education and promotion of its genuine values and its relevance for the reformed labor market. A number of studies have shown as well that the significant sources of growth can be found in fighting corruption, in providing independent institutions, rule of law, in opening society for dialogue, and thus mobilizing all potentials in the country. There is no substitute for this. We may have solid results in quantitative terms (GDP, inflation) in the short run, but the opportunity costs of not doing these reforms are high, due to remaining inherent risks, the strongest being – further brain drain, perverse selection of the workforce with further depletion of public resources, continuous disintegration of genuine democratic and cultural values. It is high time to re-channel Serbia on the strong European path toward modern societies and truly competitive values.
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Quality and Diversification of Customer Services We want to have a constant and stable organic growth on month-on-month basis, while providing our customers with added value thanks to our staff 's great expertise, excellent understanding of customers' needs and capabilities, higher comfort in using our services and more favourable, flexible and better banking services
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VLADIMIR BOŠKOVIĆ Chairman of Sberbank Serbia’s Executive Board
he market in which we operate is extremely competitive and it constantly changes. Our bank has set, as always, quite ambitious but achievable goals. I am confident of that, because Sberbank Serbia today is made of a very well-coordinated team of experts and professionals who have been working in the banking sector for years and know the needs, challenges and problems that all our clients and partners face very well. Sberbank Serbia is one of the most important bridges in business cooperation between Serbia and Russia, which is quite understandable since we operate as a member of the largest Russian bank in the world.”
You were recently appointed the Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank Serbia. What goals have you set for yourself in terms of developing Sberbank's business in Serbia? — Our bank operates stably while nurturing and developing cooperation with an extremely large number of clients - both individuals and legal entities - who sincerely perceive Sberbank Serbia as their parent and main bank. Sberbank Serbia has two strategic goals in the coming period. We want to continue with improving all our services, because only in that way can we offer our clients even more favourable and better quality solutions. Therefore, we are working hard on further digitalization of our products, the development of advisory support on our website which now features a
OUR TEAM AND EMPLOYEES ARE OUR GREATEST POTENTIAL, WHILE INVESTING IN THEIR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT IS ALWAYS THE BEST AND MOST PROFITABLE INVESTMENT modern chat-bot platform, as well as the modernization of all services we provide to business owners and domestic companies. This trend will continue in the coming period. Another important goal is to further strengthen the Sberbank team and make sure that all our colleagues have the opportunity to continue developing, personally and professionally. This is why we launched a large-scale HR project called "Sberbank’s Path of Knowledge", which provides all
our employees with the opportunity to express their talents and interests, or to continue their further development through a series of well-designed training sessions, while adopting new knowledge and skills . The reason for all this is extremely logical. There is no good service without satisfied staff. We are all aware of that. Our team and employees are our greatest potential, while investing in their further development is always the best and most profitable investment.
How would you rate Sberbank Serbia's operations and results accomplished during the coronavirus pandemic? — In short, great perseverance and commitment to clients are the best description of our business in the past period. This is why I am quite confident that clients and business partners, when all this is over, will remember us as a bank that, even in the most challenging months, has always been there, determined and ready to provide them with timely, top quality support. We have maintained stability, presence and determination. Our clients and partners expect this from their bank. On the other hand, our bank has demonstrated that it can operate extremely successfully even in the most challenging period.
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If such a trend, agility and energy continue, 2021 will be the best year for us since the bank's inception, financially-wise. With a strong lending activity, we have managed to increase the value of the loan portfolio by over 50 million euros compared to the beginning of the year. For example, only in the SME segment, we have recorded a 35% increase in placements than in the same period last year. At the same time, during the second quarter of this year, in the large and corporate clients segments, we recorded a 30% increase in the payment of guarantees, letters of credit and other documentary instruments and a 77% increase in generated net fees relative to the same period 2020. The value of our loan portfolio in the retail segment alone exceeded half a billion euros, while the value of retail deposits increased by over 600 million euros. The good work organization and the huge energy that our employees are investing in everything we do, have led us to generate a profit of over 12.5 million euros during the first eight months of this year alone and to significantly exceed the results originally set for 2021. Of course, our active involvement in the programme of lending to businesses with a state guarantee scheme made a significant contribution to this result, under which we have so far approved and paid out over 160-million-euro-worth of loans, and supported more than 3,000 domestic companies with favourable liquidity loans. Our share in the total amount of these placements exceeded 7.6%, which is twice as much as our share in total assets in the domestic banking market, while our share in the number of disbursed loans exceeded 10% and unequivocally speaks of our bank's desire to meet the needs of as many domestic businesses as possible. In which ways does Sberbank support the cooperation between Russian and Serbian companies? — In addition to numerous services that we have designed to facilitate cooperation between Russian partners and domestic companies, our bank is also actively involved in the promotion of domestic producers and the organization of gatherings where our businesspeople can meet potential partners from Rus-
sia. To this end, a B2B conference was held this year, at which eight Serbian companies presented their production potential to the leading Russian retail chain X5. Organic and environmentally friendly products from Serbian producers, as well as products that don't contain palm oil, were strongly featured in those presentations. The results are already visible - the first cooperation agreements between Serbian producers and the X5 retail chain have already been concluded. For instance, the Serbian company Modital from Zrenjanin has already started exporting its products to Russia. Regarding the specific servic-
been contacted by quite a few domestic exporters, who are interested in our international factoring service and who come to Sberbank Serbia following referrals from their business partners and customers. You are involved in the My Data for the Bank project. What other activities have you carried out with the view of digitalizing your services and what exactly does this project entail? — People will certainly benefit the most from this project, because in this way, Sberbank Serbia has allowed them to submit their personal data and loan documentation to the bank in digital
IF SUCH A TREND, AGILITY AND ENERGY CONTINUE, 2021 WILL BE THE BEST YEAR FOR US SINCE THE BANK'S INCEPTION, FINANCIALLY-WISE es that Sberbank Serbia provides to domestic businesses who are already cooperating with Russia or are planning to enter the Russian market, in addition to favourable transaction banking services, I would like to highlight out documentary business products, letters of credit, payment guarantees and advance guarantees. Then there is our international factoring service, which is becoming increasingly popular among domestic companies and business owners, because this service guarantees payment security and facilitates easier and better liquidity management. It is not surprising that in recent months we have
form by using the eGovernment web portal. This means that people can now obtain our favourable loans completely online, from the comfort of their home and with no need to submit various statements and certificates to us in paper form. We already received loan applications from clients via this digital service in early August, and their number has been constantly growing. This is very encouraging for us to see, but also a validation that people are very interested in using this beneficial service. The My Data for the Bank service is available to everyone who has opened an account on the
eGovernment web portal and has an electronic ID. This electronic ID is a set of parameters that people can get only from state bodies, and our bank wants to ensure soon that both our clients and Serbian citizens can get their electronic ID completely free of charge in our branches. In this way, Sberbank will further contribute to the process of creating a digital identity of Serbian citizens, which will significantly improve business in our country and create new digital processes. Sberbank has been spending a lot of funds on socially responsible activities that contribute to the development of art and environmental protection. Which projects would you highlight in particular? — Over the past year, we have supported many CSR projects and organizations. We have successfully implemented a large number of donations to health care institutions in Serbia, with the view of further contributing to the improvement of their work and an even more successful fight against Covid-19. In the second half of 2020, Sberbank set donated over 8.2 million dinars towards the purchase of new ventilators, improving treatment conditions in the hospital in Kikinda and other medical centres in Serbia (through a direct donation to RHIF and UNICEF), and helping the Torlak Virology, Vaccine and Sera Institute. In the past few months, we have launched an important environmental and educational project called SberGreen - 1 Email = 1 Tree whereby we invited our clients to leave us their email addresses and consents in order to send them all notifications electronically in the future, rather than in paper form. At the same time, we committed to plant one tree for each email and consent we receive. So far, we have collected 22,600 email addresses and we will have planted over 23,000 trees by December 2021. Public enterprises Srbijašume and Nacionalni Park Fruška Gora gave us a strong support in this endeavour, as did the Ministry of Environmental Protection. We have already carried out several afforestation campaigns on the slopes of the Suvobor and Rudnik mountains and in Belgrade, while the planting of trees in the Fruška Gora National Park is planned for the autumn.
by Žikica Milošević
Gas Prices are Skyrocketing The EU's insistence on the newly adopted procedures for transporting gas through gas pipelines, which seem to have been deliberately adopted in order to reduce the value of the newly built Nord Stream-2, blew up in Western Europe's face. Gas prices are now at a record high and storage facilities have never been so empty the long winter of 2020/21 he reasons for this are multiple with one of them being that the Russians decided to play by the EU's rules and plan to use only 50% of the pipelines for transporting their gas because “the EU said so”. Gas price has already doubled to almost $ 1,000, which will further increase utility bills, and perhaps the prices in Western Europe, with people already being financially exhausted after a year and a half of the crisis caused by the coronavirus. Russia, on the other hand, refuses to increase the deliveries of its gas through Ukraine, even the West had requested so, and is already trying to get the Nord Stream-2 operational. European consumers will suffer the most in this game, which Poland also joined. Actually, they are already suffering. The price of gas in Europe is at a record high - the value of futures on September 15 was as much as $963.9 per thousand cubic meters, and on September 20, it was $911.2. Russia's hesitation to release more gas and the growing gas prices in the West are seen as some as blackmail. But things are far from being one-dimensional. Gas storage facilities are not empty just because of politics and spite. The Economist writes that the flow from Norway was limited due to work on improving the country’s infrastructure and that the fire at a processing plant in Siberia and the need to fill their tanks after a brutally cold winter which saw a lower gas production in Russia also reduced inflow from Russia. Growing demand for liquefied natural gas in Asia, as economies there have recovered from the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 virus, has led to higher prices. Meanwhile, wind turbines, which produce about 10% of Europe's energy, slowed during an unusually calm, windless summer. Furthermore, Asia has started consuming much more gas than before. Usually, European companies switch to coal when the price of
IT SEEMS THAT ALL OF THIS IS A MIND GAME, WHEREBY ONE WAITS FOR WHO WILL GIVE IN SOONER AND EVERYONE TRIES TO GET THE BEST POSSIBLE PRICE FOR THEMSELVES
gas jumps or there is not enough of it, but - here is the catch - coal mines are mostly closed in Western Europe, due to the transition to renewable sources, so there is not enough supply of coal. And the coal that is left is wanted by China due to its rapidly growing economy which needs all kinds of energy sources (China has committed to switching to renewable energy sources in 2040, 10 years after the EU and even 15 years after certain European countries, like Norway, promised to do that in 2035,). This leads to higher coal prices. The supply of liquefied natural gas from the United States has also been reduced. Further-
more, natural gas production has been declining for a long time in the countries that are the largest producers - Norway, Great Britain and the Netherlands. In the latter two, production fell by 75 and 65 per cent respectively compared to records 20 years ago. And there is one more thing that complicates the entire situation - called European carbon permits, which further increases the price of coal. The Ukrainians are trying to get as much as possible from the Russians in terms of gas transport, as they have been generating good money - 2 to 3 billion dollars a year – by using the Soviet infrastructure. The Poles start-
ed with blackmails regarding the Opal gas pipeline while the Russians are threatening retaliation and bypassing Poland altogether. The Germans and their Green Party are claiming that the growing gas prices will encourage the transition to renewable fuels while saying: message "Don't anger your biggest consumer". The Russians, on the other hand, say that they really couldn’t care less, because economic growth in Asia, especially China's transition from coal to gas and growth of the Chinese and Asian economy, creates a lot of sales potential. The construction of the new Pakistani Stream also goes in their favour. Meanwhile, others are coping. Bulgaria has agreed to a 40 per cent lower price of Russian natural gas, which the country imports under a long-term contract with Russia's state-owned energy company Gazprom. The new price, which is linked to the prices of continental hubs, has returned to the August 2019 level, says Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. It seems that all of this is a mind game, whereby one waits for who will give in sooner and everyone tries to get the best possible price for themselves. There are also political agendas to consider – the Americans have publicly advocated for throwing the Russian gas out of the equation (which is the cheapest, paradoxically) but nobody is paying attention to this request. The Poles and Ukrainians would like to get as rich as possible from transit, but also to become as independent as possible from the Russians, while the Russians want to break away from Poland’s and Ukraine’s blackmailing potential related to the Nord Stream and the Turkish Stream. The question is who will blink first. Everyone keeps bragging that they "saw through the opponent", that they "don't care at all" and that they are "cool as a cucumber". One would think that they are playing a poker game, while the rest of Europe is preparing for a cold and expensive winter.
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TRANSPORT & IN LOGISTICS SERBIA 2021
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by Ruža Veljović
WESTERN BALKANS RAIL SUMMIT
The time has come to invest in rail and to develop a strong and competitive rail transport industry, with open and competitive rail transport market and to improve safety of rail networks MATEJ ZAKONJŠEK Director of the organisation, Transport Community
pproximately a year ago, Diplomacy and Commerce was among the first publications in Serbia to publish a story about the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat, the first international organisation with headquarters in Belgrade. During the one year since Matej Zakonjsek took over position of Director of the organisation, Transport Community has become a recognisable name in the world of transport and diplomacy. On 13 September, Transport Community, together with the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development gathered the entire region for the “Western Balkans Rail Summit” in Belgrade. For the first time, under the auspices of Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure of Serbia, the entire rail world
We are now focused on extension of Green Lanes to the borders between the EU and the Western Balkans
of the Western Balkans got together with a united message: the time has come to invest in rail, and to develop a strong and competitive rail transport industry, with open and competitive rail transport market and to improve safety of rail networks. We talked to Director Zakonjsek about the work challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and plans for the future.
What has been achieved since you took over as Director of Transport Community Permanent Secretariat? — The focus of the Transport Community Secretariat’s activities was to agree on a common regional approach that will assist the Western Balkans partners in adoption and implementation of all EU legislation when it comes to transport. We will step into the year 2022 with a set of strate-
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gic documents, that have been endorsed by all regional partners and that will guide our work in the years to come. All regional partners, including Serbia, have been dedicated to making progress on all key areas of our work: safer roads fit for future age, modern and reliable rail, improvement of border crossing procedures and infrastructure, and waterborne/maritime transport. The most concrete action that has already impacted lives of our citizens, were Green Lanes in Western Balkans. They were established at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak to prevent shortages of essential goods and medical equipment. Their launch was one of the most successful examples of regional cooperation, managing to preserve trade flows, not only for economic benefits, but also for effective fight against the pandemic. We are now focused on extension of Green Lanes to the borders between the EU and the Western Balkans.
What are your plans for the future? — Until the end of the year our plan is to launch a road safety campaign with the aim to raise awareness about safety of level crossings in Serbia, where a lot of accidents happen due to poor security at sections where roads cross the railways. Our plan is to educate both current and future drivers about this important issue. In the 2022 we want to put roads in the region at the forefront, with specific focus to the roads of the future: green, digital, and safe. We would like to see progress on various issues such as electronic tolling, deployment of e-charging stations, ITS strat-
egy, and improving resilience of the road network in the region. At the same time, we need to make roads in the region safer, by improving quality of data, and targeted interventions on the network. Our recently launched Western Balkans Road Safety Observatory is focused on data collection and cooperation between different stakeholders involved in road safety.
The Strategy will assist Serbia and other regional partners to develop and strengthen their national strategies with the final goal to make transport greener, sustainable, and healthier
THE AIM OF SUMMIT Building a modern, digitalised rail network, with direct express train connections between major cities will help establish better connectivity and provide safer and environmentally sustainable mode of transport for people and
How did you cope with the challenges of the pandemic and what has been your main contribution? — Operations of the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat in the last two years were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed not only our working habits but also our political landscape, placing more attention on sustainability in its broader sense – environmental, social, and financial. When it comes to sustainability, our organisation’s contribution has been the Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility for the Western Balkans, which was endorsed by all six of our regional partners. The region suffers from high levels of greenhouse emissions caused by energy and transport sectors. Transport represents around 16% of these emissions. Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy for Western Balkans will pave the way to cleaner transport and be one of the key drivers of transport policy in the region. The Strategy will assist Serbia and other regional partners to develop and strengthen their national strategies - with the final goal to make transport greener, sustainable, and healthier for the citizens of the region.
businesses in the Western Balkans. The summit was organised to coincide with the arrival of Connecting Europe Express train. As part of the European Year of Rail, the train crossed 26 countries of the continent and arrived in Belgrade on 12 September. Prime Minister Ana Brnabić delivered opening remarks at the Central Railway Station in Belgrade and demonstrated highest political support to “put the rail back on track” in the Western Balkans.
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WE FOLLOW OUR CLIENTS’ RHYTHM
Standards and Quality Policy are the cornerstones of Union Šped’s business, based on setting, applying and maintaining the marketoriented business system VLADAN STOJKOVIĆ General director of Union Šped
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You have mentioned the newly built logistics centre. Could you tell us more about it? — This new facility is a project that was in the making almost two years ago and it was officially opened months ago. It has 6,000 pallet places, the latest equipment, and it adheres to the new rules of procedure regarding the storage of hazardous goods (so-called ADR goods) which we have waited to come out since 2019. This is the only public warehouse in Belgrade that has ADR equipment, according to the new regulations The regulations related to ADR equipment are very rigid and we spent a lot of energy to harmonize everything. I even remember what the fire brigade said to us regarding this equipment: “You are the first to have it and we are going to learn how to use it together with you.” We built the warehouse on the land we bought five years ago and we wanted it to be as multifunctional as possible, as well as adapted to our clients.
he Union Šped Company is currently one of the leading logistic companies in Serbia, established to provide top quality services in customs brokerage, transport and logistics at Serbian and SEE markets. According to Union Šped’s General director, Vladan Stojković, the company used the coronavirus-induced crisis to make investments. "The newly built logistics centre is the best in Serbia. The value of this facility is about 3 million euros and its capacity 6,000 pallet places. It has two segments – one for storing hazardous goods and for classic goods. We bought additional land and thus fulfilled the prerequisites for the company’s development for the next 20 years," says Mr Stojković.
You provide a wide range of services related to international and local transport. What do you specialize in? — I would like to single out two of them - first of all, the provision of logistics services in our logistics centre, i.e. storing goods in our newly built logistics centre and secondly, customs mediation, which is still provided in the Republic of Serbia, of course, because of the surroundings and because we are not yet members of the EU, which is certainly a great challenge. Providing freight forwarding services is a small step towards winning over clients, and once we have done that, we can offer other logistics services in terms of warehousing, transportation, etc.
Union Šped works in line with the quality management system which is under constant review
Who are your clients? — Our clients come from economic branches. Quite a few of them come from the energy sector, but essentially we do not focus on just one branch of the economy. We do all kinds of business, import and export, i.e. transportation of goods from all territories and to all territories, anywhere in the world. By the way, energy companies, primarily the oil industry, is something for which we are currently known. Union Šped controls over 80% of imports and exports of crude oil
and oil derivatives in the Republic of Serbia. Our partners are both domestic oil companies and the world's largest brands operating in the Republic of Serbia, which, during the pandemic, implemented a different work organization in their companies. Because of that, we were forced to invest a lot more energy in our work.
We all had to deal with a crisis in 2020. Did your clients have special requirements? — Last year was challenging and interesting, at the same time. There were minor requests for us to review our service prices. Clients were affected by the drop in fuel prices, that is, the drop in global crude oil prices, and we understand that. We have found a common language with everyone, but I must say that we have also felt the decline in economic activity. Our clients are mostly oil companies and some of them stopped some of their investments. When it comes to clients from other industries, nothing has changed much. Are you satisfied with the company’s results in 2020? — We are satisfied because our drop was only a couple of per cent from the expected results. We expected a slightly better result because we finished the first half of the year phenomenally. I expected that the crisis caused by the pandemic would not be felt in the first half of the year, because all the contracted work had started and we had to finish it by a certain deadline.
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We maintained a very good pace until June. After that, we recorded a decline due to the slowdown in the overall economic activity in the third quarter, but the decline decreased as the year progressed. So, we ended up with slightly lower revenue than expected. In 2020, we had a very nice momentum, very nice energy, but the pandemic did not bother us that much.
What challenges have you been facing in 2021? — The challenge for 2021 was related to investing in our facility because the crisis brought new ways of talking to banks and bankers who in pandemic conditions made a different organization of work in their companies. We spent a huge amount of energy on something that used to take us thirty days to complete before the pandemic. Now, it took us three months. Of course, the main question is probably who is investing now and why. Regardless of the current situation, we have to live and work and we can’t sit and wait for the pandemic to pass. I predicted that the problem with the coronavirus would last for a long time and that we would have to learn to live with it. As it progresses, the year 2021 brings something completely new. We have completed the facility this year, and that brings a whole set of new challenges, contemplation and needs, whereby we have to adjust the sale of our products and present it to the market in a modern way. What is your assessment of the situation in your sector in Serbia and is there room for improvement? — That is a very interesting question. Globalization in our sector has not yet taken off, although the number of multinational companies in our market is increasing year-on-year. This whole situation is both good and bad. It is bad because most multinational companies come to Serbia with already arranged systems and huge infrastructure. Somehow, they automatically start working with multinational companies that are already
operational in Serbia based on the worldwide cooperation they have established with them, so we are denied the opportunity to compete in these companies and be on an equal footing with others, through some kind of tender procedure. However, despite the fact that we have quite stiff competition, we look at the arrival of large multinational brands in the logistics sector through a positive lens, i.e. as healthy competition, which forces us to quickly adopt and apply new standards in order to increase the quality of our service and increase productivity. Simply put, competition forces us to be better and more efficient and to quickly adopt global trends in logistics.
What are your plans and what are you going to focus on the most in the coming period? — The absolute goal for the next period is to develop our logistics centre further. And that’s just the beginning. I have mentioned earlier that we have bought land next to our facility. We plan to make the new facility function at its maximum best thanks to our commer-
cial activities and we are slowly preparing to implement development phases in the coming years. I am referring to increasing the capacity of storage space because we think storage is an interesting and very competitive segment both in Serbia and Belgrade.
Are you satisfied with your cooperation with state bodies? — We have been in this business for a long time and we are in direct correlation with state bodies. If I compare the situation from ten years ago to today, there has been an incredible change for the better. Our company has been granted the AEO status (Authorized Economic Operator), which is the highest degree of trust that a state body can have in a private company, so we expect this status to materialize and bring certain benefits. I also want our business to further develop its customs mediation segment. This is the right direction to take which will also help the state to create quality solutions, for customers to be even more satisfied, for the customs clearance process to be expedited and for the flow of goods and information to improve.
Our company has been granted the AEO status (Authorized Economic Operator), which is the highest degree of trust that a state body can have in a private company
PLANS We want to work more with small and medium-sized companies. That’s our goal for the future because working with SMEs and healthy companies, of which Serbia has a lot, is much safer. When you lose a big client, that really affects the company’s revenues, but when you have diversified clients, i.e. more SMEs, risks are lower too. We are working on that by offering more services and we try to match other companies that are also fighting for their market status.
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LOGISTICS IS A KEY FACTOR IN MARKET INTEGRATION
The development of transport infrastructure, logistical resources and capacities are key prerequisites for attracting investments and facilitating economic development Professor MILORAD KILIBARDA, PhD Head of Logistics Department, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, University of Belgrade
In addition to realistic cost-cutting possibilities, logistics needs to be viewed in the context of increasing competitiveness and creating added value
key competitive advantages in the market. Logistics should be seen as an activity that creates new value. Through value-added logistics services (storage, packaging, repackaging, marking, refining, finishing, etc.) additional value is created and products are prepared for the market and delivery to end consumers. Today, the finalization of the production of certain products is moving from factories to logistics centres and systems. The importance of logistics and transport for the economy and society was clearly shown during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first months of the pandemic, it was of vital importance for the society to have a regular supply, primarily of medical equipment, pharmaceutical and food products, but also of consumer goods. Transport and logistics played a crucial role in this and have largely fulfilled that task. At the same time, the pandemic caused great problems in the logistics industry and showed all the vulnerability of global supply chains. However, this very tough and resilient sector quickly adapted to the new circumstances and
began to recover. The biggest problems remained in transport in the global market and major intercontinental routes. The consequence is an enormous increase in transport costs (up to 10 times on some sea routes), which inevitably leads to an increase in product prices and higher stock levels. Logistics is a labour-intensive activity and requires a large and skilled workforce. The need for logistics staff has been between 1015% per year. When it comes to drivers and warehouse workers, the needs are growing much faster and there is a serious shortage of this kind of worker on the market. It is justifiably said that logistics is the profession of the future. We need to continuously work on educating new workers and on the innovation of knowledge. The University of Belgrade's Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering Belgrade educates logistics and transport following the latest global standards and market needs. Despite the significant human resources potential, we still do not have enough experts with the necessary logistical knowhow, skills and competencies.
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ogistics is a key factor in market integration, economic development, cost-effective business and competitiveness. Today, products are made in several locations, countries and continents, and they are consumed everywhere in the world. All this cannot be imagined without efficient supply chains, global and regional logistics and transport networks. It is rightly claimed that logistics is a prerequisite for spatial, market and economic integration. Logistics knows no borders and it has the task of overcoming all borders, obstacles, space and time as efficiently as possible. Logistics has the greatest potential for reducing costs, generating savings and improving the business of any company, regardless of its activity, size and market position. Research and global experience show that logistics costs account for 8% to 15% of GDP, depending on the development of individual national economies. These costs account for 25% to 40% of the total operating costs, and they make up to 20% of the product price, depending on the industry. Logistics is an industry that generates and carries significant costs, but at the same time, creates space for saving and boosting business efficiency. Consulting practice and experience clearly show that only through the improvement of existing logistics processes, it is possible to achieve savings of between 15 and 20% of total logistics costs, without significant investments. In addition to realistic cost-cutting possibilities, logistics needs to be viewed in the context of increasing competitiveness and creating added value. The quality of logistical services, efficient distribution and delivery of products are today
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SYNONYMOUS WITH FAST AND EFFICIENT LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS
It makes me proud to point out that M&M is a pioneer in introducing a new way of automating logistics processes with an innovative solution for the implementation of sorting, which through the use of scanning and measuring, sorts out goods further for storage, reloading or further processing DRAGANA SIMOVIĆ Sales and Marketing Manager at M&M Militzer&Münch Serbia
e talked with Dragana Simović, Sales and Marketing Manager at M&M Militzer & Münch Serbia, about the logistics solutions the company has brought to Serbia which have made them pioneers in state-of-the-art logistics solutions. "We are extremely proud of the fact that the services we provide, given how long our company has been operating here, have become so popular in such a short period," says Ms Simović.
You have announced earlier that you would be implementing new logistics solutions. Could you elaborate on that and at what stage are you at the moment with applying these novelties? — Our sister company, Rosenberg d.o.o., has invested EUR 8 million in the purchase of a logistics centre in Dobanovci, spanning 12,000 square metres and office space of 3,000 square metres. Also, we made an additional investment in a modern 1,000-square-metre Cross Dock with automated truck tracking and loading orders. On the other hand, due to high customer demand for our warehousing services, we have leased an additional 7,000 square metres of warehouse space, also in Dobanov-
ci. Our new logistics centre provides state-of-the-art logistics solutions, and here we primarily mean the automation of the processes in the warehouse, which ensure fast delivery of goods, digital tracking of shipments and unique logistics solutions.
How advanced is an innovative technology and its application in the transport and logistics sector in general? — Regardless of whether we are talking about process or goods management, the implementation of new technologies in the logistics and transport sector, allows us to overcome the old ways of doing business, and above all, avoid manual labour as much as possible. We think that new technologies and automation have become necessary. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the logistics and transport sector has experienced expansion, primarily due to the fact that many supply chains were interrupted and some new ones were established. When we talk about new supply chains, we are referring to, first and foremost, turning to new suppliers and switching to online business and sales. It makes me proud to point out that M&M is a pioneer in introducing a new way of
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automating logistics processes with an innovative solution for the implementation of sorting, which through the use of scanning and measuring, sorts out goods further for storage, reloading or further processing. In addition to the sorting facility, our automated line also has conveyor belts and elevators, which are software-connected and automatically distribute goods either to 25 exits or to racks, ready for further manipulation. Thanks to this, logistics has integrated key factors, which are security, speed and flexibility.
Step by step, we are growing and approaching our goal, which is to be one of the leaders and innovators in the transport and logistics sector in Serbia
You have opened regional offices and expanded your business to the region. How strategically important is this for your company? — In less than two years, we have established cooperation with leading European companies and become an exclusive provider of logistics services in the Serbian market. On the way to expanding our already stable network, we have opened branches in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where we plan to consolidate the success in transport and logistics services we have had in Serbia. The new regional branches are located in Sarajevo and Podgorica, where the Executive Director of M&M Serbia has been appointed General Manager. However, we have not stopped there. We have embarked on the process of founding a company and opening a branch in Tirana, from where we plan to cover the entire Balkan Peninsula.
Also, we would like to single out a service that gives us a comparative advantage over the competition. In addition to railway service, M&M has been globally developing truck transport from China, which can be very interesting to our customers given the large imbalance in transatlantic transport. Slow and complicated border procedures and commercial and non-commercial barriers cause significant delays and losses in transport and logistics. In this regard, we hope that, in the coming period, these barriers will disappear.
What are the further plans of M&M Militzer & Münch Serbia? Do you have exclusive news for us again? — Our long-term plan is to expand the international network, invest in national distribution and additional warehouse space, and open branches in new locations. We are in the process of setting up a new sector, but due to the current setup of the entire system, we are not able to say what that is. We will inform the public about the new service in the nearest future.
If you were to compare 2020 and 2021, which is ending soon, what marked last and what this year? — We are extremely proud of the fact that the services we provide, given how long our company has been operating here, have become so popular in such a short period, especially because of the pandemic that shook the whole world. As a brand, M&M has become recognizable and in a way, we have become synonymous with fast and efficient logistics solutions. We believe that, in addition to the quality service, care for the environment has also contributed to this, since we have recently started transporting goods with CNG trucks, which reduces exhaust emissions by 20%. Step by step, we are growing and approaching our goal, which is to be one of the leaders and innovators in the transport and logistics sector in Serbia. What results did you have at the beginning of this year and what results do you expect at the end of it? — In addition to road transport, which is still experiencing a great expansion, we are simultaneously developing other modes of transport - rail, overseas and air - in order to complete the portfolio of services and provide customers with every service in one place.
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STABLE PARTNER TO OUR CLIENTS
Our advantage is above all the exceptional flexibility and willingness of companies to respond to customer inquiries. Thanks to our latest equipment and a structured, quality team, we can respond to the toughest demands, regardless of which part of our business we are talking about BRANKA PERIĆ ŠLJIVIĆ Director of International Road Transport Department at Perić Trans Company
e spoke with Branka Perić Šljivić, Director of International Road Transport Department at the Perić Trans Company, about the company's 30th anniversary, a jubilee that they will celebrate in 2022, the company's investments and plans, the impact that the coronavirus has had on their industry and where she sees the company in five years. "Despite all the challenges, we have been operating and surviving on the market for three decades. And not only do we survive but we are constantly working to improve the company. In each segment of our business, and we operate on three different fronts - international transport, rental and sale of construction machinery and civil engineering – we have made it to the top, while constantly investing in the company’s development, "says Ms Branka Perić Šljivić.
Next year, you will celebrate a significant jubilee - 30 years of a successful business. Could you tell us what marked this period in the company's operations? — This jubilee is of great importance for our company, because despite all the challenges we had to face in the last three decades, we have survived in the market, and not only survived but have constantly worked on improving and developing our company which currently has over 160 employees in Serbia and 11 employees in Slovenia. I can confidently say that we be-
I can confidently say that we belong to the group of companies that have constantly been making big steps forward
long to the group of the companies that have constantly been making big steps forward, so that today, after almost thirty years since our inception, we have become a modern company with state-of-the-art EURO6 trucks and a wide range of construction machines and equipment on offer. International transport with European routes is our base. Currently, we have 100 vehicles, of which 50 are refrigerator trucks and the rest are food tanks and trucks with tarpaulins. A large part of our business consists of selling and renting construction machinery and equipment, as well as civil engineering. We currently have over 250 different units in stock, which are available for sale and rent. We also offer excavators of all sizes, up to 55t, with a large selection of accessories. We are at the very top in every segment of our business, constantly investing in the company's development.
You have built a recognizable market brand. What are your advantages over similar companies? — Our advantage is above all the exceptional flexibility and the company's readiness to reply to inquiries. Thanks to our latest equipment and
a structured, quality team, we can respond to the toughest demands, regardless of which part of our business we are talking about. When it comes to renting equipment, we are covering entire Serbia. One of our biggest tasks at the moment, in terms of renting the equipment, is the construction of the Moravian Corridor, i.e. PojateKruševac-Čačak stretch. Also, the wide range of construction machinery and equipment that we have on offer, our mobile services and professional staff enable us to act quickly and do quality work. We are currently working on improving the management process in the company. This is a serious professionalization project where we are transiting from a family-run business to a big company. We believe that by investing in human resources, we are going to increase the company's quality.
Persisting in business is the biggest challenge, and the business you are engaged in requires that you be "online" 24 hours a day and be informed about worldwide developments. How important is it to have a team you can always rely on?
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— It is of crucial importance to have a team of people who are professional and dedicated to the work we do. Client trust is built through the quality of provided service and a good, dedicated team who are the key to the success of any company. We have employees who have been with us for 15-20 years and have significantly contributed to the success and development of our company.
The construction of a new business and service facility in Krnješevci is underway. Could you tell us a bit more about it and what can clients expect? — The construction of a new business facility is underway, and once it is finished, we are going to relocate the company's management there. Our focus is on improving the quality of work by providing technical inspection services and cleaning station for food staff tankers. We have bought a large land plot, spanning 5 hectares, nearby, and we are going to continue investing in this location in the coming period. What should be improved in the country and the business environment in order for the transport and logistics sector to further develop? Can you make a comparison with the countries in the region? How do we fare in comparison to them? — It is very important to continue with the construction and overhaul of traffic infrastructure, as well as to continue the ongoing activities on reducing the wait time at border crossings, both on the Serbian and the neighbouring countries' side, whether
they are the EU Member States or not. This would increase vehicle turnover and reduce costs, which would ultimately result in a reduction in logistics costs and make them more like in developed EU countries.
The pandemic has affected and slowed down the transport and logistics sector, and thus the entire economy. What are your impressions? What hinders normal functioning and uninterrupted work the most? — In terms of international road transport, vehicles being late due to daily jams at the borders, as well as all-day stay at customs offices are a complete waste of money, both for businesses and the state. Expanding border crossing capacity and allowing in-house customs clearance options would further expedite the process. Where do you see the company in the next 5 years? — Given that we operate on three different fronts - international transport, rental and sale of construction machinery and civil engineering - we strive to increase the capacity in the coming years to provide services in each of these segments, in addition to our services being recognized more in the market and remaining a stable partner to our clients. The years of challenges are behind us, but the obvious unpredictability of what is happening in the world due to the pandemic creates a slight dose of uncertainty. Consequently, all the plans we have are in line with the company's realistic capabilities.
We have bought a large land plot, spanning 5 hectares, nearby, and we are going to continue investing in this location in the coming period
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A CONSTANT PUBLICPRIVATE DIALOGUE IS NEEDED
The transport sector and its capacity and functionality are an extremely important resource of every country, which needs to be further nurtured, supported and developed GORAN ALEKSIĆ Director General of the Srbijatransport Road Traffic Business Association Belgrade and member of the Executive Board of the Union of Employers of Serbia
he users of transport services, businesses and society will reap the greatest benefits from the well-regulated transport sector, because reduced carriers' operating costs and combating shadow economy, with the presence of strong market competition, will benefit them and Serbian transporters who are going to become more competitive. The Srbijatransport Road Traffic Business Association is the oldest road transport association in the region and the largest association of transport companies in Serbia. It was founded in 1951 and this year, it marks its 70th anniversary. The Association's director-general, Goran Aleksić, writes about the current situation in the Serbian transport sector.
ROAD TRANSPORT SECTOR Transport is the result of a certain level of development of both the economy and society on the one hand, and on the other, it has an impact on the economic and social development of each country. A systematic approach to market development, boosting competitiveness, reducing logistics costs for businesses and the development of the public road transport sector as a very important economic activity for users of transport services and the overall quality of life in the country, coupled with the integration with other economic systems and markets, are basic prerequisites for Serbia's development and attracting and facilitating investments. There are a total of 7,514 companies that are active in the public transport of goods in road transport in the Republic of Serbia. They employ over 32,600 workers, and in 2020, their annual income exceeded 2,320 million euros. Long waiting time at the borders represents a huge problem in the business of international freight transport companies, which leads to a loss of 40% of both the vehicle and the driver's working time. Therefore, the liberalization of freight transport with EU countries is needed. Shadow economy and unfair competition are the biggest problems in the domestic freight transport sector.
BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT IN ROAD TRANSPORT The fact remains that in the current, very difficult conditions for doing business, there is a very high number of illegal and unlicensed carriers that illegally perform public passenger transport, operate in the shadow economy and mainly provide intercity and international transport for passengers. All of this is causing considerable financial damage to legal carriers and the Republic of Serbia's budget. Unfair competition is favoured and stimulated because legal carriers have far higher costs, fees and obligations and they must meet all legal norms and obligations, of which there are many. On the other hand, natural persons and illegal carriers, who work without any permits or licenses, do not pay VAT and payroll tax and contributions, do not have to have transport orders, regular and scheduled departures, no approved timetables and are not subjected to regular inspections.
The business environment needs to be regulated in such a way to provide better efficiency and utilization of transport capacity
Given the current epidemiological situation and the concurrent measures, this kind of illegal and uncontrolled way of transporting passengers poses a great danger to society in terms of health.
LACK OF PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS The shortage of professional drivers in Serbia has become much more pronounced over the years and has reached a level that is extremely alarming for the functioning of the entire transport economy, service users and society as a whole. It is realistic to expect that finding an appropriate workforce will be an increasingly difficult prob-
lem to solve in the coming period unless state governments change something significantly. The IRU has called on governments to lower the age limit for professional drivers to 18.
TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE Srbijatransport will try to explain its proposals at the meetings with the relevant government ministries and present the facts, arguments and analyses that have been done. The faster, better, more reliable and more efficient connection between Serbia and the world, but also a connection between different parts of our country, is high on the list of government's priorities. Traffic connections are being built and officially put in operation in today's Serbia. Ambitious economic development and GDP growth must functionally support transport and transport infrastructure as the bloodstream of every society in the long run. CONCLUSION In recent years, the demands of users of transport services, businesses and citizens in Serbia have become stronger and the growth of economic activities has resulted in the higher demand for transport services. Concrete measures must be implemented to reduce the operating costs of carriers, as well as to ensure the supply of new young professional drivers. Plus, the business environment needs to be regulated in such a way to provide better efficiency and utilization of transport capacity. Furthermore, procedures at the border crossings need to be better regulated to reduce the waiting time of vehicles, their drivers and the goods that the vehicle carries. Having all this in mind, considering the interests of state bodies, the importance of road transport in our society and the need to develop transport activities, we need to provide required resources, combat the shadow economy and boost competitiveness. It should be in the general interest to work on constantly improving the quality of public-private dialogue.
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HOME DELIVERY IN GEBRÜDER WEISS SERBIA
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Our plans are closely related to expanding market share, but also to further optimize business and processes with the ultimate goal of maintaining the level of service quality, while meeting and exceeding the expectations of our customers
JOVANA PAVLOVIĆ Head of Home Delivery department Gebrüder Weiss Serbia
e spoke with Mrs. Jovana Pavlović, Head of Home Delivery department at Gebrüder Weiss Serbia about organization of Home delivery sector during pandemic, delivery service which GW introduce to Serbian market in 2015, and what are their goals and plans in the future.
The corona virus pandemic has restricted movement, how has this affected the organization of work in the Home Delivery sector? — The number of home deliveries of consignments has been growing steadily for many years, posing challenges for logistics companies, but also encouraging them to constantly innovate. The corona virus pandemic has further fueled an explosion in demand for this type of service. With its extensive network and developed Home Delivery service, Gebrüder Weiss was ready to respond to market demands and at the same time developed a strategy that would enable us to maintain our work and perform the primary activities of our company. The main goal was to provide all the necessary conditions and protective measures to prevent the negative consequences of the pandemic and maintain business stability. Since you are one of the leaders for Home Delivery on the Serbian market, tell us since when has this service existed in Serbia? — The Home Delivery service has made us unique in the domestic mar-
Home Delivery service has been the driver of successful results in the last year of business and has become one of the key services within our portfolio
ket since 2015, when we introduced the Serbian market. Home Delivery service has been the driver of successful results in the last year of business and has become one of the key services within our portfolio. Following the global goals of our company and adapting of the market, we have strongly positioned ourselves as one of the pioneers in the Home Delivery service. Listening to the needs of our clients, over time we have developed a full range of services, creating added value to the services provided and providing them with the best sustainable solutions., This way we have become one of the leaders in this field. We will continue to follow market developments and be one step ahead of others in setting high goals and standards in providing high quality services.
People are responsible for the success of any company. How does Gebrüder Weiss motivate its employees and contribute to making working for this company a pleasure? — Employees are the most important resource and the greatest wealth of our companies. Considering that the logistics business requires constant improvement and application of new technology in everyday work, we as a
company strive to support the training of our employees through various training programs that allow them to constantly develop, both personally and professionally. Gebrüder Weiss is founded on strong family values since more than 500 years, and we showed that in the most difficult moments. The dedication of our employees, the pursuit of excellence and professionalism are the key to our success. Thanks to exceptional teamwork and driving energy, mutual production and understanding, great results have been achieved.
What are your goals when it comes to the home delivery sector for 2021 and what are your plans for further development? — This year was marked by the digitalization strategy through the launch of the myGW portal, which enables transparency and real-time shipment tracking along the entire logistics chain. The home delivery service, in cooperation with clients, has fully achieved this goal. Our plans are closely related to expanding market share, but also to further optimize business and processes with the ultimate goal of maintaining the level of service quality, while meeting and exceeding the expectations of our customers.
TRANSPORT PRICES HIGHEST EVER
The coronavirus-induced crisis has disrupted supply chains. How to proceed? MARIJA KAMBIĆ
he transport and logistics sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus-induced crisis. The blow is extremely strong, and the future is unpredictable. The beaten trade paths are overgrown with 'weed', and it remains to be seen when they will be cleaned and fit for safe and efficient exchange of products. Everything has changed - prices, transit times, mode of transport… Disruptions in the supply chain have made both raw materials and finished products more expensive. For now, all of this has been spilling over to the end consumers – the prices of almost all products, from toys and clothes to construction materials and used cars have gone up. How long will consumers be able to withstand this pressure? Will manufacturers and retailers have to look for alternative solutions to reduce the effects of the coronavirus pandemic? What is certain is that supply chains must be re-examined. What do experts suggest?
Photo: PopTika / Shutterstock
Managing Director at Pluton Media Serbia
Supply chain disruptions pose the most dangerous risk to all companies, both in industry and commerce
RISK MANAGEMENT Risk management in the supply chain has come to the fore. Logistics and transport are not only affected by the crisis caused by the coronavirus, but also by the shortage of transport containers and the blockade of the Suez Canal. "At the same time as we manage the crisis, we must build the future," experts advise. Supply chain disruptions pose the most dangerous risk to all companies, both in industry and commerce. It is therefore necessary to revise your risk management plan. It is also extremely important for companies to be ready to respond to all challenges so that they can identify, analyze and assess the immediate threat in time, and according-
ly propose directions for action, i.e. specific action plans. Experts are advising proactive and strategic action, namely avoiding risks by proactively eliminating the causes and rectifying the damage with pre-defined emergency measures.
LOCAL INSTEAD OF GLOBAL As supply chain disruptions pose a major risk to all companies, be it in industry and commerce, the cheapest production strategy is now being reconsidered. The proximity and availability of raw materials and spare parts come to the fore. Globalization, which has so far been a great opportunity to procure, buy and sell, is now less viewed as an opportunity, and more as a risk. Due to that, the trend of transition from global to local is rapidly imposing. The pandemic has proven that globalization, despite creating opportunities for success and growth, also conceals many dangers. This is precisely the reason why analysts believe that companies will want to "bring" suppliers, subcontractors, customers, as well as sellers of raw materials closer to them even more in the future. SEARCHING FOR NEW TRANSPORT SOLUTIONS Globally, 80% of world trade is carried out by ships. The prices of these services are at an all-time high. According to Bloomberg's reports, shipping companies are gen-
erating the biggest amounts of money today since 2008. In Serbia, importers have so far mostly used ship transport from China because it was the cheapest. Today, the prices of that type of transport have skyrocketed and are up to 10 times higher than before the pandemic. New solutions are urgently being sought. More and more goods are being transported by railway. In the first eight months of this year, the number of freight trains running on the China-Europe route reached 10,000. In percentage terms, this is a 32 per cent growth compared to the same period last year. Freight trains transported goods in about 964,000 containers 20 feet long, which is an increase of an additional 40%. A large amount of goods is also looking for new routes. Thus, 73 transport routes have reached more than 170 cities in 23 European countries. New routes for Ukraine, Spain and Germany are also opening. Global companies have also offered intermodal options (ship, train, truck). Truck services for the transport of goods from China have also emerged, which may be one of the solutions that are certainly cheaper than aeroplanes and faster than ships.
SEARCHING FOR NEW MARKETS Alternative markets for the supply of goods have also emerged as the opportunity to overcome the problems with transport from Chi-
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na. Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia are just some of the "new" industrial centres to consider. In addition to the fact that these markets have been recording great economic growth and have even greater trade potential, it is important to underline that there they have good transport connections with this part of Europe. According to the estimates of the logistics company Cargo-Partner, it takes 25 days for goods to arrive from Thailand, between 25 and 28 days from Vietnam, and 22 days from Singapore to the Slovenian port of Koper. The figures show that Turkish trade and industry have been recording excellent results too and that the country's exports were the highest ever this year. For companies from Serbia, cooperation with this country entails lower transportation costs and shorter transit time. All this contributes to Turkey becoming a significant alternative to the goods we have so far imported from China.
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Regardless of the current market situation, trade routes and transport options, the most important thing is to sort out the situation in your home. To be successful tomorrow, you need to start changing to-
The pandemic has proven that globalization, despite creating opportunities for success and growth, also conceals many dangers
day. Today, more than ever, logistics companies must be ready for digital transformation, because market development expects them to be more efficient, versatile and faster. Digital transformation means that technology encompasses every part of business operations - from business software, robots in warehouses and advanced shipment tracking to autonomous vehicles. And that's not all - these technologies and resources must be integrated into a single system, fundamentally changing the way customers are provided with any service. Furthermore, we must not forget that there is a growing demand for storage and transport workers. The shortage of workforce leads to higher salaries, and thus higher costs for the company and forecasts say that the situation will be even more complicated in the years to come. This is also one of the reasons why one must think about adequate technologies that can largely replace humans. Some of them are already our reality, Driverless trucks are no longer used only within closed systems (ports, factories and logistics centres) but can also be found on the streets. At the same time, companies are developing smart systems thanks to which driving a truck could become a
remote work. For instance, Sweden's Voysys is developing technology that allows remote control of trucks via a 5G network.
3D PRINTING AND LOGISTICS Some say that this is the distant future, others that it is only a matter of time. Anyhow, when we start printing goods that we need, will we even need transport services? In 2019, the value of the global additive manufacturing market exceeded $ 10 billion, according to an analysis conducted by DHL, and analysts expect it to double every 3 years. On the one hand, adapting certain products to the specific requirements of customers implies a decrease in inventory levels, which leads to a smaller need for transport and storage. On the other hand, with a more intensive expansion of additive manufacturing, a whole new sector of the logistics industry will deal with the storage and delivery of raw materials that "feed" 3D printers. To be more precise, we can predict that when 3D printers become available to the general public, the market demand will increase, as will the delivery of materials. Delivering raw materials for the printing of those same items at home could become a substitute for mass delivery of various finished products.
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APATIN BREWERY CELEBRATES 15 YEARS OF DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE CAMPAIGN
Don’t drink and drive but choose to call a friend or a taxi, wait for a city bus or take a walk IGOR VUKAŠINOVIĆ General Manager of Apatin Brewery
patin Brewery, with the support of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, the Traffic Safety Agency and the Traffic Police Directorate, marked the significant jubilee of the campaign, which for a decade and a half says that the key decision is clear – DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!
A line of police motorcycles and a series of interesting activations have attracted Belgrade citizens near Ušće in August. Everyone who wanted to, had the opportunity to try on “drunk glasses” and test their motor skills in circumstances that simulate driving under the influence of alcohol. All this was just one in a series of activities that are regularly organized during music festivals throughout Serbia. The activities are part of a wider campaign DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE which has been sending a message about responsible alcohol consumption for 15 years. It is common for such activations to be organized during the summer, especially during music festivals. In order to prevent irresponsible consumption behavior, Apatin Brewery appealed to everyone to make a key decision and not to sit behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. They reminded that there are four alternatives in those situations - to call a friend or a taxi, to wait for a city bus or to take a walk. This year, Apatin Brewery donated 600 fluorescent vests for Serbian traffic police. Igor Vukašinović, General Manager of Apatin Brewery, thanked all the partners for their support and pointed out that this company takes
the concept of social responsibility very seriously. "During these 15 years of the campaign, we managed to save numerous lives and positively influence the behavior of all traffic participants. I am sure that in the next period we will continue to promote true values and to influence everyone to behave responsibly and not endanger their own and other people's lives, "said Vukašinović. RESPONSIBILITY IN ACTION: BREATHALYZERS, MOUTHPIECES, VESTS In order to increase the awareness of all traffic participants about the importance of responsible alcohol consumption, Apatin Brewery has donated about 130,000 euros since the
beginning of the campaign and helped the traffic police by providing 135 breathalyzers of the most modern generations, 50,000 mouthpieces and 600 fluorescent vests.
Apatin Brewery has donated about 130,000 euros since the beginning of the campaign
RAISING AWARENESS AMONG YOUNG DRIVERS In cooperation with the NAVAK center, Apartin Brewery, through the action " Safe driving school for young drivers", with the support of the municipality of Apatin and the City of Sombor, held safe driving trainings for high school graduates. The company also organized this type of training for its employees, all with the aim of raising awareness and the importance of responsible behavior when you are an active participant in traffic.
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PROACTIVE APPROACH LEAD TO SUCCESS
With an individual approach to each of the customers, we managed to find the right solutions and get out of difficult situation with satisfaction on both sides JURAJ POLIĆ Commerce and Logistic Director at MOL Serbia
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he past year was full of challenges for all, both the company and the customers. In everyday contact with them, we have listened to their needs and we have tried to overcome this difficult business period together.
The coronavirus pandemic has especially affected transport. How did it affect you? How have you overcome the obvious challenges and what have you learned from the past period? — The pandemic has showed that by listening to customers and our partners, with proactive approach to work and a good team, we can achieve success. Although the pandemic has brought on many business obstacles, we will overcome the pandemic even stronger because we have learned a lot and many things we have learned will be useful in the period to come. One of the biggest challenges we faced was the credit ability of our customers. With an individual approach to each of the customers, we managed to find the right solutions and get out of difficult situation with satisfaction on both sides. We are especially proud of the fact that the results of the Customer Satisfaction Survey implemented by the end of last and the beginning of this year have shown that satisfaction of wholesale customers with our services stands at 93%. This is the proof that even in the unexpected and unpredictable circumstances we have managed to maintain the level of service we provide with our joint efforts with customers and that we have satisfied customers, both with our products and services.
As a company operating in the European Union, MOL respects and promotes all regulations related to environmental protection
MOL Serbia is constantly engaged on the improvement of its portfolio. What are the benefits offered to transport companies? — We find it important to have partner relations with our customers. We have cooperated with many of them for years and we are proud of that fact. We are trying to add new benefits for loyal customers all the time, including prize activities we prepare and special offers in Fresh Corner at service stations. In Serbia we have 27 Fresh Corners across the country as an integral part of our service stations. In a pleasant and warm environment, customers have at their disposal top-quality coffee, hot dogs, sandwiches and crispy pastry. I would like to highlight our highway stations Horgoš 1 and 2, Batrovci 1 and 2, Markovac, Jagodina, Rumenka 1 and 2, as well as service station Mojsinje because these Fresh Corners include homemade meals and barbecue. Stations have large parking lots suitable for trucks and they are also a great place to make a rest stop on the road. This year our Fresh Corner celebrated fifth birthday here in Serbia. In the last five years, more than 4 million coffees, 147,000 of hot dogs and almost 340,000 sandwiches have been sold in Fresh Corners, a reliable indicator that customers recognize the Fresh Corner as a rest stop for drivers while they are on the road. MOL Serbia company is trying to keep track with changes and new habits of its consumers. Do you plan to introduce some new services and benefits for transporters? — By listening to customers’ needs and keeping pace with market trends,
we will have an opportunity to offer postpaid toll payment service to our customers. Transport companies will find this service very useful having in mind numerous benefits: passage without stopping on toll lanes, use of TAG devices without credit top-up, summary invoice and specification of passages with a monthly bill of all transactions. TAG device topup will no longer be necessary and the invoice provided at the end of the month will be a cumulative invoice with all passages
MOL Group Strategy 2030+ focuses on reduced carbon emission, efficiency and circular economy. To what degree are the changes you plan to introduce in accordance with the abovementioned Strategy? — Challenges caused by pandemic, but also by climate changes, new demands that come from our customers – those are reasons to update long-term strategy at “Shape tomorrow” MOL Group Strategy 2030+. We will serve and respond to the interest of the widest possible range of stakeholders with special focus on customers and their needs with the aim to stay their choice no. 1 and their partner in transport. As a company operating in the European Union, MOL respects and promotes all regulations related to environmental protection. As this is part of MOL Group strategy and we have great experience in this field, we look forward to new biofuels legislation, which will further bring Serbia on the path to more eco-friendly environment and harmonize legislation with EU standards.
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Galenika and Pantenol Pink October Through this campaign Galenika and Pantenol draw attention to the importance of prevention breast cancer and regular self-examinations uring the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Galenika is again this year making a donation to the Institute of Oncology and Radiology of Serbia. Namely, from each Pantenol product purchased during October (cream, ointment, solution, oriblets or foam), Galenika allocates 20 RSD for the donation to the national institute that provides diagnosis, treatment and counsel to breast cancer patients. Breast cancer is the most common form of malignant tumor, and the Breast Cancer Month aims to raise awareness about its frequency and the importance of prevention and examination, ie early diagnosis, which significantly affects the success of treatment. Statistics say that one in eight women develops breast cancer during lifetime. It is a disease
DURING THE BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, GALENIKA IS AGAIN THIS YEAR MAKING A DONATION TO THE INSTITUTE OF ONCOLOGY AND RADIOLOGY OF SERBIA
that affects a higher percentage of women, but it is also present in men. Annual screening and early diagnosis are of great importance for the success of treatment. In addition to the doctor's examination, it is recommended that the self-examination be performed once a month. The World Health Organization cites raising awareness about this disease as the most important step in the outcome of treatment. Through this campaign Galenika and Pantenol draw attention to the importance of prevention and regular self-examinations. And together with Galenika, all consumers participate in the donation and awareness raising by purchasing Galenika's Pantenol products. We have a very good reason to buy Pantenol products this month.
PATIN BREWERY HIGHLIGHTS THE A IMPORTANCE OF RESPONSIBLE DRINKING FOR 15 YEARS IN A ROW
Apatin Brewery, with the support of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, the Traffic Safety Agency and the Traffic Police Directorate, marked the significant jubilee of the campaign, which for a decade and a half says that the key decision is clear – DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! In order to prevent irresponsible consumption, Apatin Brewery appealed to everyone not to sit behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. They reminded that there are 4 alternatives in those situations - to call a friend or a taxi, to wait for a city bus or to take a walk. This year, Apatin Brewery donated 600 fluorescent vests for Serbian traffic police. "During these 15 years, we managed to save numerous lives and positively influence the behavior of all traffic participants. We donated about 130.000E since the beginning of the campaign and helped the traffic police by providing 135 breathalyzers, 5,000 mouthpieces and 600 vests”, said Igor Vukašinović, Apatin Brewery GM.
LOBAL NETWORK OF G MAPLE BEAR CANADIAN SCHOOLS: THE FIRST KINDERGARTEN OPENED IN BELGRADE
Maple Bear Kindergarten & Preschool, part of a global network of 550+ Canadian schools, has opened in Serbia for the first time. H.E. Giles Norman, Canadian Ambassador to Serbia gave a warm opening speech, along with Yann Bidan, Regional General Manager, Maple Bear CEE. Maple Bear Senjak is located in the capital city of Belgrade in a green complex that has a total area of 1200 m2. The rooms are equipped with everything necessary for a safe, secure, and stimulating learning environment for children. The English immersion format of the program ensures that children are constantly exposed to the lan-
guage, and helps them become truly bilingual. Learning is made even more exciting and interesting with a spacious multifunctional gym, outdoor playset and climbing wall, indoor pool with a high-quality chlorine-free water disinfection system, locations for basketball and mini-football and tennis court next door. “Maple Bear’s program is specifically designed to educate the whole child - physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially and prepares them with the skills they need for the challenges of the 21st century,” says Rodney Briggs, Chairman and Founder of Maple Bear Global Schools. At the same time, school programs are based not only on international standards, but also on the requirements of the Ministry of Education of Serbia as Maple Bear Senjak is a certified institution.
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Traditional Handicrafts From Serbia at the World Exhibition in Dubai Belgrade now has its first ethno gallery, located in Kralja Aleksandra Boulevard
tapar, September 22, 2021 - Traditional handicrafts from Serbia, including the Stapar carpet, will be presented to the world at this year's Expo 2021 Dubai World Exhibition, and Belgrade will be the first city in Serbia to have its own ethno gallery where visitors can see and buy these authentic products, it was announced today at the 7th Artisan Colony in Stapar. This traditional event, organized by the Sombor local authorities and Ethno Network, with the support of the US Embassy and the Ministry of Agriculture, brought together weavers from Sombor, Loznica, Indjija, Pančevo and Sremska Mitrovica, including a very talented man from Sokobanja, who made the Stapar rose by using weaving, gold embroidery and knitting techniques and thus contributed to the preservation of our heritage. The colony was visited by the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Tatjana Matić, the President of Ethno Network, Violeta Jovanović, the Mayor of Sombor, Antonio Ratković, the Provincial Secretary for Economy and Tourism, Nenad
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Violeta Jovanović, Executive Director of NALED and President of Ethno Network
Nenad Ivanišević, Provincial Secretary for Economy and Tourism
WOMEN ARE THE GUARDIANS OF TRADITION AND CULTURAL HERITAGE AND THAT IS WHY WE MUST WORK ON THEIR ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT Ivanišević, as well as the Ambassadors of Canada, Slovenia and Albania. „Women are the guardians of tradition and cultural heritage and that is why we must work on
their economic empowerment, especially in rural areas, because smaller communities in Serbia need to develop too,“ Minister Matić said and added that after the opening of the ethno gallery
Tatjana Matić, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications
in Belgrade, the plan is to open them in Novi Sad and Niš too. Ethno Network's president, Violeta Jovanović, pointed out that the ethno gallery will be opened in Kralja Aleksandra Boulevard in Belgrade, where, in addition to exhibitions and sales activities, children and youth creative workshops will be held too, in addition of programmes aimed at tourists and officials visiting Serbia. „The opening of this gallery has been fifteen years in making and we are satisfied with the support we received from the Belgrade authorities in the implementation of this initiative. In cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and the Serbia Creates team, our handicrafts and products will be exhibited at the Expo exhibition in Dubai this year," said Ms Jovanović and expressed her hope that the Stapar carpet will be given a geographical indication of origin. Mayor Ratković pointed out that women's perseverance and will are keeping an important part of the cultural heritage alive and that their works are true works of art. Provincial Secretary Nenad Ivanišević said that the Provincial Government supports the activities of Ethno Network through projects and concrete initiatives such as the opening of the Vojvodina Salon in the Banovina building which features traditional Vojvodina motifs.
PEOPLE & EVENTS
TRADITIONAL KOREAN MUSIC AND DANCE AT THE TERAZIJE THEATRE
H.E. Hyoung-chan Choe
NORDIC EXPERIENCES IN THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Serbia hosted a traditional Korean music and dance concert at the Terazije Theatre on 8th September. Six Korean artists presented a variety of stages encompassing Korean traditional music and dance, including an enormously dynamic performance of percussion
H.E. Hyoung-chan Choe and H.E. Adam Koenraad, Belgian Ambassador with his wife
With the support of the Nordic Council of Ministers, embassies of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, launched the project titled "Boosting circular economy in Serbia – Nordic experiences". The project was announced during the reception in the garden of the Residence of the Ambassador of Norway, H. E. Jorn Gjelstad. Embassies of the Nordic countries, coordinated by Finland, aim to support Serbia in the continuation of the implementation of principles of circular economy,
H. E. Jorn Gjelstad, Ambassador of Norway
0th ANNIVERSARY 2 OF THE AUSTRIAN CULTURAL FORUM IN BELGRADE
to share the experiences of their countries, and to raise awareness of local partners about the importance and benefits of circular economy, which affects individuals, companies and the society as a whole. The Nikolov-Ivanović jazz orchestra performed at the reception held at the residence of the Ambassador of Norway, while publisher Vladislav Bajac received a medal for his contribution to the promotion of the Norwegian literature and culture.
H.E. Kimmo Lähdevirta, Ambassador of Finland
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Austrian Cultural Forum’s activities in Belgrade, the director and cultural attaché of the Austrian embassy, Adrien Feix, hosted a reception on the topic of "20 years of the Austrian Cultural Forum". Also, the exhibition called "Auf den zweiten Blick / At Second Glance" was opened on the Sava Promenade in Kalemegdan to mark this jubilee.
H.E.Nikolaus Lutterotti, Austrian Ambassador and Adrien Feix, Director of Austrian Cultural Forum
quartet, Samulnori. The Korean Ambassador, H.E. Hyoung-chan Choe thanked the audience for coming and said he was happy to host once again Korean traditional cultural performances in Serbia. He added that he hoped that the event would reveal the full charm of Korean culture.
With this exhibition, the Austrian Cultural Forum in Serbia marks two significant anniversaries. 185 years ago, Austria was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with independent Serbia, while in the 21st century, the Austrian Cultural Forum has been working on supporting cultural, artistic and scientific ties between the two countries.
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PEOPLE & EVENTS
MAKING A DIFFERENCE TOGETHER FOR 15 YEARS
200 YEARS OF MEXICO’S INDEPENDENCE
On Wednesday, September 15, 2021, the traditional September meeting was held to mark 15th anniversary of NALED, in the presence of 500 high-ranking officials, heads of state institutions and the international community, representatives of local governments, domestic businesses, foreign investors, NGOs and the media. NALED’s Executive Director, Violeta Jovanović, Chairman of NALED’s Board of Direc-
On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence, the Mexican Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Carlos I. Felix Corona, hosted a formal reception for the diplomatic corps and friends at the embassy. The celebration of the anniversary coincided with the promotion of commemo-
tors and Director of PwC Serbia, Vladislav Cvetković, USAID Mission Director, Susan Fritz and Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlović, addressed the guests who were also greeted by the Crown Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjević. At the end of the evening, they were joined by the former Chairman of NALED’s Board of Directors and today the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić.
rative postage stamps and the exhibition titled "The 500 first stamps of Mexico 1879-1945", which was staged the day before at the Postal Museum in Belgrade, on the occasion of marking 75 years since the establishment of continuous diplomatic relations between Serbia and Mexico.
H.E. Carlos I. Felix Corona, Mexican Ambassador
INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING COCKTAIL RECEPTION
Over 200 representatives of companies and enterprises that are members of as many as 11 bilateral chambers of commerce in Serbia, gathered on Thursday, September 16, at the Metropol Hotel, for the International Networking Cocktail. The guests were greeted by the chamber
presidents, and the event, which takes place once a year, lived up to the expectations. The guests had the opportunity to exchange experiences related to business, but also to exchange business contacts and continue their communication through business cooperation.
Representatives of Bilateral Chambers of Commerce in Serbia
PEOPLE & EVENTS
ORDER OF THE RISING SUN
A brief ceremony was held at the Residence of the Ambassador of Japan in Senjak at which the former President of the Parliamentary Group of Friendship with Japan, Mr. Goran Ćirić, was given the Order of the Rising Sun. This significant recognition is awarded to Japanese and foreign nationals "for outstanding contribution to the establishment and ad-
vancement of bilateral and friendly relations with Japan." During his term as President of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Japan, Mr. Goran Ćirić worked on the promotion and deepening of cooperation between Japan and Serbia with a special emphasis on improving inter-parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.
H.E.Takahiko Katsumata, Ambassador of Japan and Goran Ćirić
AUTUMN BUSINESS COCKTAIL FOR CANSEE MEMBERS
CANSEE Members had an opportunity to meet the Ambassador of Canada to Serbia, on September 28th at the Canadian Embassy Residence and exchange thoughts on different matters. The reception was opened by a speech held by the Ambassador of Canada H.E. Giles Norman expressing his gratefulness to the guests that, despite the unfavorable conditions, have come to honor
the strong, longstanding partnership that the Embassy has with CANSEE. He thanked the Association for its efforts put towards boosting economic exchanges between the two countries which offers great growth potential for its members and the community. The guests had an opportunity to exchange information, network and share ideas on mutual interests.
H.E.Takahiko Katsumata, Ambassador of Japan and Goran Ćirić
100 WOMEN - 100 MINIATURES
At the Canadian Ambassador’s residence in Belgrade, at the 8th consecutive exhibition staged by the Ethno Network in cooperation with NALED, the Coordination Body for Gender Equality and the City of Belgrade, awards were given to the most successful authors who created miniatures on the topic of tradition and innovation. 53 authors from 20 cities and municipalities of Serbia and the region applied for
From left to right: Ambassador of Cyprus,Indonesia and Albania, Robert Čoban, CPG, Mayor of Belgrade and Ambassador of Egypt
the participation in the exhibition. A total of 113 exhibits were staged, which were made using non-classical materials and modern motifs with various colour combinations or by using a mixture of several techniques. The awards were presented by the Canadian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Giles Norman, Belgrade Mayor Zoran Radojičić and Equality Commissioner Brankica Janković.
Ambassador of Canada, Brankica Janković, Commissioner for Protection of Equality and Zoran Radojičić, Mayor of Belgrade
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Digital 2021: Regional Event or eighth consecutive years, Color Media Communications she organized the Regional Conference on Trends in Telecommunications and Media - DIGITAL 2021. This year's DIGITAL was realized in two formats, online via the company's official YouTube channel and indoor with live audience in the Metropol Hotel in Belgrade. The event thaysupported by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia and the following companies: Telekom Srbija, Telenor Srbija, SBB, A1, Orion telekom, National Geographic and Vision Partners. The conference was officially opened by Maja Gojković, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia and Minister of Culture and Media who pointed out that this is one of the largest and most important conferences in the field of telecommunications and media. In the two days of the event, we have had the opportunity to listen to outstanding interlocutors, experts who came out in front of the audience with specific information, predictions for the next period in telecommunications, all types of media, online, print, radio and the youngest podcast, internet security, creative and industry and technology, marketing
H. E. Jahel Vilan, Ambassador of Israel
and social media. During the two days of konferency, audience had the opportunity to follow next panels: “WHY FREEDOM DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SING…: Reality Check of the media in the region in 2021.” “THE ZOMBIE BREAKDOWN Social Distancing without Social Media Distancing” "PODCAST BREAKTHROUGH When do we just listen to content and when do we still like to have a visual?" “A YEAR AFTER: Traditional
panel of telecommunication leaders of the region” "CREATECH: WHERE CREATIVITY MEETS TECHNOLOGY Creative skills and new technologies in the service of business development" "SECURITY CHECK - Is our data really safe on the Internet or is it just an illusion?" “KING IN THE CASTLE, KING IN THE CASTLE: Is the content still king or have some new princes appeared” “HITTING THE TARGET: Is the future in‘ special interest ’media”
PANEL 8: “HITTING THE TARGET: Is the future in‘ special interest ’media”
PANEL 5: "CREATECH: WHERE CREATIVITY MEETS TECHNOLOGY - Creative skills and new technologies in the service of business development"
H. E. Carlos Isauro Felix Corona, Ambassador of Mexico
In addition to panel discussions, about digital diplomacy he spoke H. E. Jahel Vilan, Ambassador of Israel to Serbia and H. E. Carlos Isauro Felix Corona, Ambassador of Mexico to Serbia. This event proved once again that it is important to hear all sides of a story, for it to be credible and strong one, decision-makers in companies, public institutions, creative experts who will make good content, IT experts who will protect the information that is released, all of them must give their voice. voice.
PANEL 4 : A YEAR AFTER: Traditional panel of telecommunication leaders of the region”
PANEL 6: "SECURITY CHECK - Is our data really safe on the Internet or is it just an illusion?"
Denis Villeneuve has Produced the First Great “Dune” Adaptation Frank Herbert’s bestselling science-fiction novel has proved tricky material for film-makers in the past ooks are often described as “unfilmable”. Steven Soderbergh described his attempts to bring “A Confederacy Of Dunces”, John Kennedy Toole’s cult novel, to the screen as “cursed”; film-makers have never quite known what to do with stories that focus on the inner lives of their characters, such as James Joyce’s “Ulysses” or Virginia Woolf’s “To The Lighthouse”. Science fiction offers a different, particular challenge to directors: that of recreating elaborate worlds and complex plots without becoming confusing or bogged down in exposition. “Dune”, Frank Herbert’s bestselling epic novel of 1965, was one such work long considered unwieldy. “Dune” is set on a desert planet, Arrakis (also known as Dune), where a valuable spice is mined from the earth. At the behest of the emperor of the universe, the House Atreides, a noble family led by Duke Leto, takes control of the planet and the spice operation from their enemies, the House Harkonnen. The assignment is a trap, however, and Leto is killed. His son, Paul, manages to flee into the desert with his mother to live among the native peoples. The novel is long and detailed, set in a realm akin to the Middle Ages with spaceships. It tells of warring noble families held in check by an overarching imperium, and combines a Byzantine political drama with discussions of religion and descriptions of interstellar travel. Yet at its heart, the story is familiar: a young man, who might be the prophesied redeemer, comes of age to lead a political uprising and avenge his father. As such, “Dune” has influenced films including “Star Wars” (1977) and “The Matrix” (1999). That theme has tempted film-makers to adapt it, but without much success. Alejandro Jodorowsky planned a cinematic iteration of the book in the mid-1970s starring Mick Jagger, Orson Welles and Salvador Dalí, but the Chilean-French director struggled to work the dense
THE NOVEL COMBINES A BYZANTINE POLITICAL DRAMA WITH DISCUSSIONS OF RELIGION AND DESCRIPTIONS OF INTERSTELLAR TRAVEL material into a feasible screenplay—he wrote a script “the size of a phone book”, according to Herbert, which would have produced a 14-hour film. After years of development, Mr Jodorowsky could not raise the money for the budget and the project stalled. (A documentary, “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, detailed these travails in 2013.) In the late 1970s Ridley Scott also worked on a version of the book before dropping out to make “Blade Runner” (1982). David Lynch finally managed to finish an adaptation in 1984 but, despite winning over Herbert, Mr Lynch’s “Dune” was a financial and critical failure. The film had run over budget and the producers seized control of the final edit, cutting down the running time
to such an extent that the already complicated story became almost incoherent. Now a new film version directed by Denis Villeneuve has just had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, and it aims to avoid past missteps. Timothée Chalamet (pictured) stars as Paul, with Oscar Isaac as his father, Duke Leto, and Rebecca Ferguson (also pictured) as his mother, Jessica. Mr Villeneuve and Greig Fraser, the cinematographer, have produced a visually stunning film, with rippling sands, monstrous sandworms and enormous spaceships. The film-makers have created a credible universe which captures the medieval texture of the book (the ships are carpeted, the soldiers
fight with armour and blades and agreements are sealed with wax and signet rings). It is also refreshing to see a serious piece of science fiction on screen. Without being humourless, “Dune” is a sincere work which doesn’t undercut itself with irony, as is fashionable in many genre films today. The ecological and political themes of Mr Herbert’s book are retained: it is revealed that the planet is kept in a ruinous state so that the natural resources can more easily be exploited. The powerful families come and go from Dune while the indigenous peoples—the Fremen—have been oppressed by all, and are in danger of extermination. “Dune” only covers half the material of the book so that those themes can be fully drawn out. “I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie,” Mr Villeneuve has said. “The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.” That is a sensible decision, and in fact mirrors the original publication of the book, which Herbert divided up into serials. (Mr Scott also planned to divide the story into two parts.) Mr Villeneuve has said that he is working on the script for the second half. Whether it gets made will depend on this film’s performance at the box office, and whether it recoups its budget of around $165m. That is not guaranteed. “Dune” will be released simultaneously in cinemas and on HBO Max, a streaming service, in October; traditional ticket revenue may well suffer as a result. And Mr Villeneuve’s previous project, “Blade Runner 2049”, was a commercial disappointment. But it would be a shame if the second part did not come to fruition. “Dune” is the most faithful and most successful film version of the book to date. From The Economist, published under licence. The original article, in English, can be found on www.economist.com
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D&C Kikinda Tour: The Pumpkin Days n cooperation with the local authorities in the town of Kikinda, Color Media Communications and our Diplomacy&Commerce magazine organized an interesting tour for diplomats and the magazine’s friends, which took place on September 11, during the 36th Pumpkin Days Festival in Kikinda. In addition to seeing this traditional festival, the hosts prepared a great programme, various pumpkin dishes and other specialties of this region, as well as a visit to Kika at the National Museum and the famous Terra Gallery. The guests also visited the nearby Mokrin House and enjoyed a walk along Generala Drapšina Street, which has been officially declared "The most beautiful street in Serbia”. The guests were welcomed by the Mayor of Kikinda, Nikola Lukač. The guests included Maja Gojković, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and Information in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, ambassadors of Albania, Norway, Cyprus, Belgium, Kingdom of Morocco, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Cambodia and representatives of the Embassies of Romania, Ukraine, Malaysia, the Consulate of Montenegro, and distinguished representatives of foreign chambers of commerce.
Ambassadors visited Kikinda
Nikola Lukač, Mayor of Kikinda
Mayor of Kikinda with Maja Gojković
The DDOR Osiguranje Art Collection opens at the Matica Srpska Gallery he exhibition titled ‘Lasting Values – the DDOR Osiguranje Art Collection’ was officially opened on Friday, September 24, 2021, at 6:00 PM, at the Matica Srpska Gallery. Tijana Palkovljević Bugarski, PhD, director of the Matica Srpska Gallery, Giorgio Marchegiani, Chairman of DDOR Osiguranje’s Executive Board and His Excellency Carlo Lo Cascio, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to Serbia, spoke at the exhibition opening, while Maja Gojkovic, Deputy Prime Minister and Serbian Culture and Information Minister, officially opened the exhibition. DDOR's abundant art collection consists of 395 pieces of art, mostly created by artists from Serbia. In order to make it easier to see this vast collection of DDOR Osiguranje, the exhibition, which consists of over 80 works of art, was staged in four parts at the Matica Srpska Gallery. Each of them reflects similar topics in which similar ideas or feelings that guided the authors are recognized, regardless of their stylistic or thematic orientation. The first unit, called Rural and Urban
Ambiences as a Stronghold, thematizes spaces and objects from the immediate environment or the artist's memory. Scenes as starting points for artistic research refer to works that move away from the representation of close reality and in them, the relations of artistic elements, stylistic characteristics and personal experiences are examined. In the third unit, called Mythology, History, Fantasy, Melancholy, an intimate and romanticized artistic experience dominates, different from our experiences of cognitive reality. Understanding the importance of the people who have led the company since its inception, the last part of the exhibition, called Bearers of Ideals, is dedicated to them. The exhibition includes the works of sixty-five artists of different generations, from those who made their first professional steps in the period between the two world wars, to artists who were active during the last decade of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st century, such as Boško Petrović, Ankica Oprešnik, Olja Ivanjicki, Đerđ Ereš, Milan Konjović, Pal Dečov and others.
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by Žikica Milošević
It's Time to Rebuild! ... if not all of them, then at least, let's get to know some of them
he Color Media Communications team has visited all castles in Serbia that are protected as cultural assets and several more. Which 25 or more castles will be renovated in the first round will be revealed soon by the joint commission of the culture ministries of Serbia and France. But the greatest treasure we discovered is the knowledge that all these castles and villas exist. And that they are mostly in a bad condition. Decades-long systemic negligence, especially during socialism, destroyed them, due to a contemptuous attitude towards the aristocracy and the rich, and as a result, towards castles and palaces. During the brutal transition period, the nouveau riche were preoccupied with amassing wealth, devoid of culture and desire to preserve anything that came before them, contributed to the further neglect of castles and palaces in Serbia. Here are some of the gems.
NEUHAUSEN, SRPSKA CRNJA Neuhausen Castle in Srpska Crnja is located right next to the main road leading to Romania, close to the border crossing. It is surrounded by a park on the former estate of Count Čekonjić, and
is located near the Julija grange. The castle was built by a German intelligence officer and genera, Franz Neuhausen, to whom the castle was supposed to serve as a summer house for rest and hunting. This is the only castle in the Banat area that was built during the Second World War, in the period from 1941 to 1943, for the needs of a high-ranking officer of the German occupation army, and the last in a series of castles in Vojvodina, which were built in the
FRITZ-HRISTIĆ CASTLE, BAČKO NOVO SELO Fritz-Hristić Castle paints a sad picture. It is located in Bačko Novo Selo, in the municipality of Bač, on the Danube bank. The village has been devastated and flooded several times. Bačko Novo Selo, or formerly called German Neudorf (Neudosrf), was inhabited by Bosnian Muslims - colonists after the Second World War. In Hungarian, it is called Bácsújlak or Bački Ilok.
THERE ARE ALSO SUCCESSFUL STORIES LIKE THAT OF KAŠTEL LAZAR IN EČKA BUT THEY ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN period from the 18th to the beginning of World War II. Some say that Hermann Goering was the real owner of the castle, who was also a lover of hunting and art. The unknown architect obviously knew how to build palaces, since this one is utterly beautiful. Probably, like me, you crossed the border crossing with Romania many times, without knowing that there is a castle there. It seems that Neuhausen will be the "lucky winner" and will be one of the 25 that will be "brought to their original purpose".
Fritz-Hristić Castle was built in 1900 by two families - Hristić and Fric - and is located on the corner of Josif Pančić and Vuk Karadžić streets in Bačko Novo Selo. At the turn of the two centuries, they erected a magnificent castle building, as a representative house for living. One part of the castle belonged to the Fritz family, who was of Jewish origin, and the other part to the Hristić family from Bačka Palanka, who was Serbian. Until recently, this building housed an elementary school. Also, one of the rooms was used
by the Islamic community. Today, the castle is abandoned, the windows are broken, and the carpentry is rotten. The roof collapsed in some places and complete devastation looms over the building. Magazines "Prayer in Pictures" and "Islam" from 2012, which were used by the Islamic Community in religious schools, are still laying on the windows of the devastated castle. A 2012 calendar hangs on the wall of this locked villa. The Islamic Community probably moved out of the castle that year and the castle seems to be collapsing instead of standing proud and generating profit.
MARCZIBÁNYI-LEDERER CASTLE, ČOKA Čoka was a northern Banat wasteland until 1781 when it was liberated from the Ottomans and then bought by Lörincz Marczibányi for a large sum of 95,500 forints. The following year, Marczibányi colonized Hungarian serfs to work on his property. Five years later, he also brought Slovaks. Marczibányi never finished building the castle. This was done by the next owner, Károly Schwab or Sváb, almost a century later, in 1870. The castle was almost lost after the extinction of the Marczibányi family line due to no sons being born into it, and in the meantime, the prop-
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erty was bought by Agoston Berber and brewers. In the late 19th century, the estate changed owners again – the new owners, Arthur and Károly Léderer, were some of the wealthiest Jewish landlords here. They also set up a farm. The castle and the administration building were the driving force behind the development of the surrounding towns, villages, estates and lands and generated strong economic progress. The estate remained in the hands of the Léderer family until the Second World War, when Banat district came under the rule of Nedić-ruled Serbia, a puppet state of the Nazis, where Banat was an autonomous province in which the Volksdeutscher had all the power. During the Second World War, Hermann Goering occupied the castle. Today it is left to decay.
from Bečej. This summer house was built by the large Engelmann family in the early 20th century, who was the founder of the Pobeda village. The Engelmanns owned a large land complex on which they did agriculture and grew vines. The most powerful of the feudal lords, Jenő Engelmann, owned 2,000 acres of land, where he intended to build a summer house for his family. The castle was built around 1910. During the socialist revolution that took place in 1919 in Europe, the castle suffered damage. Lowly serfs, veterans returning from the war and other citizens looted the castle. However, subsequently, everything was returned to the Engelmann family. The landlord
suffered a real blow when the new government of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes confiscated his estate. Slowly, over the years, everything around the castle was destroyed. A group of citizens from Svetićevo tried to renovate the facility, but the windows, doors and other building materials for the renovation were stolen. Before the Engelmann family left the property, the head of the family allegedly buried the family treasure and carved the date of their departure in the tree in the garden. According to the locals, in the 1970s, gold was found on or near the Engelmann estate when the neighbouring water tank was extended and again by a farmer, ploughing his land. The castle's
GOMBOS CASTLE, BEČEJ Two kilometres away from the popular Fantast Castle, near Topolski Road, in the middle of a fertile plain, abandoned and left to the ravages of time, stands a summer house built by the old family of aristocrats, the Gombos family. It is drowning in ivy which also blocks the entrance to the castle. Huge cobwebs have enveloped the estate. Nearby is a fountain in the shape of a bust of a young woman surrounded by a once magnificent park. The owner of the estate, Dözsö Gombos, a lawyer, and his wife Zsuzsana left the castle in 1944 when they moved to Budapest. The Gombos family originally comes from Hungary and their first mention dates back to 1312. The new government used their castle as a home for the elderly for ten years. It was later taken over by the Bečej agricultural combine (PIK Bečej), which used it as its business premises. Even today, it is possible to find leaflets advertising the Novi Sad Agricultural Fair from 2002 in the yard, and folders, binders and old documents related to agricultural business, as well as torn plywood shelves are scattered in the castle. In one of the rooms, we found a calendar from 2012, which says that maybe the castle was inhabited until then. Today, you have to have the skills of Indiana Jones to even get to it.
ENGELMANN CASTLE, POBEDA The situation is even worse with Engelmann Castle, located near the village of Pobeda, not far
HOPEFULLY, STEP BY STEP, WE ARE GOING TO HEAR MORE UPLIFTING STORIES ABOUT SERBIAN CASTLES AND STATELY HOMES
roof is collapsed and overgrown in plants. It is usually frequented by youth who drink and hang out here judging by the amount of rubbish left behind and the graffiti sprayed on the castle's walls.
AND A FEW MORE... A descendant of Duke Živojin Mišić, Dr Jasmina Mišić, lives in the Tucović Villa in the town of Valjevo. She says that, although back in the day of socialism, her family was called „reactionaries", their property was returned to them due to Duke Mišić's extraordinary service as a Serbian army general and the role he played in the liberation of Serbia in 1918. However, the family did not have the money for renovation, and no government, after 1990, expressed any interest in providing the needed funds. The white art-deco beauty, which facade is collapsing, is waiting for better days. Still, it is a sight for sore eyes. Particularly striking are the motifs of the heads on the facades, especially one of a bald man with a long moustache, probably an epic fiddle singer or a folk insurgent, which is seen along the facade and is located above the entrance, as the central decoration. Another beautiful stately home, the Čomić Villa, located in Šumarice in Kragujevac, is literally collapsing. For decades, the authorities have been unable to agree whether they should turn the villa into a cultural centre or not. In the middle of Šumadija, you will suddenly encounter a large castle that is abandoned and decaying. Except for the inscription Karadjordjev Dom (The Karadjordje Home), there is nothing that tells you what this magnificent building is and why it was built. It is located in Rača Kragujevačka and it strongly resembles a real castle found in Western countries. This house too is falling apart it is abandoned and dilapidated with many of its windows broken. Visitors are banned from entering the house, but some of the doors are broken, so it is practically possible to do so (in some parts of the building), even though the building is locked. And there are many such stories... There are also successful stories like that of Kaštel Lazar in Ečka but they are few and far between. Hopefully, step by step, we are going to hear more uplifting stories about Serbian castles and stately homes, i.e. until every castle in Serbia stands proud.
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EMBASSIES AND RESIDENCES BUILDINGS
by Vanja Kovačev
Indonesian Embassy The building of the Embassy and the residence of the Ambassador are among the legacies of the friendship between Indonesia’s first President H.E. Mr. Soekarno and former President of Yugoslavia H.E. Mr. Josip Broz Tito
he premises of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia and the residence of the Ambassador are located in one of the most strategic area in Belgrade, which offers a view of half of the city. Built in 1979, the building of the Embassy and the residence of the Ambassador are among the legacies of the friendship between Indonesia’s first President H.E. Mr. Soekarno and former President of Yugosla-
IN 1988, TRADITIONAL STATUES AND ORNAMENTS FOR THE OUTDOOR AREA OF THE EMBASSY AND RESIDENCE WERE SUBSEQUENTLY SENT BY SHIP FROM INDONESIA via H.E. Mr. Josip Broz Tito. At that time, both presidents agreed to grant each other a plot of land in their respective territory for the
other to be utilized as a premise of the mission of the other’s country. The Embassy and the residence building were designed by an In-
donesian company, Gubah Laras, and a Yugoslav company, Projektanski Biro Srbije, and the realization of the project was done by the Yugoslav construction company “RAD” on 1981. A year later, the new premises of the Indonesian Embassy and the residence of the Ambassador was officially inaugurated by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Prof. Dr Mochtar Kusumaatmadja on April 11, 1982.
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Additionally, in 1988, traditional statues and ornaments for the outdoor area of the Embassy and residence were subsequently sent by ship from Indonesia. One of the main ornaments is “Gapura” in Candi Bentar style, a traditional Javanese and Balinese gateway entrance made of volcanic lava that are commonly found at the main entrance of religious compounds, palaces or important institutions in Indonesia. Beside the “Gapura”, there are also 12 traditional Javanese statues made of volcanic lava as the symbols of the guardians of the embassy building and residence made of lava from Indonesian volcanoes. The main statue named “Bimoseno” is symbolically located in the middle and between the Gapura gateway of the Embassy. Bimoseno is a protagonist in the epic of Mahabharata, a warrior who were famous for being brave, steadfast, strong, obedient, honest, and considers everyone to be equal. The placement of
traditional statues is also an old Indonesian custom at many important sights in Indonesia that could be found also in several premises of Indonesian Embassies abroad. The spacious residence of the Ambassador is decorated in a traditional Indonesian style, with
ing unique painting technique and who also later became an Honorary professor in painting in Ohio State University, USA. Beside the paintings, there is also a large handmade teak woodcut in the dining room of the residence which describes the famous Java War or Diponegoro War during
THE MAIN STATUE NAMED “BIMOSENO” IS SYMBOLICALLY LOCATED IN THE MIDDLE AND BETWEEN THE GAPURA GATEWAY OF THE EMBASSY
an abundance of unusual handmade traditional sculptures while the walls decorated with valuable paintings by famous Indonesian painters, such as expressionist painter Affandi, the most famous Indonesian painter in the 90’s, who were known for his us-
the struggle for the independence against colonial Dutch empire led by an Indonesian national hero in Central Java. Since the official establishment of the diplomatic relations between Yugoslavia and Indonesia in 1954 until now, there have been
18 (eighteen) ambassadors designated as the Head of Mission at Indonesian Embassy in Belgrade. Since 1982, the premises of the Indonesian Embassy and the residence of the Ambassador were the venue of many important high official visits as well as events, such as the visit of the former Indonesian President, H.E. Mr. Soeharto, during the 9th Summit Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade, as well as many other highest officials of the Indonesian and Serbian government. The yard of the Ambassador’s residence has also been occasionally used to hold various national ceremonies. Among the most significant of these ceremonies is the flag ceremony during the Indonesian Independence Day which is celebrated every 17 August. The ceremony is usually attended by Indonesian citizens, diaspora and friends of Indonesia in Serbia.
by Vanja Kovačev
The Most Famous Australian in Serbia and the Most Famous Serbian in Australia
Photo: Boško Karanović / Hello Magazine
He moved from Down Under to Serbia to do what makes him happy
STEFAN POPOVIĆ Australian- Serbian TV presenter& performer - Radio Televison of Serbia
y partner and I met Stefan on a sailing trip in Greece and have been friends ever since. Stefan is Australian with a Serbian origin and according to many, the most smiling and positive tv host RTS has ever had in history. RTS viewers remember this Serbian Aussie with the Niš accent from 2020 when he was a co– host of Beovizija – the Serbian song contest that is organised in order to choose a song to be sung at the Eurovision - together with his female colleague Kristina Radenković. It was Stefan who made the Serbian Beovizija tv programme very interesting and “worth watching” after a long time. Oh boy, was Stefan funny, spontaneous, witty and a true refreshment on RTS! “Luda noć” tv progamme was Stefan's next project and he is now traveling around Serbia and making a tv show with a humanitarian adventure race concept called “Avantura Srbija”. We make this interview with Stefan who is the most famous
Australian in Serbia and the most famous Serbian in Australia – after Novak Djoković, couple of days prior to the October 4th when the new Australian ambassador to Serbia H.E. Daniel Emery will present his letter of credence to the Serbian President.
Follow Stefan Popović on Instagram: stefpop and enjoy his stories and photo adventures he makes all around Serbia. Stefan, people in Serbia know so little about the food of Australia. If it was not for the music band
I LOVE SPEAKING SERBIAN SO LEARNING NEVER FELT LIKE A CHORE. IT WAS ORGANIC
“Man At work” and the famous song “Down under” we would not know anything; thanks to that song at least we know what a vegemite sandwich is. What are the three most known Australian meals and sweets? — The three most known Australian foods are meat pies, snags (barbecue sausages) and Vegemite on toast. As for sweets, it’s lamingtons, pavlova and Tim Tam biscuits. When did you move to Serbia and why? What do you do here? Your Serbian is great- how did you manage to speak it so well having in mind that you were born “down under” And your Serbian is Niš dialect- how come? — I moved to Serbia in August 2020 because I was offered a job with RTS doing what I love, working as a presenter and performer. Covid restrictions and that fact that so much of my work dried up in Australia as a result of it was also a good incentive. It gave me the incentive to focus on not wasting time and instead spend time doing what makes me happy. As for my Serbian, I was lucky
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enough to grow-up in Australia with a big Serbian community so I was able to listen to our music, watch our films, read our books, etc and in doing so practice the language. We spoke Serbian at home a lot, I also spent plenty of time with my baba so it all played a part. I love speaking Ser-
out of left-field and say svadbarski kupus. I don’t get to eat it often, it takes a lot of effort and to make it well is an art so when I get to eat it, I really appreciate it. Which region, city, village would you recommend to your Australian friends and why?
THERE IS SO MUCH GREAT FOOD IN SERBIA SO IT’S HARD TO PIC – FOR A GUY FROM AUSTRALIA THE FAVOURITE IS SVADBARSKI KUPUS bian so learning never felt like a chore. It was organic. The accent comes from my dad being from Niš and my mum being from Peć. We spent most of our time in Niš when we travelled here so the south accent was always going to be more prevalent :) What is your favourite Serbian dish and why? — We have so much great food so it’s hard to pic. I suppose I’ll go
— I’d definitely recommend visiting Niš and doing so in August. Niš has so much to offer in terms of sight-seeing from hiking and swimming to exploring and dining, but in August there is a wine festival, Nišville music festival and Filmski susreti film festival. It’s a chance to see another beautiful side of Serbia other than just the capital of Belgrade. If they can visit Tara Canyon as well, then that’s just a bonus :)
The egg whites must not come into contact with any water or dampness otherwise they will not beat up. In mixing bowl put 4 egg whites and mix until fully firm. Add sugar a little at a time and mix in well. If you add sugar all at once it will turn egg whites runny.......if this happens, they will never beat up. Once sugar is mixed we’ll fold through the vanilla extract, vinegar and corn flour or “gustin” as they call it in Serbia. On a flat tray about 30cm x bu 30cm approx....put baking paper. Scoop the egg mix onto the tray and spread evenly.....not right to the end of the tray. Leave a couple of centimetres all around the tray. In a heated electric oven on 160 bake the pavlova for 30 min. Do not open the oven door until 30 min is up. Take pav out and put on
• 4 large egg whites • 250g super fine sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar • 1 teaspoon cornstarch • Assorted blueberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, strawberries, passionfruit, etc.
baking paper so that what was down in the oven is now up and the baking paper it was baked on you now peel off. Let the pav cool down. Add the beaten cream and spread on pav base. Spread fruit on 3/4 of the pav and then gently roll the pav. You don’t have to do it too firmly. Sorry forgot to say you put fruit on top of cream and then roll. Whip cream first.
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by Robert Čoban
Istrian Montenegrins and the Tragic Death of Baroness Barbara Hiterot - part II Cycling in Istria - the wonders of St. Foška, the Montenegrins who settled in Istria in the 17th century in the Venetian Republic, the mysterious mummies in the church in Vodnjan and the exciting life and cruel death of Baroness Barbara Huetterott, once the owner of Red Island, situated across Rovinj couple of days later, we transfer to Crveni Otok (The Red Island) across Rovinj for a few more days of rest. Namely, Sveti Andrija is connected to the neighbouring island of Maškin by an artificial land, which created Crveni Otok. As the boat approached the island, I noticed the outlines of an old church and something that looked like a luxury summer house that resembled those “in the literature from the Habsburg days". However, the history of the island of Sveti Andrija is much more dramatic than what could evoke an idyllic view from the deck of a ship. In the 6th century, the Benedictines built the first church and monastery on the island. Their founder was the Archbishop of Ravenna, Saint Maximilian, and they survived until the 13th century. Remains of a pre-Romanesque church from the 9th century, in which walls were once decorated with frescoes, have been preserved. In the mid-15th century, the island was handed over to the Franciscans who restored the church and the monastery. They remained intact until the arrival of the French in 1809. Since then, the decline of the church and monastery began when Napoleon came to the area, in his revolutionary and conquering zeal, which happened to every territory he subjugated (he expelled the Knights of St. John from Malta, abolished all monasteries in Venice except the Armenian...). The monastery was abolished here in the same year, and in 1820, the building was sold and turned into an oil mill. In 1891, the Huetterott family bought the island. They converted the monastery into a family castle-summer house and decorated it with works of art. They transformed the island into a park in which they planted numerous plants brought here from all over the world, over 180 of them. That is why Sveti Andrija was a favourite destination for tourists from all over
MONASTERY, OIL MILL, CEMENT FACTORY
THE BEAUTY OF ISTRIA FASCINATED JOHANN GEORG HUETTEROTT, BUT HE INVESTED VERY THOUGHTFULLY AND INNOVATIVELY AT THE TIME, WITH THE IDEA OF OPENING A CLIMATIC HEALTH RESORT Austria-Hungary. In 1892, a cement factory was launched on the island, with the church bell tower serving as the factory’s chimney. The central part of the medieval Benedictine church has been preserved, which was incorporated into a residential villa in the 19th century, and today it houses a small maritime museum. The island fell into disrepair between the two wars. It was nationalized after 1945. The tourist complex was built in 1969, and Rovinj's TDR privatized it during the 1990s. Today, it operates
under the Maistra Hotel. The turbulent life and tragic death of Baroness Barbara Heterot, the last owner of the Red Island, is worthy of a mention. She was a member of a German noble family whose grandfather Georg Karl Philipp Huetterott from Kassel, a German town in the province of Hesse, moved to Trieste, then the main Austrian port, in the middle of the 19th century, and her father Baron Johann Georg Huetterott moved to Rovinj a few decades later. Barbara was the co-founder of the first Istrian truf-
fle research, discovery and export company called Azienda del Tartufo - Sella, Hütterott and C. Levade, founded in 1933 in Livade. Barbara's father Johann Georg Huetterott was born in 1852 in Trieste, and he was educated in Germany and in Antwerp, the Netherlands, where he graduated from a merchant school. He was a very successful entrepreneur and branched out outside Trieste. He is also credited with establishing business ties between Austria-Hungary and Japan, which he visited in 1874 on his trip around the world. Japan inspired him the most, as he stayed in that country for the longest time and made significant business connections, so in 1879, he became the first imperial Japanese consul in Europe based in Trieste. Johann Georg Huetterott was only 27 at the time, and in the same year that he became the Japanese consul, he
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married Maria Augustus and continued to accumulate wealth by being a successful businessman. He was so rich that, in 1890, he bought several islands in the Rovinj archipelago at once, and only a year later, he became the owner of parts of the Rovinj coastline. He owned the islands of Sveti Andrija, Maškin, Šturag and Sveti Ivan na Pučini near Rovinj, as well as estates on the coast: Montauro, Monte Mulin, Monvi, Lone, Punta Corrente and Scarab. The beauty of Istria fascinated Johann Georg Huetterott, but he invested very thoughtfully and innovatively at the time, with the idea of opening a climatic health resort. The estates he bought were covered in olive groves, figs and vines, but Huetterott changed the landscape by planting the Mediterranean and exotic trees on an area spanning 115 hectares and thus forming a park/forest. He invited European nobility such as Maria Joseph, the mother of the last Austrian Emperor Charles, as guests, and unofficially hosted Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand. While presenting the natural attractions of Istria to the European aristocratic elite, he prepared the surroundings for the construction of the Cap Aureo tourist complex which comprised three hotels, a swimming pool, sports fields and family villas. Johann Georg died in 1910, and there are two versions of the story about his death - according to one, he died of a stroke, and while others claim that he committed suicide because of the debt he had accumulated when building the Viribus Unitis ship for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. After her father's death, Barbara
CYCLING THROUGH ISTRIA: Mausoleum of the Huetterott family in the middle of the island of Maškin
stayed with her mother to live in a castle on the island of Sveti Andrija which was owned by the family. Huetterott's widow continued to run the business after her husband's death, but she did not do well, so she had to sell part of the property. In the 1930s, Barbara took over the business and successfully ran a truffle company. She ran newspaper advertising campaigns, attended trade fairs and worked to expand the market. To educate the Istrians about the value of truffles, she hired experienced truffle growers from Italy, and she especially took care of search dogs for whom, due to
dairy cows. They also owned fishponds in the bays of the island of Sveti Andrija and Maškin, as well as the Montauro quarry. Furthermore, they leased land, sold furniture, art, collections of weapons and jewellery. Difficulties in business became increasingly pronounced during the Second World War, which Marija and Barbara spent on the island, living rather modestly. After the end of the war, on June 1, 1945, the Huetterott family was declared an enemy of the state and all their property was confiscated. Since then, Barbara and Maria’s destiny are not known.
AFTER HER FATHER'S DEATH, BARBARA STAYED WITH HER MOTHER TO LIVE IN A CASTLE ON THE ISLAND OF SVETI ANDRIJA WHICH WAS OWNED BY THE FAMILY their great value, she bought insurance policies. The company also introduced a new product - canned truffles, which lasted longer in a can and were more accessible to geographically distant customers in Italy. In addition to truffles, Barbara was also involved in sailing, so in 1933, she founded the sailing association called Vela Arupinum in Rovinj, which was operative until the Second World War, and which members, like Barbara, participated in numerous regattas. Because of the economic crisis that had erupted before the Second World War, Barbara was forced to go into agriculture. She and her mother grew fruits and vegetables on the island, and they also fattened
Orthodox Church of St. Spiridon in Peroj
According to the documents in OZNA’s archives (OZNA was the Yugoslav counter-intelligence agency) relating to Istria, Barbara and Maria were arrested, although they did not behave in a hostile manner. The letters they wrote during the war testify to how it was not entirely clear to them what was happening in the world. Witnesses later claimed that the same people who arrested the baroness also looted her property and valuables. Given how ‘enemies of the state’ were punished, it’s not hard to guess what happened to Barbara and her mother. The fate of Barbara and Maria Huetterott is covered in the novel "Islednik", written by the Serbian writer Dragan Velikić. "Oh,
if that were the case, it would be an easy death. The next day, the bodies were loaded into a motorboat, taken to the open sea, and dumped near the Banjola reef, where the sea is deepest. It was a team of OZNA executors. Their commander was a man who went by the name Pulčinović. He was accompanied by Baba, Spalato and Benusi from Rovinj, who was also nicknamed Cvikeraš. You are wondering how I know all this? From Lizette. She recognized the Huetterotts' valuables that came to her for resale so many times,” Velikić writes. Academician Branko Fučić reported about the appearance of the Huetterotti family's summer house after its owners were taken away when the Ministry of Education from Zagreb sent him to Istria immediately after the liberation with the task of recording and listing cultural property: "There were several rooms which you couldn’t even enter into because there were food leftovers, empty wine bottles, broken glasses and empty jewellery boxes were strewn across the floor which were quite dirty. There were even dirty dishes. This was all reminiscent of a truly abandoned castle!" While cycling through the idyllic landscape of Crveni Otok, I come across a large circular mausoleum of the Huetterott family, built in the middle of the island of Maškin, in which Maria and Barbara are not buried. I think that there is some kind of curse by which the most beautiful and most romantic parts of the world are hiding the bloodiest secrets and testimonies of incomprehensible human cruelty. The island of Sveti Andrija is one such place.
QUEEN OF TRUFFLES AND SAILING: Baroness Barbara Huetterott
by Vanja Kovačev
Oh! What a Country! Normal life is more important for human well-being than a warm climate his is not a page from a tourist guide. Log on to trip adviser and all is there. Sweden is a country of forests, lakes and midnight sun. ABBA too but that is another story – and they are not just back together as a band in 2021 because the need more money. They simply like to sing. How hard is that to believe? It is not all just about the money. The following lines are thoughts that follow everybody who has ever travelled to Swedenthe phenomenon of a well-being and low stress rate. The definition of human well-being is diverse and is often used interchangeably with happiness, human welfare, standard of living or quality of life and has become an allaround term to measure and promote human lifestyle. Well-being describes state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. Happiness includes things such as the fulfilment of long-term goals, sense of purpose and how in control you feel in life. Sounds familiar? If you live on Balkans, let's see - hm- fulfilment of long-term goals -no, how in control you feel in life- very little. Where are we on a well-being score chart – on a scale from 1 to 10 - now after two wars, period of international sanctions, bombing, everlasting transition during the last 30 years. Hm? I leave the answer to you- but please, no conspiracy theories and such things. Well-being means also access to free education; employment; clean and environment friendly energy; human rights; shelter, housing; health and health care access; income,
SWEDES HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN TO BE POLITE AND KIND TO EACH OTHER. WE WERE LIKE THAT LAST TIME IN THE 80'S – LONG TIME AGO – SWEDES SEEM TO HAVE STAYED IN THE 80'S income distribution, purchasing power; mobility; transportation; infrastructure; governing institutions and trust in institutions; social participation; population; reproduction; leisure activities. Many words- all of them can be comprised in just two; Normal life – and that is according to many testimonials equal to – Sweden. People say that the one who drinks the water from Sarajevo’s old town part Baščaršija will return to Sarajevo; that is true! – Only in my case it goes also like this: „A student of department for Scandinavian languages at the Faculty for Philology who drinks water in a Swedish town Linköping will long for it for the
rest of its life. “ This late Summer we took a one-week trip to Sweden and realised again that this country brings true peace to one’s soul and nourishes our primal love for nature, feeling of tolerance, respect and unconditional kindness to other human beings. We are rarely kind to each other and when we are it is often to be able to ask for a favour in future and communication between people is often interest based. That is true! Analyse people’s behaviour a little bit and you will see interest as the main motivator. People forgot to be nice to each other here; they struggle with everything down here and have been struggling for a long
time and they forgot how to be kind to each other for no reason – just because it is nice! But luckily – Swedes have not forgotten to be polite and kind to each other. We were like that last time in the 80's – long time ago – Swedes seem to have stayed in the 80's. There, up in the North - It is the sunsets who are important for everyday people- not political power. Or - Crossing a street in Sweden is not a challenge; Drivers slow down as they see pedestrians from a distance and not accelerating when they see one while sitting behind the wheel and not so rare even loudly saying: “Where do you think you are going?” or “Hurry up!” Homo homini lupus - “A man is a wolf to another man" “I am stronger; hence I have the advantage in traffic! And I am busy” – people live here using that as an excuse to be rude and to jell to each other. It is the feeling of balance that people strive for in Sweden as well as a simple life joy that flows in one’s body and soul when walking to a nearby lake or through the forest. It is the balance and peacefulness that is the ultimate symbol of one’s success. Life is not just a hungry pursuit for money and power that leaves one empty and unfulfilled. It is the kind smile to another human, a gentle look when passing by, positive mind, close relation to nature and burning passion for environmental protection and human rights as well as longevity and vitality that occupies minds of Swedes. And, again, please no excuses for us that it is somebody else’s fault.
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DI PLOM ACY
COM M E RC E
Photo: Michalakis Ppalis / Shutterstock
PR E S E N T S
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Sustainable Economic Development
In the broader energy security scheme, the vision of Cyprus in the field of hydrocarbons is to become part of the energy map of the Eastern Mediterranean region and acquire a decisive role in energy developments
F O R E WO R D
ignificant gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean region during the last decade have attracted worldwide attention, whilst hydrocarbons exploration activities have intensified. These discoveries are expected to be developed sooner or later. On the other hand, the goals of the climate agenda for Energy Transition are not expected to be achieved from one day to the other. They require significant investments, technology improvements and time; in other words, they need a transition period. During this transition, a “bridge-fuel” will be necessary; there is a wide agreement that natural gas is the “bridge fuel”. Moreover, natural gas is used in hydrogen production, which is expected to have a leading role in Energy Transition. Lastly, for some sectors such as transport, Energy Transition will be more difficult and slower; therefore, natural gas can play a vital role as it is undoubtedly the most environmentally friendly conventional fuel. In the broader energy security scheme, the vision of Cyprus in the field of hydrocarbons is to become part of the energy map of the Eastern Mediterranean region and acquire a decisive role in energy developments. At the same time, the oil and gas industry aim at contributing to sustainable economic development and, ultimately, to the prosperity of Cyprus's citizens. In this context, Cyprus and Serbia could cooperate in Energy Efficiency
H.E. DEMETRIOS THEOPHYLACTOU Ambassador of Cyprus to Serbia
Hydrocarbons are a key component that could lead the wider area toward an era of peace and prosperity
and Renewable Energy Sources (RES), especially in the deployment of solar energy, for instance, via exchanges of extensive experience and know-how regarding application and installations of thermal energy, solar systems as well as photovoltaic systems. Furthermore, the Applied Energy Laboratory could participate in an exchange of know-how / experiences and on practical aspects concerning the testing of solar thermal collectors and systems. The sector of innovation and research is steadily developing activities and synergies through several universities and research centres between the two countries, in areas such as RES, energy efficiency, electricity management, energy storage and hydrogen.
The East Med region has huge potential to supply the EU and international markets with natural gas. Since the Tamar discovery in 2009, around 2,100 BCM (Billion Cubic Meters) have been discovered between Cyprus, Israel and Egypt. By creating synergies to utilise new and existing infrastructure, neighbouring countries in the east Med region may create strong alliances to create the «East Med gas corridor» to Europe, consisting of different gas sources, routes and export facilities, thus enhancing the energy security of the countries themselves, of the region and Europe more broadly. In this respect, hydrocarbons are a key component that could lead the wider area toward an era of peace and prosperity.
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State of Play
Cyprus is a small isolated energy system, highly dependent on oil products for its energy needs
ore than 90% of Cyprus energy inland consumption comes from oil products and the rest from renewables. The introduction of natural gas via Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports, the development of the necessary infrastructure to import natural gas to Cyprus by early 2022 (via the “CyprusGas2EU” project of common interest) as well as the two other projects of common interest, the “EuroAsia Interconnector” and the “EastMed Pipeline”, will end the current energy isolation, contribute to the security of supply dimension and the diversification of Cyprus’ energy sources. Cyprus imports approximately 2.5 million MT per year (2018) of refined oil products, mainly imported from neighboring countries, e.g., Greece and Israel. The ability to diversify the current energy supply is very limited because of the small amounts of petroleum products imported to Cyprus as a result of the size of its internal market, the lower transport (shipping) costs from neighboring countries, and the availability of suitable petroleum products with the required specifications due to similar climatic conditions. Regarding Renewable Energy, in
Cyprus imports approximately 2.5 million MT per year (2018) of refined oil products
2019, the share of RES in the total final energy consumption reached 13,84%, exceeding the mandatory national target of 13% RES in 2020, under the RES Directive 2009/28/EC. Also, the share of the RES in electricity generation reached 10,16%, in the heating and cooling sector 35,10% and 3,3% in the transport sector. In the year 2019, the primary energy consumption was 2.54 Mtoe. Although the initial forecast was for indicative primary energy consumption in 2020 at 2.23 Mtoe, the latest devel-
opments for the delayed arrival of natural gas for use as a fuel in electricity generation late in 2022, consumption in 2020 maintained at 2.5 Mtoe, and the national final energy consumption was at 1.91 Mtoe. National energy saving commitments include, inter alia, measures to improve energy efficiency in the production, transmission, distribution, metering, pricing and end-use of energy, guided by the requirements of the relevant European Directives fully implemented at the national level.
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Cyprus is committed to increase the share of Renewable Energy Sources (RES)\ and improve energy efficiency for 2030 long with other EU member states’ efforts to meet the EU targets toward the green transition, Cyprus is committed to increase the share of Renewable Energy Sources (RES)\ and improve energy efficiency for 2030. Achievement of these goals by strategy and design make Cyprus’ transition to climate neutrality attainable based on the comprehensive National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP prepared in January 2020). Taking action on that is expected to affix for Cyprus an increase in the share of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) to 23% of the total gross final energy consumption and to 26% of the total gross final electricity consumption, as well as to maintain 39% in heating and cooling and 14% in the transport sector for 2030. Respectively, the quantitative targets for improving energy efficiency are to be applied as obligatory targets to achieve cumulative energy saving of 243,04 ktoe during 2021-2030, by applying measures over and above of those set by EU legislation, reaching final Energy Consumption of 2,0 Mtoe in 2030 (representing 13% reduction in final energy consumption)
and maintaining Primary Energy Consumption of 2,4 Mtoe in 2030 (representing 17% reduction in primary energy consumption). The key policies and measures to achieve the aforementioned RES shares and improve energy efficiency include a variety of schemes aiming to assist households, enterprises, municipalities, communities, and the wider public sector and NGOs in implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy investments (e.g. installation of countable RES and Energy Efficiency technologies in Public Buildings), digital one-stop shop to streamline RES projects permitting and to facilitate energy renovation in buildings, enhance the uptake of sustainable construction materials and increase resource efficiency. Transport sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and thus, measures focused on promoting RES and improving energy efficiency in this sector are essential to their reduction. In this regard, such measures include promoting electrification in road transport through the development of the necessary infrastructure. Extension of planning through complementary measures directed towards
the development of public transport, the promotion of alternative fuels, the promotion of low emission buses and vehicles and the implementation of the sustainable urban mobility plans. Moreover, the promotion of biofuels and the use of electricity will contribute to reducing emissions in the transport sector. A key element to increase the production of electricity from renewables and reduce the price of electricity for consumers is the liberalisation of the electricity market in Cyprus, which is expected in 2022. The Project of Common Interest “EuroAsia Interconnector” for the electricity interconnection between Cyprus, Israel and Crete, planned to operate by 2025, seeks to integrate Cyprus Electricity Marker with other EU Member States' markets into a single market. Simultaneously, Cyprus will achieve the minimum level (for 2030) of the interconnection of 15% of the installed power capacity. Accomplishing both electricity storage and electricity interconnection are critically important for increasing renewable energy penetration. For storage, the relevant legal framework is under preparation while funding schemes are in the pipeline. Having the right market mechanisms in place and allowing for faster penetration of renewable energy sources will enable Cyprus to achieve its RES targets. More specifically, it can ensure the promotion of exports to neighboring countries whilst being in abundance due to their intermittent nature (statistical transfer).
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Applied Energy Laboratory The Laboratory performs tests for hot water storage tanks (EN12977-3) and for electric heat tanks (prEN50440) for compliance purposes with Energy labelling and Eco-design he Applied Energy Laboratory is a government organization that operates under the Energy Service of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry. It is one of the 24 EU solar thermal labs. The Applied Energy Laboratory is an accredited laboratory under CYS EN ISO/IEC 17025:2017, recognized by European Certification Bodies, authorized by European Committee for Standardization to certify thermal solar tech-
nologies, according to specific international standards (EN12975-1, ISO9806, EN12976 and ISO 9459). The Laboratory performs tests for hot water storage tanks (EN12977-3) and for electric heat tanks (prEN50440) for compliance purposes with Energy labelling and Eco-design. Government departments and semi-government organisations utilize it, as well as solar thermal systems manufacturers in Cyprus, organisations participating in
research programs but also non-Cypriot customers and importers. It contributes, inter alia, to the formation and optimization of the technical specifications of solar thermal systems manufactured and marketed in Cyprus, it provides certification services to the industry, assistance to the local industry in developing more efficient products, while allowing the government to rationalise criteria for solar thermal incentive programs.
Areas of Cooperation between Cyprus and Serbia Cooperation should be in the field of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources (RES), through exchange of experiences and expertise
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yprus and Serbia could cooperate in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources (RES), especially in the deployment of solar energy, for instance via exchanges of extensive experience and know-how regarding application and installations of thermal energy, solar systems as well as photovoltaic systems. Furthermore, the Applied Energy Laboratory could participate in an exchange of know-how / experiences and on practical aspects concerning the testing of solar thermal collectors and systems. The sector of innovation and research is steadily developing activities and synergies through several universities and research centres between the two countries, in areas such as RES, energy efficiency, electricity management, energy storage and hydrogen.
HYDROCARBONS The vision of Cyprus in the field of hydrocarbons is to become part of the energy map of the Eastern Medi-
terranean region and acquire a decisive role in energy developments in the region. At the same time, the oil and gas industry aim at contributing to sustainable economic development and, ultimately, to the prosperity of Cyprus's citizens. In this regard, the strategic goal of the Hydrocarbon Service and the Cyprus Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry (MECI) is the optimal and sustainable development of the hydrocarbons potential of the country, the maximization of revenues, and the development of the economy for the benefit of the society and future generations. The promotion of exploration and the development of the hydrocarbon sector in Cyprus can attract investments and create new jobs throughout the entire industry chain, further strengthening the country's economy. For this to be achieved, the MECI is assessing the local labour force's needs and developing the appropriate education and training programs to obtain the relative skills, knowledge and expertise.
Natural gas will be a necessary and integral component for the Cypriot economy to achieve this transition, with all the benefits through imports of Liquefied Natural Gas and, subsequently, the supply of our natural gas from the gas discoveries in Cypriot EEZ.
In addition, Cyprus, being a full Member State of the European Union (EU), by developing hydrocarbon resources within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and building the necessary infrastructure, will enhance the European Union's energy security supply. Cyprus can contribute towards the transformation of the eastern Mediterranean region into an area of sustainable and balanced economic development, by enhancing political stability and improving bilateral relationships, building on synergies emerging from the exploitation of hydrocarbons in the region. Last but not least, we must not forget that natural gas is expected to play an essential role in the energy transition to a green economy and net-zero emissions, as it is more environmentally friendly than other conventional fuels. Therefore, natural gas will be a necessary and integral component for the Cypriot economy to achieve this transition, with all the benefits, such as reducing gas emissions, cleaner environment, green jobs, etc. The main goal of the MECI is, therefore, the supply of natural gas in Cyprus, something that is already on track
The MECI, during the last 15 years, has taken targeted actions to achieve its hydrocarbon strategy. Firstly, it reached an agreement with the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel on the delimitation of the
EEZ. After that, it launched and successfully concluded three Licensing Rounds in 2008, 2013, and 2017. As a result of these procedures, there are in force nine Exploration Licenses (for Blocks 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12). The Licensing Rounds (especially the 2nd and 3rd) attracted significant interest from major companies of the oil and gas sector, such as ExxonMobil, ENI, and Total, which shows the prospective of this frontier area.
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Gas Exploration Activities in Cyprus’s EEZ
The discovery of the giant Zohr field in Egyptian EEZ, just a few kilometres away from Cyprus Block 11, revealed a new geological play and highlighted the perspective of the area
he subsequent discoveries in Cyprus EEZ confirmed that the geological model extends more widely in the Eastern Mediterranean region. These results bode well for Cyprus and the region, adding to its reputation as an emerging gas region. Considering the other discoveries in the East Med region, they attracted great attention amongst major players. This attention has been captured lately through the interest of major players to acquire new licences. ExxonMobil has already been granted licences for blocks southwest of Crete and Egypt during the recent licensing rounds. It is eyeing more prospects, including opportunities in Israel. Chevron has also extended its interest in Egypt, gaining rights to three offshore blocks, as well as in Cyprus and Israel, by taking over Noble Energy’s shares in the Aphrodite, Tamar and Leviathan gas fields. The Exploration activities of the Cyprus licensees led to the discovery of three gas fields, namely Aphrodite in Block 12 (2011), Calypso in Block 6 (2018) and Glaucus in Block 10
(2019). For the Aphrodite field, Cyprus granted its first exploitation license in 2019. According to the approved Plan of Development, the gas that will be produced from the “Aphrodite” field will be transported to Egypt through a subsea pipeline and be liquefied in the Dike LNG plant to be exported via LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) carriers to Europe and other markets according to demand. To facilitate these plans, Cyprus and Egypt have concluded the discussions and agreed on the text of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) concerning a direct submarine natural gas pipeline from Cyprus to Egypt in 2018. The Agreement aims to promote the transport of natural gas from Cyprus to Egypt via the development, construction, and operation of a direct submarine pipeline across the respective EEZs of the two countries for re-export to Europe in the form of LNG. The other discoveries (Calypso and Glaucus) are currently under appraisal. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact to the oil and gas industry worldwide last year, and have delayed the exploration program of the
The East Med region has huge potential to supply the EU and international markets with natural gas
licensees. Exploration activities are now progressing, and more discoveries are expected in Cypriot EEZ. The East Med region has huge potential to supply the EU and international markets with natural gas. Since the Tamar discovery in 2009, around 2,100 BCM (Billion Cubic Meters) have been discovered between Cyprus, Israel and Egypt. Once countries in the region began hydrocarbon exploration and production activities, it was only a matter of time before reaching the common realization that the only way to monetize East Med offshore gas discoveries sustainably was through regional cooperation and coordination. By creating synergies to utilise new and existing infrastructure, neighbouring countries in the east Med region may create strong alliances to create the «East Med gas corridor» to Europe, consisting of different gas sources, routes and export facilities, thus enhancing the energy security of the countries themselves, of the region and Europe more broadly. In this respect, hydrocarbons are a key component that could lead the wider area toward an era of peace and prosperity.
Cooperation Cyprus and Serbia could cooperate in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources (RES), especially in the deployment of solar energy, for instance via exchanges of extensive experience and know-how regarding application and installations of thermal energy, solar systems as well as photovoltaic systems. Furthermore, the Applied Energy Laboratory could participate in an exchange
of know-how / experiences and on practical aspects concerning the testing of solar thermal collectors and systems. The sector of innovation and research is steadily developing activities and synergies through several universities and rresearch centres between the two countries, in areas such as RES, energy efficiency, electricity management, energy storage and hydrogen.
Photo: Diyana Dimitrova / Shutterstock
Commitment Along with other EU member states’ efforts to meet the EU targets toward the green transition, Cyprus is committed to increase the share of Renewable Energy Sources (RES)\ and improve energy efficiency for 2030. Achievement of these goals by strategy and design make Cyprus’ transition to climate neutrality attainable based on the comprehensive National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP - prepared in January 2020).
SPECIAL EDITION Photo: Monster Ztudio / Shutterstock
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European Energy Security The production of indigenous gas in Cyprus EEZ, when materialized, will allow the construction of the necessary infrastructure for exports, such as subsea pipelines, liquefaction facilities, and others espite the obvious direct (e.g., economic revenues, economic development) and indirect (e.g., security of supply, jobs) advantages for Cyprus, this will also enhance the geostrategic position of Cyprus in the region and could contribute to the EU’s security of supply and diversification of routes. Through these export facilities, gas from the Eastern Mediterranean region will be transferred to European countries and contribute to supply diversification. The abovementioned plans for the monetization of the Aphrodite field could allow for the transport of the first molecules of East-
ern Mediterranean gas to the EU, thus contributing to the European Union’s security of supply and diversification of sources and routes. The Republic of Cyprus, in the context of its external energy policy, has promoted in recent years trilateral as well as quadrilateral cooperation between Cyprus and countries such as Greece, Israel and Egypt. Moreover, in the context of regional cooperation, which the Republic of Cyprus promotes and actively supports, the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) was founded by seven countries of the region. The founding members are Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and
When assessed from a different perspective, in order to achieve its goals regarding hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities, Cyprus will need a skilled local workforce
Palestine, while France was approved to join in March 2021. The Forum enjoys the full support of both the European Union and the United States of America. It is a platform for structured dialogue on technical and trade cooperation between importing, exporting, and transit countries to the natural gas pathway. The Forum also aims to create a regional gas market, while also exploring possible mechanisms to make the Eastern Mediterranean competitive in the global gas market. EMGF activities include the development of a Long-Term Strategy (LTS) for the EMGF and two new initiatives on “Gas Decarbonization” and “LNG as a fuel for vessels”, in line with global environmental trends. Finally, when assessed from a different perspective, in order to achieve its goals regarding hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities, Cyprus will need a skilled local workforce. In this respect, MECI has funded specialized training programs for public servants dealing with hydrocarbon issues, in order to improve their professional skills. For the private sector, MECI has funded scholarships for undergraduate as well as post-graduate degrees. In brief, the mid-term strategy of Cyprus is to develop a local workforce capable in supporting the expected expansion of the oil and gas industry.
The vision of Cyprus in the field of hydrocarbons is to become part of the energy map of the Eastern Mediterranean region and acquire a decisive role in energy developments in the region. At the same time, the oil and gas industry aim at contributing to sustainable economic development and, ultimately, to the prosperity of Cyprus's citizens. 68
The East Med region has huge potential to supply the EU and international markets with natural gas. Since the Tamar discovery in 2009, around 2,100 BCM (Billion Cubic Meters) have been discovered between Cyprus, Israel and Egypt.
By creating synergies to utilise new and existing infrastructure, neighbouring countries in the east Med region may create strong alliances to create the «East Med gas corridor» to Europe, consisting of different gas sources, routes and export facilities, thus enhancing the energy security of the countries themselves, of the region and Europe more broadly. In this respect, hydrocarbons are a key component that could lead the wider area toward an era of peace and prosperity.
D. SHOSTAKOVICH VIOLONCELLO CONCERTO NO. 1 D. SHOSTAKOVICH SYMPHONY NO. 10 Grand Hall of the Kolarac Foundation, 20.00
Conductor: Gabriel Feltz, Musician: Johannes Moser, cello
Oct. 9th at 6pm 9TH INTERNATIONAL FOLKLORE FESTIVAL
G. MAHLER SYMPHONY NO. 6 Grand Hall of the Kolarac Foundation, 20.00
BELGRADE AWARD 2021 Production: Cultural and Artistic Society Sveti Sava
Oct. 10th at 8pm CULTURAL AND ARTISTIC SOCIETY KOPAONIK LEPOSAVIĆ
Conductor: Gabriel Feltz
Oct. 11th at 8pm 10TH BELGRADE CHOPIN FEST Ladies play Chopin, Biljana Gorunović, Rita Kinka, Marija Djukić
Oct. 12th at 8pm JULIAN RACHLIN, VIOLIN AND VIOLA
Over and Above
19th October – 10th December 2021 Exhibition opening: Tuesday / October 19 / from 6 – 9 pm Drina gallery, Krunska 73, Belgrade
Drina Gallery is pleased to announce a group exhibition OVER AND ABOVE that brings together twenty one Italian and SerboCroatian artists in a visual and
intellectual dialogue. Different artistic processes, themes, styles and interventions will be displayed in each of the exhibition rooms featuring a variety of media including painting, video/ hologram installation, objects, photography, mixed media, works on paper, ceramics, and sculpture. In this cultural exchange, the initial contrast becomes the strength of the exhibition rather than its weakness. Unexpected and unusual juxtapositions invite the audience to reveal new meanings and fresh perspectives, hidden connections and boundaries that lead Over and Above.
Photo: Giuseppe Pietroniro, Collage No.3, 2019, Collage and mixed technique on pescia paper, 40 × 35 cm
Sarah McElravy, violin Program: Mozart, Shostakovich, Wieniawski, Penderecki, Prokofiev Production: CEBEF
Oct. 13th at 8pm 10TH BELGRADE CHOPIN FEST INGOLF WUNDER Program: Ingolf Wunder Liberty Prelude Fantaisie Atlantis F.Liszt Piano Sonata in B minor, S. 178 F. Chopin Nocturnes Op. 9, nos. 1, 2, 3 Nocturne Op. 55, no 2 Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Op. 22 Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53
Oct. 15th at 8pm BELGRADE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
S. Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1 D. Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1 P. I. Tchaikovsky Overture 1812
Oct. 16th at 8pm RTS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Artistic director Sreten Krstić, violin Production: RTS Music Production
Oct. 18th at 8pm 50TH INTERNATIONAL JEUNESSES MUSICALES COMPETITION/CELLO Oct. 19th at 8pm 50TH INTERNATIONAL JEUNESSES MUSICALES COMPETITION/CELLO Oct. 20th at 8pm 20TH INTERNATIONAL HARP FESTIVAL Going Green with Danube Joel von Lerber, harp
Oct. 22nd at 8pm BELGRADE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Conductor: Daniel Smith Soloist: Sergei Dogadin, violin G. Rossini La scala di seta, overture J. Sibelius Violin Concerto G. Verdi I vespri siciliani, overture Respighi Pini di Roma
Oct. 23rd at 7.30 LP DUO
Sonja Lončar & Andrija Pavlović
Oct. 24th at 11am BELGRADE PROMS
Conductor: Daniel Raiskin Soloists: Alexei Volodin, piano Jovan Savić, trumpet S. Prokofiev Lieutenant Kijé
Jelena Rokvić, violin Katarina Hadži Antić Tatić, piano Production: Music Center
Oct. 24th at 8pm CULTURAL AND ARTISTIC SOCIETY LOLA
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