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Germany - 2020 -

GERMANY & SERBIA

FORTIFYING THE BRIDGES OF COOPERATION H.E. THOMAS SCHIEB

German Ambassador to Serbia

Dr. RONALD SEELIGER

MARKO ČADEŽ

President of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia) and CEO of Hemofarm

President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS)


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Germany 2020

BILATERAL 06 THRIVING RELATIONS H.E. Thomas Schieb

German Ambassador to Serbia

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IT IS TIME TO MAKE NEW WONDERS

Dr. Ronald Seeliger

TANJA BANKOVIĆ Editor in Chief

tanja.bankovic@color.rs

ILIJA PETROVIĆ INDIGOCHILD” Art director

indigochild.ilija@gmail.com

NATAŠA NEŠIĆ

Advertising director natasa.nesic@color.rs

JOVANA MARKOVIĆ Advertising manager

jovana.markovic@color.rs

JELENA RANDJELOVIĆ Advertising manager

jelena.randjelovic@color.rs

DRAGANA RADOVIĆ Advertising manager

dragana.radovic@color.rs

RUŽA VELJOVIĆ Magazine director

ruza.ristanovic@color.rs

ROBERT ČOBAN Director

robert.coban@color.rs

Photos

GORAN ZLATKOVIĆ GETTY IMAGES Translation

SNEŽANA BJELOTOMIĆ Print

ZLATNA KNJIGA Jagodina, Bagrdanski put bb

President of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia) and CEO of Hemofarm

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WE ARE FORTIFYING THE BRIDGES OF COOPERATION

Marko Čadež

President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS)

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BUILDING INDUSTRIAL MIDDLE CLASS TAKES TIME

Martin Knapp

Director of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia)

20 EVERY NEW PROJECT IS A 22 CHALLENGE

OUR CUSTOMERS RECOGNIZE US FOR OUR QUALITY

GP Gradjevinar

Ognjen Kisin

CEO of Konstruktor Group

28 TRUST BRINGS NEW INVESTMENTS 30 WE GROW WITH OUR CLIENTS Cooperation

Djordje Savić

CEO of Messer Tehnogas

32 WEHEREARE PROUD OF OUR WORK Clemens Sachs

Managing Director, LEONI Wiring Systems Southeast d.o.o.

34 TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC DREAM A LETTER FROM A MUM 36 QUALITY IS THE BEST 37 TOP REFERENCE Economy

Phoenix

Zoran Djurić

CEO of Miele Serbia

38 42 SUPPORT AND CONSULTANCY

THE STRENGTH OF FAMILY - TOP QUALITY PRODUCTS

Perfom

TANJA JELIĆ

International Cooperation Consultant at Expositur

THE COMMUNITY IN 23 WEWHICHRESPECT WE OPERATE 43 TRADITION OF QUALITY THE LARGEST AND MOST 48 SIGNIFICANT BILATERAL ORGANIZATION IN SERBIA WE ARE CONQUERING 24 THE MARKET TACKLING POLLUTION 54 OF SUPPORT TO THE OKTOBERFEST 26 15LOCALYEARSECONOMY 56 Predrag Armuš

General manager, Henkel Serbia & Export Markets Adhesive Technologies, Construction and Consumers & Craftsmen

TIM Co

AHK Activities

Filip Simović

CEO of Militzer & Münch

METRO Cash & Carry

Environment

Customs

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02 THE BEST-

SELLING CAR… ALMOST Volkswagen Beetle is the most famous car ever. It inspired The Beatles, the most influential popband from Liverpool, and it was the bestselling car for a while and the first car ever to reach 1 million sold units. In fact, the millionth Beetle was covered by jewels.

01 THE MOST

WIDELY TAUGHT THIRD LANGUAGE

German is the most widely taught third language across the world. But in spite of being the most spoken language of Europe in terms of native speakers, the working languages of the EU were only French and English. Time to change it?

06 THE LONGEST WORD

Germans have affinity towards long words. Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft is the longest word to be published. It is 79 letters long. It is used by Goethe-Institut jokingly to show how „easy“ German is.

05 THE BEST

RAILWAYS

Deutsche Bahn is the secondlargest transport company in the world (and largest by revenue), after the German postal and logistics company Deutsche Post/DHL, and is the largest railway operator in Europe. It carries about two billion passengers annually. Berlin has the largest train station in Europe.

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03 THE LAND OF FORESTS

One-third of Germany is still covered in forests and woodlands. Schwarzwald or the Black Forest is considered one of the most instagrammable places in the world.

04 THE FIRST PRINTED BOOK IN EUROPE

The first European book was printed in Mainz, today’s Germany, by the famous Johannes Gutenberg. It is an edition of the Latin Vulgate printed in the 1455. Forty-nine copies have survived. It is the second printed book in the world, first being “Jikji” in 1377 in today’s Korea.

07 THE WORLD

NARROWEST STREET

You would expect the world narrowest street to be somewhere in the Orient of the Mediterranan, but it is in fact in Germany. The world’s narrowest street is in Reutlingen. It is called Spreuerhofstraße and is 31 cm wide at its narrowest point.

08 AROUND THE WORLD…

150-200m ethnic Germans live in the world, 57m in the USA alone, among them were 3 American presidents: Eisenhower (Eisenhauer), Hoover (Huber) and… Donald Trump (Trumpf)! Catherine the Great was German, as well as 10% of the Canadians, 8% of the Argentinians and 5% of the Australians.

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At the construction site of the new German Embassy in Kneza MiloĹĄa

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THRIVING BILATERAL RELATIONS H.E. THOMAS SCHIEB

German Ambassador to Serbia

Political and economic relations between Germany and Serbia are steadily progressing. Germany wholeheartedly supports Serbia’s strategic goal to become a member state of the EU and develop a thriving economy. By signing a bilateral agreement, cultural and scientific exchange will soon be elevated to the next level

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U accession process and economic, cultural and scientific exchange are in the focus of the bilateral relations between Germany and Serbia. Furthermore, in the international arena, the two countries successfully cooperate in dealing with migration on the so-called “Balkans route”. Among the issues which should be further addressed are fair and transparent election process, media freedom and continuous implementation of measures for sustainable and reliable economic development. “Political ties between Germany and Serbia are strong, and Germany wholeheartedly supports Serbia’s strategic goal to become a member state of the EU, “says H.E. Thomas Schieb, German Ambassador to Serbia in an interview for D&C. “Serbia should become a member of the EU family as soon as possible, which does, however, depend on Serbia’s pace of reform, especially in the rule of law”, adds our interlocutor, underlining that Germany strongly supports the European path of Serbia. “Let me add that EU-enlargement will remain a very important topic for our presidency of the European Council in the second semester 2020,” says the ambassador. Our interlocutor further notes that the bilateral relations between Germany and Serbia are deep-rooted and very broad across all fields, and offers a quick snapshot into history, and anniversaries which are before us. “Our cultural relations have a long tradition dating back to the friendship between Vuk Karadzic and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and even deeper into the past. This year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Goethe Institute Belgrade”, says the German ambassador to Serbia. Economic relations are particularly strong with the trade exchange reaching over 5

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Important topic

billion euros last year, a result to which the German companies operating in Serbia are strongly contributing by setting their production in Serbia. “Our economic relations are developing at an ever faster pace; more and more German companies invest in Serbia, creating jobs for more than 62,000 people so far”, concludes our interviewee. After an overview of the major features of the German Serbian bilateral relations, we went to ask our interlocutor about the most important issues relevant for this particular moment in time. The topics covered

WE EXPECT SERBIA TO KEEP TRACK ON ITS REFORM PATH AND TO KEEP PACE. WE ARE READY TO ASSIST SERBIA IN ITS REFORM EFFORT were related to forthcoming Serbian elections, current status of the EU enlargement process, major themes of the contemporary issues related to cooperation between Germany and Serbia, status of Serbian reforms and the activities of the German embassy in Serbia. What do you think of the attempts to establish a dialogue between the government and the opposition aimed at creating fair electoral conditions?  I welcome the measures agreed within the inter-party dialogue moderated by the European Parliament aiming at creating the conditions for free and fair elections. Now implementation of what was agreed in the dialogue is of key importance, particular-

ly in the media sector. We do think that it is important for the opposition to participate in the elections – and this is why it is so important that the conditions for free and fair elections are safeguarded and a level playing field is guaranteed. Considering the overall situation, what can the EU offer countries like Serbia and what should our country’s motives be when it comes to continuing with the European integration process?  First of all, the EU does offer a lot already. Visa free travel to Schengen area for holders of Serbian passports or EU pre-accession assistance worth 1.5 billion EUR (2014-2020) are just two examples. It is important to note that EU membership comes with privileges and obligations. For instance, the EU is stronger together in the arena of foreign policy than any of its member states alone. That requires all member states to make compromises in order to agree on joint positions and to advocate them loyally. Therefore, candidate countries need to align their foreign policy gradually with this EU acquis. What, apart from the European integration, are the most important priorities in bilateral relations between Serbia and Germany?  We want to further boost our economic exchange, and also help increase cooperation of the German states – like Baden Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse or Lower Saxony – with Serbia. Cultural and scientific exchange is another important field and we hope that we can soon conclude negotiations for a bilateral agreement that will elevate our cooperation to the next level. We are grateful for Serbia’s constructive role in managing migration on the so-called “Balkans route” and will continue to support

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EU-ENLARGEMENT WILL REMAIN AN IMPORTANT TOPIC FOR OUR PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL IN THE SECOND SEMESTER 2020 GERMANY 2020

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A small contribution to cleaner air - Embassy's BMW i3 for going around the town

government efforts to meet the basic needs of refugees and migrants and to integrate recognized refugees. What is your assessment of the overall economic reforms in Serbia and what are your expectations in this matter?  I share the assessments of the World Bank, with IMF and other international institutions: Serbia undertook major macro-economic reforms and finds itself today in a stable economic situation which is very good. We expect Serbia to keep track on its reform path and to keep pace. We are ready to assist Serbia in its reform effort. In which areas should Serbia exert more effort towards building a functional market economy and what are the experiences of German investors in Serbia regarding this?  Challenges for sustainable and reliable economic development in Serbia remain to be addressed. According to the last annual survey of the Serbian-German Chamber of

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Commerce among its approximately 340 member companies corruption needs to be fought, transparency in public procurement needs to be improved. Companies wish for reliable court procedures in due time and the implementation of existing laws as well. Serbia’s building of a functional market economy will also need to address privatiza-

WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR SERBIA’S CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE IN MANAGING MIGRATION ON THE SOCALLED “BALKANS ROUTE” AND WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO MEET THE BASIC NEEDS OF REFUGEES

tion and liberalization questions. When do you expect the Embassy to move into a new building?  There is a proverb saying that at sea and in court you are in God’s hands. Which means anything can happen. It goes for big construction projects too. However, I am very confident that we’ll move in this year. What will be the Embassy’s activities this year?  We will continue to work with all our partners across the board to further support Serbia’s way into the EU. We will see festivities marking 20 years of development cooperation, the 30th anniversary of the German reunification, the 50th anniversary of Goethe Institute, but also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. We also want to do more culture-related work outside Belgrade. There will likewise be many more activities by Goethe, DAAD, GIZ and our political foundations. We won’t get bored this year, that’s for sure.


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I N TE RV I E W

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IT IS TIME TO MAKE NEW WONDERS Dr. RONALD SEELIGER

President of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia) and CEO of Hemofarm

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This year, we celebrate 20 years of German investments in Serbia and this is a great results! During this period we made a significant progress bringing more and more investors to this country and matching German companies with Serbian suppliers. I am looking forward to the next 20 years


ooking back on the two decades of German investments in Serbia, Dr. Ronald Seeliger, President of German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia) and the CEO of Hemofarm, has strong reasons to be satisfied. Many things have been achieved – from new investors coming to Serbia to trade relations that went from mere 2 billion euros in 2010 to 5 billion euros in 2019. Yet instead of sitting on the laurels, Mr Seeliger suggests new steps which may be taken to push for growth of Serbian economy and consequently German – Serbian economic relations.

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What is your view of the ongoing economic reforms? Do you think that these reforms will bring more investments to Serbia as some European officials believe?  Quality, in-depth and strategic reforms are needed and should be appreciated by everyone, no matter whether coming from business or other field. I have already mentioned on several occasions that Serbia has succeeded in overcoming the major macroeconomic imbalances and the next task is to continue conducting structural reforms and changing certain patterns of doing business and behaviour thoroughly and in the long run. Looking back to the past, every systemic change has been awarded with greater trust of investors, sometimes it looks like they come in ‘waves’ after important developments. So, I say a big YES to continuation of economic reforms, but also to taking greater care about green projects, better traffic organisation, and investments in infrastructure. How competitive are the conditions that Serbia offers to investors compared to other countries in the region and in which areas should Serbia exert more effort into

increasing its appeal?  There is no official table for comparison of Serbia to other investment destinations and there is no investment zone which clicks all yes; in reality, when they come, investors firstly want to know the answers to some general questions such as the public debt, inflation, currency and exchange rate, state subsidies, infrastructure, etc. Then they dive deeper into more specific data related to particular industry, but in general investors do come to certain country because they believe they have a large market for their products or because they believe the specif-

WHEN IT COMES TO QUALIFIED LABOUR, MOTIVATED AND DISCIPLINED WORK FORCE, AND LOW PRODUCTION COSTS, OF COURSE SERBIA PLAYS PARTICULARLY STRONG ic market offers the so-called unique success factors such as qualified labour, motivated and disciplined work force, and low production costs, of course. In the latter area, Serbia was playing strong and it seems this would be a right moment for the state and local authorities to reinvest into new infrastructure and labour force training, in order to attract new investors. These factors have to be periodically rebuilt for purpose to stay fit and attractive for new-comers. Actually, when speaking about additional efforts to be made, the focus should be on the main drivers of growth such as labour skills, infrastructure, the quality of government

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services and regulations, and the rule of law. There is still a huge space for improvements in the field of predictability of business operations, i.e. possibility to do business within a clear, precise and expected framework. In one of your interviews you mentioned that you would like to change the stagnant, slow, rigid and bureaucratic structure in Serbia that you face on a daily basis. What exactly did you mean by that?  Serbia is still ‘contaminated’ with bureaucracy and should get rid of it as soon as possible. You cannot go digital and at the same time depend on some stiff bureaucratic rules from the last century. I witnessed many times that while doing something online, a clerk was also obliged to write it down in the paper books. Therefore, I also advocate e-government and e-commerce should speed-up, we need to embrace digital era. To what extent can the good experiences of investors in Serbia affect the interest of new or potential German investors?  Every satisfied investor is the promoter of the country, i.e. its best or worst ambassador. I try to emphasize as often as possible that besides attracting new investors, we need to think about the existing ones and nurture them all the times. Take a look at the German investors, for example. They perceive their business in Serbia in the long run and they invest continuously. There are some 400 companies with German capital doing business in Serbia at the moment, and they employ 60,000 workers here. Many of these German companies have invested not once but repeatedly in expanding production capacities, employing additional workers, and growing year after year. This is actually the main reason for which we need to take care about the existing investors full time – firstly, they will

A big YES

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I SAY A BIG YES TO CONTINUATION OF ECONOMIC REFORMS, BUT ALSO TO TAKING GREATER CARE ABOUT GREEN PROJECTS, BETTER TRAFFIC ORGANISATION, AND INVESTMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE GERMANY 2020

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make new investments, and secondly, they will simultaneously be a promoter of Serbia as a good investment destination. What are the local companies’ capacities in terms of meeting the required conditions and standards for cooperating with German partners and in what way will the newly established chamber assist them in achieving the required level?  I remember that in the previous interview for Diplomacy, I mentioned that the AHK Buyers’ Initiative, through which we bring German industrial companies into contact with potential suppliers from the Western Balkans, has already shown great results. Soon after we started this initiative in 2015, with the support of German Minister of Economics, we discovered a number of family-owned companies very well organized and ready to supply German industrial companies with high-quality parts. Now, several years later, we have tangible results of the AHK Suppliers’ Initiative – since 2015, around 600 companies from the Western Balkans started cooperating with companies in Germany. Among those 600, approximately one-third of the supplier companies from the Western Balkans come from Serbia. This is the concrete outcome of the AHK work in this field. This is definitely the area in which Serbia can find its role, and for sure, a niche to be further explored.

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THERE IS A HUGE SPACE FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN THE FIELD OF PREDICTABILITY OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS, AND THAT IS TO SAY, POSSIBILITY TO DO BUSINESS WITHIN A CLEAR, PRECISE AND EXPECTED FRAMEWORK Which of AHK’s activities would you like to single out as being the most important for boosting mutual economic cooperation?  The previously mentioned Buyers' Initiative for sure is one of the most important AHK activities in the near past. Another important activity is the consultancy for potential investors we provide. What is actually happening in the real life: medium-sized German industrial companies especially like to make use of our all-round carefree package with our support in finding suitable locations and cooperation partners for the investor. However, we do a lot in the other areas such as education for example. Since Germany has vast experience in the field of dual education, AHK was supporting heavily

the state and institutions in the introduction of dual education within the secondary education system in Serbia. This is a non-business area which is very influential to daily business: qualified labour force is one of key factors for every company and its operations. When speaking about the collaboration with others, how would you rate the quality of the cooperation between AHK and the Serbian government?  We cooperate with the government on many important issues related to business, education and culture, and it is already wellknown fact that we are at disposal for expert and other support. I have to admit that we have achieved significant progress in communication and joint work with different stakeholders in the state. In the last decade, AHK proved to be a relevant actor and partner and the state recognises this. This year, we celebrate 20 years of German investments in Serbia and this is a great result! During these 20 years, we made a significant progress bringing more and more investors to this country and making excellent results. For example, in 2010, the trade exchange between our two countries was less than 2 billion EUR, while in 2019, we expect to have made a new record of 5 billion or even more in trade exchange. I said many years ago that we came here to stay and we kept our promise. Looking forward to the next 20 years!


INTERNATIONAL CONSULTING AND CLIENT SERVICE BEYOND EXPECTATIONS

IB Interbilanz Consulting & Audit d.o.o. Beograd is a subsidiary of IBD Group GmbH, Vienna. The IBD Group has its roots in Austria and provides consulting and auditing services since 1991 also in other countries. At the moment we are active in 8 countries - besides Serbia, in Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine and Czech Republic – on totally 12 locations. We are present on the Serbian market more than 15 years and provide services in German and English. Our Belgrade office offers a wide range of services: - Accounting – Outsourcing - Payroll -Outsourcing - Tax advisory & transfer pricing studies - Audit & Assurance (Statutory & IFRS) - Business advisory (business planning, CFO services etc.) - Corporate finance (M&A, due diligence, valuation services etc.) - Translations and courier services

Audit | Tax | Advisory Milentija Popovića 5V kula S2 11070 Novi Beograd • T: +381 11 655 70 55 +381 11 655 70 43 E: office@interbilanz.rs · W: www.interbilanz.rs member of IBD GERMANY 2020

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WE ARE FORTIFYING THE BRIDGES OF COOPERATION MARKO ČADEŽ

President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS)

The German-Serbian relations, both political and economic, commercial and investmentrelated, which have been at their maximum in the last two decades, as our country has been progressing towards the EU membership, can only grow stronger. On this path, we particularly value the support and bolstering of cooperation with German companies, financial organizations and institutions

ncouraged by the good experiences of large German companies that have already invested in Serbia, employ close to 60,000 workers and hire Serbian companies as suppliers, small and medium-sized companies from Germany are beginning to be interested in our market. Marko Čadež, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS), had the opportunity to talk about this topic in Berlin, at meetings at the German Association of German Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (BVMW) and the Association of Family Enterprises.

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THE VISIT OF THE MINISTER OF ECONOMY OF THE MOST DEVELOPED EUROPEAN ECONOMY TO SERBIA IS OF PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE BOTH POLITICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY

When can we expect the German SMEs to come here?  The growing interest of German SMEs provides more proof that our economic relations are at a mature stage and that Serbia is recognized as a safe, stable and stimulating destination for investments by not only multinational companies that are the first to enter new markets, but also by those companies which are more cautious by nature. What contributed to this are successful stories told by big German investors in Serbia, the progress made in improving the economic environment, but also the activities of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, which, in cooperation with the German partner organizations, is dedicated to promoting the investment and export potential of our economy in the German market. Together with the German Association of German Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (BVMW), we have agreed to organize a visit of a large delegation of small and me-


dium-sized companies interested in investing in Serbia during the first half of this year, to get further acquainted with the business conditions, investment opportunities and experiences of German companies in the Serbian market. The potential for cooperation with BVMW is sufficiently illustrated by the fact that this business association, along with 300 regional and local offices and around 40 representative offices worldwide, assembles as many as 1.1 million German SMEs with partner organizations to support day-to-day business and business networking with domestic and foreign partners. There are also great opportunities for cooperation with the Association of Family Enterprises, which is the focal point for large German family-run companies that generate annual sales in excess of € 50 million, as well as for small and medium-sized enterprises. 500 largest companies in Germany support the activities of this association. During Prime Minister Brnabić's visit to Germany, you also had discussions with the digital association BITKOM. What are the conclusions of that meeting and what are the opportunities for cooperation with German ICT companies?  The partnership between Serbian businesses and German high-tech companies, including companies in the ICT sector, is becoming an increasingly important topic for us in the context of the 4th industrial revolution, of which Germany is one of the driving forces. Germany has been the largest investor in the manufacturing sector so far, and an increasing number of its high-tech companies are opting to open research and development centres in Serbia, in addition to factories and plants. The domestic ICT sector, as the fastest-growing segment of the Serbian

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economy, gives a particular advantage and provides great support in attracting hightech investments. Serbia already has a significant comparative advantage and a surplus in trading in services with the world, with IT services leading the way. Germany is our biggest external trade partner, not only in terms of value, whereby the value of the external trade exceeds 5 billion euro but also in trading in services. Last year, the value of trading in services amounted to 1.128 billion euro, of which Serbian exports to the German market amounted to 750 million euro, twice as much as imports.

SERBIA PROVIDES GERMAN INVESTORS WITH EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED TO INVEST AND MAKE A PROFIT STABILITY, A STIMULATING BUSINESS CLIMATE, QUALITY WORKFORCE AND RELIABLE LOCAL COMPANIES We want to see the Serbian digital community, which potential is recognized worldwide and which products are used globally, to better position itself in the German service market, but also to establish higher levels of cooperation and partnerships with the developed German ICT sector. The talks we had at BITKOM opened the door for investments and collaboration between our high-tech companies and the IT startup community with the members of this association, i.e. more than 2,600 German companies in the digital economy sector,

Industry 4.0

including SMEs and startups, about 1,500 of them, but also a large number of global stakeholders in hardware and software, telecommunications and Internet services, digital media, etc. In the past four years, the CCIS has organized business forums with the participation of businesspeople from German provinces, and such events will take place this year too.  Following the business forums held in the provinces of Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia in recent years, Serbia will present itself in Bavaria this year, the province with which we have the biggest external trade and from which large companies/investors, such as Siemens, Leoni, Draxlmaier, Grammer, Wacker Neuson, Meggle and Muhlbauer, came to do business in Serbia. In cooperation with OWWF Bayern, we will organize a forum in Munich to present to Bavarian companies business and investment opportunities in Serbia. B2B meetings of our and Bavarian businesspeople will add a special quality to the event. We are preparing another business forum, but this time in Serbia. In June, a large business delegation from North Rhine-Westphalia will come from Germany. This will be another opportunity for our business people to have business meetings with companies from one of Germany's most economically strong provinces and the first German industrial region. Last year, about one hundred Serbian companies participating in German trade fairs made more than 4,000 contacts and signed over 40 preliminary and final contracts. This year, Serbian businesses participated in six international fairs in Germany, with the help from the CCIS. In addition to the Fruitlogistica Fruit and Vegetables Fair in Berlin, Biofach Organic Food Fair and Em-

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THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SERBIAN BUSINESSES AND GERMAN HIGH-TECH COMPANIES, INCLUDING COMPANIES IN THE ICT SECTOR, IS BECOMING AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT TOPIC FOR US IN THE CONTEXT OF THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION GERMANY 2020

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in economic terms, this visit is another proof of clearly expressed German willingness to further boost our bilateral economic ties. Moreover, the highlight of this visit was the signing of an investment agreement between the German companies MTU Aero Engines AG and Brose Group, which will make a 300-million-euro worth of investments in Serbia.

bedded World fair of integrated electronics in Nuremberg in February, our companies will present themselves to their German and partner companies at the Prowein wines and alcoholic beverages fair in Dusseldorf, Hannover Messe Techniques and the Automechanica, an automotive industry trade fair, in Frankfurt. Why is Serbia so appealing to German companies in terms of investing?  First and foremost, because of the experiences and recommendations of the German companies which already do business here. As many as 88 per cent of German companies surveyed said they would reinvest their capital in Serbia because Serbia provides German investors with exactly what they need to invest and make a profit - stability, a stimulating business climate, quality workforce and reliable local companies. Companies that invest capital here can form companies in a much simple manner, obtain construction permits faster, and operate easier and cheaper than anywhere in the region. They have lower operating costs than in competing locations and have a whole set of financial incentives - tax and customs benefits, government subsidies and benefits provided by municipalities and cities. They transport goods to customers via the shortest route - European corridors, and thanks to free trade agreements, they export duty-free from here to markets with more than 1.4 billion consumers worldwide. Apart from the quality suppliers waiting for them here, the fact that they can rely on the local businesses and incorporate our companies in their supply chains, Serbia's special trump card in attracting investors is its people. Those German companies that took part in the survey, i.e. members of the

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THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE PROJECTS, THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT HAS SUPPORTED THE KEY POINTS IN THE AGENDA OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF SERBIA. WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FROM THE BEST German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, are satisfied with the productivity and motivation employees here, as well as their qualifications and the quality of their academic education. Dual education in Serbia was also highly commended by the German companies, with the dual education here resembling the one in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Dual education in our country has raised the quality and availability of our workforce. Last year, the German Economy and Energy Minister, Peter Altmaier visited Serbia. How important is this visit for our relations with Germany?  The visit of the Minister of Economy of the most developed European economy to Serbia is of particular importance both politically and economically. Besides the importance of political messages sent by Minister Altmaier which reflect the official Berlin's support for the regional and European integrations of Serbia and the Western Balkans,

Through development projects, Germany provides strong financial and professional support to Serbia precisely in the areas which are at the top priorities of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia. How important is this support to you?  Through the development assistance projects, the German government has supported the key points in the agenda of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, as a business organization, namely further developing the private sector, introducing and developing dual education and improving the labour market to meet the needs of businesses, establishing and operating a Centre for Digital Transformation of the Economy, boosting competitiveness, bigger internationalization of our companies and stronger regional integration. This support is significant to us both financially and also because we can learn from the best. With the transfer of the German knowhow, experience, and contacts, and with the generous professional help of German partners, we can use all of that to build the capacities of our economy and improve business conditions. How will our bilateral relations with Germany develop in the next few years?  In a few years, I see Serbia on the threshold of the European Union, and in five years, I believe as a member of the European Union. This will send out a great signal and create additional security for politicians, potential investors and buyers of our products from Germany and the rest of the world, to establish new partnerships with us. Given the fact that, in the past ten years, since 2009, we have increased our trade with Germany by 2.6 and exports to the German market 3.5 times and that we have attracted almost 500 German investors so far, then, in a few years, with strengthened capacities, we will be even more competitive, and while operating in the common regional market become well-prepared for the European single market. As such we will become better and more reliable partners to others.


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BUILDING INDUSTRIAL MIDDLE CLASS TAKES TIME MARTIN KNAPP

Director of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia)

Both German investors who are manufacturing goods in Serbia for further export or focus on the domestic market have reasons to be satisfied. Yet each group see the rule of law as a problem. Furthermore, the emigration issue is becoming a worrying subject

oday emigration bothers German companies operating at the Serbian market much more than the labor law or the incentives given to investors, says Martin Knapp, Director of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia). Indeed, dual education is yielding first results thus contributing to restoration of the industrial middle class in Serbia but existing reforms of education can’t on their own reverse the emigration trends. On the contrary, industrial workers are today in high demand everywhere. However, there are many positive things which are contributing to the good economic relations between two countries and bright prospects for the future. Indeed, the status of German-Serbian relations today which is closer than ever before in history, says Mr. Knapp. “Serbia is unique in many ways, but when it comes to economy, there are a number of countries that have a fairly similar structure. We like to ask potential investors which other countries they have on their candidate list, and we almost always hear the same names. Usually, Bulgaria and Romania are on the list, quite often Northern Macedonia and Ukraine, sometimes the Baltic countries too”, says Director of AHK Serbia. Yet he adds “the investment spirit is, I think, doing quite well. All over Serbia, people are aware of the fact

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TODAY SERBIA IS KNOWN AS COUNTRY OF ENGINEERS AND COMPUTER SCIENTISTS, AND MORE AND MORE INVESTORS WANT TO ATTRACT THEM

that investments are necessary if the prosperity of the population is to be brought in line with the European average.” In the past, it was often the cost of labour in industrial production that was decisive for an investment decision. What experiences do German companies in Serbia have regarding the business environment, the quality of the workforce and the new investment outlook?


 There are two major groups of German investors. One of them is manufacturing products for the world market. This group is generally satisfied with the conditions. The other group is, at least partially, also active in the Serbian market. Of course, life is not that easy for these investors, since they have to deal with competitors, some of whom have been established in Serbia for a long time. Both groups are very satisfied with the local workforce. But both still see the rule of law as a problem. This is reflected in our annual survey regarding the business environment. What do your members say are their reasons for doing business in Serbia? What is appealing to them?  In the past, it was often the cost of labour in industrial production that was decisive for an investment decision. In the meantime, it has become known that Serbia is also a country of engineers and computer scientists, and more and more investors want to attract these people. What is still missing is the industrial middle class, the skilled workers. We are working on this, especially by supporting the introduction of dual vocational training, but that takes time, of course. What initiatives did the Serbian government implement to create an investor-friendly environment?  One thing you really can't blame the Serbian government for is that it is not doing enough to attract investors. Of course, there are still subsidies, but that cannot be avoided as long as the competition is also paying them. But there are also other things, such as a very flexible policy on freezones or the supply of land. Permits of all kinds are usually granted quickly, and some investors have wondered how fast everything goes in Serbia...

How do trends in the German economy impact the activities of your members?  It is still too early to give a final answer to this question. It is true that the economy in Germany has cooled down considerably in recent months. But not much of this has reached our members so far. The automotive industry is a special topic. German car manufacturers are struggling to keep pace with their competitors in the development

 Thank you for that question. The subject is really close to our hearts. Together with our Austrian and Swiss colleagues we had encouraged the Serbian Government to introduce a national system of dual vocational training instead of launching more and more pilot projects. So far, the results have exceeded our expectations. For some people the implementation of the system is not going fast enough. I would like to say to them that this takes time. Tens of occupational profiles are to be reworked, curricula are to be written, schools have to reorganise themselves and so do companies. Trainers must be trained and accredited. There is also the question of what profession is needed where. The youngsters and their parents must be convinced that dual vocational training is a real alternative to university studies. Of course, there are people who are especially talented in penetrating things theoretically. For them, university studies are the most suitable way. On the other hand, there may also be people whose talent is so clearly on the practical side that they may have difficulties with the high level of theoretical content of dual vocational training, at least in some occupations. But for the vast majority of people theoretical and practical skills are well-balanced. Dual vocational training is designed exactly for that majority. It is the best way to learn a challenging profession that they really can enjoy and that pays well, also. That’s why for the German-speaking countries, dual training became the core of their industrial success story.

SO FAR, THE RESULTS OF INTRODUCTION OF DUAL EDUCATION IN SERBIA HAVE EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS. TO THOSE WHO THINK THAT THE PROCESS IS NOT GOING FAST ENOUGH I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT THIS TAKES TIME of electric cars. In addition, those car component manufacturers whose products are used exclusively for traditional cars with gas engines, will have to think about their future. Both businesses and the government are saying that the lack of a competent workforce is becoming a rampant problem. Does the key to remedying this situation lie in labour legislation or somewhere else?  I would not place labour law in the first place here. It's more the emigration that's bothering our companies.

How can we advance the relations between the two countries?  German-Serbian relations today are closer than ever before in history, and this should remain that way for ever - to the benefit of both sides!

Are you satisfied with the implementation of dual education in Serbia so far?

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Investments

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PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT INVESTMENTS ARE NECESSARY IF THE PROSPERITY OF THE POPULATION IS TO BE BROUGHT IN LINE WITH THE EUROPEAN AVERAGE GERMANY 2020

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CORPORATE

Our Customers Recognize us

FOR OUR QUALITY Gradjevinar has been engaged in several significant projects for German clients in recent years. These include the construction and equipping of the production complex of the German company Vorwerk & Sohn in Čačak and the construction of the new Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia

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onstruction company GP Gradjevinar d.o.o. was founded in 1989 in Belgrade. The company primarily offers its clients complete construction of buildings in line with global standards and qualities. In addition to the construction of new facilities, the company is also engaged in the reconstruction, adaptation and performing all types of construction work. Over the years, Gradjevinar has built various industrial, residential and commercial facilities, while lately, the focus has been on the construction of industrial facilities. The company mostly realises projects for its clients on a turnkey basis, thus providing the realization of the entire project, from design and obtaining a building permit, through construction and equipping with mechanical and electrical installations, up to obtaining an use permit. The experience in the construction industry gained over 30 years, as well as an experienced and motivated team, make it possible for Gradjevinar to meet all the requirements that clients have, often by suggesting various options in order to find the best solution. Many international companies are Gradjevinar's clients who, often, have very limited deadlines for construction of a facility, and Gradjevinar always meets these deadlines in addition to ensuring quality. In recent years, the company has collaborated with big international companies from Germany, as well as the German state, for

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which Gradjevinar realised several significant projects. Thus, in 2019, the company carried out the construction and equipping of the production complex of the German company Vorwerk

MOTTO

In our 30 years in the construction industry, as an experienced and motivated team, we have always been guided by our company motto - "Satisfied partners are the key to our success"

& Sohn in Čačak. The complex consists of two production facilities, Vorwerk Autotec and Eldisy, which produce parts for the automotive industry and are connected by a joint office building. The office building has three floors and spans 5,000 square metres, while the total area under the buildings is 45.000m2. The work on the facility began in August 2018 and was completed in November 2019. The whole project was implemented on a turnkey basis. In June 2018, as the general contractor, GP Gradjevinar d.o.o. started the construction of the new Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia at the prestigious address of, Kneza Miloša Street in Belgrade, after being selected at a Europe-wide tender involving over 30 European construction companies. The works include construction of the building, mechanical and electrical installations, finishing works, with the furnishing of the interior, as well as the installation of security systems. The new building of the German Embassy will be one of the most impressive buildings in downtown Belgrade, built to the highest standards, with the state-of-the-art environmentally friendly materials. "Satisfied partners are the key to our success" is the company's slogan, which is reflected in many years of having a successful business. www.gradjevinar.rs


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CORPORATE

Every New Project is a

CHALLENGE

For the past 15 years, Konstruktor has been involved in the construction of more than 250 buildings and up to million square metres. Although the company was predominantly focused on complex projects for foreign Investors, working with local clients resulted in equally good experiences

OGNJEN KISIN CEO of Konstruktor Group

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gnjen Kisin, CEO of Konstruktor Group, a construction group which is engaged in the construction of high-rise facilities for domestic and foreign Investors as a general contractor, speaks about many years of experience working with renowned clients across Europe and the world, who invested in the Republic of Serbia in the past few years.

Mr Kisin, which collaboration with foreign Investors, from the last 15 years, would you like to highlight? Is the company's cooperation with domestic developers in Serbia different? — For the past 15 years, Konstruktor has been involved in the construction of more than 250 facilities and up to million square metres. Of this, more than 70% is foreign investments and slightly less than 30% is domestic. The reason for this is the situation in the market and the large inflow of foreign investments, especially in industrial complexes where Konstruktor has a respectable reference list of industrial buildings since, from the very beginning, the company has been focusing the most on this segment of construction, even before the inflow of foreign investments.

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In terms of performing construction activities for domestic developers, even though the percentage is much smaller, our experience with them is very good and equally important; especially when it comes to successful private domestic companies where the developer is fully committed to the project like they are building „their own house“. On the other hand, in terms of foreign investments, one of the special characteristics that I could single out is the new, highest global standards that are applied in construction which have elevated the construction industry in Serbia.

STANDARDS

The new, highest global standards that are applied in construction have elevated the construction industry in Serbia Which facilities that you have built you would like to mention here? — First and foremost, there is a production complex of Denmark's Grundfos in Indjija, spanning 27,000 square metres, which was the biggest greenfield investment in Serbia in 2012. Continuing with the same theme of 'environmental awareness and quality',

I would like to mention the office business of the German supermarket chain Lidl in Nova Pazova, spanning 15,000 square metres, which is the first building in Serbia that recieved platinum LEED certificate, highest environmental quality standards applied in the construction and in the way the facility was built. Soon, we are going to soon finish the construction of a large complex of the Chinese company Minth in Loznica (67,000 square metres). In terms of domestic developers, I have to mention a fantastic residential & business complex ‘Zelena Avenija’ (‘The Green Avenue’) in Zemun, spanning 40,000 square metres. Then there is the state-of-theart logistics centre KLP in Šimanovci (50,000 sqm) and another project that is dear to us, the Čemerno Bridge in the Republic of Srpska. Of course, there are many other fantastic facilities that we have built and that we are going to build.

How can we resolve the problem of the lack of workforce in the Serbian construction sector? — Restoring the reputation of construction trades and educating qualified young workers is crucial to the survival of the domestic construction sector. The whole situation should be viewed as a challenge, but there is a ground for optimism, which is precisely the growing scope of work in this industry and better commercial conditions for all workers.


CORPORATE

We Respect the Community in

WHICH WE OPERATE

As leaders in the production of construction adhesives, we strive to keep up with the market needs and actively invest in innovation to provide real support to our partners and consumers. That is why it is important for us to cultivate close and honest relationships with them

PREDRAG ARMUŠ General manager, Henkel Serbia & Export Markets Adhesive Technologies, Construction and Consumers & Craftsmen

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redrag Armuš, General manager Henkel Serbia & Export markets, was appointed General manager of Adhesive Technology Division in Henkel Serbia in September 2016. Previously, he was the Managing Director of Henkel Bosnia and Herzegovina where he had accomplished excellent results. "It's a pleasure to work in an environment of inspired people who have a creative approach to their daily tasks. Our team is made up of exceptional professionals, while our high awareness of the market and consumer needs makes us a reliable and professional partner," says Mr Armuš.

What is your Division’s position in Henkel's global plans? — The Adhesive Technologies sector offers a wide range of adhesives and globally speaking, occupies a leading position in this segment, both in the consumer goods market and the B2B segment. Our products can stick together anything you can imagine - from packaging, clothing and footwear to aviation and automotive products. As reliable partners in different industries, we always strive to further increase technological efficiency, speed and quality of delivery through technological innovation. All this makes the Adhesive Tech-

nologies sector a very important segment in the Henkel Company. When it comes to our country, investments in manufacturing have helped us to position ourselves as an extremely important location for the region but are also a sign that we enjoy Henkel's trust at the global level.

Which of your brands are most sought after? — Our industrial adhesives are widely used and our adhesives could well be used to glue parts of your mobile phone. Brands such as Bonderite, Technomelt, Teroson and Aquence are an integral part of products without which you cannot imagine your daily life. What is your plan for improving the company's operations in the future? — We are aware that as leaders in the segment of construction adhesives, we need to recognize the market needs and actively in-

PARTNER

Ceresit is our most recognizable brand in Serbia and a strong partner of all participants in construction projects. We are guided by our slogan „Together, we build“

vest in innovation to provide real support to our partners and consumers. Together with them, we develop and nurture mutual relationships, and we respect the community in which we operate. We have recently launched a series of events called "Ceresit Meet-Up", in which we share experiences with our distinguished architects and learn about the latest trends in architecture. We had the honour of having Vladimir Lovrić, the renowned architect and director of Archisolar, as the first lecturer in our programme. Having a strong bond with our craftsmen is always at the forefront of us, so every year we implement the Ceresit Loyalty programme, as well as meet with our loyal customers to thank them for their trust and cooperation. Recently, we also had the opportunity to support the great and very important mission of the Novak Djoković Foundation of opening a kindergarten in the village of Ljukovo near Indjija. This is the second kindergarten in which construction we participated. The project has a special sentimental value for us, given that the kindergarten is located near Ceresit's production site. In the past year, we have supported various associations, and I would especially like to point out the initiative by the brand Moment to help the NORBS Plus Foundation. These humanitarian campaigns mean a lot to our team and the company’s strategic direction, and especially for perceiving Ceresit as a socially responsible brand.

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CORPORATE

We are Conquering

THE MARKET Militzer & Münch arrives in Serbia

FILIP SIMOVIĆ CEO of Militzer & Münch

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t the end of last year, the logistics market heard the news that the German company Militzer & Münch launched its operations in Serbia. Specifically, the Militzer & Münch Group has launched a joint venture with the Serbian logistics company Invictus. Both partners plan to turn the joint venture into a leading logistics company in Serbia in the coming years. Filip Simović, CEO of Militzer & Münch, talks about what the company is offering to the market and further plans for the region. Mr Simović studied in German and who gained his professional knowledge in Austria and Germany.

Could you tell us more about Militzer & Münch? — The company was founded back in 1880 and has headquarters in Hof, Germany. Today, we can proudly say that we have decades of experience in the field of transportation and logistics, with over 2,100 employees in more than 100 locations in 27 countries, one of which is Serbia. The Militzer & Münch Group is an integral part of the TransInvest Group. Otherwise, TransInvest is an international group with several independent holding companies which operate under the auspices of the TransInvest Group, headquartered in St. Gallen, Switzerland. In the Balkans, Militzer & Münch has been doing business in Greece, Bulgaria and Romania so far. The Militzer & Münch Group has launched a joint venture with the Serbian logistics company Invictus. How did this collaboration come about?

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— In Germany, the company wanted to launch a business in our market and from here, further expand across the Balkans. Serbia is an important bridge to the EU, and it also has great geostrategic importance in regard to the new Silk Road. These facts helped us to reach a quick and easy agreement with our German partners. The company was founded in October last year. The talks lasted about a month, during which period we agreed on the particulars and the conditions of the entire deal. Under this agreement, Militzer & Münch owns 51% of the company in Serbia, and our company, Invictus, 49%. What are your plans for the Serbian market? — Many clients who have worked with our company saw for themselves the quality and professionalism we offer. We are working hard on developing the domestic market, but we are also actively expanding our network in the Balkans. As far as this region is concerned, we focus on all customs countries that are not part of the European Un-

COMPETITION

What sets us apart from our competition is the prices, short delivery terms and the fact that we approach each inquiry with a carefully formed offer ion, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania. We want our headquarters to cover them all. Militzer & Münch has a quite strong market position in Bulgaria and Greece and it is up to us to

develop our business in these other Balkan countries. In Serbia, we will primarily focus on road transport. Some of our long-term goals include increasing our profits and the number of employees to 120 in several years.

What sets your company apart from the competition? What logistics services do you offer? — Our services consist mainly of export, import and customs clearance. In the near future, we will expand our portfolio by adding air and sea transportation, warehousing, intermodal traffic, distribution and home delivery. Our goal is to develop the company in the next two years to become the leading logistics company in Serbia. In terms of service, I would like to single out that Militzer & Münch has a lot of hubs across Germany. Bearing this and a large number of German investments in Serbia in mind, companies in this area are important clients to us. Our portfolio also includes a large number of trucking companies that work exclusively with us. What sets us apart from our competition is the prices, short delivery terms and the fact that we approach each inquiry with a carefully formed offer. What are some of the challenges you faced when starting a business and what is your main asset? — The fact that we are new to the market poses a challenge for us and we are still looked upon with a dose of distrust. This is the reason why we have been working on our brand. Our trump card is a team of people who have many years of experience in logistics. This is the most important thing. We like to say that we are not working with companies but with people.


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CORPORATE

METRO CASH & CARRY

15 Years of Support to the

LOCAL ECONOMY

2020 marks the 15th anniversary of METRO Cash & Carry business in Serbia. Over the last decade and a half in this country and more than 55 years worldwide, the global wholesale specialist has helped independent traders and HoReCa professionals nurture and develop their entrepreneurial spirit

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ith decades of experience in various markets around Europe and Asia and 15 years in Serbia, a vast food and nonfood range of more than 25.000 products, a team of dedicated professionals always ready to provide expertise and knowledge to our customers, delivery service and digital innovations that make customers' everyday operations seamless – METRO Cash & Carry is proud to be a reliable partner and a one-stop-shop for HoReCa professionals and independent traders. Last year, on a global level, the German company recorded the strongest wholesale business growth in a decade. Results in Serbia followed stable trends as well. "METRO Cash & Carry remains committed to the Serbian market which provides a lot of opportunities for further development and growth, given our new momentum and re-established focus on pure wholesale. We will also continue to focus our business on products and services (e.g. Food service delivery) that cater to the needs of our core target groups, offering them the best possible quality assortment and thus helping them grow successful businesses of their own", says André Rinnensland, CEO of METRO Cash & Carry Serbia. As a company with a sound instinct for what its customers – HoReCa sector and

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Traders – really need, METRO remains dedicated to providing superb customer experience, high-quality tailored product assortments, effective sales channels and delivery model, but also services such as advanced training support which will make small businesses more successful.

PARTNER

METRO Cash & Carry remains firmly dedicated to maintaining its position as THE partner of choice for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs from the HoReCa sector Knowing that any local economy is only as strong as its entrepreneurs, METRO Cash & Carry has focused on promoting the importance of small independent family businesses, and providing them advice and strategic support in order to strengthen their position. "What we've seen in the Serbian market over the last 15 years is a dynamic development of the hospitality sector with even more potential for further growth", says Rinnensland, adding that METRO Cash & Carry remains

firmly dedicated to maintaining its position as THE partner of choice for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs from the HoReCa sector. "METRO is basing its success on the long-term loyalty of our customers, which comes from our ability to anticipate their needs and offer solutions that make their businesses more adaptable, competitive and sustainable", says the METRO Cash & Carry Serbia CEO. Sustainability is deeply incorporated in all aspects of METRO’s business operations and is strongly rooted in the company’s corporate strategy and working culture. All METRO suppliers must meet high quality requirements and respect environmental and social standards with the primary goal of increasing transparency and sustainability throughout the supply chain. "Equally important, as an employer, METRO Cash & Carry is dedicated to ensuring ethical and fair working conditions, authentic leadership and employees' development", underlines Rinnensland, adding that the company is also highly engaged in dialogue and activities related to a wide range of important economic and social issues such as fighting the grey economy, supporting further development of entrepreneurship, youth employment, food waste and supporting vulnerable social groups.


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The external trade between Germany and Serbia has had a forward trajectory year-on-year. The progress has not only been quantitative but qualitative too, as seen in long-term investments by Germany, transferring advanced technologies to Serbia and involving more Serbian companies in the supply chains of German multinational companies


erbia is Germany's most important partner in the Western Balkans. At the same time, Germany is also Serbia's largest trading partner, individually by country, both in terms of import and export, replacing Italy in that position. It is also the fifth-largest foreign investor and the most important bilateral donor of Serbia. In 2019, Germany was Serbia's No 1 partner in terms of total external trade (exports and imports). The share of Serbia's trade with Germany stood at 12.78% of our total trade with the world, while the share of Serbian exports to Germany stood at 2.62% Serbia's total exports, and imports from Germany made a 12.9% of Serbia's total imports. In 2019, the value of total trade exceeded 5 billion euro and amounted to exactly 5,292.90 million euro, which is an 8.4% increase over 2018. Our exports exceeded 2 billion euro and reached 2.21 billion euro, with an increase of 13.9%. Imports increased by 4.7% to amount to 3.08 billion euro. Serbia recorded a deficit of 867.5 million euro in trading with Germany, which is the third-largest external trade deficit after the one recorded in trading with China and Russia. The import to export ratio amounted to 71.8% and although it is very high, the gap is getting smaller. German companies currently employ about 90,000 people in the Western Balkan region, while German investments resulted in the creation of 60,000 new jobs in 400 companies. If we count in Serbian companies which are suppliers of these companies, according to the estimates of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, would double. In addition to the growing external trade, which value exceeded the figure of 5 billion euro, the cooperation between the two countries is also characterized by the com-

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Partner

mitment of German companies to their operations in the domestic market and the long-term investment plans. German companies operating in Serbia are increasingly moving their high-tech facilities and finding suppliers here. At the moment, German companies have 150 suppliers from the Western Balkans, providing services to German companies. One third comes from Serbia.

LAST YEAR, FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE QUALITY OF DUAL EDUCATION WAS LISTED AS ONE OF THE FACTORS AHK MEMBER-COMPANIES WERE PLEASED WITH Such trends are also evident in the analysis of commodity trade. In the structure of exports to Germany, and in terms of level of processing, 84.1% of all the products are high-processed ones. In 2019, the export of industrial products accounted for 90.3% of Serbia's total exports, while agricultural and food products accounted for 9.7% of our exports. Also, most of our imports are industrial products (94.1%), while 5.9% of our imports are food products. Serbia mostly imported from Germany the following - ignition wire sets, electric motor and generator parts, aggregates or converters, alternators, direct current motors and frozen raspberries. We also imported refined copper wire, retail medicine, used cars, DC motors and helicopters. The reasons for such positive trends

are found, first and foremost, in the proactive work carried out by the state and the good experiences of German companies operating here. According to the results of a regular survey conducted by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK) among its members, they are becoming increasingly satisfied with their market position and prospective development in Serbia. German and Serbian companies, members of AHK, positively assessed the economic climate in Serbia, expressed positive expectations regarding their respective businesses and their satisfaction with the labour market. 88 per cent of the surveyed companies would invest again in Serbia. German investors find IT, circular economy and green technologies quite interesting. Also, the relevant data shows that parts of Serbia, with a good supply of workforce, are still very interesting to investors in terms of opening of new factories that require higher labour intensity. While there is no doubt that both Germany and Serbia are looking at continued cooperation with optimism, some problems remain. For example, German companies continue to give the worst assessment in areas such as the fight against corruption and crime, legal certainty, transparency in public tenders, the tax system and tax administration, and the efficiency of public administration. In contrast, and despite often experiencing labour shortages, German-Serbian companies point out the productivity and motivation of employees, their qualifications and the quality of academic education as positive. Last year, for the first time, the quality of dual education was listed as one of the factors AHK member-companies were pleased with.

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SERBIA IS GERMANY'S MOST IMPORTANT PARTNER IN THE WESTERN BALKANS. AT THE SAME TIME, GERMANY IS ALSO SERBIA'S LARGEST INDIVIDUAL TRADING PARTNER GERMANY 2020

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CORPORATE

We Grow With

OUR CLIENTS The growth of industrial production in Serbia will continue to contribute to the good business results of Messer Tehnogas in 2020 too. However, the company's excellent financial results are also the consequence of continuity of operations, investments and new technologies Messer has been introducing

DJORDJE SAVIĆ

INVESTMENT

CEO of Messer Tehnogas

"M

esser Tehnogas achieved excellent financial results last year which are a consequence of the growth, development and stability in all business segments," says Djordje Savić, CEO of Messer Tehnogas and adds: "The growth and development of the economy, the market, our customers and business partners, financial, legal and other institutions, has created space and opportunities for accomplishing good business results. The continuity of our operations, investments, new capacities, new technologies, and our employees, all helped us to create superior new products and supply formats, as well as to achieve the planned goals."

Messer has launched its Safty for Life campaign at the corporate level. Which projects in Serbia are you most proud of? — The campaign we are focusing on is not a project but a process. Safety comes first in every segment - production, handling, transport and end-user consumption, whether we are talking about metal, chemical or food industries or healthcare. We have invested not only in our facilities and new production equipment but also in

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We have invested not only in our facilities and new production equipment but also in new production process control software. We achieve the best results through cooperating with end-users

new production process control software and new transfer or transportation equipment in order to keep our processes and employees safe. By sharing and transferring experiences to our customers, we collectively come up with the best solutions for secure and regular supply.

Bearing in mind that Messer products and technologies are applied in almost all branches of industry, how would you rate the level of industrial production in Serbia? — From the very beginning, we have pointed out that the growth and development of the economy and industrial production have had a significant impact on us achieving good business results. We think that Serbia's industrial production is still lagging behind other developed countries. However, this can also be an opportunity and a chance for rapid, sustainable and continuous growth. What are Messer Tehnogas' plans and expectations for 2020? — Our plan is to actively participate in and contribute to the development of the gas industry in Serbia. New investments and growth in industrial production will contribute to the growth of the company's revenue. We expect that this year the positive trends from the previous period will continue.


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CORPORATE

We are Proud of

OUR WORK HERE With four production units in Serbia, LEONI is the walking advertisement for Serbia as a promising investment location. The company is proud of its operations here which are mirrored in excellent export figures, the largest number of employees in the sector, and its devotion to the local communities and their youth

CLEMENS SACHS Managing Director, LEONI Wiring Systems Southeast d.o.o.

F

oreign investors in Serbia are the best promoters of the business environment and investment conditions. Indeed, that is true for LEONI Wiring Systems Southeast, the only investor in the country with four plants in various Serbian cities. LEONI is also the biggest industrial employer in Serbia which continues to hire new workers, and one of the largest exporters. These two facts alone speak loud enough about LEONI seeing Serbia as a promising investment spot. Yet not all of the experiences of Mr Clemens Sachs, Managing Director of LEONI Wiring Systems Southeast d.o.o., are as positive. LEONI expects to continue expanding the

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volume of its business operations and employ new people, and this might be a challenge given the migration trends. Furthermore, there are some perquisites that need to be fulfilled if the business is to run smoothly, including public transportation service availability in Kraljevo and partially in Niš.

STRATEGY

Our CSR strategy is to support mostly children and youth, namely to help nurseries, schools, children hospitals and orphanages. In 10 years, we invested over EUR 400,000 in various CSR projects

After Prokuplje, Doljevac and Niš, Kraljevo is the fourth town in Serbia in which Leoni is going to open a state-of-the-art factory, which will employ 5,000 workers by the end of 2023. Are you satisfied with the company’s overall business results in Serbia? — Me personally and we, as LEONI Serbia, are very proud of and really satisfied with the results we have achieved starting from 2009 until now. As you said, we opened four plants here, and as far as I know, there is no other foreign or domestic company that has four production units in the country. Currently, we are the biggest industrial employer in Serbia and we are continuing to hire new workers, which sounds promising for all those people looking for a stable and secure job. I would proudly like to share with you the information that the Kraljevo plant already has 1,000 workers and it has been only one year since it opened. Also, our export figures and results made us one of the biggest exporters in Serbia, which is also a reason to be proud of. On the other hand, the reason for not being completely satisfied and a bit concerned is the critical labour market in Serbia in terms of migration and fluctuation, which is going to affect our business too. What is your cooperation with the local government in the places where you have factories in Serbia like and what else can be further improved? — From the moment we came to Serbia, we


have had good cooperation with every local government where launched our business, starting from Prokuplje, Doljevac and Niš and now Kraljevo. The local administration was a true partner in our activities trying to help and expedite things so we could launch and run our business with no obstacles. But there are many things that need to be improved, especially the ones guaranteed from the moment we decided to invest in these communities. For instance, we are facing difficulties related to the public transportation service availability in Kraljevo and partially in Niš and here we expect more support from the local authorities. We have had frequent talks with both local government representatives to find the solution in the common interest.

You employ close to 10.000 workers in Serbia, your domestic supply network consists of over 500 companies, and you have invested over 142 million euro in Serbia so far. Do German investors, who want to launch a business in Serbia, call you for advice and consultation? — We have been contacted by other German companies that wanted to invest in Serbia many times, and we were happy to share with them our positive experiences of doing business here. As I mentioned earlier, many of them decided to invest just because of our recommendation and we are proud of that too. I think that foreign investors and their

experiences should be used in attracting new investments in the country because they are the best promotors of the business environment and investment conditions.

Is there sufficient quality and professional workforce in Serbia that can meet the needs of Leoni?

IMPROVEMENT

The local administration was a true partner in our activities trying to help and expedite things so we could launch and run our business with no obstacles, but many things still have to be improved — The market situation has changed a lot since there are many new companies that came to Serbia and created new jobs. On the other hand, there are a lot of people leaving the country to work abroad and that is another challenge, not only for us but for the state too. You invest a lot into the local community, the young people and employees. How important is corporate social responsibility and what would you like to highlight in

that respect? — Each company, especially the one of our size, should act responsibly, first toward its employees, then toward the local community in which it operates. Therefore, we pay special attention to our employees, providing different types of training and education for them and investing in their development. So far, we invested over EUR 420,000 in training and development of our employees. Also, as the biggest company in each municipality in which we have our plants (Prokuplje, Doljevac, Niš and Kraljevo), we have the responsibility to support and help the most sustainable projects and the projects with the biggest impact on the local community. Our CSR strategy is to support mostly children and youth, namely to help nurseries, schools, children hospitals and orphanages. In 10 years, we invested over EUR 400,000 in various CSR projects. Last year, you celebrated a decade of doing business in Serbia. What are the plans for the coming years and what can we expect in terms of further expansion? — We have entered the second decade of our business in Serbia and we are continuing to grow. We are completing our fourth plant in Kraljevo, which will be the biggest plant both in terms of the size and the number of employees. In regard to our business here, we can expect new projects from our customers which will require the additional workforce.

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By ŽIKICA MILOŠEVIĆ

TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC DREAM

Always in the lead, always levelheade

ermany could well be synonymous with cars. Although Ford’s Model T was the first mass-marketed car in history, all of Europe (continental Europe, that is) drives on the right side of the road because of the Germans. The Germans invented motorways as well, and today they are synonymous with good cars despite the growing competition.

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NOW IS THE TIME! Still, it’s hard to imagine a more balanced state where railroads are so fast, the railway grid so strong and Länder-Ticket and Wochenende-Ticket so focused on motivating entire families to take train trips. This is a country where the emphasis on collective transport is so strong, yet there are so many individual drivers. Also, almost 900,000 work in the German automotive industry. Being the home of the modern car, the German automotive industry is considered the most competitive and innovative in the world, has the third-largest car production in the world, and the fourth-largest total motor vehicle production. With an annual production of close to six million units and a 31.5% share of the European market (in 2017), German cars have won the European Car of the Year, International Car of the Year and Annual World Car of the Year awards more than any other country in the world. Volkswagen's Beetle and Porsche 911 finished fourth and fifth respectively in the Car of the Century Award. Let’s not talk about their iconic status...

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY Car pioneers Carl Benz (who launched Mercedes-Benz) and Nikolaus Otto de-

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veloped four-stroke internal combustion engines in the late 1870s. In 1887, Benz adapted its design to cars in 1887, leading to the birth of a modern automotive engine. A series of companies were incorporated in Germany - Opel, BMW, Daimler-Benz. The 1930s Opel Olympia became one of the iconic cars in the history of cars, and the first Autobahn (available in every country today) was completed in 1935. An entire city – Wolfsburg - was built because of the Beetle, and the car itself will become a symbol of the 1960s and Great Britain (paradoxically) and will be named after it the country’s most famous pop group of all time. Two cheap cars of low quality but also having an iconic status were made in East Germany - Trabant and Wartburg, while the West took the lead in the world. Saying "German quality" and "German car" was like signing a blank cheque of trust when purchasing a car. In the 1990s, Germany came under the

IT'S NOT A GERMAN THING TO REST ON LAURELS, BUT LIKE DAVID BOWIE, GERMANY SHOULD CHANGE ITS STYLE BEFORE OTHERS COME TO CHANGE IT, AND ONCE AGAIN TAKE A LEAD (OR RATHER, STAY IN THE LEAD) WHILE OTHERS ARE SLEEPING

public scrutiny in a new, transitional age of the world economy - the UK and France began to change, and Germany did not. They laughed at German conservatism because the Germans did not outsource production elsewhere. The others were expensive but of good quality. And the others also failed... The Germans remained on top, extending their automotive business to South America and Eastern Europe.

WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?

We should not fear for the German automotive industry. Or maybe we should? While these rules of engagement were in place, Germany was the undisputed leader. But with new environmental requirements and a new generation, fiercely led by Greta Thurnberg, electric or hydrogen cars will be required. There are fears that other countries will take over the primacy of the inert German industry. Critics point out that certain German automotive companies have already been dishonest about toxic emissions and that the EU is on the verge of adopting new and stricter laws. China is causing a new revolution in this segment, and the German green parties are tougher than their European counterparts. A lack of timely investment in innovation can backfire, and it is about time for the German car industry to start innovating first. As DW says, Germany should start dreaming its "electric dream". Germany was always first, throughout history. It's not a German thing to rest on laurels, but like David Bowie, Germany should change its style before others come to change it, and once again take a lead (or rather, stay in the lead) while others are sleeping.


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CORPORATE

A Letter FROM A MUM

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y child Ana is affected with a rare disease called Tyrosine Hydroxylase Deficiency. It is an inborn neurometabolic (neurotransmitter) disease. Ana was diagnosed in Heidelberg, Germany, when she was 14-months-old. That was back in 2014. There she started with the treatment and had a miraculous response to it. We were buying the medications in Germany for a year because we were told that there was no adequate medication in Serbia. In 2016, I initiated a delivery of various medication to the Children's Hospital if Novi Sad.

I got the support of a pharmacist from the Hospital who got in touch with INO-PHARM. Their response was quick and positive. The first initiative was launched in April 2016 and Ana got L-DOPA in Serbia in October 2016. She has been getting her medications regularly ever since. Even though my child is the only child with THD in Serbia and therefore the only child who needs the L-DOPA medication, INOPHARM demonstrated that they are the company with a big heart. They carried out the entire procedure related to import of an

HRABRIŠA ASSOCIATION The Hrabriša Association was founded on 21.12.2016 to support families with children suffering from neurotransmitter diseases, additional reactive dystonia and other neurometabolic diseases to get adequate diagnosis and treatment in the Republic of Serbia and abroad. A little girl called Ana was the main reason for establishing the association. She showed fantastic bravery in the fight against the neurotransmitter disease tyrosine hydroxylase deficiency, boldly fighting for diagnosis and treatment, despite encountering many obstacles along the way. Her strong desire to remove the obstacles and help other families with the same challenge was the basis for forming this association. Because the treatment is easier and the results of the therapeutic intervention better if a neurotransmitter disease is diagnosed in its early stage, that the therapeutic intervention begins immediately and that there is a strong desire to help the little ones to be diagnosed, be prescribed the necessary therapy more quickly, and to raise awareness about the these diseases and treatment options were the main reasons the Hrabriša Association was formed. Last year, two more children were diagnosed after which the INO-PHARM Company provided support in importing the required medicines. www.hrabrisa.rs

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unregistered drug. I am so grateful that they recognized that my child is my whole world. As a result of cooperation between the Hospital, INO-PHARM and myself, Ana is now a typical 5-year-old, properly developing thanks to the regular supply of L-DOPA. Our story was the reason to launch the Hrabriša Association (Lil' Brave One, in English) to help families in similar situations to get a proper diagnosis and treatment on time. Sooner they start the treatment, the better results will be.  Ivana Badnjarević, Ana’s mum

NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR RARE DISEASES OF SERBIA – NORBS The National Organization for Rare Diseases of Serbia (NORBS) was founded in 2010 as an alliance of associations dealing with the problems of persons diagnosed with rare diseases and their families. NORBS assembles 30 rare diseases associations and over 150 individual members suffering from ultra-rare diseases - a total of over 5,000 members diagnosed with 300 different diseases. NORBS's mission is to improve the position and quality of life of people with rare diseases and disabilities resulting from a rare disease on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. For more information on NORBS, please send an email to office@norbs.rs. INO-PHARM, member of PHOENIX Group Serbia, is a company which possesses specialized knowledge regarding providing support to import of unlicensed medicines, special and innovative therapies.


CORPORATE

Top Quality is the

BEST REFERENCE The expansion of the sales network and the opening of the Belgrade Waterfront Miele showroom are some of the plans we have been implementing with a lot of enthusiasm. Customers recognize our commitment to quality, which we never compromise in line with our slogan "Forever Better"

ZORAN DJURIĆ CEO of Miele Serbia

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iele Serbia ended last year with an increase in sales (together with Miele Montenegro) by as much as 53 per cent, and this year, the company, among its many activities, will open the Belgrade Waterfront Miele showroom. The potential of the market is great as customers have yet to discover all the technological benefits of Miele products and opt for healthy lifestyle habits that can be conquered with the help of this brand.

Miele is a leader in technological innovation. How hard is it to be "Forever Better", as your slogan says? — We succeed by insisting on quality, on which we never compromise. That is the only approach that can result in becoming a leader in the premium home appliances brand and to be Forever Better. How is our market responding to innovative and new products? — One gets the impression that the market is not sufficiently prepared for innovative products, in the sense that users often perceive technologically advanced models as complicated. However, once you start using Miele devices, your perception changes. We have recognized that the goal of innovation is to improve the quality of life, which is why Miele devices combine new technologies with the simplicity that fosters intuitive use. How important is the support you get from your headquarters and how much is their experience helping you?

— The centralization certainly has its advantages. Performance in all markets is uniform and coordinated, facilitating work processes and overall communication. Strategic directions are easier to implement because they come with precise guidelines. However, a system designed in this way increases the degree of organization at the expense of flexibility. For example, every local Miele office uses the same services, although, in some cases deviating from this practice, would be more financially justified. Miele achieved significant global growth last year. Are you satisfied with the results in Serbia?

RESULTS

We are entering a new year with lots of enthusiasm, excellent sales results and new sales centres and products which combine healthy living with modern technologies — The past year has been turbulent, but we are very pleased with the results. Globally, there was a 3.2 per cent increase in sales, while in the case of Serbia and Montenegro, there was an increase of 53 per cent. We are proud of the growth we have achieved, but also of the fact that we have celebrated our successes by expanding our team. You take great care of clients and their wishes. What feedback do you get from them?

— Commitment to the customer is imperative. This is, first and foremost, evident in the way our showrooms work, as a kind of experience centres where you can try out the devices and see if they fit your preferences. We also received positive feedback on the appliance training programmes and the Miele Kitchen Experience interactive cooking. However, our users always rate our customer service the best. We are the only brand that has its own customer service, and this service reflects our orientation to the customers' needs and the fact that every customer gets the same treatment, regardless of when they purchased their product. How much does the concept of healthy living affect household products today? — Market and customer needs are known to dictate tendencies. We were among the first to recognize the role that the concept of healthy living played and have incorporated its postulates in our devices. For us, healthy life is not only about the quality of food preparation, but also the approach to the environment and energy efficiency. Our entry into the segment of vertical plant growing in your own home is an interesting step forward for us. What can we expect from Miele in 2020? — The expansion of the sales network and the opening of the Belgrade Waterfront Miele showroom are some of the plans we have been implementing with a lot of enthusiasm. Following the very successful launch of the next generation of built-in devices, we are now introducing the first Triflex rechargeable handstick with unique design, outstanding flexibility and balance.

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CORPORATE

The Strength of Family -

TOP QUALITY PRODUCTS Perfom is the most technologically and staffwise advanced company in Serbia and the region today in the segment of manufacture of perforated sheet metal and other metal products. We have our own workshop and a development department, thanks to which we can respond to the most complex requirements of our customers

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e started the tradition of metal processing in 1942. In the beginning, we had a modest blacksmith shop in the village of Gugalj, near Požega. In this shop, our grandfather, Miloš Janković, created the first metal products. He was a skilled craftsman and above all a quite persistent man. 1981 was, perhaps, for us the most important year when Janko Janković decided to turn the blacksmith's craft business into a business of perforated sheet metal produced by machines. At that time, and with the great support of his wife Marija, he opened the first privately owned artisan shop in Požega. This was not only a very innovative but also a very bold move. The two of them started to produce perforated sheets and metal parts in a small provincial shop; together, working hard and being creative. Today, Perfom is a modern company that strives to combine state-of-the-art equipment, the best possible organization of its daily operations and the best practices from its workshop. Our production capacity enables us to pro-

duce a wide range of sheet metal products, using plastic deformation technology (cutting, punching, perforation, bending, semi-circular bending, welding) and laser cutting. Our key products are perforated and embossed sheets and panels, perforated screens and parts for recycling, machine building and industrial maintenance, sheet metal parts and components for key industries, anti-slip treads and steps for the automotive, mechanical, construction and shipbuilding industry, perforated floors for dryers, biomass and process industry and baking trays and pans for the baking industry. Our products are sold in Europe, Russia

MISSION

We strive to meet customer requirements by combining state-of-the-art technology and the best from our workshop

and Africa. Most of our products are indirectly sold in foreign markets as a finished product of our customers in Serbia, while we are directly exporting to Germany, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Our customers are various companies from almost all industrial sectors - agriculture, mining, construction, shipbuilding, processing industry, food and beverage industry, baking industry, HVAC, machine building, automotive industry, industrial maintenance, etc. In an effort to continue managing its business processes in such a way that it satisfies not only customers but all stakeholders, while expressing its own concern for occupational health and safety and environmental sustainability, the company has put in place and implemented integrated management systems following the requirements of ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 45001: 2018 and ISO 14001: 2015 and is dedicated to their continued improvement. For more information about our product range please go to www.perfom.rs.

CCIS AWARD IN 2019

AHEAD OF THE JUBILEE

The many years of our company’s successful operations were acknowledged in 2019 when we became the recipients of a prestigious annual award given to the most successful companies and individuals who, considering their engagement and accomplished results, had made a strong contribution to the development of the Serbian economy and its recognition abroad. The award is given by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS). Perfom’s director Miloš Janković received the award on behalf of our company at the CCIS’ formal session.

In the next two years, we will be celebrating two jubilees - 40 years of Perfom and 80 years of the family tradition of metal and sheet metal work. In almost 40 years, Perfom has evolved from a small family business to one of the leading metal and sheet metal companies in Serbia and the region.

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DID YOU KNOW

THE WORLD'S FIRST MAJOR RENEWABLE ENERGY ECONOMY ermany had the world's largest photovoltaic installed capacity until 2014, and as of 2020 it has 49 GW. It is also the world's third country by installed wind power capacity, at 59 GW in 2018, and second for offshore wind, with over 4 GW. Germany has been called "the world's first major renewable energy economy".

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PROCREDIT INTERVJU

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CORPORATE

Support and

CONSULTANCY Expositur brings together a team of experts and associates with many years of experience in various fields

TANJA JELIĆ International Cooperation Consultant at Expositur

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xpositur provides companies from Serbia with complete support in company inception in the Federal Republic of Germany and their performance in this market.

How much are companies in Serbia familiar with the possibilities and needs of the German market? What activities would you like to single out? Do some of them have a slight advantage over others? — The construction and metal-processing industries know these possibilities best. The specialists for expanding the fibre optic network are also very welcome in Germany. However, all activities and products that

meet European standards also have great chances of success in Germany, provided that they have a developed business system in Serbia. The business activities of our companies in Germany could help to prevent the permanent brain drain because there is a possibility that a company can take over the so-called internal staff (within the company) and send its employees to work in Germany for a certain period of time, both of which fulfil the needs of workers and companies. Although all of this sounds pretty simple, it requires detailed planning, patience and implementation of the procedures required to set up an infrastructure. Plus, diplomas and certificates have to be accepted in Germany, for which you need an advisor who knows everything about the matter. However, if we take everything into account, entering the German market can be a strategic solution for

a company that is successful in the long run.

Your team gathers experts from different areas who are critical to the emergence and operation of a successful company in Germany. Is this one of the motives for prospective clients to choose and trust you? Do your clients recognize their company in your work? — Our biggest advantage is that our experts know the system, the way business is done and the mentality of both countries. The biggest problems arise from small misunderstandings. Our clients have the habit of saying that we make their life in Germany easier. I hope that in the future some of our brands, whether fashion, interior decoration, food or other, will recognize the opportunity for entering the German market and expanding their business in that direction.

Expositur is ready to provide the client with all the necessary advice and support before the company is founded in the Federal Republic of Germany in the following areas: accounting and book keeping, business, labor and migration rights and assistance in the formation and interpretation of contracts, marketing and representation of the company within the new market with the help of online marketing. Expositur includes: •A  dvising and supporting legal and tax issues related to contracted projects •P  roject-specific advice on promotion and financing options •E  stablish contacts with local partners and networks •O  rganization of project site visits •C  oordination of negotiations with public and private partners •O  rganization of the infrastructure of the German branch of the company •H  elp in personnel matters Expositur Venizelosova 25 11000 Belgrade Serbia Niederhutstr. 37, 53474 Ahrweiler Germany Tel: + 381 (0) 64 9243062 · Tel: +49 (0) 2641 8290842 e-mail:info@expositur.eu www.expositur.eu

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• Communication with authorities, chambers of commerce and trade chamber in the Federal Republic of Germany •A  ccounting • Branch administration •B  alances • I nsurance •M  arketing • Services of using a virtual office and business address in the Federal Republic of Germany.


CORPORATE

Tradition of

QUALITY TIM Co. was always big enough to handle all tasks successfully and small enough to perform them better than anyone else

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Serbian company, TIM Co. was established in 1993, as a company engaged in servicing of medical equipment. In the year 2000, the company started representing foreign manufacturers of medical equipment and over the years has developed outstanding cooperation with them, including HOLOGIC (USA), KAVO (Germany), CODONICS (USA), PLANILUX (Germany) and BARCO (Belgium). In the second half of 2013, Tim Co. formed a new department which is responsible for the placement of digital X-ray systems for use in various industrial and security applications. TIM Co. has concluded exclusive representation contracts with the companies in the field of industrial (NDT) and security applications. We would like to highlight the very successfully cooperation with the companies which represent the world’s best in the field of security and NDT equipment: • ICM Teledyne (Belgium), a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of cutting edge portable

digital X-ray systems. ICM Teledyne produces flat panel-based radiography and X- Ray Generators inspection systems for the security, NDT, science and art. • YXLON International (Germany), a globally renowned developer that offers a broad range of cutting-edge X-ray and CT products designed to support every need of industrial inspection. The company develops specialized systems for use in aerospace, automotive and electronics industry, for metrology applications and many more. Whether your component is measured in micrometres or metres, there’s an YXLON system that fits. TIM Co. has been entrusted with many tasks, but it was always big enough to handle them successfully, and small enough to perform them better than anyone else. TIM Co. will continue to serve as a reliable partner of the leading world-renowned producers of industrial and security applications and security and safety equipment, as well as to successfully continue to perform all the tasks and goals ahead.

TIM CO d.o.o. · Jovana Rajića 5c, 11000 Belgrade • +381 11 28 36 786 • 28 36 787 · Cell: +381 63 356 037 • www.timco.rs • office@timco.rs

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THE STRONGEST ENGINE OF EUROPE

Germany is the world's fourth-largest economy following the United States, China, and Japan. In spite of recent slowdown, Germany has been flourishing over the past 12 years, with robust economic growth and record low unemployment rates erman economic growth slowed last year to its lowest rate in six years as a result of global trade tensions, export weakness and a persistent downturn in the automotive industry. The gross domestic product growth rate of 0.6 per cent, is the lowest since 2013’s 0.4 per cent expansion. The 2019 GDP figure marks a sharp decline from a year earlier, when growth reached 1.5 per cent, and 2017, when the German economy expanded 2.5 per cent. German GDP has now risen every year for the past decade — the longest uninterrupted period of growth since reunification in 1990, and many economists believe that the wheel will soon turn again into positive direction, probably by the year’s end. According to the forecasts, in 2020 the economy will grow about 1 per cent. This is consistent with the official forecast of the German government which lowered its own growth prediction for 2020 from 1.5 per cent to 1 per cent in October. Overall, Germany benefits from its membership in the EU and its adoption of the euro. Its strong manufacturing base allows for robust export under competitive prices. In 2016, Germany recorded the highest trade surplus in the world worth $310 billion, making it the biggest capital exporter glob-

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ally with $1448.17 billion worth of goods and services exported in 2017. The service sector contributes around 70% of the total GDP, industry 29.1%, and agriculture 0.9%. Exports account for 41% of national output with vehicles, machinery, chemical goods, electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment, basic metals, food products, and rubber and plastics are leading industries. As international trade picks up speed, the forces for growth will lend greater momentum to the German economy again next year.

AS THE TIME MAGAZINE RECENTLY POINTED OUT GERMAN COMPANIES HAVE SPECIALIZED IN THE “UNSEXY SIDE OF THE INDUSTRIAL SPECTRUM: NOT SMART PHONES OR IPADS BUT MACHINERY AND OTHER HEAVY EQUIPMENT”

99 percent of all German companies belong to the German "Mittelstand," small and medium-sized enterprises, which are mostly family-owned. Of the world's 2000 largest publicly listed companies measured by revenue, the Fortune Global 2000, 53 are headquartered in Germany, with the Top 10 being Allianz, Daimler, Volkswagen, Siemens, BMW, Deutsche Telekom, Bayer, BASF, Munich Re and SAP. The automotive industry remains the leader in spite of recent slowdown: it posted earnings of 423 billion euros in 2017. As an innovation leader, it is an important contributor to growth and prosperity. Vehicle manufacturing also secures earnings for other sectors, as it has close links with companies in the chemicals, electrical engineering, steel, metal and textile industries. German highly specialized industrial companies producing highly specialized goods that constitute the engine of growth in the German economy. Yet companies in other sectors also generate high turnovers. For example, in the healthcare industry (349.8 billion euros in 2017) or in the electrical engineering and electrical industry sector (192 billion euros in 2017). With a broad portfolio of services, these sectors offer a wide variety of employment opportunities.


By ŽIKICA MILOŠEVIĆ

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EC ONOMY

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INDUSTRIE 4.0

The revolution underway

he fourth industrial revolution is well underway. You could have easily missed the first three and then join the world at a later date, just like Finland did. But the fourth revolution... If you miss that one, you will be in danger of drowning in poverty. Germany has a plan. That plan is called Industrie 4.0.

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WHAT IS THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION?

But we need to clarify first what are the basics of Industrie 4.0. In no particular order, the economy of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and under its auspices, that is the industry-related part which has been given this catchy term "4.0", will rest on the following - mobile devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, location discovery technologies, advanced human interfaces Man-Machine, authentication and fraud detection, 3D printing and printers, smart sensors, Big Data analysis and advanced algorithms, multi-level interaction and user profiling. Things will be kept "in the clouds" and interconnectivity, data credibility, decision-making decentralization, and data transparency will permeate everything.

WHAT DID THE GERMANS COME UP WITH? Features of the German government's Industrie 4.0 strategy are strong product adaptation in highly flexible (mass) production with the necessary automation technology being improved by introducing methods of

self-optimization, self-configuration, self-diagnosis, cognition and intelligent support for workers in their increasingly complex work. This should build on the combination of innovative management methods already tried in Japan that have given this country a competitive advantage in its own right. Onthe-go solutions are crucial. As of July 2013, the biggest Industrie 4.0 project has been BMBF's flagship cluster "Ostwestfalen-Lippe Intelligent Technical Systems” (it’s OWL)". The other major project is the RES-COM BMBF, as well as the cluster of excellence "Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries". In 2015, the European Commission launched the international research project Horizon 2020 CREMA (providing rapid production in the cloud-

PRODUCTS WILL BE INDIVIDUALIZED, NEW PROFESSIONS WILL EMERGE, OLD ONES WILL DISAPPEAR, RETRAINING WILL BE CARRIED OUT EVERYWHERE, AND THE NEED FOR NEW WORKERS IN GERMANY WILL GROW

based on the XaaS and Cloud model) as a major initiative to facilitate the Industry 4.0 theme. Products and services will become customized and individualized.

WHAT CHANGES ARE LOOMING ON THE HORIZON?

What is to come, what we need to overcome in this era and what the German government is gearing up for, is the possibility of social stratification - robotization can reduce the cost of low and middle-class work, so the middle class can potentially be reduced. Retraining measures are needed in order to avoid another Luddite movement and blame technology for everything. As cheap labour will not be needed so much, developing countries will not receive as many outsourced manufacturing plants, so many will want to come to the EU and Germany, but those who are not qualified will not be needed either. Finally, there will be many occupations that did not exist before, so retraining on-the-go will be necessary (suffice to say that if the profession of driver disappears due to self-driving cars, many things will not be the same). In a world where some people will no longer have the same place as before can lead to anger and shakeup of democracy, and this is one of the challenges that Germany will face. A new world is coming to us. This time it's not a new continent but a rapid replacement of technologies, and we may be the last generation to remember both worlds.

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By ŽIKICA MILOŠEVIĆ

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ECONOMY

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READY FOR A CHANGE? Reinvent or Bust

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he German economy has experienced a significant slowdown in 2019, forcing many reputable analysts to resort to pessimism, especially the liberal British magazine The Economist, which is traditionally averse to the German economy. The Germans think there is no need to worry. The truth is always somewhere in between.

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FIRST HALF: BIG LEAD!! Once upon a time, in pre-EU times (before 1992 and Maastricht), Germany,


Italy and France were the locomotives of continental Europe. Spain was just catching up and all the aforementioned countries had a "conservative" Keynesian approach to the economy, with the state playing a strong role of a mediator. The British were ruled by the liberal Margaret and had a completely different approach. And then, in the 1990s, a wave of neoliberalism flooded the whole of continental Europe; the fall of the USSR and Eurosocialism was welcomed in the UK and the US as a sign that “Reaganism” combined with “Thatcherism” was, in fact, the only right path and that there was no longer any need to resort to leftwing agenda. The so-called Third Road was created which involved deregulation and outsourcing. Germany did not fully address this trend and in fact, it didn’t give in to it for the most part. Others laughed at the German machine-building giants which still made expensive factory machines, vehicles and everything that could be made by Mittelstand, the driving force behind the German economy made up of small and medium-sized enterprises, which, in other capitalist countries, formed the backbone of the economy and the middle class. It was thought that no-one would buy expensive German products when self-sourced products from Asia or Latin America cost less and carried the same brand and logo. But the Germans knew that did not matter. Lo and behold, everyone is still buying German goods, and the Made in Germany brand (paradoxically, forcibly introduced by the British to protect "quality British goods" and the British market from "the poor quality German imports") became a symbol of quality. Actually, the German goods never ceased to be of good quality. Mittelstand has preserved the German middle class

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Budget fetish

and hundreds of cities with good quality of life and services, while in other countries, the middle class has disintegrated and large cities have “chewed up” the outskirts. Germany also survived the World Economic Crisis in a resilient way, becoming Europe’s leader under Angela Merkel, a quiet, down-to-earth, compromise-prone daughter of a Protestant priest with a conservative

ALL GERMANY HAS TO DO IS TO “PUSH” ITSELF AWAY FROM THE BLACK ZERO CONCEPT. READY TO CHANGE? GENAU! REINVENT YOURSELF OR BUST! I WOULD NOT PUT MY BET ON THE LATTER OUTCOME SINCE IT IS NOT GERMAN AT ALL viewpoint and socialist education gained in the GDR. Now, everyone wants to move to Germany - from European experts and ordinary workers to migrants from the Middle East. 40% of the residents of Stuttgart, the German capital of the automotive industry, were born abroad. Victory?

SECOND HALF: TIME OF CHANGE But now we are entering the second half, so to speak; a time when things are changing. Now that Germany is a leader with accumulated funds, which should be invested in innovation, it has the best starting posi-

tion. Only if "the spirit of Wolfgang Schäuble" was not so alive and well, that is the spirit of over-saving. The slowdown of the German economy to less than 1% of GDP growth in 2019 indicates that there has been some saturation - a slowdown in China, further exacerbated by the outbreak of the coronavirus and the market saturated with quality products that last a long time all resulted in a mild crisis. Just as the good old Wolfgang was reluctant to help Greece in trouble, his successors are reluctant to invest more but would wait for their resilient conservative measures and austerity funds to mitigate the crisis. But, the time of change has begun. Green parties want to tax airline flights and fossil fuels. Ecology and green technologies are a big thing now and Greta is young people’s idol. Germany has always been the one that has provided innovation with a competitive edge: engines, planes, motorways, high-speed trains. Now, it’s Germany’s time to dare to overcome the so-called "The Black Zero" or "Schwarze Null" policy that seeks to maintain a balanced budget and not generate new debt. Even Macron said that the Germans have a "budget fetish" and that Europe needs incentives to invest in new technologies because China and the US will take over the world. So, the time has come! Germany's will to innovate, to realistically see its faults, to respect social justice and security of the Bismarck era, and to welcome new people to its country by transforming them into new German citizens who contribute to the economy, will make Germany a leader again in the new online, green or any other technologies. All Germany has to do is to “push” itself away from the Black Zero concept. Ready to Change? Genau! Reinvent yourself or bust! I would not put my bet on the latter outcome since it is not German at all.

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GERMANS HAVE A "BUDGET FETISH" AND THAT EUROPE NEEDS INCENTIVES TO INVEST IN NEW TECHNOLOGIES BECAUSE CHINA AND THE US WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD GERMANY 2020

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A HK SER BI A

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THE LARGEST AND MOST SIGNIFICANT BILATERAL ORGANIZATION IN SERBIA The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia) represents the interests of its member companies, provides informative support for their business and is committed to developing and improving German-Serbian trade and cooperation in all economic aspects. One of the tasks of AHK Serbia is to provide advisory support to German companies entering the Serbian market, as well as to Serbian businesspeople when entering the German market

Conference "Western Balkans and the German Economy: Investment - Supply Initiatives - Mobility"

CONFERENCE "WESTERN BALKANS AND THE GERMAN ECONOMY: INVESTMENT - SUPPLY INITIATIVES MOBILITY" Sponsored by the Ministry of Economy and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia), in cooperation with the Committee of the German Economy for Eastern Europe - East European Association of German Economy (OA) and the German Association for Southeast Europe, organized in November 2019 a conference dedicated to German initiatives, economic development, new conditions and effects of the German Law on the Immigration of Professional Workers from Non-EU Countries, as well as demographic challenges in Serbia. The conference was opened by AHK Serbia's President, Ronald Seeliger, PhD, Minister without Portfolio in charge of Demography and Population Policy, Slavica Đukić Dejanović, PhD, and Head of Section EU Enlargement, Southeast Europe and Turkey at

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Visit of the Federal Minister Peter Altmaier

the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, Helge Tolksdorf.

VISIT OF THE FEDERAL MINISTER FOR ECONOMY AND ENERGY OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY PETER ALTMAIER WITH BUSINESS DELEGATION As part of the visit of the Minister of Economy and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Peter Altmaier to Serbia in October 2019, AHK Serbia played host to German businesspeople at the Business Briefing and the Round Table at the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade. Business Briefing brought together businesspeople from Germany who were part of a delegation that came with Minister Altmaier and German MPs. During the meeting, business delegation from Germany were informed about the current political situation in the country from the Deputy Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dorotea Gizelman, while the President of the Ger-

man-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia), Ronald Seeliger, PhD, informed them about the situation in the economic sector. Following the briefing, Minister Altmaier attended a gathering together with the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, Marko Čadež, Deputy Director General of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), Volker Treier, PhD, President of AHK Serbia, Ronald Seeliger, PhD, Director of AHK Serbia, Martin Knapp, as well as German and Serbian businesspeople and members of AHK Serbia. On the occasion, Minister Altmaier said that Germany and Serbia wanted to intensify their relations and that they could achieve that through economic cooperation. Ronald Seeliger, president of AHK Serbia, assessed that the economic cooperation between Serbia and Germany has been good so far, adding that Germany has been investing heavily in Serbia and that German companies employed more than 60,000 people in Serbia.


Survey on conditions for doing business in Serbia in 2019

SURVEY ON CONDITIONS FOR DOING BUSINESS IN SERBIA IN 2019 Last year, AHK Serbia conducted a survey on the economic environment in Serbia among its member companies, which positively assessed the economic climate in Serbia, expressed positive expectations regarding own businesses and the satisfaction with the labour market. 88 per cent of surveyed companies would invest again in Serbia. During the panel discussion, the panel participants German Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Thomas Schieb, President of the Fiscal Council of the Republic of Serbia, Pavle Petrović and Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, Ljubodrag Savić, talked about the need to increase the fight against corruption, but also to boost legal certainty and transparency in public procurements.

DUAL EDUCATION The German industry, as one of the leading economic powers, has, over time, resisted a number of challenges precisely thanks to its well-trained workforce and

Dual education

Dual education

dual education system, which has been implemented in Germany for almost a hundred years. Since the Law on Vocational Training in Serbia came into force in September 2019, companies wishing to enter the new dual system "Worked-Based-Learning" and apply for accreditation in the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia can now use consultations and numerous services provided by AHK Serbia. The conference organized by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce titled "Dual Education - Experiences of German Companies in Serbia" started the "Dual Education Week" in October 2019 under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia. The conference was opened by the Director of AHK Serbia, Martin Knapp, Assistant Minister for Dual and Entrepreneurial Education, Gabrijela Grujić and Director of the Centre for Dual Education at the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, Mirjana Kovačević. Representatives of German companies Siemens Serbia, Robert Bosch, ContitechFluid Serbia and Draexlmaier Serbia shared their experiences in implementing the dual education system with the media representatives and members of AHK Serbia.

AHK ONLINE STUDENT PRACTICE WEBSITE The student practice website - www. ahk-praksa.com - in the companies that are AHK's member, was created following AHK Serbia and the University of Belgrade's initiative called "German Business-to-Work Experience Model" with the aim of helping students with their professional development and their better integration in the labour market. The President of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia), Ronald Seeliger, PhD, and University of Belgrade Rector, Ivanka Popović signed a Cooperation Agreement in March this year to improve students' professional training, their better integration in the labour market and present companies that are Chamber members. On this occasion, it was announced that the Chamber and the University of Belgrade will create an online platform this year where members of AHK Serbia, as well as other companies with German capital that are not members of AHK, will regularly publish vacancies for work practice in their companies.

AHK Online Student Practice Website

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Senior Expert Service

Export Initiative Projects

Export Initiative Projects

Trade fairs in Germany

SENIOR EXPERT SERVICE The core activity of the SES programme is based on the mediation of professional consultants in various economic and non-economic activities worldwide. This German non-profit organization, subsidized by the German Ministry of International Cooperation, deals with the mediation and organization of German professional consultants' engagement in small and medium-sized companies. SES consultants are active German retirees; professionals with extensive experience who carry out their engagement with great enthusiasm and work ethic. They provide consulting services without financial compensation, with the aim of assisting and promoting the organization of business in small and medium-sized enterprises, public institutions, associations and educational institutions, both in Serbia and around the world. The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce has been representing the SES pro-

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gramme in Serbia since 2005. As of 2018, about 250 SES engagements have been realized in Serbian companies and non-commercial entities.

EXPORT INITIATIVE PROJECTS The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia), sponsored by the Ministry of Economy and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany, organized a conference last May on the topic: "Energy efficiency in buildings". Seven German companies presented their product and service range in these areas, after which all participants of the conference had B2B meetings with German companies. In January 2020, under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany, AHK Serbia held a conference called "Modernization in the Sectors of Transport, Logistics and Transport Infrastructure in Serbia and Montenegro". At the conference, seven German

companies presented their product range, innovations and services in these areas.

GERMAN INITIATIVE FOR FINDING SUPPLIERS IN THE WESTERN BALKANS STATES Fifth, a regional B2B project was held on June 6, 2019, in Dortmund, organized by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, a representative office of the German businesses in the Western Balkans (AHK), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia and the German Association Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME eV), with the goal of German companies finding manufacturers from the required economic branches in Serbia and the Western Balkans. The participating companies were predominantly from the metal processing sector, the automotive supply sector, the plastics processing and production sector, as well as from the electrical and electronic sectors.


Trade fairs in Germany

Presenting the startup scene in Serbia

Presenting the startup scene in Serbia

AHK Serbia's Thematic Day

TRADE FAIRS IN GERMANY German fairs, as the most important promotional mechanisms and sales institutions in Europe and beyond, have always occupied a significant place in the economic cooperation between Serbia and Germany. AHK Serbia represents: • The Munich International Fair • The Cologne International Fair • The Nuremberg Toy Fair • Intec and Z fairs in Leipzig

PRESENTING THE STARTUP SCENE IN SERBIA The fact that Serbia has a very vibrant start-up community, with many young and innovative companies, motivated AHK Serbia to do a research on the startup scene in Serbia, which was presented to the public on July 3, 2019, at the ICT Hub. The results of the research on the startup scene in Serbia

indicate that the conditions for startup companies doing business in Serbia are good, and that the ecosystem of these companies is very interesting and consists of people who are hardworking, creative, ambitious and eager to work. On this occasion, AHK Serbia's President Ronald Seeliger pointed out that there was a lot of room for synergy between large, older companies and start-ups and that there was huge potential in Serbia to be harnessed. According to AHK Serbia's Director, Martin Knapp, the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce organizes the networking of German companies and young Serbian companies that have the ability to use their networks, not only in Germany but also in the global market. Research author Christoph Berndt said that the support of larger companies that are more familiar with the market and have access to customers was also needed, and larger companies can also help startups through product testing which could be

done by those companies becoming clients of startups.

AHK SERBIA'S THEMATIC DAY: DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR AND THE SERBIAN STARTUP ECOSYSTEM A thematic day was held at the Science and Technology Park Belgrade on December 11, 2019, organized by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, with the aim of exchanging information and fostering dialogue between the members of AHK Serbia in the field of the automotive industry and the startup community of Serbia. Participants had the opportunity to gain insight into current business processes and needs of a given industry through presentations by members of the automotive sector of AHK Serbia and discussions with experts from the given industries, as well as to improve their know-how and discuss possibilities of cooperation with the presented companies.

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AHK MEMBERS DINNER Business dinner for the representatives of the AHK member companies is one of the very popular membership events. An honorary speaker from the domestic economic and political scene opens the event with a short presentation on one of the current topics, followed by a discussion and a cocktail party in a relaxed atmosphere. In April 2019, AHK Serbia had the honour of hosting the Minister of Finance, Mr SiniĹĄa Mali, as a distinguished speaker, who talked about the economic policy of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. In January 2020, the guest of honour at AHK Members Dinner was the Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Zsuzsanna Hargitai, who spoke about the opportunities and obstacles to investing in Serbia from the EBRD's perspective.

WORKING GROUPS The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce organizes working groups focusing on three areas: human resources, communications and public relations, as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy. At interesting interactive meetings of members, with an average of 35 participants, participants present common topics. The meetings also feature lectures by experts in their respective fields and the exchange of experience between colleagues from different companies.

SPEED BUSINESS MEETING Speed Business Meeting was held last February, which was attended by over 50 companies, members of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (AHK Serbia), the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (CCIFS), Confindustria Serbia (Association

AHK Members dinner

AHK Members dinner

Working groups

Speed business meeting

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of Italian Businesspeople in Serbia) and Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SSCC) for the purpose of getting to know each other through direct contact and promoting cooperation between member companies of four business communities.

AHK OKTOBERFEST The German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce nurtures a 200-year-old German tradition by holding the AHK Oktoberfest each year. The 10th Oktoberfest in Belgrade, and the fourth that was organized by AHK Serbia, was held on 10th and 11th October, 2019. Around 1,300 guests from company members, partners and business executives enjoyed Erdinger Beer, diverse Bavarian cuisine and music by Dejan Petrović and his Big Band, as well as competitions in mug-holding and beer drinking.


SERBIAN VISIONS The fifth multicongress in Serbia, Serbian Visions was held at the Radisson Collection Hotel, Old Mill, on Friday, November 22 and Saturday, November 23, 2019. At the opening ceremony of the 5th Serbian Visions Multicongress, the organizers gave out plaques for the third year running. The association Žene na Prekretnici was the recipient of the plaque for the best vision. This is the only association dedicated to the economic empowerment of unemployed women over the age of 45, the most vulnerable group in the Serbian labour market. The Best Social Engagement Award went to the Association of Internal Auditors of Serbia, which works to promote sound corporate governance and ethical principles, as well as to increase awareness of the value of internal audit.

• 40 two-hour events over two days • 40 participants, co-organizers of manifestations: NGOs, professional associations, institutes, institutions, companies, associations, universities… • 40 different ways of presenting: discussions, forums, presentations, workshops, seminars, film screenings and more • 40 interesting topics from the segments of human rights, economics, education, culture, health, environment, EU integration and others • 40 and more reasons to come and visit the only multicongress in Serbia

COCKTAIL RECEPTION FOR BILATERAL CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AT KOPAONIK BUSINESS FORUM

merce together with other foreign chambers (the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the Slovenian Business Club, the Croatian Business Club, Confindustria and the Nordic Business Alliance) had a networking cocktail reception during the Kopaonik Business Forum in March 2019. The goal of organizing such an event is to provide our members with a better platform for networking and sharing experiences, as well as to improve the business environment.

AHK Serbia organizes over 50 events annually. Close to 40 Serbian companies exhibit at trade fairs in Cologne, Munich and Nuremberg. Over 8,000 visitors attend AHK events.

The German-Serbian Chamber of Com-

AHK Oktoberfest

Cocktail reception for bilateral chambers of commerce at Kopaonik Business Forum

Serbian Visions

Serbian Visions

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E N VI R ON MENT

By ŽIKICA MILOŠEVIĆ

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TACKLING POLLUTION Determined country with a concrete plan

ince October, the media in Serbia and the region have extensively been reporting about extreme cases of air pollution, and the topic has become hotter than chatting about politics. Countries in transition, from China and India to Poland and the Balkans, are struggling to fight pollution. But how can a country where production accounts for 20% of GDP can do it better?

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TO REDUCE PERSONAL USE OF VEHICLES

When talking about the quality of life in various cities around the world, the cost of public transport is often taken into consideration. In some cities such as London,

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the figure can be as low as 180 euro per month, in others this cost is much lower. As you can deduce, this is the case with the countries where liberalism is less alive, and where horizontal solidarity is much greater. Germany is one such country, and other

THE IDEA IS FOR PEOPLE TO USE THEIR PERSONAL CARS LESS, UNLESS THEY ARE USING THEM FOR A PERSONAL TRIP

highly developed countries, or those with the Protestant spirit, such as Luxembourg or Estonia, have already introduced free public transport. This may soon happen in certain German cities too as a result of the desire to reduce pollution to the lowest possible level. Clearly, the idea is for people to use their personal cars less, unless they are using them for a personal trip. But if they are using them to go to work, which is the reason for most traffic jams in Los Angeles or Delhi, and most of the pollution, it's perfectly legitimate to use public transportation lines: underground, trams, which are eco-friendly, or buses, which are increasingly becoming eco-friendly since an increasing number of them are using natural gas, hydrogen or elec-


tricity. In a country that has a bunch of big cities and one Ruhr area, this can be of crucial importance. There are also plans to expand pedestrian zones in major cities, as well as tram and railway grids. That does not sound odd at all in the country of perpetual infrastructure works.

REDUCING USE OF COAL AND CLEANER CARS This is not a new idea. East Germany reunited with its Western counterpart 30 years ago, bringing to the new country many thermal power plants and buildings that use coal for heating. Since 1990, this has been one of the topics that united Germany had to tackle, namely how to help the East get rid of pollutants. In the meantime, Germany has become a leader in green technologies and the green technology industry is now worth 400 billion euro. But that is not enough. Germany now has an ambitious energy transition plan ("Energiewende") that aims to win the eternal battle with air pollution. Needless to say, in a country boasting business honesty, the scandal with Volkswagen fixing its emission data from 2015 was very painful. It was an alarm for companies and individuals to press harder for green technologies. The plan is to achieve a large-scale reduction by phasing-out old-fashioned diesel vehicles in 2020 (city buses, cars, heavy trucks). In August 2019, the European Commission granted EUR 450 million to Germany as financial assistance for the replacement of garbage trucks, buses and other municipal vehicles with diesel engines. Also, in 2007, an eco-tax of 65 cents per litre of petrol was introduced.

Over the past 13 years, substantial money has been allocated to the green technology fund. The plan is also to reduce thermal energy loss by 14% by 2020 by investing in thermal insulation (so less fuel will be consumed). Not that Germany is in so much danger of rising sea levels, but some parts of Germany in the North Sea are. On the other hand, the destruction of

GERMANY NOW HAS AN AMBITIOUS ENERGY TRANSITION PLAN ("ENERGIEWENDE") THAT AIMS TO WIN THE ETERNAL BATTLE WITH AIR POLLUTION the planet means the destruction of all of us, as no-one will do well in a negative scenario. Add to this the medical costs of treating ailments and illnesses caused by air pollution and shorter life span, the harm of not fighting pollution multiplies. Although Germany is violating the EU's set levels of pollution, the country is determined to tackle air pollution. In 2017, the particulate matter stood at 65mg, and as early as mid-2019, it was 40mg per cubic metre. There is no doubt that, considering the increasingly stronger and more agile green parties which are the mainstay in this political agenda, the fight against air pollution will be successful.

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C U ST OMS

By ŽIKICA MILOŠEVIĆ

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OKTOBERFEST

The Joy of Beer

here is no bigger beer carnival than Oktoberfest. This event is considered one of the most iconic in the world, such as the Carnival in Rio, Semana Santa in Seville, Palia in Siena, the Bull Run in Pamplona, or Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Beer aficionados dream of being one of Oktober’s guests, preferably several times. The same applies to those people who don’t like beer. Actually, it applies to everyone.

lasts from 16 to 18 days, from mid-September to the first week of October, and is visited by six million people every year, beer drinkers and others. Locals often call it Wiesn, since the place called Theresa's Meadows or in German, Theresienwiese, is the location where the festival is held every year. Today, interestingly enough, Oktoberfest in Munich is not the only Oktoberfest in Germany and

THE FIRST, THE BIGGEST, THE BEST

THERE ARE MANY OKTOBERFESTS TODAY WITH DIFFERENT CUSTOMS, BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE ORIGINAL

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Not only is Oktoberfest the largest beer brand, but it has also become a kind of worldwide "franchise" unlike the others, which have a local historical background. Oktoberfest is the earliest grassroots festival that was created in Munich in 1810. Today, it

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even the rest of the world. German emigrants have taken the custom to other continents (one of the largest, and for a long time, the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world was the one held in the town of Blumenau in Santa Catarina, Brazil). Oktoberfest is also held in Argentina, the USA and more recently, in Novi Sad. Up to 8 litres of beer are consumed at Oktoberfest in Munich. The festival is known for other types of entertainment too, with food taking the centre stage and Bavarian sausage being the highlight of the festival food. Oktoberfest’s history and timeline are also worth mentioning. The Munich Oktoberfest originally took place in the 16 days leading up to the first Sunday in October. In 1994, this longstanding schedule was modified in response to German reunification. As such, if


the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or the 2nd, then the festival would run until 3 October. Thus, the festival now runs for 17 days when the first Sunday is 2 October and 18 days when it is 1 October.

THE PAST AND CUSTOMS It all started again with the kings of Bavaria, who had the good old custom of getting married in the autumn, same as ‘regular’ people. Ludwig I married Princess Theresa on 12 October 1810, with horse races and a beer-drinking fair held in honour of the event, and people celebrating the royal marriage. Someone figured out that all this worked out really in 1810, so they decided to persuade the king to repeat the festivities the next year at the same time. And that's when the festival became a tradition. The rest is history. A statue of Bavaria was built in 1850 to proudly ‘supervise’ the drinking of barley and hops liquor. At the end of the 19th century, games were discontinued to leave more table space, and in 1887, the festival became a real carnival with a procession of brewers decorated with chariots and costumes, accompanied by music on the first Saturday of Oktoberfest. Since the end of World War II, serving traditional Oktoberfest beer, which is 2% stronger than regular beer, has been banned. As of 1950, everything became standardized and starts in the same way. At noon, firing from 12 rifles on the steps of Ruhmeshalle, marks the beginning of Oktoberfest with the proclamation "O'zapft is!" ("It has been draughted!", spoken in the Austro-Bavarian dialect) with the mayor of Munich opening the first barrel of beer in the Schottenhammel tent. The mayor then gives the first litre of beer to the Prime Minister of Bavaria. This is a sign that everyone can start serving beer. Most often, the beer is served by girls wearing attractive dirndl dresses.

There is a ‘foreplay’ to all of this too. Before the festival officially begins, parades feature traditional waiter clubs, beer servers and landowners. In fact, there are two different parades that end at Theresienwiese. They start around 9:45 a.m. and last until 10.50 p.m. During Oktoberfest, some locals wear Bavarian hats (Tirolerhüte), that are made from chamois fur (Gamsbart), which photographs well. The main row is always headed by a person featured on Munich’s coat of arms, also known as Munich Kindle, or "the Munich Child", who was originally a monk (hence the name Munich meaning "Monk" or Monk's Town). In a humorous in-

IT ALL STARTED AGAIN WITH THE KINGS OF BAVARIA, WHO HAD THE GOOD OLD CUSTOM OF GETTING MARRIED IN THE AUTUMN, SAME AS ‘REGULAR’ PEOPLE terpretation from the 16th century, Munich Kindle was portrayed with a beer in his hand, instead of the Bible. Today, during the Oktoberfest parade, Munich Kindle is always represented by a young girl which is so typically German and medieval; that is turning something serious into something merry.

A STEP FORWARD Similar albeit smaller festivals, called Voksfest, are held all around in Bavaria. Needless to say, the beer festival is globally popular everywhere where German expats are - Blumenau, Kitchener in Ontario, Villa Generál Belgrano in Argentina are just some

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EIN PROSIT DER GEMÜTLICHKEIT IN OCTOBER IN SERBIA TOO Belgrade and Novi Sad are no longer lagging behind the aforementioned cities, which, because of their love for this festival and the respective German communities, started celebrating Oktoberfest. In Serbia, Oktoberfest has been organized by the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce for over a decade for the Chamber’s members and their guests. The success of Oktoberfest in Serbia is also evidenced by the fact that both festivals, the one in Belgrade and the one in Novi Sad, have become a tradition.

of the places where the German expats hold their versión of Oktoberfest. The festival is also held in several other places in the US (where Germans are the largest ethnic group), mostly in Cincinnati. The history of the German expats is long. Kitchener was even called Berlin for a long time, and today a huge number of people speak German as their first language here, with the most spoken word being “Gemütlichtkeit" (warmth). In Blumenau, admission to the festival is free if you wear the traditional German costume. There are many Oktoberfests today with different customs, but there is only one original.

Sausages

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THE FESTIVAL IS KNOWN FOR OTHER TYPES OF ENTERTAINMENT TOO, WITH FOOD TAKING THE CENTRE STAGE AND BAVARIAN SAUSAGE BEING THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE FESTIVAL FOOD GERMANY 2020

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TOU R I SM

By ŽIKICA MILOŠEVIĆ

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WINE FESTIVALS Stuttgart Area rules it all!

K, maybe it’s too ambitious to say that the Stuttgart region rules over everything else, since the same can be said for many other regions as well, but the tame nature of this part of Germany has made the vine feel at home here. And the result of it was wine, wine parties and wine festivities. In that order...

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THE ROMANS, WHO ELSE?! As early as the 3rd century AD, Roman emperors planted vineyards all over the country, and wine continued to be made after the collapse of the empire that brought the vine to this part of the world. By the 16th century, Stuttgart was already one of the largest winegrowing communities in the Holy Roman Empire that encompassed the German nation too, that is, the Roman-German Empire, which is the name under which

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the Roman Empire was resurrected in the Middle Ages in the West. The slopes of the mountains, the closeness to the 45th parallel, and plenty of sunshine, equivalent to that in northern Hungary or Austria, where great wines are also produced, were crucial.

THE MAIN WINES GROWN TODAY IN THE STUTTGART REGION ARE THE BLACK VARIETIES - LEMBERGER, SPATBURGUNDER AND TROLLINGER

WHAT ARE THE MAIN TRUMP CARDS TODAY? The main wines grown today in the Stuttgart region are the black varieties - Lemberger, Spatburgunder and Trollinger. Trollinger is inextricably linked to the region like Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are linked to Stuttgart in, albeit, a different, motorized way. This fruity, bright red wine matures late and can be enjoyed when young and chilled. Originally, this vine with large size grapes comes from South Tyrol and Trentino, where it goes by the name of Vernatsch. However, the name "Trollinger" seems to be a corrupted version of "Tyrolinger". As for white wines, Riesling leads the region's winemaking with outstanding wines made from it. Other varieties include Kerner, Silvaner and Muller Thurgau. Besides, Sauvignon Blanc is gaining


iently tucked away on the banks of the Neckar River. In late August and mid-September, typically at Weindorf in Stuttgart, which becomes the capital of wine just like Munich becomes the capital of beer a week later, over 500 different wines from the Baden-Wurttemberg region can be tasted. To help wine drinkers to drink as much as possible, chefs serve salty Swiss specialities like "Kässpätzle" (cheesy noodles), "Maultaschen" (stuffed pasta) or potato

THE STUTTGART WINE TRAIL WAS ENVISAGED AS A CIRCULAR WALK AND YOU CAN JOIN OR LEAVE A WELL-MARKED ROUTE AT ANY POINT in popularity with wineries, and therefore in importance with winemakers. The provincial capital Stuttgart is the only German city to own 17.5 hectares of municipal vineyards, spanning six different locations.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SOIL The Stuttgart topography is unique in Germany. The city centre lies in a basin enclosed by green hills. Thanks to this unique location, vineyards can even be found downtown. To access the steep terraces, in the second half of the 19th century, growers had to build stairs and paths. More than 400 of these "Stäffele", or steps, still exist today. Climbing them is equivalent to a good 20 km of walking, so the wine routes of this region are not for the weak! On the historic hill known as Württemberg, one can enjoy one of the best views of the Stuttgart vineyards and the idyllic Neckar valley. In the 11th century, this was the location of the castle of the founder of the Württemberg House. In 1820, after the untimely death of his beloved wife, Grand Duchess Catherine of Russia, King William built a chapel there. At the foot of Württemberg in Stuttgart-Uhlbach, the Museum of Viticulture in Stuttgart invites visitors to discover two thousand years of viticultural history in a visit that encompasses all the senses. Original wine barrels, winemaking equipment, certificates, maps and other documents are on display. The "Viertel" (quarter litre) of wine at the museum's Vinothek is the perfect way

to round off this tour of history. The Stuttgart Wine Trail was envisaged as a circular walk and you can join or leave a well-marked route at any point. It invites you to discover beautiful slopes, idyllic spots, picturesque vistas and interesting attractions to choose from trails through vineyards.

AND NOW – FESTIVITIES! There are numerous wine festivals throughout the year, such as the Autumn Festival in Fellbach (early October), the Cellar Night in Weinstadt or the Weindorf Wine Festival in Stuttgart, one of the largest and best wine festivals in Germany. There is also Weindorf in Heilbronn, Herbstweinfest in Bönnigheim and Brackenheim, or Weinfest in the town of Lauffen-am-Neckar, which, you’ve guessed it, is conven-

noodles with sauerkraut. A typical feature of the Stuttgart wine region is the "Besenwirtschaften" or "Broom Taverns", i.e. temporary wine taverns that open only twelve weeks a year. The name comes from a broom that hangs on the door and indicates that they are open for business. Only the wine of one particular winemaker is sold there. It is usually served in the traditional way, not in long-handled glasses but in the glasses with a handle that is typical of the Baden-Württemberg and Swabian regions. So, if you like beer, go to Germany to a beer festival. But if you like wine, then also go to Germany, to Swabia! There, far from the Mediterranean, where you might not have expected top quality wines and entertainment, the idyllic and cheerful atmosphere of southern Germany will enchant you.

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THE COUNTRY WHERE THE KING OF WHITE WINES WAS BORN By JELENA SAVIĆ

Germany, as a very cold region, has given the wine world one of the best white wines called Riesling ermany ranks eighth in the world in annual wine production. In numbers, this is 1.2 billion bottles per year. Even though wine production makes up for only onetenth of the total beer production in Germany, 220 million litres of ‘Sekt’, which is how champagne is called in German, should be added to this figure. German wines also have a great price, especially compared to French wines of the same quality, so solid German wines cost 3-4 euro, better around 7, and great & top quality between 9 and 12 euro. More than half of the vine in Germany grows in the Rhineland-Palatinate province, and its capital, Mainz. It is worth mentioning that the best German wines are dry, and known for their sugar content, so when ordering or buying the famous Riesling, make sure whether you buying dry or semi-dry one. Wine can be dry with a high percentage of acids but also with a fine tart sweetness (trocken) or very sweet, as a result of botrytis or low temperatures (Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein / ice wine). Germany has 13 wine-producing regions, each known for its own wine style, and very often from the same grape varieties. In general, the lightest and most elegant German wines are made in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer and Ahr regions. Somewhat fuller and more powerful wines are produced in the Mittelrhein, Nahe, Rheingau, Rheinhessen and Saale-Unstrut regions, while the most powerful German wines are produced in the Pfalz, Hessische Bergstrasse, Sachsen, Wurttemberg and Baden regions. In Serbia, German wines can be bought in better-stocked wineries and their price ranges from 1,000 to several thousand dinars per bottle.

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By ŽIKICA MILOŠEVIĆ

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THE HOME OF HOMEOPATHY Here to stay

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any people do not trust homeopathy that much and look with amazement in the direction of Germany, in which this practice was not only started but also legally protected and recognized. What makes Germans so committed to this alternative treatment…

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NINETEENTH CENTURY - A TIME OF NEW RESEARCH … or alternative ways? Germany is home to homeopathy, which, inciden-


tally, can be said of other types of alternative medicine such as mesmerism (medical hypnosis), hydropathy, or anthroposophic medicine. At the time when all these branches of medicine were starting, there was not even Germany as such, but rather this definition was extended to include all countries where German was spoken. The new art of healing spread sometime in the first half of the 19th century, when homeopathic doctors, such as Hahnemann, who resided in present-day Germany until 1835, began to practice homeopathy in German-speaking countries. Dr Hahnemann started to expand his knowledge and teachings as early as the first decades of the 19th century. In 1812, his followers, also physicians, such as Stapf, Gross, Horburg, Franz or Hartmann, who formed a "union" of homeopathic physicians, started to practice too. Efforts and attempts were made to make an entire homeopathic hospital, but in 1832, Hahnemann did not like the people who were chosen to run it. This tells us a lot about homeopathy itself as Hahnemann called them "semi-homeopaths." Overall, homeopathy was based on the idea of "treating like with like," which is a translation from Greek and the very term 'homeopathy'. Overall, homeopaths believe that the original substance can be diluted indefinitely, as long as no original substance molecule is left, but in the iteration of the dilution the fluid which is stricken and shaken. During this process, homeopaths believe that the fluid "remembers" the properties of the dissolved drug which is then transferred to the entire next diluted mixture. In 1833, the German veterinarian Wilhelm Lux devised a similar technique, called isopathy. And then started the clash of opinions...

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Treatment

TWENTIETH CENTURY AND BEYOND In the 20th century, homeopathy experienced another boom after being challenged in the late 19th century. In the 1930s, homeopathy became extremely popular, and in 1938, homeopathic remedies were recognized as regular medicines in the United States. With the rise of the New Age movement in the 1970s, there was a resurgence

IN OTHER COUNTRIES, HOMEOPATHY MAY BE VIEWED AS A MUMBOJUMBO, BUT IN GERMANY, IT IS DEEPLY ASSOCIATED WITH NATURE AND ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS. HOMEOPATHY IS HERE TO STAY of belief in homeopathic remedies, which persists to this day, despite the disbelief expressed by, say, the renowned The Economist. Indian homeopaths began to come to Germany in large numbers to teach and in the 1980s, the Homรถopathie-Forum was founded, which is today the largest homeopath organization in the country, with 1,000 members. In Germany, homeopathy is popular and legal, but only "heilpraktikers" or doctors have the right to use it in treatment which just goes to show that this is not quack medicine brought to you fraudulent physicians. Doctors can claim that they practice homeopathy, but they cannot declare themselves solely as homeopaths, and they

cannot treat venereal diseases, genital diseases, smallpox or malaria with homeopathy. Plus, they must complete 6 to 12 monthlong internship in homeopathy.

HOMEOPATHY IN GERMANY TODAY In 1997, German professional homeopaths formed an organization called Verband Klassischer Homรถopathen Deutschlands (VKHD). Today, there are 2,800 physicians qualified to use homeopathic methods in treatment, although many others use it too. In Germany, homeopathy regulation is harmonized with the EU one - medicines must be registered but not tested. Those homeopathic remedies that are less diluted than D4 (1:10-4) must be tested for side effects. Medicines can be sold without a prescription at German pharmacies, with Germany being the only EU country where homeopathic herb- or mineral-based medicines, which are produced in very small quantities, do not need to be registered at all. In other countries, only medicines made personally by a pharmacist do not have to be registered. In 2017, homeopathy was not a prevalent treatment in Germany, but it is by no means negligible: homeopathic remedies accounted for 2.74% of units sold in the pharmaceutical sector that year (0.90% of the turnover), while 0.14% of prescriptions covered by state health insurance were for homeopathic remedies. A 2008 telephone survey of adults in Germany found that 11.5% had used homeopathy during their lifetime. Homeopathy accounts for 27.4% of contacts with patients in the segment of alternative medicine. Impressive figures, indeed! In other countries, homeopathy may be viewed as mumbo-jumbo, but in Germany, it is deeply associated with nature and alternative treatments. Homeopathy is here to stay.

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TODAY, THERE ARE 2,800 PHYSICIANS QUALIFIED TO USE HOMEOPATHIC METHODS IN TREATMENT, ALTHOUGH MANY OTHERS USE IT TOO GERMANY 2020

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By ŽIKICA MILOŠEVIĆ

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NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

The Dream of the Last Bavarian King

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ome places are part of “the collective unconscious", part of the imagination of each of us, ever since childhood, and a product of every child’s imagination. The Neuschwanstein Castle, in Bavaria, is such a place. Disney recognized when he was creating his fairy tales. Some say Disney's fairy tale castle was inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle, while others claim that the good old Walt

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was fascinated by a castle in Sintra, Portugal. Maybe one does not exclude the other at all.

THE MIND OF THE YOUNG KING This story begins at the time when the Free State of Bavaria was the Kingdom of Bavaria, located between Austria, which was already slowly abandoning the idea of the unification of Germany under its crown, and the northern and central German states, led by powerful Prussia, which later succeeded in uniting the majority of Germans under Kaiser. Bavaria was ruled by Maximilian II, the king who loved the countryside around the city of Füssen, or rather the village of Hohenschwangau. There used to be a sequence of 4 castles in that village, of which Max II managed to rebuild only one (the Old Schweinstein) and turn it into his summer and winter residence. Today this “yellow pearl” is called Hohenschwangau. In this castle, a handsome and romantic young man named Ludwig II was preparing to become king of Bavaria, and to finalize his father's idea of rebuilding the ruined castles. The two castles that remained in the ruins did not impress him with their size, so he decided to remove their remains and build a magnificent "romantic castle" instead of them, the "New Swan on the Rock", if you will, which would be as white as a swan. Back then, people used their money and titles to build themselves "romantic ruins" on their estates, so why not build an entire royal castle, which was supposed to be the Versailles of Bavaria.

FROM THE IDEA TO THE REALIZATION In 1867, the King decided to engage in some public work to mitígate the economic crisis and reduce unemployment by hiring a multitude of workers on the construction site. A special canteen was set up for them, which today is a great hotel, decorat-

ed in the secessionist style, called The Zur Neuer Burg. Numerous visitors stopped by the hotel, curious to see how this wonder of architecture was being built. Ludwig II himself was inspired by the castle in Wartburg and the Romanesque architecture, so the castle was built in the neo-Romanesque style (a special faction of this style, used in castle design, was called Burgenromantik), with some very important details. Specif-

AS A RESULT OF HIS FASCINATION WITH HELLENISM, THE KING EVEN CHANGED THE NAME OF THE COUNTRY - INSTEAD OF BAIERN, HE SPELT IT BAYERN, BECAUSE, IN SPANISH, THE LETTER Y IS CALLED "THE GREEK LETTER I" ically, the king was very fond of Greece – every possible Greece there was - from the ancient to Byzantium. Hence, as a result of his fascination with Hellenism, he even changed the name of the country - instead of BAIERN, he spelt it BAYERN, because, in Spanish, the letter Y is called "the Greek letter I". Besides, he decorated the interior of the castle in keeping with the style of the Renaissance palaces in Italy he adored, but he designed the church segments and motifs to have a strikingly Orthodox component with Greek inscriptions since he admired Byzantium. Thirdly, most of the in-

terior decorations were done in the Gothic style, since the king "wanted a castle worthy of German knights" and the German medieval tradition.

A SAD END AND A HAPPY AFTERPARTY

The king had a sad demise. He died in 1886 or was killed by his opponents. This was the time when the German unification was a popular movement with Ludwig II opposing it. He further impoverished the Treasury with this monumental building. The castle was finished in haste and partially and the third floor was never completed. If it were completed, it would have been spectacular, done in Moorish style of Spain ("mudéjar"), similar to the Alhambra. This was the fourth pillar of the king's romantic vision but to no avail. He slept only 11 nights in the castle, and his contemporaries declared him "a mad zealot". Regardless, the castle has outlived both the king and the haters. Today, 1.3 million people visit it annually. In summer, the castle has 6,000 visitors a day, which shortens the castle tours. The images of the castle are made into puzzles and found in children's books and our imagination. The castle is located far from every day’s hustle and bustle of the modern world. This perfect Instagram site still stands solitary despite all the connectivity around us. As Ludwig himself told Anton Memminger, the Bavarian Railway planner: “Do not disturb the idyllic loneliness of this romantic landscape by building factories or railroads. For there will come a time when many people, like me, will seek a place remote and untouched by modern culture and technology, greed and haste, away from the noise and turmoil, dirt and dust of cities, a refuge. ” And so it came to be! There are no factories or smoke here. There is also no railroad leading to Neuschwanstein; just our imagination.

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DID YOU KNOW

QUICK FACTS FROM PLENTY TO REMNANTS Before the World War II, it is estimated that in Vojvodina (and the rest of Serbia to a lower extent) lived some 350,000 Germans. In 2011, only 4064 people declared German ethnicity.

SWABIAN TURKEY German was widely spoken in Serbia until 1944, in the region of Vojvodina, particularly along the Danube and on the Romanian border. Their dialect was a part of the German language continuum, called Türk-Schwäbisch or Turk-Swabian.

SERBS IN GERMANY In Germany there are about 600,000 people of Serbian ancestry, of which some 300,000 are Serbian nationals working in Germany (popularly called Gastarbeiters). The majority (64%) of the Serbian population is concentrated in three federal states: North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.

INDUSTRIALISTS AND BEER MAKERS Germans were the founders of many factories in today’s Serbia, and they are considered fathers of Serbian beer industry, with people like Weifert or Zoffmann being synonymous of the beer brands

 ROM ZOLLVEREIN TO F INDUSTRIAL SUPERPOWER Germany was lagging in the Industrial Revolution behind Belgium, the UK and France since they had the protectionist Zollverein Union, and they became a unified country relatively lately. Therefore the first factories were open only in the second half of the 19th century (even Bosch was established only in 1886), but then quickly outgrew the rest of the world.

VACANCIES! JOBS OFFERED! Germany heavily advertised the jobs of medical doctors, nurses and the persons for the care of the elder in Serbia, since these jobs are needed in Germany, because of the growing and ageing population at the same time

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Profile for Diplomacy and Commerce

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