Diplomacy&Commerce 42

Page 1

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr

August/September 2022. / ISSUE No. 42. /FREE COPY

25

sept.

“Diplomatic Harvest” in Plešivica

Artificial Intelligence Marco Landi

Presiden “Institut Europia”

Proud of our mutual relations

Economic relations ELES is ready for at an extremely all scenarios enviable level

Ambassador of Slovenia to Croatia

President of SLO CRO Business Club

H.E. Gašper Dovžan

15. Weekend Media Festival in Rovinj This year’s Jubilee Weekend was held under the slogan #SAMODOĐI

PhD Saša Muminović

M.Sc. Aleksander Mervar

CEO of ELES, Slovenian Transmission System Operator, and President of the ELES Group


Your reliable partner in shipping and logistics

Since 2005


www.dragonmaritime.net


Zdravko Marić

Boban Spasojević, Magazine Director Croatia and Editor in Chief

Foreword

ROBERT Čoban Director

boban@diplomacy andcommerce.hr

Vladimir Dudaš Centrobiro Art Director

Robert Čoban Director

Tomislav Smoljanović Photos

Goranka Milošević Translation

Predstavnik za RH

Nemanja Matić, Luka Modrić, Predrag Mijatović, Luis Figo, Edin Džeko, Slaven Bilić, Darijo Srna… And so, after Aleksander Čeferin, President of UEFA, Nasser Al-Khelaifi – a man known in European circles as the Chairman and CEO of Paris Saint-Germain and member of UEFA Executive Board, was declared the new Ambassador of the Games. After the welcoming speech of the host city given by Mayor Ivica Puljko, the attendees had the opportunity to see a small part of what the Games have done during the 26 years of their existence in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina through footage from the field. This impressive sports story gathered more than two and a half million children in these three countries during these years,

and thus earned the epithet of the biggest amateur sports event in Europe. A special recognition for his support during all the years of the Games› existence was presented to the legendary football coach Miroslav Ćiro Blažević, who, although the years have taken his strength, as he himself says, has honored the ceremony and said that sport has always united and reconciled, that the Youth Sports Games are the most beautiful thing that happened in our region because he is overjoyed to see Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in one place. While we’re having lunch at the “Zrno soli” restaurant enjoying the view of the Split’s Riva, I’m thinking about how rare it is to meet people like Zdravko Marić. Always smiling, with incredible social intelligence, bringing together in the Balkan region what most of his contemporaries are trying to separate and cause fallout. At the same time, he does this in the most beautiful way possible, through children who have the opportunity from an early age to socialize and compete with their peers of other nations and religions, which has become a real rarity in the fairly ethnocentric countries created by the breakup of Yugoslavia. If there were more people like Zdravko Marić in the region, it is quite certain that these children who are competing now would have more motivation to stay in this region when they grow up in a few years.

16

34

hen you are alone somewhere, far away in the world, why do you always have to thin k of your homeland!”, a young opera singer sings the melody from Ivo Tjardović’s operetta “Mala Floramye”, a kind of anthem of Split. I concluded that this is also the unofficial anthem of the Youth Sports Games, an event initiated 26 years ago by a resident of Split, Zdravko Marić, in his home town. All this is happening on a sunny day in Split at a ceremony at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Split where the Chairman and CEO of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Nasser Al-Khelaifi, was announced as the new ambassador of the Plasma Youth Sports Games and thus joined numerous friends and ambassadors of this event, including: Aleksander Čeferin,

"W

CONTENTS

06

Peripheral conflicts today – a Cold War recipe Boban Spasojević

Diplomacy&Commerce Croatia The Economist The World Ahead…

14

The future lies in modern technology Erich Cossutta

Don Hudspeth

Apriori World

18

36

Leader in intellectual property protection Ivka Barić

President of Dragon Maritime Group

15

32

Milena Prodanić Tišma

Nataša Bagić

Founder and principal of Bright Horizons- International British school of Zagreb

Financial transparency challenges

RIT Croatia, President and Dean

Tana Patents d.o.o. Director

Proud of Erasmus+ projects

4

25 years of RIT Croatia

De’Longhi - Perfetto combination! De’Longhi Balkans Marketing Manager

Danijel Koletić

Strategic Thinking in Rhetoric Jagoda Poropat Darrer

Business Communication Professional

40

Island of Tudors and Pošteni Robert Čoban

Inside the island it is still possible to find hidden places like the Stori Komin tavern in the abandoned village of Malo Grablje, where the guests can choose between two courses and two types of wine

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Savršen talijanski espresso u udobnosti vlastitog doma.

www.delonghi.hr


Zaglavlje Column

Peripheral conflicts today – a Cold War recipe The war in Ukraine is steaming up. Currently, Kyiv takes the lead in the field.

Boban Spasojevič Diplomacy&Commerce Croatia The Economist The World Ahead…

udging by the information from the field, the balance of power is changing, and so as it started, Russia has now come to a halt. Currently Ukraine takes the lead in the field. Until both sides get what they want, which is very difficult, it seems that the war won’t stop. A possible scenario for this involves several years. However, Russia’s unquestionable violation of international law and of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine carries with it a confirmation that this is after all a war between Russia and the West. It would seem for a moment as though Ukraine is merely a training ground for shaping the new world order. Are things moving up to a point that should perhaps seriously concern us, which is the information on partial mobilization of 300,000 Russians. Now this is becoming a real war in real terms, and no longer a so-called „special military operation“. However, it is not only Ukraine, although it is the closest to us and concerns us the most, that is the site of major conflicts. It would seem that the recipe for “peripheral wars” from the Cold War is gaining momentum these days. Examples of this are the several renewed conflicts in different parts of the world. Of course, the sides in the conflict are always for and against Russia or the West (USA), who openly or secretly participate in these conflicts. The fights between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in south Caucasus have flared up again with the attack on Armenian positions. After weighing the balance of power relatively briefly yet again, this conflict ended – we will see for

J

6

how long. For centuries, the two countries have conflicted around Nagorno-Karabakh, which historically had a majority Armenian population, but legally it was part of Azerbaijan under the Soviet Union. After the Soviet Union fell apart, Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence from Baku as the Republic of Artsakh, with the support of Yerevan, which caused a three-year war. Moscow’s influence on the region, as well as the express visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to the capital of Armenia, shows that everything reminds of the cold war period. Pelosi is also the highest ranking US official to visit the country since it gained independence from the Soviet Union

in 1991. It is clear who sides with whom here. Unexpectedly for many, new conflicts broke out on the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Almost half of the 970 km long Kyrgyz-Tajik border is yet to be demarcated, which lead to repeating tensions and sporadic fatal conflicts ever since the two countries gained independence after the fall of the Soviet Union three decades ago. Both Central Asian states have Russian military bases and have close ties to Moscow, which this week called for an end to hostilities. Taiwan, a disputed territory in relations between Washington and Beijing, has also been the subject of ongoing tensions.

It seems that the tried and tested recipes bring results to those who use them, and to use culinary terminology, I would end by saying – bitter taste of wars for the global buffet.

Unfortunately, there are still many potential hot spots. It is highly unlikely that a direct conflict between the West and the East would take place, but the purpose of such conflicts is certainly to demonstrate the power and the sphere of influence for some future configuration of the world, which the West opposes, and which the East (Russia and China) definitely strive for. The Cold war, as space and time of globally confronted superpowers, produced the culmination of numerous tensions which often escalated to peripheral, limited, but no less bloody wars, and where the capitalist and the socialist worlds weighted their balance of power – in someone else’s back yard, of course, testing the efficiency and effectiveness of their own weapons which they gave “for big bucks” in the form of “aid” to their not necessarily always ideologically likeminded sides, or at least to those movements through which they could harm the rival side most effectively. A modern name for this is life in a democracy or a dictatorial regime.

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Top American Education. Opportunities worldwide. RIT Croatia is a global campus of the prominent private American university, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). With campuses in Dubrovnik and Zagreb, RIT Croatia is an excellent choice for ambitious and creative young individuals who want to learn in a dynamic international environment, and are seeking to develop global careers. RIT Croatia provides its students dual degrees for undergraduate programs: an internationally recognized American degree awarded by RIT and a Croatian degree awarded by RIT Croatia. American higher education programs available at RIT Croatia: // Global Business Management BS // Hospitality and Tourism Management BS // New Media Design BFA // Web and Mobile Computing BS

– – – –

240 240 240 240

ECTS ECTS ECTS ECTS

Programs and curriculum at RIT Croatia are aligned with the standards of RIT. The programs have been delivered in accordance with the national (Croatian) accreditations, and their quality has also been recognized by international accreditations of RIT, such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The best way to get a feel for RIT Croatia is to come and visit us. Your career starts with your education. Choose the best!

RIT CROATIA DUBROVNIK // Don Frana Bulića 6, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia // T +385 20 433 000 ZAGREB // Damira Tomljanovića Gavrana 15, 10000 Zagreb // T +385 01 643 9100 admissions@croatia.rit.edu // www.croatia.rit.edu


Column

The end of an era God Save the King!

fter 70 years on the throne, the beloved and respected Queen has passed away. Even Mick Jagger said that he could not remember any moment in his life without the Queen. I clearly remember certain deaths. Like the death of Tito, which marked the end of an era of the Socialist Yugoslavia, only to see his country in ruins in 11 years. The death of Freddie Mercury. The death of Princess Diana, “The Queen of Hearts”. The death of David Bowie, when pretty much everybody cried

A

8

like their beloved uncle died. And now, the death of the universally respected Queen Elizabeth II.

She understood her position very well. She was the reason many people want to re-establish

She was above all and any political quarrels. She was warm and funny person, say the people who knew her, but she understood, from the example of her sister Princess Margaret, that she has to hide the colourful personality.

monarchies in their countries, and the reason that so few members of Commenwealth decided to switch to the republican system of government. She was above all and any political quarrels. She was warm and funny person, say the people who knew her, but she understood, from the example of her sister Princess Margaret, that she has to hide the colourful personality and she became, as some British newspaper say, “wonderfully bland”, by her own will. Something Diana or Meghan,

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Column

or Margaret, or her uncle Edward, could not do. That is why she was “scandal-less”, everybody’s Queen. A lesson for all the other royals, and the lesson for all the Presidents of numerous republics in the world, who are always more or less divisive, more or less loved or hated, none of them is really “everybody’s president”. Elizabeth rarely gave interviews and little was known of her personal feelings. She did not explicitly express her own political opinions in a public forum, and it is against convention to ask or reveal the monarch’s views. As it should be. She was a cure girl when she took over the throne. It was obvious it was a surprise for her, since her father died unexpectedly young, after the painful and bloody victory over Nazism. She inherited a vast empire that shrunk quite a bit during her reign, but it was a historical necessity in the post-war world. But she kept the three jewels in the crow: the Dominion of Canada, the Dominion of New Zealand and the Commonwealth of Australia. In the 1950s, as a young woman at the start of her reign, Elizabeth was depicted as a glamorous “fairytale Queen”. But she never expected the job. Interestingly enough, she conducted her duties quite well from the start, and the media helped her a lot, as well as the euphoria after the war and the great expectations of the forthcoming period of peace and prosperity. Namely, after the trauma of the Second World War, it was a time of hope, a period of progress and achievement heralding a “new Elizabethan age”. But nobody thought it would last for 70 years!

Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Her father acceded to the throne in 1936 upon the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII,

making Elizabeth the heir presumptive. Nevertheless, When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth—then 25 years old—became queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Aust-

The monarchies are all about rituals. So that was the purpose of all that, the chariots, the crown, the garment, uniforms and many other things. The Catholics and the Orthodox already have it in church. The Protestant lack it, so they need their monarchies.

ralia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (known today as Sri Lanka), as well as Head of the Commonwealth. Such a burden for a young girl. Actually, maybe Charles III is ready for the position now, after all these years in waiting and training. She was quite surprised, twice. During her grandfather’s reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the British throne, behind her uncle Edward and her father. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as Edward was still young and likely to marry and have children of his own, who would precede Elizabeth in the line of succession. When her grandfather died in

9


Column

1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second in line to the throne, after her father. Later that year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Consequently, Elizabeth’s father became king, taking the regnal name George VI. This is what historical books say. But she took the position and after 70 wonderfully executed years of reign, she left an impeccable biography. Quite a task is now before Charles III, indeed. As queen, Elizabeth was served by more than 170 prime ministers across her realms. When she was a young girl, the nation fell in love with her for her simple personality and warmth – she was “recruited” for mechanical units and she was a good military driver. She could have been a pop-star if her role had been different. We could see that in the romantic comedy-drama “A Royal Night Out” when the fictional “night out” in the night between the 8th and the 9th of May (the V(E)Day) 1945, when she (fictionally) won over the heart of the antimonarchist pilot. The witnesses say she could win over any person she talked to. She was well aware of the duties she was given to. Sometimes harsh, she had to protect the family from scandals, and it is hard in every family, especially when the family is under public scrutiny and every step is measured. She was accused that she was unpleasant to Diana and Meghan, and we will never know what was happening behind the Palace’s doors. The monarchies are all about rituals. The Catholic and Orthodox churches retained splendid rituals, messes and liturgies where the unity among people is reached through splendour and chanting, the magnificent dresses of priests and altars and iconostases. The Protestant church eliminated pretty much all of it, apart from some details. But surprisingly, the Protestant countries decided to retain their monarchies. En masse. Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, the Commonwealth. The Catholic countries, apart from tiny Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Andorra and Spain and Belgium, all rejected their monarchs. Why is that? Because a person needs a ritual. Needs a mess, a liturgy. Those priceless moments when the many become one. So that was the purpose of all that, the chariots, the crown, the garment, 10

And her love for her husband was touching. She was looking at him as at a Greek God, full of love. They were a real couple we should all strive to be. After he died, aged 99, last year, she could not cope alone. It is quite probable that she died of broken heart. uniforms and many other things. The Catholics and the Orthodox already have it in church. The Protestant lack it, so they need their monarchies. And the other thing. The monarch eliminates dualism, “convivencia” or cohabitation between the differently orientated president and the parliament/ government. It happens only too often in France or the USA. Never in Canada or the UK. It makes the lives of the citizens easier. So, that is why the people still love their monarchs. Morrissey can sing “Axe the Monarchy” but even the Scots announced that the personal union would remain even if they vote for their independence. Even during 1999-Independence Referendum in Australia, some analysts say that her personality helped the royalist block to prevail and take a victory (which lasts still after 23 years). She was known than during her reign, the following nations rejected the republican system at their referendums: Australia (1999), Tuvalu (2008), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (2009), Gibraltar (reaffirmed its position as a British possession, 1967 and 2002),

Bermuda (1995, refused even to change its status as a possession into a sovereign state under the Crown), and the Falkland Islands (1986, refusing the ideas of both Argentine sovereignty and independence, as well as the status of the United Nations Trust Territory). To add some more, even Francophone Quebec decided not to secede from Queen Elizabeth II in 1995, and Scotland decided against the independent Scottish state in 2014. Malta did even more in her lifetime: a referendum on integration with the United Kingdom was held in Malta on 11 and 12 February 1956. The proposals were approved by 77% of those who voted, on a turnout of 59.1%. They were never fully implemented, and the country became an independent Dominion titled the State of Malta eight years later. It seems that not many people wanted to part with the Queen. And some even wanted to join. Immediately after the Queen died, the social networks were flooded with posted videos of the songs: The Smiths “The Queen is Dead”, Sex Pistols “God Save the Queen” and The Stone Roses “Elizabeth My Dear”. The latter says

“It’s curtains for you, Elizabeth my dear”, but in reality, the Queen Elizabeth II outlived all of these bands: The Smiths met their end in 1987, The Stone Roses resurrected couple of times but finally disbanded few years ago, and Sex Pistols could not live up the their second album. Johnny Lydon (or “Rotten” at the time of punk) even said that he despises the fact that the single will re-enter the charts and even wrote “Send her victorious” on Twitter. And her love for her husband was touching. She was looking at him as at a Greek God, full of love. They were a real couple we should all strive to be. After he died, aged 99, last year, she could not cope alone. It is quite probable that she died of broken heart. Her funeral was awe-inspiring. And it is strange that we will perhaps never listen to “God Save the Queen” again. Now, Prince Charles has become King Charles III (how strange that there is no Prince Charles anymore!), and he will be succeeded by Prince William, and then, he has a son too… The anthem will be “God Save the King” for many decades to come. How strange, after 70 years. The chant in the football stadiums will never be the same. Can you imagine the football supporters of the England national team NOT chanting “God Save the Queen”? It is hard for me to imagine it, too. But it is our future. We will see how ex-Prince Charles (the jokes were that he was going to be the Prince of Wales forever and ever!) will execute the complex royal duties. He seems well prepared, though. So… God Save the King!

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


DARE TO DREAM, DARE TO BE YOURSELF, DARE TO BE THE CHILD OF THE 21 ST CENTURY

BRIGHT HORIZONS INTERNATIONAL BRITISH SCHOOL

Thematic, creative curriculum Clear process of learning STEAM Extracurricular activities Strong links between home and school Top Humanities school award

A: Sveti Duh 122, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia W: britishschool-zagreb.hr P: +385 1 374 5146 M: +385 91 537 9711 E: info@britishschool-zagreb.hr


Column

Artificial Intelligence A leader with long experience in global hi-tech business.

Marco Landi Presiden “Institut Europia”

arco has been COO of Apple Computer in Cupertino responsible for Global Operations, Marketing and Sales after a successful turnaround of Apple EMEA activities as President of Apple Europe. Previously he spent over 20 years at Texas Instruments managing all business units in EMEA based in Brussels and ASIA based in Hong Kong. During his 3 years tenure, TI Asia increased its revenues from $1B to over $4B. In Brussels he won the prestigious European Quality Award and was appointed Chairman of the AmericanEuropean Electronics Association representing over 300 thousands workers at the European Commission in Brussels. Exclusively for Diplomacy&Commerce Croatia, Marko talks about his experience with Artificial Intelligence. My interest in Artificial Intelligence ( often briefly named AI ) started in the 90’ when I was Président of Texas Instruments based in Hong Kong. I was very curious and when my business reason where bringing me into Dallas I wanted to visit the advanced Research centers of TI. At that time we used more the term “ Experts Systems “ instead of AI. May be that we should have continued to use this terminology as many people would have been less scared of what we define today “ A I “ ! My interest has continued when I become President and COO of Apple Computer based in Cupertino. Apple at that time, around mid 90’ , was less involved that TI in Artificial Intelligence It was the period that people called “ the winter of AI “ as the advancements of this technology where not so as expected, mainly due to lack of large quantities of DATA that are at the basis of AI, the petrol of this technology, and limited power computing. But it’s the innovation brought by Steve Jobs with the first iPhone that accelerated the developments that we see today in multiple sectors, : e-Commerce, Health, Education, Mobility and so on ! Siri

M

12

“Artificial intelligence is the continuation of Philosophy in others terms “ We try to understand how our brains is functioning and then us use the results in machines that will help us to simplify our life. has been the most visible example of what the AI could do to simplify our life! Let’s ask ourselves : what is AI , or as we called before these “ Experts Systems “ ? Artificial intelligence (often used briefly as ‘AI’) is not a new phenomenon, but it is only recently that it has become the talk of the town. If you feel confused by the multiple – often even controversial – descriptions of what artificial intelligence is or isn’t, that’s completely fair. Taking into account that there is no agreement on the definition of artificial intelligence, and that the technology which can be understood under this umbrella term is changing at a fast pace, it is difficult to pinpoint what artificial intelligence

really is. In this article we will try to shed some light on what artificial intelligence means, whether it’s a good or bad thing, and look at what the future may hold for it. A brief history of artificial intelligence

In the early 1950s, John Von Neumann and Alan Turing revolutionized the computers of the 19th century and constructed the architecture of our contemporary machines. Coupled with the quest to find out how to bring together the functioning of machines and humans, the era gave rise to visions about what computers might be able to achieve. Still today remains important the famous Alan Tur-

ing text, also called the Imitation Game. It’s a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable .from that of a human. In summary answering the question : can a machine think?? An event in 1956, hosted by John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky in Dortmund, aimed to spark discussions about the possibilities lying within these technological advancements. It’s during this workshop that the term “artificial intelligence” was also coined for the first time. The developments of artificial intelligence have been strongly connected to those of computing power and availability of large quantities of data which enabled computers to perform complex tasks that they couldn’t do before. From 1957 to 1974, computers became faster, cheaper, more accessible and could store more information. Such unrealistic statements as Minksy’s claim in 1970 that “in from three to eight years we will have a machine with the general intelligence of an average human being” were essential to raise the popularity of artificial intelligence among the public and boost funding for research in the field. As the years passed and Minsky’s promise turned out to be empty words, people lost interest in artificial intelligence. This was well expressed by the fact that in the 1990s, the term artificial intelligence had nearly forgotten or even become Taboo. So more accurate variations such as “ experts systems “ or “advanced computing” replacing it. The current ‘renaissance’ in artificial intelligence’s trajectory , mainly due to the introduction of the iPhone, , is due to the improvements in computational power and the vast amount of available data. Key developments concerning artificial intelligence. During the 1990s and 2000s, computers achieved a couple of important milestones . In 1997, world chess champion Gary Kasparov was defeated by IBM’s Deep Blue chess-playing program. In the

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Column

same year, Microsoft’s Windows operating system implemented a speech recognition system. In 2011, IBM’s Watson won the game show “Jeopardy”, defeating former champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. In 2015, in a match against Fan-Hui the computer program Alpha-Godeveloped by DeepMind, become the first computer GO program to beat a human professional GO player without handicap Such events are often highlighted to suggest that artificial intelligence is smart. Today, artificial intelligence is everywhere: we have virtual personal assistants, artificial intelligence-based systems decide whether our loan request will be accepted or rejected, and artificial intelligence can even help determine our final grade at school. I invested in an Italian company, Questit, that has been able to develop an Artificial Human capable to communicate with deaf people thru the sign languages. Definition of artificial intelligence . Many people I meet are too much influenced by the sci-fi world along with futurists who like to suggest that artificial intelligence amounts to sinister robots who become obsessed with eradicating humanity. It’s fun to contemplate such fantasies, but they nonetheless give us the false impression about what artificial intelligence actually is. To provide a first definition of AI let’s look at what it means through the example of artificial intelligence used to hire people. You need to hire someone for a role with specific requirements. To create an AI-based system for

this purpose, you need to feed the requirements the job entails into an algorithm. How do you do it? Well, the easiest, if available, is to feed previous CVs into the algorithm– of both successful and unsuccessful applicants. This provides the software with examples of what constitutes a successful application.

Then all incoming applications will be screened by your artificial intelligence, and it will decide which applications to forward on an HR employee and which ones to reject. But the algorithm must be prepared in a way that you avoid any biased situation. We should recall the Amazon “ ,hiring algorithm “ in

Hollywood movies have created these fantasies that are difficult to eradicate. I created an institute, Institut EuropIa , in order to sensitize the large public to the importance of understanding AI and the implications of this technology.

which women were found to have been discriminated against. Since the CVs fed to that algorithm were of existing employees and they were predominantly male, the algorithm set its criteria of the perfect candidate as male. It directly rejected any application that contained the word ‘woman’. This is the reason why more and more the specialists demand that an algorithm must have three charactertics : Must be Inclusive , Reliable and Sustainable. In order to simplify the understanding of what is AI I usually discuss it in these terms: AI is the continuation of philosophy The many Greek and Latin philosophers where asking themselves “ Who are we? Where we came from ? Where we are going ? Paraphrasing what Carl Von Clausewitz said about Politics “ War in the continuation of Politics in others ways I say that “ Artificial intelligence is the continuation of Philosophy in others terms “ We try to understand how our brains is functioning and then us use the results in machines that will help us to simplify our life. Are we going to be able to answer the Turing Test? At this stage not yet. The machines we are able to build are capable of only specifics tasks, useful but limited With the advent of quantum computers, that will provide enormous computing power and the immense availability of data thru the IOT we may probably be able in a near future to build new, innovative machines that will be more intelligent but certainly not capable to have a conscience as we humans. 13


Corporate

The future lies in modern technology One of our priorities in the coming period will also be the digital transformation and joining the global digital supply chain.

Erich Cossutta President of Dragon Maritime Group

This initiative means the removal of many barriers that significantly slowed down and anesthetized the Balkans region.

n accordance with economic trends and changes in the business climate, our company started a serious process of diversification of operations, Erich Cossutta, President of Dragon Maritime Group, says for Diplomacy&Commerce. Our goal is to be able to offer a one-stop shop to our clients, Cossutta says.

How much do the new business circumstances – after the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, inflation and instability, affect your business operations? What do the numbers say?

I

As the president of a company that operates in several countries of the region, how do you see the business climate in the region?

If we look at the real indicators, the region has achieved positive economic growth in recent years despite the global crisis. We also feel a positive trend in the normalization of relations, and we are especially pleased that the southern part of the Region has started to think unanimously. We still have a long way to go, but a positive outcome is very certain through regional economic integration and a common business approach. This is exactly why the Open Balkan initiative is important, since it aims to unify the region and integrate it into the single European market. 14

The recession caused by the pandemic, and the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine are reflected in all national economies. The logistics sector itself faced many challenges, and all the weaknesses of global supply chains came to the fore. During 2021, the demand was at its peak, but on the other hand, the lack of operation and congestion in the ports could not keep up with it. This caused a classic imbalance of supply and demand and led to a skyrocketing of freight rates, which rose up to 800% compared to the prepandemic period. At the same time, the allocation on ships was extremely limited, while transit times were much longer than usual. Today, the situation is drastically different, the high rate of inflation, geopolitical conflicts, the energy crisis and the pandemic have led to a drop in demand,

and therefore a sharp drop in freight rates, and it is uncertain how long this trend will continue. You do business in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. How much doing business differs considering the fact that two of these are EU member states and two are not?

There is no doubt that the differences exist. Slovenia and Croatia are part of a single EU market where the free movement of goods and services is ensured, thereby saving time and reducing the costs of administrative procedures for forwarding and customs clearance. However, we have no major difficulties with doing business in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both countries are signatories to numerous agreements and initiatives - free trade agreements, they are part of the SEED project, the Green Corridors initiative, the Open Balkans initiative. EU membership will certainly make doing business in Serbia and BiH even easier.

Our focus is always on our employees and we can boast a very low brain drain What is it that separates Dragon Maritime Group from its competition?

Tradition and people. I am part of a business that has been handed down in my family for generations, and today, together with my partners who are part of the ownership structure of Dragon Maritime Group, we endeavour to cherish the same values, which is to always put people first. Our focus is always on our employees and we can boast a very low brain drain. Although tradition is very important to us, as a company we are always focused on the future and innovation.

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Corporate

Proud of Erasmus+ projects Bright Horizons- International British school of Zagreb has started the new school year off on amazing note! During the previous school year, Bright Horizons applied for two very exciting Erasmus+ projects which were both confirmed during the summer holidays.

Milena Prodanić Tišma Founder and principal of Bright Horizons- International British school of Zagreb

he first project that was approved is called: Stop, breathe and think and it is all about Well-being and Mindfulness. As a school that is already acquainted with mindfulness and wellbeing, this project aims to further expand the topic of Mindfulness and wellbeing in the school. This project gives the teachers of Bright Horizons school the opportunity to acquire and develop their mindfulness skills and further expand their knowledge through various trainings in approved Mindfulness centres throughout Europe. Understanding the everneeded component of mindfulness in schools, Bright Horizons also sees the need and demand of developing children’s technological skills for the 21st century. With this being said, the school applied for the position of project coordinator and their application was successfully approved by the Agency of mobility and programs in EU. The motivation behind this project lies in the developing of digital educational resources to acquire knowledge on how to implement a game-based learning approach when teaching Artificial intelligence and coding. The partners included in this project are: Riga Technical university in Latvia and various IT companies from Greece, Spain and Italy. The final objective of the project is to pub-

T

Bright Horizons-International British school is a school that has been founded almost 10 years ago, having their 10th anniversary coming up at the end of this school year. Throughout these 10 years they have become known as one of the top private humanities schools in the world and hope to continue on this path and vision. lish a teacher’s handbook that can support and develop Computing lessons in schools. ‘’We are very excited to take part in this interesting project with partners that have such expertise in this field who can support us in developing computing skills in schools’’, says the school founder and principal, Ms Milena Prodanić Tišma. 15


Corporate

25 years of RIT Croatia Top private higher education that promotes hands-on approach and experiential learning.

Don Hudspeth RIT Croatia, President and Dean

n the past 25 years, we have achieved a lot. We have grown into a strong brand for quality higher education in Croatia, says Mr. Don Hudspeth, President and Dean of RIT Croatia. Our programs have been completed by more than 2,800 graduates who are now building careers and setting trends in various industries, in more than 40 countries around the world, says Mr Hudspeth.

I

RIT Croatia celebrates 25 years in Croatia this year. How would you describe the past 25 years in terms of development and business conditions? Can you give us more details about your development and growth in Croatia?

September 18 this year we marked exactly 25 years since our organization, once known as ACMT 16

or the “American College from Dubrovnik”, started delivering American higher education programs in Croatia. The Croatian Ministry responsible for education at the time initiated the establishment of private higher education institutions and chose the prestigious American pri-

Our achievements are even more significant when we add to it the challenging local market in which we operate. However, what we are seeing is the growing need for quality, modern education that meets the needs of the dynamic world in which we live. Such a need comes

The focus of the education offered by RIT is the adequate preparation of students for the needs of employers, that is, the global labor market. vate university, Rochester Institute of Technology, from New York, USA, as a partner in the aforementioned efforts. Certainly one of the reasons for choosing RIT as a partner in this effort was the reputation of the American university related to the quality of its program studies.

primarily from employers, as well as our students and their parents. The (global) successes of our students and alumni testify that we are very successful in meeting those demands and needs. Over the past 25 years we have assumed a position of a pioneer not

only in opening doors to private higher education in Croatia, but also in offering a top education system that promotes hands-on approach and experiential learning. This system further equips our students with all the necessary hard and soft skills that enable them to be ready for any and all challenges of the business world. Aside from the support from our parent university and the expertize of our amazing faculty and staff, we have always cooperated very closely with the industry, both in the adaptation and further development of the programs curriculum, through cooperative education program, etc. I am very pleased when I hear that the industry is seeking our students because they are „resourceful“, „have a broad education“, „think critically and ask the right questions“, „are proactive...“ and the like. This means that we as an organization are doing our job well.

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Corporate

What is unique about RIT Croatia?

The most obvious uniqueness is that we are an American college providing American higher education in Croatia. The focus of the education offered by RIT is the adequate preparation of students for the needs of employers, that is, the global labor market. We achieve this through RIT’s education system, which combines: • high quality program studies that regularly meet rigorous European and American standards, • experiential learning which includes a mandatory cooperative education program, • multidisciplinary and T-shaped education, which we provide through an adequate combination of core program courses and general education courses, • adequate development of hard and soft skills, • individualized approach to students which ensures a high quality student experience - in the classroom and outside it. Quality application of what has been learned in practice through various forms of experiential learning is actually the key factor in the education we offer - either through projects, simulations and actual company projects, or our cooperative education program. Namely, we were the first in this region to introduce a unique co-op program based on the model of RIT, which implies that during the course of studies students do 400-800 hours (depending on the program) of practical work in the field of the chosen study. In this way, students gain not only valuable work experience, but also have the opportunity to find out if a certain field of work, organization, organizational culture suits them, and if they see themselves in something like that in the future. When we add up all the hours of mandatory co-ops that our students have completed in companies from 1997 to the present day, it is interesting that more than 450 years of co-ops have been completed in almost 5,000 companies around the world with more than 6,500 mentors.

Which programs do you offer? What would you recommend to potential students of RIT Croatia?

Today, RIT Croatia represents a strong European institution, and a global campus of RIT. We offer higher education American programs in two locations - Dubrovnik (since 1997) and Zagreb (since 2011):

• Undergraduate programs (4) – graduates are awarded with Croatian and American diploma: • Global Business Management BS • Hospitality and Tourism Management BS • New Media Design BFA • Web and Mobile Computing BS As part of RIT Croatia’s life-long learning initiatives, we are facilitating the opportunity for students to earn Master of Science degrees from Rochester Institute of Technology, at RIT Croatia’s Zagreb campus: MS degree in Organizational Leadership and Innovation, and MS degree in Information Technology and Analytics The New Media Design BFA is a novelty on the Croatian market that we are extremely proud of. It is an American program that is multidisciplinary and combines the fields of design, art, visual communications, technology and programming. This study creates digital media experts of the present and future, and we started with the first generation this fall. When we talk about higher education in general, what I always emphasize is the importance of the QUALITY of education, especially considering the dynamic changes in world we live in. Education that can respond to the challenges of the labor market, and the world of the future in general, is the one that is high-quality, multidisciplinary

and lifelong. So my main recommendation to all future students is not only to think about areas of study, but different schools as well. Visit the schools, and talk to professors, students, and alumni to see if what the school offers suits your needs. Choosing higher education is really important because in a way it implies choosing your career. So, inquire, and do the research. At RIT Croatia, future students have the opportunity to spend one day as our students, to get the look and feel of the education they can expect here. People are the key to success, in addition to everything that successful education brings. What values ​​does RIT Croatia stand for and how do you implement them?

In addition to high-quality study programs, one of the key factors of our success is quality and strong relationships with all stakeholders in our community, without whom our success would not be possible. Therefore, I take this opportunity to thank all employees for the dedication and excellence they bring to our campuses every day; students and their families for choosing RIT Croatia as their educational path; to the graduates who continue to actively participate in our activities, as well as to all our business partners, without whose contribution and cooperation the preparation of students for the labor market would not be complete.

The New Media Design BFA is a novelty on the Croatian market. It is an American program that is multidisciplinary and combines the fields of design, art, visual communications, technology and programming.

RIT Croatia is a demanding environment; our faculty and staff work hard to provide what is best for our students, but we also expect only the best from them! We expect academic excellence, professionalism and ethical behavior from all our employees and students. Through an individual approach, 360-degree support, and qualified, caring faculty and administration, we create an environment that will help our students become the best versions of themselves and easily compete in a global job market. We are an active community that thrives on the following values: excellence, global mindedness, inclusiveness, integrity, open-mindedness, team-spirit and trust, and we lead by example every day. What are your plans for the future and how do you see RIT Croatia for its 30th anniversary?

We continue to enrich and further develop existing programs and introduce new study programs, always with the aim of making a positive contribution by educating experts that employers are looking for and need. Our focus remains on the quality of the student experience through an educational system that adapts to the new economy & environment, as well as to the needs of students. Every year we witness the growth of international students’ interest in studying at RIT’s Croatia campuses. With the efforts and activities we are doing in that area, and through innovative collaborations with RIT’s global campuses, as well as partner universities within Erasmus, I am sure that these numbers will continue to grow. We continue to build strong relationships with the industry, thinking about new and innovative ways of cooperation for mutual benefit. Also, we plan to contribute more to the scientific community through the research work of our employees. And, most important of all plans – we continue to hire the best faculty and administrative staff whose excellence and commitment to students is one of the key reasons students come to our campuses. When I think about the future, I still see RIT Croatia as a community of different groups of people bound by friendship, cooperation, respect, the desire to constantly learn from each other. I know that we will continue to be pioneers who create positive changes in Croatian higher education! 17


Corporate

Leader in intellectual property protection The countries where Tana Patents d.o.o. operates are Croatia, BiH, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro Ivka Barić Tana Patents d.o.o. Director

o provide for all of our regional partners, we have selected top experts as representatives of local offices for intellectual property. Our way of doing business is such that we can offer our clients a complete service when it comes to managing their intellectual property portfolio, as well as adequate expert advice, Ivka Barić, Director of Tana Patents d.o.o, speaks for Diplomacy&Commerce.

T

ness operations and invest in the education of our employees and in new technologies. For example, we certified Tanu Patents d.o.o. with both ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 27001 certificates, which was a rather long and expensive process. However, this definitely paid off for us in the long run because our clients are also aware that we maintain a high standard of service. In this particular case, investing in ISO certificates brought us new clients as well as a considerable amount of new business, so that type of investment definitely paid off for us.

All the data we handle is strictly confidential, so we invest a lot in security technologies and data protection. At the same time, we are working towards making our business as green as possible and we are moving towards a paper-free office to the greatest extent possible You are at the head of a company that has been operating for 25 years and is extremely important for business in general. What exactly does Tana Patents do and what business segments does it cover? What exactly do you offer your clients?

Tana Patents d.o.o. (www.tana. hr) is a leading company in the region (Croatia, BiH, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro) for mediation in the protection of intellectual property (patent and trademark protection). We mainly provide intellectual property protection services for large multinational foreign companies, predominantly from the pharmaceutical, IT and technology sectors. We try to have our services always meet the highest standards, therefore we continuously improve our busi-

18

Croatian Copyright Agency – CIV d.o.o. (www.haa.hr) and Hraste & Partneri Law Firm d.o.o. (www.hraste-partneri.hr) are also registered at our business address in Zagreb, Ribnjak 40, and we have very close cooperation with them, so this way we can cover a very wide range of services and operate as a one-stop shop. We also have an excellent network of external associates in regards to accounting and tax issues. You also do business in the region. In which countries and what is the difference between the markets and doing business in these markets?

As I mentioned earlier, we cover the entire region. Of course, there are certain peculiarities related to each country, however, work related to the protection

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Corporate

of intellectual property is rather standardized internationally, so it is not a problem for us to maintain the same high standard of our services in all these countries. In addition, we also represent our clients before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the European Patent Office (EPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). What would you single out as the most important segment of your business?

The most important segment is certainly the constant improvement and the high level of quality of operations. Namely, in our type of work, precision and accuracy are extremely important, and we can never allow ourselves, for example, to miss a deadline or lose some documentation. Also, all the data we handle is strictly confidential, so we invest a lot in security technologies and data protection. At the same time, we are working towards making our business as green as possible and we are moving towards a paper-free office to the greatest extent possible. Furthermore, our employees also have the option

All the data we handle is strictly confidential, so we invest a lot in security technologies and data protection. At the same time, we are working towards making our business as green as possible and we are moving towards a paper-free office to the greatest extent possible of working remotely. Also, as I already mentioned, as of 2020 Tana Patents d.o.o. is ISO 9001 and ISO/ IEC 27001 certified, which we are extremely proud of, and which our foreign clients also highly appreciate. How important is and what is the nature of your cooperation with decision-makers and legislators? In which segment are they important for your business?

This item is certainly important to us, considering the fact that a great majority of our business operations takes place precisely before administrative and judicial bodies. Monitoring legal regulati-

ons is part of our business routine, and we are always actively involved when it comes to proposals and changes to all laws that are directly related to all the services we provide. How would you rate the business climate in Croatia and what should be changed or improved, in your opinion, in order to improve the business operations?

The business climate in Croatia, just like everywhere else worldwide, certainly has its challenges. However, the opportunities are always there for people who are prepared to work and who do their job dutifully and responsibly. It

would certainly be easier for us to do business if the state administration was accelerated, and if certain processes would be simplified and prices reduced. However, as a country, we are definitely headed in the right direction. What are Tana Patents’ plans for the upcoming period?

We will certainly continue to work on professional and technological improvement and strive to continuously raise the standard of our business year after year. Also, the sectors we mainly cover - pharmaceutical, IT and technology - record constant growth, which is extremely favorable for us. In any case, we are very optimistic about the future because I think that over the last 25 years of doing business we have built an excellent brand that our clients can easily recognize as a synonym for reliability and quality. Although the current global political situation is quite uncertain and challenging, history has taught us that like all crises up to now, this one too shall pass. Unfortunately, we cannot influence global politics, but we can keep a cool head while we wait for this cycle to end.

19


Departures and arrivals

The President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, received the credentials of the ambassadors of the Swiss Confederation and the Federal Republic of Germany

H.

E. Dr. Christian Hellbach, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Croatia, based in Zagreb, presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanović. Earlier, H. E. Urs Hammer, Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation to the Republic of Croatia, based in Zagreb, presented his credentials to the President.

Marjan Vučak New president German-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Commerce

n this position, he will replace Dr. Thomas Sichla, President of the Management Board of Zagreb wastewater. The new administration consists of 11 members, three of whom were elected for a second term. “There are very challenging times ahead of us, but we want to continue what we have started and, with our existing knowledge, competence and will, contribute to going through the coming period as easily as possible. The administration, together with the team of the German-Croatian Chamber headed by the director, will try to respond to all challenges and tasks”, explained Vučak after the election. Mr. Marjan Vučak started his career at Meggle in 1998. Since 2000, he has been the director of MEGGLE Mljekare d.o.o. in Bihać, where he successfully completed privatization in 2003 and led MEGGLE to the largest market share in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the leadership position it held in 2004. From the beginning of 2014, he became responsible for the SEE (South Eastern Europe) region, which includes the countries of Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Albania, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Russia and the Russian Customs Federation.

I

Irena Weber New CEO of Croatian Association of Employers

rena Weber is the new director of the Croatian Association of Employers. Weber is a manager with extensive experience in the corporate and financial sector. She worked on the largest merger, takeover and restructuring transactions in Croatia and the region. The rich experience of working with companies from almost all business sectors gave her a detailed insight into the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the Croatian economy.Under the leadership of Irene Weber, HUP will continue to advocate tax relief for work, the abolition of administrative barriers for the development of investments and entrepreneurial ideas, and simpler and more competitive business in Croatia.

I

20

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Dip l m a c y & c o mm e r c e p r e s e nts

Slovenia FO C US ON


s l o v e ni a

22

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


23


s l o v e ni a

Proud of our mutual relations In 2021, the trade between our countries amounted to nearly EUR 7 billion, cross-border investment was close to EUR 3.7 billion. H.E. Gašper Dovžan Ambassador of Slovenia to Croatia

e have excellent cooperation also in the fields of culture and sport, and even more importantly the excellent and intense people-to-people contacts that are the backbone of our outstanding cooperation, for Diplomacy&Commerce says H.E. Gašper Dovžan, Ambassador of Slovenia to Croatia. It is my firm belief

W

24

that the membership of Slovenia and Croatia in the EU and NATO, and soon also in the Eurozone and Schengen, creates even more opportunities and potential for our bilateral cooperation, says, Ambassador Gašper. Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence in the same year

Interview

From the Slovenian point of view as a neighbouring country, it is excellent news that Croatia is becoming part of a common area in which not only we enjoy free movement of people, goods, capital and services, but we also have a common currency.

and were internationally recognized. This year we are celebrating 30 years of establishing diplomatic relations. How would you evaluate the relations between the two countries in these 30 years, how did their path look like?

Slovenia and Croatia declared independence on the same day, 25 June 1991. What followed were regrettable events of military aggression. The newly independent states had to defend themselves by military force, coupled with political and diplomatic efforts to gain international recognition. In parallel, transition processes began to build democratic societies based on market economy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Both countries had the same goals: improve the living standard of its people, strengthen democracy and the respect for human rights, and enhance the judiciary and security in general as well as join the transatlantic community of states. Due to a longer and more brutal war in Croatia and probably because of some other reasons, Slovenia went through this period somehow faster and more swiftly than Croatia. The different dynamic in these processes may also contributed to a difference in the approach that

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


our countries took on tackling some of our sensitive bilateral issues that only arose due to the disintegration of former Yugoslavia and the newly acquired independence. In the past 30 years, we might have focused too much on the bilateral issues to which we were not able to find acceptable compromise solutions due to various reasons. Nevertheless, I think we can be proud of the intense all-round cooperation that has evolved between our countries. Today, Slovenia and Croatia are important trade and investment partners. These are impressive figures, which account for numerous jobs, providing for thousands of families. All of the above gives both Slovenia and Croatia great responsibility to ensure the necessary conditions for further deepening our cooperation to the benefit of both counties. How do you assess relations today when both countries are members of the UN, EU, NATO and other relevant international organizations? How much room is there for strengthening cooperation, if we have in mind common European policies?

It is my firm belief that the membership of Slovenia and Croatia in the EU and NATO, and soon also in the Eurozone and Schengen, creates even more opportunities and potential for our bilateral cooperation. This means that the countries will need to assume even more responsibility and really focus on topics of mutual interest, intensifying different forms of cooperation in favour of both countries. A good example is the possibility for cooperation in the search and rescue operations in the open seas of the North Adriatic together with Italy or mutual assistance following natural and other disasters. All of this this is much simpler and effective because both Slovenia and Croatia are EU member states and NATO allies. We saw it during the COVID pandemic, after earthquakes, fires and so on. In all unpredictable events and crises, problems can be solved much more efficiently, if there is mutual trust. In my view, one of the more pressing areas for cooperation will be the search for complementary solutions for a clean, secure, stable, reliable and affordable energy supply of our households and businesses. The greater cooperation in the field of energy, the greater role our two countries can play in the wider region. The same applies to common positions in the EU and other international forums. How do you see the resolution of open issues (Piran Bay) and how much will it be a stumbling block for future relations?

Of course, we have quite diverging views on certain questions, even those already solved. We have to accept this and seek ways to bring our views closer together. In fact, this is the central role of diplomacy: to build mutual trust among nations all the while maintaining a dignified and fair communication. In my capacity as ambassador, I will follow this principle at all times. The politicians also bear a great responsibility and I believe that, in the last three decades, politicians on both sides of the border have become more experienced and mature to make decisions for the benefit of the people and business, especially given the fact that the two countries are closely connected in terms of economic and people-to-people ties. I am convinced we will pursue our activities in a calm way focusing on practical and pragmatic solutions that will facilitate the everyday life of people and businesses in both countries. Croatia 01.01.2023. becomes a member of the euro zone, and expects Schengen as well. How important, from Slovenia‘s point of view, is this in terms of deeper European integration, and does official Zagreb have the support of Ljubljana?

Croatia enjoys the full support of Slovenia. The Croatian path to become part of the Eurozone and Schengen clearly shows that the EU integration is evolving and getting stronger. Within Schengen, the Croatian authorities will control the external EU border and provide adequate security standards to ensure the protection of the whole area. Both the Schengen area and Eurozone have faced great challenges in the past few years, but they reacted in different ways. The financial crisis led to reforms that made the euro stronger. Not all of the reforms have been completed so far, but we can say with confidence that the euro withstood the pressure and is stronger today, yet in the light of future challenges, we must continue with efforts to protect the euro. Unfortunately, the Schengen area did not withstand the pressure of mass migration and individual terrorist acts. Some Schengen member states decided to suspend the Schengen rules and re-introduce border controls on internal borders. These continue to be in place to this today despite the fact that there are no legal grounds or factual reasons for this. Therefore, Schengen needs to be reformed in order to guarantee the full functioning of the area even in more testing times, like a renewed migration flow. The free movement of people, goods, capital and services must be ensured for all members equally.

After the pandemic came the war in Ukraine. What is the official position of Slovenia regarding the resolution of the war conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, and how will your country behave in the coming period if we if we keep in mind the energy crisis and inflation and all that it entails?

This is the central role of diplomacy: to build mutual trust among nations all the while maintaining a dignified and fair communication. In my capacity as ambassador, I will follow this principle at all times.

Slovenia, as other EU and NATO member states, supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine. We strongly condemned the Russian aggression on the first day of attacks. We also supported all the restrictive measures and sanctions against the Russian Federation. In the framework of the EU and NATO as well as at the bilateral level, Slovenia is trying to support Ukraine and its citizens to the best of its abilities. We believe in Europe where there is no room for imperialistic moves and in which internationally recognised borders are respected. It is not acceptable for any country to change these borders by force or unilaterally. Therefore, as long as Russia continues to deny these basic rules of peaceful coexistence, it cannot be our partner. We see how the Russian Federation is using the money from its trade – mainly in energy – with European countries. Europe has become too dependent on imports from Russia when it comes to energy supply, so it is only right to make decisive steps towards increased energy independence. Slovenia and Croatia as neighbouring counties with good relations are perfectly placed to contribute to greater energy security, for ourselves as well as for the wider region. The plans for expanding the LNG terminal on Krk and for a second block of Krško nuclear power plant offer a good opportunity for creating a closer energy partnership. Such development would strengthen the geopolitical position of our countries in the region. You have been on duty in Zagreb since this summer. What do you like most about Zagreb and Croatia in general?

Zagreb is a beautiful city and offers plenty of opportunities for both sport and cultural enthusiasts. It has a perfect position directly under the Sljeme with numerous possibilities for sport and recreation activities in both summer- and wintertime. Like Slovenia, Croatia is also a green country with a diverse and beautiful landscape, ideal for healthy freetime activities. I also have wonderful experience with people. I have been very well and kindly received as a Slovenian, regardless if people know where I work or not. 25


s l o v e ni a

Economic relations at an extremely enviable level Primarily, the small and medium-sized economy is the engine of economic development

Interview

he economic relations of the two neighbouring states have been developing since the moment of independence, which happened at the same time. Today they are such that they break all records. However, there is still room for improvement, especially in third markets, but also individually, says Saša Muminović president of the SLO CRO Business Club. Joint application for EU funds is something relatively new for us (in the last ten years) and not so exposed in the media. The European Union strongly supports regional cooperation and there are opportunities not only for the economy but also for non-governmental organizations, says Muminović.

t

Croatia and Slovenia are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations this year. Both countries declared their independence at the same time, and they are bound by a common past. How would you evaluate the development of economic relations in the previous 3 decades, and how do you see them today?

After the declaration of independence, both countries faced a relative loss of the common Yugoslavian market due to wartime circumstances and sanctions. Therefore, they turned to Western markets, primarily European, where they 26

established new economic relations very quickly. In the export of goods, Slovenia took a big step forward and became a highly export-oriented economy. This is a great advantage of the Slovenian economy, its development engine, but unfortunately it also makes it vulnerable because it depends on the state of economies of the countries to which they export. Croatia was somewhat weaker in its efforts to make exports a priority. But that‘s why tourism, as Croatia’s best export flagship, significantly changes the overall picture. Unfortunately, it also has its own pitfalls and shortcomings that we saw during the pandemic. For this reason, the development of sustainable tourism with high value added is the only true way to develop Croatian tourism in the future. Mutual economic relations between Slovenia and Croatia are at a high, we can even say enviable level, today. Cultural relations between the two countries are also at an enviably high level. Namely, in addition to the economy, culture is the link that also unites Slovenes and Croats and helps us understand each other. Also, there are visible signs of progress in the political aspect. We hope that it will continue in this direction, because weaker political relations have an adverse effect on the mutual economic cooperati-

PhD Saša Muminović President of SLO CRO Business Club

European economy needs stable energy at a reasonable price. Everything else leads to the collapse of European industry

on since they create unnecessary tension and aggravation. In your opinion, and from a businessman’s point of view, is there room for development of these relations and where (joint participation in third markets, joint application for EU funds, mutual investments...)?

At first glance, it seems that this is it, however, it is very interesting to see how primarily a small and medium economy sees the potential in the neighbouring country. In the period from August 31 until September 24, 2021, in cooperation with their partners from the Association of Employers of Slovenia (Združenja delodajalcev Slovenije) and HGK Krapina County Chamber (HGK Županijska komora Krapina), the SLO CRO Business Club conducted a survey among Slovenian and Croatian businessmen about their opinions and attitudes about SlovenianCroatian business cooperation. 45 respondents from Slovenia and 82 respondents from Croatia responded to the survey. We asked respondents about their experiences in business cooperation with the neighbouring country. We wanted to learn what, in their opinion, affects the cooperation, and about the directions of internationalization of business.

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


The sample of Croatian companies, in almost half of the cases that have branches in Slovenia, also includes the first branch/ company that the Croatian company opened abroad or when it decided to internationalize. In almost 65% of cases, a branch in Croatia is also the first branch/company that a Slovenian company opened abroad or when it decided to internationalize. The vast majority of respondents stated that doing business in the neighbouring country is without major obstacles, and characterized the business climate as similar to the one in their home country. The most important thing is that the majority of respondents from both countries see the potential for further cooperation and are planning it. So, we just need to continue the current right trend. Joint application for EU funds is something relatively new for us (over the last ten years) and it is not too exposed in the media. The European Union strongly supports regional cooperation and there are opportunities not only for the economy but also for non-governmental organizations. However, I would place greater emphasis on the joint performance of Slovenian and Croatian companies on third markets and their synergy. In June of this year, the SLO CRO Business Club organized a business breakfast on the topic of investments and business opportunities in West Africa. The guest of honor was the Nigerian Ambassador and several important businessmen from Ghana and Nigeria, who do business from London and Budapest. After that event, we concluded that most of us in this part of Europe have no idea what business opportunities the African market offers, or its potential for business cooperation. The Americans and the Chinese know, they have been there for a long time, the British know, of course, and even the Germans - but we are too little informed or full of prejudices. Nigeria alone has more than 200 million people - and that is a huge market where Croatia and Slovenia should certainly perform together. We need to point out another segment of cooperation, which is the very important personal contact. Corona handicapped us in this respect. Regardless of all the advantages of video conferencing, it has become clear that the virtual world cannot replace a real handshake. This is exactly the advantage of the SLO CRO Business Club, which provides its members with the much-needed networking. The trust established this way between business partners is extremely important. At our business breakfast about investment opportunities in Africa, we had business people, managers from Ghana and Nigeria, and our business people who already work there, so we got first-hand information - and trusted contacts. A recording of that breakfast is available on YT channel of the SLO CRO Business Club, and your readers are free to take a look.

What do the numbers show, who has more investments and what is the mutual exchange between the two countries?

According to data from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia, from 1993 to the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, the sum of EUR 38.8 billion in foreign direct investment was recorded in Croatia. Slovenian investors make for 5% of that or EUR 2 billion. In 2020 alone, a third of Slovenian investments abroad, or 32.9%, will be investments in Croatia, and in 2021 - 34.6%. Croatian investments in Slovenia are not insignificant either, in 2021 they were fourth ranked with 9.7% of total investments in Slovenia in that year. Mutual trade is very interesting, the statistics are impressive in this area. At the same time, the export of goods from Slovenia to Croatia increased by 145% (from 1.2 to 3.1 billion EUR), and the export of goods from Croatia to Slovenia increased by 266% (from 0.65 to 2.3 billion EUR). The figures will certainly be even higher this year, but unfortunately not so much because of the increase itself, but because of the inflation. We will have to go back to constant price calculations. After the traditional export markets of Germany and Italy, Slovenia and Croatia are each other‘s third trading partner in most observed years. This is not negligible, especially if we compare the sizes of the first two economies (Germany and Italy) and our two (Slovenia and Croatia).

Where is there still room for progress in economic cooperation? How is your communication with decision makers and what are the biggest problems of businessmen?

countries, and 4% mentioned the difference in language (it is safe to assume that they have not yet tried to penetrate the Chinese or Japanese market). Only two respondents opted for political reasons. When it comes to Slovene respondents, more than half (62%) of them believe that there are no obstacles for business cooperation. Similar to Croatian colleagues, the Slovene sample most often cites administrative and bureaucratic obstacles (26.7%). They also mention lack of information (almost 9%) and weak ties between countries, and the political reasons – little less than 7%. The pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, the inflation… things are not going well for economic development. What do you see as a potential solution to the on-going crisis (government measures, on EU level or each country separately..)?

Over the past 13 years, trade exchange increased by 185% - from EUR 2 billion to a solid EUR 5.5 billion!

Every war brings suffering and devastation. We talked about the measures during the pandemic. Today, we are facing completely different challenges. The mechanisms of the electricity market in Europe do not function in a healthy way because they were never designed to absorb shocks. It is illusory to talk about any state aid or EU aid to the economy, i.e. to the economies of the member countries. If a company used to pay one hundred thousand euros a month for their electric bill, now it will be 400,000 euros. On an annual level, this is a difference of EUR 3.6 million! There are no state aids that can neutralize such losses. We need systemic solutions to calm the market. Even in the direction of temporarily freezing the objectives of the green plan.

I would like to circle back to the survey conducted by the SLO-CRO Business Club. In the sample of Croatian companies, almost 85% answered that they have a greater need for cooperation; only 13.4% answered that there would be no need for greater cooperation. In the Slovenian sample, 63% responded that they want to participate more. However, one third of them stated that they do not need more cooperation. We also asked both sides what are the obstacles in doing business – if they had to define them. In the Croatian sample, more than half answered that there are no obstacles in doing business. In the second place were administrative or bureaucratic obstacles. This answer is very interesting, especially considering that companies do not know the government bodies that could help them when entering foreign markets (such as Spirit or Spot points and the lack of information). This is interesting considering the number of companies claiming to have enough information on the internet. When it comes to obstacles to cooperation, 7% of Croatian respondents also cite weak ties between the two 27


s l o v e ni a

Interview

ELES is ready for all scenarios Savings before possible reduction of electricity supply M.Sc. Aleksander Mervar CEO of ELES, Slovenian Transmission System Operator, and President of the ELES Group

e are well aware that in Slovenia, we are and will be dependent on imports. In the case of illiquid stock exchanges, we will not be able to cover consumption, which is why we also previously announced the possibility of reductions, for Diplomacy&Commerce, Focus on Slovenia, says M.Sc. Aleksander Mervar CEO of ELES and President of the ELES Group. From a technical point of view, Slovenia’s electricity system operates flawlessly, says Mr. Mervar.

W

28

The war in Ukraine and the global energy crisis, including electric energy, are the topics that occupy the attention of the entire world. How prepared is Slovenia for this crisis, when it comes to the energy system? What is the state of the electric power system?

Already in July, at its meeting on the 14th of July 2022, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia ensured sustainable electricity prices by limiting the latter with the Decree on setting elec-

We recently marked the end of the SINCRO. GRID project, already established technologies into the Slovenian and Croatian electricity systems in an innovative way.

tricity prices for households and small business customers, and will also reduce VAT, excise duties and contribution for RES and CHP will also be lowered. Based on the decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia dated the 14th of July 2022, the Ministry of Infrastructure appointed a crisis group, which is headed by the minister and which also includes the CEO of ELES. Within the framework of this group, scenarios have already been prepared for what should happen in a severe crisis. To the extent that they could occur, the first thing that will follow is general savings in electricity consumption, and in the event of the inability to provide sufficient quantities to cover consumption, also reductions according to the scheme that has already been prepared. ELES has a regulated income with the Network Act of the Energy Agency of the Republic of Slovenia. As a result of the intervention law adopted by the previous Government of the Republic of Slovenia, we lost approximately EUR 24 million, which we have or will replace with the measures we adopted in March this year and which have no impact on investments. We support everything that the Government of the Republic of Slovenia does. Last but not least, we are directly involved in these

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


processes. Namely, in the event of a severe crisis in the field of electricity supply, ELES takes over the direct management of the electricity system of the Republic of Slovenia. To what extent can prices on the global market change the situation, and how important is the common European policy in this case?

In our opinion, the EU is late when it comes to the measures which were announced at the European level. We do not advocate price restrictions across the board, and it is correct that prices are limited for households and small business customers. We are supporters of introducing a special tax on the extra profits of electricity producers who do not use gas in their production, and the funds from this tax should be distributed transparently through the appropriate methodology to the so-called non-household customers. In Europe, everything will depend upon three things: the restart of all nuclear power plants in France, more precipitation and thus rising river levels and consequently higher production from hydroelectric power plants, and also the availability of gas from Russia for the needs of electricity generation from gas and co-generation of electricity from thermal energy for district heating systems. If expectations were to turn in a negative direction, we can expect reductions with simultaneous restrictions on the consumption of other consumers, for whom reductions would not apply. And, of course, extremely high prices for both gas and electricity. We also expect specific measures from the EU, mainly in that the extra profit of most electricity producers, which does not include production from gas units, is fairly distributed vertically to the final consumer.

We lost approximately EUR 24 million, which we have or will replace with the measures we adopted in March this year and which have no impact on investments. We support everything that the Government of the Republic of Slovenia does.

way – compensation devices, battery energy storage systems, and a system for determining operating limits. By 2030, with SINCRO.GRID we will be able to handle everything connected to the transmission network without any problems. It is the first successfully completed project in the field of smart grids, which was co-financed by the Connecting Europe funding instrument. In 2020, the International Smart Grids Action Network announced the recipients of the award for excellence in the field of innovation, integration, and transformation of smart grid systems (the ISGAN Award of Excellence). The topic of the call was digitalization on a global level, which enables the empowerment of consumers (Digitalization Enabling Consumer Empowerment). Among applicants from around the world, the Smart Grid and Smart Communities Demonstration Project (the NEDO Project) won the 2020 Best Project Award, while the FutureFlow Project was named the second-best FutureFlow project in the world. For the first time in the history of these awards, a single company received as many as two. Innovations in the company ELES were also reported in the renowned magazine Forbes. In the article Renewables Won‘t Save Us If The Electric Grid Is Not Ready, the author David Blackmon points out how important for the future is the internationally awarded project FutureFlow, coordinated by the company ELES. Complex energy flows require a lot of innovation and investment in infrastructure transformation. The challenges brought by renewable resources exceed the capacity of the infrastructure. The article‘s author states that the Future-

Flow project‘s founders are aware of the challenges brought by the growing share of renewable resources. "They have developed a cloud-based trading solution that makes it easier for distributed producers to sell electricity, and such sales are based on demand. The system operator can regulate the grid more flexibly and take action if renewables cause problems. Solutions like FutureFlow will also be increasingly important in the US, as more and more commitments are made to strengthen renewable resources." In September 2019, we founded the Green Consortium with colleagues from GEN-I. Later, we were joined by Elektro Ljubljana, Elektro Celje, and Elektro Gorenjska. The primary goal was to jointly prepare a green transition/smart networks project, which we are trying to realize by obtaining grants from the EU CEF fund. We prepared the GreenSwitch project, valued at almost EUR 210 million. We first had to qualify the project for the list of PCI projects (Projects of Common Interest), which is a condition for applying it as a candidate for CEF funds during the next step. The GreenSwitch project, coordinated by ELES where we collaborate with partners from Slovenia, Austria, and Croatia, was rated as one of the best. This year, the project was included in the fifth list of joint European interest projects in the smart networks field. What projects are in your plans and how will they improve the entire system and the quality of people’s lives?

The construction of the CirkovcePince transmission line and the modernization and extension of the Cirkovce substation is the most significant

Innovations in your field of work are also very important. How much attention does Eles pay to innovations and in what way, including green energy?

In all its projects, ELES pursues the goals of decentralization of production, efficiency of use, electrification, selfsufficiency, the introduction of electricity storage devices, digitization, and resilience of supply. Pursuing any other goals would be irresponsible and contrary to the symbiosis of the environment and the expectations of a developed society. For all large projects, we try to obtain as many grants as possible so that the burden of the energy transition does not fall solely on Slovenians. We recently marked the end of the SINCRO.GRID project. In the framework of this project, the partners integrated the latest, already established technologies into the Slovenian and Croatian electricity systems in an innovative

The awarded Diagnostics and Analytics Centre (DAC) is a meeting point for mass data, advanced analytics, technical expertise and good engineering practices, which data engineers and scientists transform into modern management of ELES' assets.

29


s l o v e ni a

investment of ELES. The two-system 400 kV Cirkovce-Pince transmission line enables establishing a connection between Slovenia and the transmission network of Hungary, the only neighboring country with which Slovenia does not yet have high-voltage electricity connections. This year, we are finishing two international projects, which are 50% financed by grants and fall within the framework of the socalled investments in smart networks. It is the Slovenian-Japanese NEDO project and a project with partners from Croatia – SINCRO.GRID. We are also finalizing a new, ten-year development plan for our transmission network for the period from 2023 to 2032. We estimate that we will invest over EUR 800 million during this period. In terms of value, the most extensive package of investments relates to investing in connecting transmission lines, cable lines, and the reconstruction of our regulation-transformer stations for connecting large fields of solar and wind power plants. The estimated value is EUR 138 million, and the implementation period is between 2023 and 2026. In the coming years, we are planning many projects, albeit smaller projects in terms of value, mainly in new constructions and reconstructions of 110 kV transmission lines and regulation-transformation substations, prioritizing those that we have taken over from Slovenian distribution and production electricity companies for a fee based on the Energy Act. This year, the GreenSwitch project, coordinated by ELES, was included in the fifth list of projects of common European interest. It is an international project of consortium partners from Slovenia, Austria, and Croatia, with an estimated value of around EUR 210 million. With the GreenSwitch project, we will, by 2028, increase the control and management of power flow in the electricity transmission network and thus further strengthen the electricity networks. Our strategy is that for all large projects related to the so-called green transition, we are trying to obtain as many grants as possible from EU funds so that the burden of the energy transition does not fall only on the final consumers of electricity in Slovenia. In recent years, we have obtained over EUR 100 million in grants. As a successful businessman at the head of an important company, how do you think the market in your field of work will develop in the future and where do you see ELES in 5 years?

As an assembly in February of last year, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia approved the ELES strategy until 2025. The document concerning ELES’ sustainability strategy looking 30

The construction of the Cirkovce-Pince transmission line and the modernization and extension of the Cirkovce substation is the most significant investment of ELES.

ahead to 2050 was also added to the general strategy. We defined seven main strategic directions: 1) Respect for the target values and the performance of employees in accordance with the Code of Ethics and corporate integrity guidelines, to achieve an appropriate level of business excellence; 2) Investments in the direction of the Sustainability Strategy; 3) Investment and maintenance activities based on the philosophy of the asset management system; 4) In addition to comprehensive control over the operation of the 400 and 220 kV transmission network, also assume comprehensive control over the entire looped 110 kV network in the Republic of Slovenia;

5) Lease of system services at comparable prices of neighboring Transmission System Operators and in view of new technologies, based on technical and economic criteria, a transition to the largest possible share of power provision from distributed sources (renewable energy production sources, battery systems); 6) Establish a stimulating environment for the retirement of the majority (90%) of those who have already or will fulfil the conditions for regular retirement by 2025, employment according to the principle of 2 retirements: 1 new employment; 7) Businesses within the regulatory framework, providing the owner with a profit according to the regulatory methodology.

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


events is the LIFFE Film Festival in November, which changes Ljubljana into an international motion picture hub for two weeks. Architectural attractions

The look of Slovenian cities and towns has been defined by various periods, dating back to antiquity. Some of the creators include Maks Fabiani, the personal advisor of Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, who also worked with Otto Wagner, and Jože Plečnik, who worked in Vienna, Prague, and in Ljubljana. Castles

From urban to traditional Culture

Art and culture have always held a special place in the history of the Slovenian nation. Slovenia boasts a rather well developed network of cultural institutions, organisations and cultural associations comparable to the most developed European countries lovenia boasts a surprisingly diverse cultural scene, from urban happenings, traditional presentations to cosmopolitan festivals, all enveloped into authentic experience. Precious items in museums, galleries, skansens and other cultural objects point the way to Slovenia’s cultural heritage. Would you like to understand Slovenians and their identity? Explore in detail the possibilities offered by 100 festivals, over 50 museums and galleries, and about 30 institutions focusing on music and theatre. See the remains of some of the hundreds of castles and manors. You will find it informative and fun.

S

Festivals

You can enjoy the work of some of the most important creators and performers in the world if you visit arts festivals in Slovenia. However, if you are feeling laid back, check out the special offer: there are festivals devoted to roast potatoes, beer, wine, desserts, lace, chocolate, tolerance, and shopping. Museums and galleries

Do you have an adventurous spirit? Go on a treasure hunt, and see a

Music and dancing

Film and theatre

Spend summer evenings under the stars in the company of stars: in streets, squares, and parks that transform into outdoor cinemas and theatres. The rich cultural offerings continue throughout the year, with over 200 premieres taking place. One of the most highly anticipated

Churches, convents, and monasteries

There are almost no villages or hills in Slovenia without a church, and the country is also full of convents, monasteries, and roadside shrines. For an authentic experience, join a pilgrimage to the Mary Help of Christians Church in Brezje, ring the bell of wishes on Bled Island, and try the pear brandy from the Pleterje Monastery. Iconic attractions

30,000-year-old needle, a 5200-year old wooden wheel with a wooden axis, and venerable golden patches that are more than 3000 years old. If you are not interested in ancient history, take a ride through space. You will always hit it off with Slovenians if you join them when they are listening to music or if you dance with them. Don’t turn down an invitation to come to a private party, because you will be talking about it for a long time to come. Slovenians love everything: complex symphonies by Gustav Mahler, who also worked in Ljubljana, the up-beat melodies of the Avsenik brothers, the challenging avant-garde experimentation of the band Laibach, or the fierce techno beats of DJ Umek

Slovenia is rich in castles, manors, fortresses, and fortification systems. These were built in various periods during the medieval, renaissance, and baroque eras, and the first traces of their construction date all the way back to antiquity. Time got the better of many of them, but dozens now perform interesting functions.

Slovenia boasts a surprisingly diverse cultural scene, from urban happenings, traditional presentations to cosmopolitan festivals, all enveloped into authentic experience

The romantic historical town centres of the coastal town of Piran, the oldest Slovenian town of Ptuj, the mighty castle high above Celje, Lake Bled, an Alpine pearl with a unique island in the middle of it, the vibrant and picturesque capital city of Ljubljana, the elegant white Lipizzaner horse, and the mysterious underground world of Postojna Cave with the incredible Predjama Castle nearby. These are the images that will make a strong impression on you when you visit Slovenia. Save a piece of these iconic images in your hearts and in your photographs to share with your friends. The oldest in the world

Did you know that Slovenia is home to artefacts that are considered to be the oldest in the world? At the National Museum in Ljubljana, see the oldest flute, which is over 60 thousand years old, and a somewhat younger, 5200-year-old wooden wheel with an axle. Discover what kind of a needle was used for sewing 30 thousand years ago by visiting the Celje Regional Museum. And don’t miss a 400-year old grapevine growing in Maribor’s Lent area. Source: www.slovenia.info

31


Corporate

De’Longhi Perfetto combination! De’longhi brand offers innovative household appliances with a recognizable combination of Italian style and performances.

Nataša Bagić De’Longhi Balkans Marketing Manager

ataša Bagić, De’Longhi Balkans Marketing Manager talks for Diplomacy&Commerce about the habit of drinking coffee in our country, but also about the latest research about the ways we enjoy our coffee. As a leader in her team, she says that good and quality people are the key to success in any line of business.

N

De’Longhi is a global brand of high-quality coffee makers. How aware are the people in our area of this way of preparing coffee, compared to the traditional one, and how would you rate the market in Croatia?

Within our wide range of household appliances, coffee makers are functional and offer elegant lines and innovative combinations, colors and materials. Awareness of this type of product has certainly been on the rise for the past few years, and the rapid change in trends at a global level is also coming to our region. Our region is certainly in the lead when it comes to the consumption and preparation of the traditional way of coffee, but the lifestyle definitely influences the acceptance of these new global trends, and the interest in buying coffee makers, both those only for espresso and automatic ones for simple one-touch preparation, is increasing day by day.

As the Marketing Manager for De’Longhi Balkans, how would you rate the differences in the markets and habits in the region?

Differences are always present, but I don’t think they are significant. When it comes to coffee, we are all 32

the same! The habit of drinking coffee in our Balkan region has a really long tradition. In all our markets, consumers are known for their love of coffee. A day that begins without a sip of their favourite coffee is almost unimaginable for the average coffee lover. However, everyone has their preferences when it comes to the ritual of drinking coffee, because it is known that each individual considers these rituals to be their safe haven, a time spent well that can reset even the most stressful day and raise good vibrations to a desirable level. The research we recently conducted shows that coffee drinkers prefer cof-

fee with milk (94%) than with cream (6%). As much as 71% of them say that they drink coffee for relaxation, and 29% to spend time with friends. However, the majority of coffee drinkers, 58% of them, prefer to drink coffee in company rather than alone. Some countries of the region are EU members, some are not. What are the main differences in doing business on these markets?

The differences are mainly operative, I really don’t think that EU membership separates us in habits when it comes to drinking and enjoying coffee.

This year we have really prepared excellent novelties, so you can already find our new devices Magnifica Start and La Specialista Arte on the markets. Like the rest of our wide range, these devices provide an ideal combination of recognizable style and top performance.

As a woman in business, what are your experiences when we talk about the position of women and how much is the position, attitude and perception of women in managerial positions changing?

I think that there is definitely a positive shift, but honestly, this has never burdened me too much, because I really think that what’s important for success is that someone loves and enjoys their job. Fortunately, I have many years of positive marketing experience and I developed a career in various international companies in different positions, but I am still excited about new challenges, a good result, progress, interesting information or experience, and that is really my biggest motivation, which leads me to a new day. All this would not be possible without a good and positive team and that is why building and leading a team is my additional inspiration and motivation in the Delonghi Company, or as they would say at Delonghi, #Perfetto combination!

What are your plans and how will De’Longhi make us happy in the coming period?

This year we have really prepared excellent novelties, so you can already find our new devices Magnifica Start and La Specialista Arte on the markets. Like the rest of our wide range, these devices provide an ideal combination of recognizable style and top performance. The Magnifica Start embodies experience, know-how and De’Longhi technology, and it was specially designed to introduce the world of automatic espresso machines to beginners and coffee lovers looking for a one-touch experience with a modern design. The De’Longhi La Specialista line is now complete with its latest addition, the La Specialista Arte, a compact and elegant espresso coffee maker. La Specialista Arte opens the door to the world of quality barista coffee because it creates an authentic experience of coffee like in a coffee shop. It allows control of grinding, dosing and temperature for the best taste and extraction of coffee beans. La Specialista Arte is designed to enhance every experience of coffee and milk preparation, from extracting the best from each type of bean and discovering their aromatic flavors, to experimenting with handmade latte art. Thanks to De’Longhi technology, experience and know-how, coffee explorers can experience a light but refined coffee brewing adventure.

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Corporate

THE NEW RANGE ROVER SPORT The definition of sporting luxury

suite of powerful and effective powertrains includes six-cylinder extended range Electric Hybrids, a potent new V8 and mild hybrid six-cylinder petrol and diesel Ingenium engines. Pure-electric propulsion will be introduced in 2024, as Land Rover continues its electrification journey. The new Range Rover is available with S, SE, HSE and Autobiography specifications, with the exclusive First Edition available throughout the first year of production featuring specially curated specifications.

A

Nick Collins, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Land Rover’s pioneering

flexible MLA architecture and the latest chassis systems come together to deliver the highest levels of dynamism we’ve ever seen on Range Rover Sport. Integrated Chassis Control governs the comprehensive suite of innovations, co-ordinating everything from the latest switchablevolume air suspension system to our Dynamic Response Pro electronic active roll control. The result is the most engaging and thrilling Range Rover Sport ever.” • Dynamic luxury: New Range Rover Sport combines dramatic modernity and distinctive character with electrified performance • Distinct proportions: Muscular stance and taut surfaces communicate power and agility • Modernist philosophy: Reductive design approach elevates Range Rover Sport DNA • Sophisticated luxury: Interior cocoons the driver with sweeping console and fast-angled dashboard, finished with modern materials including sustainable UltrafabricsTM • Electrifying power: Pure-electric propulsion in 2024, and extended range Electric Hybrid from launch with 510PS, total real-world range of 740km and CO2 emissions from 18g/km1 • Smooth and powerful: Six-cylinder diesel engines, plus a new V8 Twin Turbo 530PS V8, deliver customary Range Rover Sport performance • Pioneering suspension: Dynamic Air Suspension introduces switchable volume air springs – a Range Rover first – with twin-val-

ve active dampers for ultimate agility, control and composure • Dynamic master: Stormer Handling Pack combines Dynamic Response Pro, All-Wheel Steering, Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking and Configurable Programs • Terrain Response®: Award-winning and patented system, now with road-focused Dynamic Mode alongside Configurable Terrain Response, plus innovative new Adaptive OffRoad Cruise Control • Focused refinement: Sculpted seating, Cabin Air Purification Pro and Meridian Signature Sound with the latest Active Noise Cancellation2 systems deliver modern sporting luxury

• Seamless connectivity: 13.1-inch curved

touchscreen for award-winning Pivi Pro infotainment is complemented by intuitive 13.7inch Interactive Driver Display, with Software Over The Air • Wireless convenience3: New Range Rover Sport is ready to go at a moment’s notice, with Wireless Apple CarPlay®, Wireless Android Auto™ and 15W Wireless Device Charger • Digital vision: High-performance visibility is guaranteed by new Digital LED Headlights featuring Adaptive Front Lighting, while new Low Speed Manoeuvring Lights provide ultimate convenience The New Range Rover Sport is available to pre-order now!

Ever since 1948, Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true “breadth of capability” across the model range.

33


Column

Financial transparency challenges We are witnessing global changes in the lives of new generations, they are also affecting changes within the financial sector.

Danijel Koletić Apriori World

tep by step, the interest groups that created the cryptoworld have created millions of followers who in this financial engineering create opportunities for some risks, new habits of financial business and also new payments are created. What we can expect is that micro chips will appear soon, not only with a financial identity, but with all the other data. All this represents certain visions but also a lot of change in human life as a parasite on planet earth. The crypto world has created an oasis of financial business that

S

34

has its own non-transparency and which helps many to easily convert their millions into cryptocurrencies without any control. So for example the money is sent from their country to another country and exchanged at an exchange office.

For years, the city of London and its financial system have been successfully resisting transparency in a simple way - through millions of offshore companies. Through one large system in which the money of the world’s millionaires and bil-

National global and common policies, if they wanted to solve financial transparency, would have solved it a long time ago, but obviously there is no interest in that and there are reasons for that.

lionaires travels. It is only in the new world, in the new metaverse world, that new generations of people are created who, as addicts at a glance or as people of new life habits, will live exclusively and only virtually. Who needs financial transparency and do we really globally believe in the word transparency when that same financial transparency is not communicated enough by those who should, cities, NGOs that raise funds for various global initiatives, and in fact cover 70 percent of their salary donations, offices , in expensive locations, ultimately everyone involved in finance must have a clear mission to make a profit.

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Column

Basically, everyone wants to avoid transparency or satisfy certain forms. I can’t generalize but there are those who file financial statements transparently because corporations that stick to their brand, to their employees who actually provide transparent financial reporting, and provide transparent support through community tax payments, are not sufficiently recognized or rewarded to inspire others. Are those who need to control the transparency of travel finance really interested in transparency? In most cases it all comes down to transparent legal procedures and so the owners of offshore companies will remain calm regardless of whether they were innovators who do not want to pay big taxes or business people who sell weapons, drugs and even people, organs enjoy the journey of money. To ultimately spend that money and return it to some other industries or some other investment. It’s just a matter of value, ethics, even charisma. People forget that this life is just one trip and despite the fact that a small handful of people globally hold great wealth, the question arises whether they really enjoy the values of life when they buy everything they want. Do they have real friends and are they interested in friends at all or is their main mission to make money, to accumulate money that will ultimately remain in someone’s account, who perhaps unprovoked or has the good fortune to continue his life in the joy of wealth. Transparency of finances is visible in people who are honest and do their job honestly. Covid- 19 and all its subsequent versions have changed the way we do business, and digital transformation as well as money travel, apart from offshore and cryptocurrencies, is happening today through various digital platform systems, the biggest fears and biggest investments is what we as ordinary financial users do not we see, we may not even think about it , is cyber security. When you see online trading statistics before the Covid-19 and after the Covid-19 , the differences in numbers are huge. Before the pandemic, people did not trust online stores, online shops, all this was unreal for them, and everyone was afraid that someone might take or steal their

financial identity, the rapid development of e-commerce, which is still growing today and which will grow which represents the future of trade just as print in the media space is dying out so after all the standards of advertising technological innovations in 20 years, and maybe even earlier e-commerce will reach perfection, with virtual travel through department stores, holograms that will be one hundred percent Identical to your personality, new financial solutions and security pathways will be sought in order to ensure financial transparency as before, profits and online stores are constantly gaining. Investments and financial transparency are present in startup communities, many investors whether those from the crypto world or who invest in the traditional way can see the potential of large sources of income, but any investment is also a risk. Behind the word transparency is the word communication, everyone is talking about transparency and it has become a gadget of the modern age. Whether within the political and public administration, corporate and other systems. Whether pu-

has its own personal or company interests. Ethics in finance is a real challenge of financial secrecy and financial oases like Switzerland, numerous islands in the Caribbean, generate non-transparent financial processes for years in a transparent way, living transparently is more about the common man than those who have, there are always exceptions. Unfortunately, people cannot do without finances, all values ​​start with finances, it is all a circle of creation, kidnapping, giving, spending, saving, investing, which is the basis of life status. But ultimately behind it all are financial policies that find ways to deprive their own state, their own people and their own prosperity because it is essentially human as a mammal to look first at themselves, their interest, and then the interest of their group (read family) or business interest group. Transparency in the financial sector will never be transparent because it is not in the interest of those who need to be transparent. What is left for us, it remains for us to find in our own way outside the financial sector, outside our own finances, in this hectic time, time for

Behind the word transparency is the word communication, everyone is talking about transparency and it has become a gadget of the modern age. blic administration as a service to citizens communicates transparency sufficiently depends on the level of the social environment, the history of a country, but also of man. If you have been oppressed for generations, then your desire is greater, and thus the system of corruption and non-transparency of public administration is even greater. Globally, we wonder where the truth is hidden and whether it benefits anyone. There are many issues that represent a mystery on this planet but one thing is for sure when we talk about financial transparency, it is clearly visible in the accounts of every individual of every company. Finance generates new investments and new jobs but they know how to encourage financial interests, wars and conflicts because every industry behind the interest group

ourselves because as part of the ecosystem on planet earth that we belong to. Unfortunately, it will create a path of financial transformation in the digital age, new currencies, new options, but the key question will be how secure this cryptoworld is, what interest group is behind it, cryptocurrency owners and generators of the initiative and ideas that created it, are their market have found the purpose of cryptocurrencies but the question is whether at some point those who created it will earn and others lose or simply the cryptoworld away from control, politics and systems will be a new financial world in a new age, new generations. We are witnessing the mantra of digital transformation of which financial transformation is certainly a part. But behind all this must be

knowledge and skills, and this is exactly one additional mystery of change. Just as at the beginning of the 20th century on this planet with overnight knights riders and peasants with plows (?) learned to make telephone calls, send telegrams, travel by rail, people who never had the opportunity to sit in school and learn how to do so even now, people with new codes of knowledge are appearing on the planet earth. Despite this, there are no faculties for cryptocurrencies. Simply, they get those frequencies, they create and set those values. Knowledge is the key to any success, especially financial, how to redirect money, where and how to save. Where to be transparent and where not to depend, depends on the knowledge, not only that from the book, but also the knowledge that someone received as a gift, as a mission that turns into reality as part of a new community, in this case when we talk about finance it is this new crypto-community that we can no longer ignore, it is real, it is expanding, it is investing through various communication channels, it is coming together because it gives opportunities to many individuals from the political system to use financial non-transparency they drag their funds through this system without control. National global and common policies, if they wanted to solve financial transparency, would have solved it a long time ago, but obviously there is no interest in that and there are reasons for that. Communication processes therefore in the financial sector today on the one hand offer different types of loans, with different types of interests. In the traditional already known way while on the other hand we have big campaigns, on digital platforms that give new generations new generational guidance, it is difficult to predict a menu that does not deal with finances but manages communication processes, business models and identity creation. I believe, I have through this article stimulated many thoughts, and ultimately the main message remains from my side , no matter what you do, want or be financially transparent, be human who is aware that all this is fleeting. Enjoy what makes you happy, respecting other people.

35


Column

Strategic Thinking in Rhetoric Defined as cognitive activity that involves mental representation of a goal as well as understanding of the ways of achieving these goals through communication, strategic thinking stands on the basis of rhetorical skills that are crucial for the long-term success of a business, a team, or an individual.

Jagoda Poropat Darrer Business Communication Professional

s many sources reveal thinking strategically encompasses intentional and rational thought process that focuses on the analysis of critical factors and variables that will influence our success in many fields. It includes careful and deliberate anticipation of threats and vulnerabilities to guard against and opportunities to pursue and requires research, analytical thinking, innovation and decisiveness. Ultimately strategic thinking and analysis lead to a clear set of goals, plans, and new ideas required to survive and thrive in a competitive, changing environment. This sort of thinking must account for economic realities, market forces, and available resources (cmoe.com). Improving components of the strategic thinking suggested by Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness might include making time for progress, being aware of your own biases, honing questioning skills, understanding the consequences and finally, tackling a vital rhetorical component – improving our listening skills and adaptability. As it is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process, listening is key to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood. Schilling (2012) suggests that in today’s high-tech, high-speed, high-stress world, communication is more important than ever, yet we seem to devote less and less time to really listening to one another. Genuine listening has become a rare gift—the gift of time. It helps build relationships, solve problems, ensure understanding, resolve conflicts, and improve accuracy. At work, effective listening means fewer errors and less wasted time. At home, it helps develop resourceful, self-reliant kids who can solve their own problems. Listening builds friendships and careers. It saves money and marriages, states Schilling. On the matter how to become or just stay an active listener there are dozens of advices. The

A

36

one that caught your author’s attention is the one from Forbes (ordinarily being a trusted source). It says, first of all, to face the speaker and maintain the eye contact. In most Western cultures, eye contact is considered a basic ingredient of effective communication. Shyness, uncertainty, shame, guilt, or other emotions, along with cultural taboos, can inhibit eye contact in some people under some circumstances. Excuse the other guy, but

When thinking about your next idea, speech or presentation, think strategically!

stay focused yourself. Furthermore, Forbes advises not to interrupt. When listening to someone talk about a problem, refrain from suggesting solutions. Most of us don’t want your advice anyway. If we do, we’ll ask for it. Most of us prefer to figure out our own solutions. We need you to listen and help us do that. Somewhere way down the line, if you are absolutely bursting with a brilliant solution, at least get the speaker’s permission. Schilling suggests you ask: “Would you like to hear my ideas?” Finally, in order to be an active listener, try to feel what the speaker is feeling and give your feedback to the speaker regularly. Alongside listening as a vital rhetorical skill there is a concept of adaptability. It is old knowledge that to adapt means to survive. Moreover, to adapt means to be flexible and able to change in order to become successful. Doyle (2021) suggests that people with adaptability skills are never discouraged by failure—the are open to both positive and negative change. For them, failure is just a part of learning. These leaders are always learning and willing to take risks, as long as it means that they can develop personally and professionally. If you know how to adapt well to a wide variety of circumstances, then “different” doesn’t scare you as it usually does for others. Anything that stands out makes you curious. And when you get curious, you want to investigate. You are not afraid of ideas, suggestions, or constructive criticism. Adaptability in communication includes shifting and deciding upon better alternative strategies whether it is about communicating within a corporation, political campaign or even your own speech or presentation. Strategic thinking skills, according to Harvard Business Review author Stobierski (2020), are essential to accomplish business objectives, overcome obstacles, and address challenges. Also, they are among the most highly sought-after management competencies. Why? Because employees capable of thinking critically, logically, and strategically can have a tremendous impact on a business’s trajectory.

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


People & Events

Mr Luka Burilović president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, Mr Fatmir Bytyqi Vice President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia

26

sept.

The Economic Forum Croatia - North Macedonia

This is a continuation of the activities to deepen the economic ties between the two countries, which were intensified in the middle of last year when the president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy Luka Burilović held meetings with the president of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Panderovski, and representatives of professional chambers. In his introductory speech, Mr. Burilović emphasized that the growth of trade between the two countries and the possibilities of cooperation in the fields of energy, tourism, transport and the construction industry obligate them to even more intensive cooperation, but also stronger ties in the field of economic diplomacy, where Croatia, as a future member of the Eurozone and the Schengen Area, the Northern Macedonia can be a reliable partner and ally on the path to EU accession. He added that in recent years, trade between the two countries has been around 200 million euros per year, but last year it grew to 246 million euros, and this trend has continued this year, when in the first seven months we have recorded an increase in trade by 30%. As part of the Economic Forum, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Croatian Chamber of Economy and partner chambers of North Macedonia - the Chamber of Commerce of North-Western Macedonia and the Union of Chambers of Commerce of Macedonia, which was attended by the president of the HGK Burilović and representatives of the North Macedonian chambers, as well as Ivo Usmiani, president of the MacedonianCroatian business club , Milaim Fetai, Ambassador of the Republic of North Macedonia to the Republic of Macedonia, Oleg Butković, Vice President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, and Fatmir Bytyqi, Vice President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia in charge of the economy, coordination of economic sectors and investments.

“The goal of this forum and the signing of the Memorandum is for the trade exchange between our countries to be even greater, since there is a whole range of areas of mutual interest,” said Butković. “North Macedonia is a friendly country that successfully opened negotiations with the European Union this summer. We have found ourselves again in the world and European crisis caused by this war in which we are all struggling within our countries with answers to the energy crisis. These are big challenges for North Macedonia as well, and membership in the European

Mr Luka Burilović president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, Mr Oleg Butković, Vice President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure

Union is welcome for them, and Croatia will help them a lot in that regard,” concludes the Deputy Prime Minister. Fatmir Bytyqi, the Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, expressed his satisfaction with the friendly and partnership relations between the two countries, which need to be further improved in the field of economy. “Northern Macedonia is seen as a full member of the European Union in the near future, and here we rely to a significant extent on the support of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the concrete experiences of Croatian businessmen in doing business on the common European market,” he pointed out. According to CNB data, Croatia invested around 108 million euros in North Macedonia in the period from 1993 to 2021. Last year, goods worth EUR 101 million were imported into Croatia, and EUR 145 million were exported. The structure of trade is dominated by food, medicines and various products of the metallurgical industry. Last year, Macedonian tourists had over 207,000 overnight stays, which is a 63% increase compared to the pandemic year 2020.

37


People & Events

25

sept.

“Diplomatic Harvest” in Plešivica

The President of the Republic, Zoran Milanović, as the host, participated in the “Diplomatic Harvest” in Plešivica, a grape harvest organized for the heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in the Republic of Croatia. In addition to President Milanović, the heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in the Republic of Croatia were greeted by the Mayor of the City of Jastrebar, Zvonimir Novosel, and the host of this year’s “Diplomatic Harvest”, Tomislav Tomac.

The President of the Republic, Zoran Milanović

Diplomatic corps

The exhibition “Underwater sept. archeology in Poland. History and perspective”

23

38

Diplomatic corps

The exhibition presents Polish achievements in the field of research and protection of underwater archaeological sites, in accordance with the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage. The project “Polish-Croatian exchange of experi-

ences in the area of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage” was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland within the “Inspiring Culture” program.

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


People & Events

25

sept.

15. Weekend Media Festival ended in Rovinj

This year’s Jubilee Weekend was held under the slogan #SAMODOĐI. More than five thousand visitors enjoyed panels, lectures, concerts, exhibitions and networking. The creative environment was an opportunity to gather some of the best lecturers from all over the world and host 100 speakers in almost 40 panels, lectures and discussions. This year, there was a discussion on human rights and fake news, informative lectures on the announced recession, web 3.0, agencies 2.0

were discussed, whether innovation can be learned, and everything was rounded off by TV marathoners . “Pušiona”, during which the panelists revealed their biggest business failures. What this year’s Weekend Media Festival will be remembered for is the great atmosphere that Darko Rundek / HRT Jazz Orchestra, Matija Cvek & Funkensteins, Konstrakta & Zemlja Gruva, Marija Mirković and many others kept at its peak from the very opening.

Mrs Jelena Đoković, Novak Djokovic Foundation

Robert Čoban with panel participants: Warfare by other means

39


Travelogue

by Robert Čoban

Island of Tudors and Pošteni After the pandemic, tourists returned to Hvar in greater numbers than in 2019, but inside the island it is still possible to find hidden places like the Stori Komin tavern in the abandoned village of Malo Grablje, where the guests can choose between two courses and two types of wine etween two wars, Đorđe Kovačević’s grandfather had a small tavern with apartments and a goat in the yard in Pjaca, the central square in Hvar. 20 years ago, Đorđe opened a restaurant “Pošteni” and named it after his grandfather’s nickname. The locals say that the old man was so honest and kind that he didn’t charge the poor for the food. Đorđe married a woman from Belgrade, their daughters speak with Belgrade accent so this tavern with delicious meals at affordable prices is a regular little oasis of Serbian and Croatian marital and culinary love. This year, in Hvar, but also almost everywhere across Dalmatia, Kvarner and Istria – every other waiter is from Serbia. At “Pošteni”, a young man from Belgrade was in charge of our table, and my colleague Ana Lalić told me how she met Nemanja from Vojvodinian village Vajska in the settlement of Ivan Dolac in Hvar. Nemanja is 28 years old, he graduated from the Mathematical Grammar School and the Faculty of Forestry. He works in a small restaurant in Hvar together with his mom, sister and aunt, and he’s thinking about going to Germany to work. Berti Tudor got up one morning and made a decision of his life. He returned from the coastal village of Milno in Hvar to his grandfather’s house in Malo Grablje, a village in the interior of the island which is completely deserted since mid-1960s. Berti and his family opened a small tavern which has only two meals on the menu – octopus under the bell and lamb under the bell. The wine list has only two types of wine – “homemade white” and “homemade red”. Malo Grablje is around 15 minute car ride from Hvar, up the steep road that turns to the left at one point. The village which is now completely deserted never got electricity. A board in front of one of the stone one-story houses states that this was once a school. The schoolteacher lived on the first floor, they say that her bed and other pieces of furniture are still there. Around 180 residents of Malo Grablje left the village little over 50 years ago due to Phylloxera – a grape disease that completely destroyed their vineyards, the main source of income for the locals. At Berti’s Stori Komin tavern, the expenses have been reduced to a minimum: only he and members of his family work there, the only electricity, the one from small light bulbs over the tables – comes for solar panels on the roof of the house. An almost ideal energy and economically sustainable project. The octopus we ordered melts in your mouth, because unlike the one roasted on a grill, this one preserved all of its juices and it’s a perfect combination with slightly burnt potatoes and cold wine. “When he decided to return to the village,

B

40

Next year, Carpe Diem will celebrate its 25th anniversary, so Nenad organized the filming of a documentary film about this phenomenon that made Hvar a Mediterranean party destination which stands side by side with Ibiza and Mykonos. the locals at Milna used to say that dad lost his mind!,” says one of the two Berti’s daughters while she served us wine. Even though Hvar is literally occupied by tourists from all over the world in July and August, it still hides a few concealed and secret places like Berti Tudor’s tavern. Another place like this is the Palace Elisabeth Hotel, where we were accommodated, and which is located on the site of the former Duke’s palace from the time when the island was ruled by Ve-

nice. Two stone lions on the wall at the entrance to the hotel are a testimony of these times. The bigger lion is the oldest preserved in the town of Hvar. It was placed by Hvar’s Duke Francesco Giusti in 1462 on the so-called Upper Palace of the Duke’s palace, and its original position can be seen in the old photos. This lion is more reminiscent of an ox or a dog, but, as Vlada Pištalo wrote in the novel Venice, it should be taken into account that the artists of that time had never seen a lion live. The smaller lion, made in 1483, was once located at the so-called Lower Palace of the Duke›s palace, which was located at the site of today›s entrance to the hotel. An unknown stonemason has beautifully depicted the symbol of Venetian rule with veins on the legs and human features. It stands with its front paws on the land, and with its hind paws in the sea, symbolically encompassing the land and sea possessions of the powerful Venetian Republic - Stato da Terra and Stato da Mar. After the collapse of the Venetian Republic, the role of the dukes disappeared and with them the palace lost its importance. The palace became more and more neglected and was eventually demolished at the turn of the 20th century, so that the spa hotel of Empress Elisabeth (Kurhotel kaiserin Elisabeth), today’s Palace Hotel, could be built in its place in 1900. On the hotel terrace, on the same level as the swimming pool, there is a monumental well that

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr


Travelogue

by Robert Čoban

once adorned the courtyard of the Duke’s palace. It is one of the largest wells located in private houses, 172 cm in diameter. The top of the well has winged lions with a book, symbols of the Venetian rule, and the figure of St. Stephen, pope and martyr from the beginning of Christianity, patron saint of the town of Hvar. I was drinking tea on this terrace when I was joined by Goran Kovačević from Belgrade, one of the most sought-after hotel managers in the region who, after managing Belgrade’s “Square Nine” hotel and Kopaonik’s “Viceroy”, accepted to run the luxury segment of the Sunčani Hvar hotel chain, which includes Palace Elisabeth. Goran tells me how after two years of the pandemic, tourists returned to Hvar like a hurricane and this year the record from 2019 will be broken. The prices are going sky high, and Hvar became one of the most expensive destinations on the Adriatic. Almost every place on the Adriatic coast and the islands had a town hall (loggia) – a covered area where local dignitaries made important decisions and discussed numerous topics. The Hvar Loggia was first mentioned in 1289, but its appearance then is unknown. The new Loggia, built on the

Next year, Carpe Diem will celebrate its 25th anniversary, so Nenad organized the filming of a documentary film about this phenomenon that made Hvar a Mediterranean party destination which stands side by side with Ibiza and Mykonos. same place as the current one, was completed only after the Hvar Rebellion (1510-1514), during the time of Duke Viktor Diedo, and for some time it was called Diedo’s Loggia. It was completely demolished during the Ottoman march in August 1571 and it takes its final appearance at the beginning of the 17th century, thanks to Tripun Bokanić, a young and talented builder from the nearby island of Brač. Throughout its history, it served as a public courtroom, auction space and warehouse. After the founding of the Hygienic Society in 1868, one of the first tourist societies in Europe, the Loggia became a kursalon - a place for citizens to gather and socialize. Even though today, the Loggia attracts attention with its harmonious arches and warm stone color, in the past it was decorated with different colors, whose traces were not erased even by centuries of Hvar sun. The top of the arches have carved human heads and according to the city legend, these were representations of convicted leaders during the Hvar Rebellion that were set up to reprimand the Hvar people. However, there are also four female characters there. On the last eastern arch there is a depiction of a young man with no wrinkles – east, as a symbol of the beginning of life and youth. Above the ent41


Travelogue

rance there is a figure of a bearded older man with a crown on his head. This crown symbolizes the astrological regnum - the kingdom, the tenth field, career field, found in the solar zenith. On the last arch on the west side of the Loggia, the figure of a bearded, old man with a hat is a symbol of departure, sunset, and the near end of life. Leaning on the Loggia is a clock tower and in Hvar it is known by the local name Leroj (clock). In fact it is a medieval square tower within the southwestern edge of the city walls, which became the city’s public clock in the 15th century. A century later, Leroj received a bell decorated with religious motifs, which is located at the top of the tower and until recently, it was used to tell time. I am drinking coffee at the Pjaca tavern under Leroj with Tonka Alujević, a local artist who has been fighting for years against excessive tourism commercialization of the town of Hvar. Before our meeting, I read her post on Facebook where she wrote about the tragic fate of a Hvar local who died in his house, surrounded by the noise and disorder from a nearby nightclub. He pleaded and sent letters in vain, he put up posters all over Hvar fighting for a little peace in his old age. “Two days before he died, people vomited and pissed on his house. On the day of the funeral, on my way to the cemetery I passed by his street. Loud and cheerful music, hysterical laughter, glasses clinking and slurping of cocktails were heard from all the surrounding facilities, including the store that sells plastic junk!” Tonka wrote. Tonka often uses social media to share photos and videos of the town of Hvar in the early morning hours, when you can see not the most pleasant scenes after partying in nightclubs. It seems to me as though Tonka and I had an identical conversation four years earlier: millions of euros that tourists bring to Hvar leave the authorities that are supposed to introduce some communal order, deaf to all this. The Palace Elisabeth Hotel is located at the town Centre and it doesn’t have its own private beach, so my daily routine included a morning five-minute stroll to a little church Zvizda mora (Star of the Sea), which has a pier where the locals bathe. After 45 minutes of swimming, I buy all the local daily papers, which I later enjoyed reading while drinking an espresso at Pjaca. Here I find an interesting article in Jutarnji list daily about the height of the Dalmatians. EU conducted survey among 1,803 boys and 782 girls in 66 schools in 23 towns in the Dinarides area. The data show that at the national level Montenegrins passed over the Dutch and are now the first in Europe with an average height of 182.9 cm, and at the regional level the Dalmatians are in front of them, since their average height is 184.1 cm, and the absolute record holders are in Makarska, where the average high school student is as tall as 187.6 cm. Average height of the Dutch is 182, Herzegovinians are 183.4 cm tall, and Bosnians are 184 cm tall. Regional map of the Balkans shows that men from the Dinaric region (Montenegro, Herzegovina, Dalmatia…) are the tallest, while Albanians, Macedonians and residents of Northern Slovenia and Eastern Serbia are the shortest. Every time we come to Hvar, we like to hang out with our old friend Jadran Lazić, an American photographer born in Split who spends the summer months on Hvar, where he owns a small family hotel in Zavala. Starting this summer, Split is among 42

Next year, Carpe Diem will celebrate its 25th anniversary, so Nenad organized the filming of a documentary film about this phenomenon that made Hvar a Mediterranean party destination which stands side by side with Ibiza and Mykonos. the many cities in the region where he opened an exhibition on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his work. It is in the Red Salon of the Palace Elisabeth Hotel that you can see how Jadran Lazić saw Orson Welles, Anthony Quinn, David Bowie, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, the dead Brezhnev on the hearse and numerous other world-known

by Robert Čoban

persons through his lens. There is also a photo of Jodie Foster at the Hvar Square. Jadran dated a famous actress for a while. Jadran dedicated this exhibition to his daughter Tamara, who spends the summer with him on Hvar every year, but this year she could not come from New York because she is fighting a serious medical condition. After a dinner at Berti Tudor’s place, Jadran took me to another hidden place of the town of Hvar. A man from Split, Miloš Glavurtić, opened the Studio Orada Gallery at the Hvar Pjaca 13 years ago, in a space given to him by the County of Hvar. It displays works by Croatian artists, but also by Chagall, Giacometti and Picasso. “Hvar is a miniature global market for 60 days in the summer, so this is a way to export Croatian art. I keep contemporary artwork by Croatian artists in the gallery, but no one goes for pastoral, seascapes... There are no such things here, nor souvenirs or postcards. As soon as a person enters here, he sees that this is a gallery. And there is a gallerist here in the flesh, and whatever people ask, they get answers. That’s why I think we can achieve world prices in this gallery!” We interrupt the conversation because a couple of rich Americans enter the gallery from one of the yachts anchored in the Hvar port. We spent the last day on the island at the famous Carpe Diem Beach on the island of Marinkovac opposite the town of Hvar. Nenad Šepak from Zagreb is the co-owner of this place that attracts thousands of young people from all over the world every year. During the summer season, every evening a boat transports young people eager to party from the Carpe Diem Club in the port of Hvar to the island of Marinkovac. Except for the restaurant, everything is dismantled and put away at the end of the season because the Jugo destroys everything here that stands on its way during the winter months. By the way, in the Republic of Dubrovnik, crimes committed during Jugo are treated more leniently by the courts because this wind has an adverse effect not only the beach inventory but also the mood of the people. Next year, Carpe Diem will celebrate its 25th anniversary, so Nenad organized the filming of a documentary film about this phenomenon that made Hvar a Mediterranean party destination which stands side by side with Ibiza and Mykonos.

www.diplomacyandcommerce.hr