Second day of the SUMMIT100 in Cavtat begun with the presentation of experience of cooperation between the Nordic countries, and the joint statement of all participants that this is a good example for Southeast Europe. 



Despite their differences, Nordic countries have decided more than sixty years ago to jointly perform in the economic world, because of the awareness that small countries are less competitive in the world if they act independently, noted Ambassador Elin Flygenring, representative of the Chair for the Nordic Council of Ministers at the SUMMIT100.




“Between our countries there are political differences, because some of those countries are EU members, while others are, for example, members of NATO, but that does not prevent us to cooperate in the economy. Our cooperation was not created suddenly and it is continually changing in accordance with changes in the world. The foundation of our new branding strategy made in 2014 will be freedom of movement, innovation, visibility and international activity. Countries of your region should find a way to encourage cooperation. You should define problems and encourage politicians to solve them, and then again identify problems and keep on solving them constantly. This is something that does not happen overnight, but one must constantly work on it”, Elin Flygenring pointed out.

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There were two plenary panels the second day of the Conference. At the first panel called “How Investors Look at and See the Region”, it was discussed whether we can be more attractive to the investors together rather than individually, to what extent the different position in approaching the EU is an advantage and a downside and whether the consolidation in the region is a good thing for attracting global investors. The other roundtable featured the region’s leading bankers, who discussed the “Access to Finance for Investment Projects in the Region”.

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Economy of scale is important for the competitiveness of companies and it is important that companies work abroad because 40% of the market in Slovenia held by Gorenje and 40% of the market in Germany held by Siemens Bosch is not the same, said Franjo Bobinac, CEO of Gorenje.




“Population of around 25 million in the region is enough for business - we understand each other and we are solidly educated, but barriers are in our minds, poor infrastructure and uncertain political future. We have the potential, because the analysis of the region's growth show figures three times higher than those in Europe and it is good there is a competent financial sector. However, as it is said, he who was (once) bitten by a snake will be afraid of a lizard too, so in the same way banks are afraid to invest, because companies are indebted. ”, Bobinac warned.



Capital is a strange fruit, it knows where to grow and from where to run away, says Branko Roglić, owner of the Orbico Group. “It is not enough to conquer only the regional market if you want a successful business. Making a product for at least 500 million European customers can bring you success and therefore Slovenia and Croatia will do everything to help countries in the region to join the EU. This is exactly why we should not forget that after each war we need to sit and eat”, says Roglić. He warned that banks are partly guilty for the current situation. “Until recently people were easily entering into debts and now banks are cautious and do not give money to those with good projects. Likewise, investors must only take loans which they can return, because as soon as they do not pay off the loan instalment on time, they lose the ownership of their business project”, says Roglić.




For business safety, political stability is indispensable, says Jelena Drakulić-Petrović, General Manager of Ringier Axel Springer. “Company owners were not often willing to enter Serbia exactly because of the lack of safety and that is why they are prepared to wait and pay more for acquisitions. Clear and safe legal frame, which will make business stable is equally important. That frame must be followed by its implementation, which is misused for now ”, says Jelena Drakulić-Petrović.




If they want to invest in a country, investors must check that country rating when making decisions, says Ivica Mudrinić, President of Croatian Employers’ Association.



“The processes of obtaining permits, projects realisation and return on investment are time consuming. At the same time, we do not have enough clear visions about the future at national level. We need to make national and regional strategies as well as clear actions for their realization. Regulatory harmonisation could become the first step toward business integration of the region”, says Ivica Mudrinić.


At this year's SUMMIT100, Montenegrin delegation was represented by: Blagota Radović (Director - Zetagradnja), Svetlana Vuksanović (Executive Director - Philip Morris Montenegro), Ihab Kamel (Executive Director - Luštica Development AD), John G Kennedy (Executive Director - Boka Group d.o.o.), Žarko Radulović (Director - Montenegro Stars Hotels Group), Mustafa Baltaci (Vice President – Borsa Istanbul), Giulio Moreno (Head of EBRD office in Montenegro), Predrag Mitrović (President- Montenegrin Employers Federation), Đorđe Đurđić (Executive Director – Atlas Bank), Tomo Žižić (Director - Atlas Capital Centar) i Meliha Ramusović (Director of Development & Philanthropy at Atlas Foundation and Member of the SUMMIT100 Board Operative Team).




The organisers of the SUMMIT100 are the Croatian Employers’ Association (HUP), Serbian Association of Managers (SAM), Atlas Foundation and Managers' Association of Slovenia (ZMS).




The first SUMMIT100 was held in Serbia in 2011. The second SUMMIT100 was held in Montenegro last year and the host was Atlas Group President Dr Duško Knežević, who is the member of SUMMIT100 Managing Board from the beginning of the initiative. 

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