The Western Balkans are coming into the focus of many Nordic players, including international organisations like the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Swedish International Development Agency, Innovation Norway, Team Finland and Danish Industries. It would be an understatement to say that we have an opportunity, but since that is so, the agenda of the Nordic Business Alliance will be to utilise that opportunity to the benefit of all – says Andreja Pavlović, executive director of the Nordic Business Alliance, in an interview conducted just days prior to the start of this year’s “Nordic Month”.
What can we expect during this year’s Nordic Month event?
The efforts of the Nordic Business Alliance, the Embassies of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, the support of the Nordic Council of Ministers – this all led to our activity plan that is making October a month when we will have a peak in Nordic business interest compared to previous years. The concept we developed has been a result of our years of experience and work, and is based on analytics, feedback and our long-term strategy. Starting with our Digital Conference on 9th October, “NorDig”, we will be moving on to receive business delegations from Denmark, Finland and Sweden who are visiting the Western Balkans region in the four-day format of the Nordic Business Forum. This Forum will start on 16th October and conclude on 19th October with an Investment Conference in the Palace of Serbia, which we are co-organising with the President of Serbia, the Government of Serbia and the Western Balkans Chamber Investment Forum. This event will feature a roundtable discussion with the President of Serbia that will be attended by all our member companies and will include an open discussion with several Ministers of the Government of Serbia, while we will have B2B meetings with Western Balkan companies chosen by reputation, size and success.
We are very excited about this year’s Nordic Month, as it is the first time we’ve been active at this level in terms of the coordination and intensity of commercial and trade projects and activities
At the end of the month, we will go further by organising a joint B2B event with our partners in the EU delegation and the business associations of Belgium, Croatia and Greece. As a direct result of us focusing on all aspects of using the opportunity we have, we will be a partner in organising the “Nordic Business Transformation” global conference, to be held in Stockholm from 19th to 21st November. This is one of the most significant annual business events in the Nordic region, with its relevance confirmed by the participants that will this year include the Global Vice President of Carlsberg, the Director for Continuous Improvement of LEGO, the Head of Banking Operations of Nordea, the Vice President of Novo Nordisk and the HR Operations Director of Telenor, among many other prominent Nordic business figures.
What are your expectations of this forum? Are we still in the phase of familiarisation or will be more about convergence and collaboration?
The expectations are high. We expect the Forum to involve the visit of the largest Nordic trade and commerce delegation in recorded history, and we will have good news in the department of Nordic investments that will be made public during the Forum. We have gone through the phase of getting to know each other, and I am jubilant to see that we are now on the verge of gaining the long-awaited results of efforts exerted to date. We have the ambition to make this Forum an annual event, and we will be working hard to make our first such event the best it can possibly be.