During a ceremony in Belgrade on Tuesday evening, Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier AG and Founder of digitalswitzerland, was awarded with the Medal of Honour by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.
President Aleksandar Vučić: «I want to express my gratitude to Mr. Walder for his tireless efforts and contagious enthusiasm in promoting Serbia as a business and investment destination. His expertise and dedication have helped the strong rise and rapid development of startup companies, one of the major engines of our economy.»
In May 2017, following the example of the Swiss initiative digitalswitzerland, Digital Serbia was launched as a non-profit, non-governmental organisation.
The mission of the Digital Serbia initiative is to develop a strong, globally competitive digital economy in Serbia. Founding members included Ringier Serbia, Infostud, Microsoft, Nordeus, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Seven Bridges, Startit, Telekom Srbija and Telenor. The website www.dsi.rs contains detailed information about the initiative.
«I feel humbled to receive the Medal of Honour from Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić. Serbia has enormous potential to become an even stronger digital hub in Europe. Digital Education, a vibrant start-up economy and an intelligent regulatory framework guarantee will help to further transform Serbia’s economy. My gratitude goes also to Jelena Drakulic-Petrovic, the CEO of Ringier Serbia as well as the Deputy President of Digital Serbia. She was one of the driving forces in establishing the digitalswitzerland`s counterpart in Serbia», said Marc Walder during the award ceremony.
By invitation of digitalswitzerland several Serbian state representatives visited Switzerland on a regular basis. In September 2020, on the occasion of the 3rd Swiss Digital Day, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, together with seven organisations, signed a joint declaration of intent for cooperation in the field of digitalisation.
«I am thrilled that the vision of digitalswitzerland’s vision has been taken up across Europe», said Marc Walder. «Europe has a lot of catching up to do. This makes cooperative exchange between as many organizations as possible all the more important.»
In the meantime, the Digital Days are organised in parallel in Switzerland, in Sweden by the Swedish Digital Day Initiative, in Serbia by the Digital Serbia Initiative, in Austria by the ICT Strategy of the City of Vienna, in Poland by the Digital Poland Foundation, in Ukraine by the IT Ukraine Association and in Liechtenstein by Digital Liechtenstein.
Ringier is a Media- and Technology Company Swiss by nature. The Group includes over 130 companies operating numerous leading media brands, digital platforms and marketplaces. Ringier addresses every walk of life and touches the lives of millions of people – every day around the globe in 19 countries. 73 percent of operating profit comes from the digital sector. This puts Ringier in the group of leading European media companies. The family-owned enterprise believes in entrepreneurship, collaboration, innovation, trust and courage for nearly 190 years. In a world that’s becoming ever more complex and challenging, Ringier`s mission is to keep interest alive and to ensure that customers, users or readers never lose sight of what connects them: We create interest in the world around you – and beyond. www.ringier.com