Budva, Montenegro (10 May 2015) — First-ever LGBTI Business Forum in the Balkans took place earlier today in Budva under the auspices of the IDAHO Forum 2015.
The business forum, sponsored by the Government of Montenegro and supported by the Williams Institute UCLA School of Law (the USA), Out Leadership (the USA/Europe), IBM Corporation, Parks Liberi e Uguali (Italy), VolklingerKreis – German Association of Gay Managers and Entrepreneurs, and American Chamber of Commerce in Montenegro, aimed to provide support to organisations and companies in promoting LGBTI equality and inclusion in the workplace and business.
The LGBTI Business Forum’s participants pointed out that diversity, including LGBTI people, is good for business and companies that recognise inclusive strategies and realise benefits at the global level. They also commended the Montenegrin government’s efforts towards fostering unity of all social stakeholders, and improving and creating cultural values and assumptions that would support diversity and encourage visibility of LGBTI people in the community and workplace.
At the press conference prior to the opening of the forum, media representatives were addressed by: Advisor to the Prime Minister and Coordinator of IDAHO Forum 2015 Jovan Kojičić, Todd Brower of Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, Igor Šuran of Parks Libery e Uguali, Michael Kauch of German Association of Gay Managers and Entrepreneurs, and Marijn Pijnenburg of IBM Corporation.
At the LGBTI Business Forum opening ceremony, keynote speeches were delivered by Montenegro’s Minister without Portfolio Marija Vučinović, Advisor to Montenegro’s Prime Minister and Coordinator of IDAHO Forum 2015 Jovan Kojičić, Ambassadors of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, Laurent Stokvis and Ian Whitting, Bix Aliu on behalf of the US Ambassador to Montenegro, Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Montenegro Milica Dragojević, and Executive Director of Gay Street Alliance from Belgrade Mirjana Bogdanović.
Photo and video materials from the LGBT Business Forum can be found at IDAHO Forum 2015 web page.
Source: Government of Montenegro