"Value, Growth and Knowledge for Denmark" – The Trade Council’s strategy towards 2015.
Solid economic growth is a precondition for Denmark to be among the world’s 10 wealthiest countries in 2020. In a globalised world, an international outlook is crucial. The world is changing rapidly and Denmark needs to think along new and innovative lines. Approximately half of Denmark’s GDP is based on exports. Increased exports are a precondition for bringing Denmark back on the growth track and for reaching the Danish 2020 target.
Value, growth and knowledge for Denmark is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ new strategy for the Trade Council up to 2015. With this strategy, the government will help Danish exports back on track. ’The Trade Council creates value, growth and knowledge for Denmark through global consulting services and partnerships’ The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stands ready as Denmark’s growth ambassador with the entire Ministry as Denmark’s growth agent. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contribute to growth and employment for Danish companies through targeted efforts and sharper prioritisation. Focus is to be placed where the Trade Council creates most value for the business community and for Denmark. This applies to both export promotion and efforts to attract foreign direct investment to Denmark and increase the level of competence and knowledge. The strategy is targeted at the companies’ needs with a special focus on their export growth. A broad selection of companies – small and large – has taken part in the development of the strategy. The strategy will be rolled out over the next few years. However, ambitious targets and new initiatives are being launched now. The Trade Council contributes to concrete export results The Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributes to growth in Denmark through the increases in exports that Danish companies achieve in collaboration with the Trade Council. This year alone, the overall effort is to contribute to increasing exports by DKK 30 billion over the next three years. Every time the Trade Council advises a company, it is asked about the added value and its expectations for increasing exports. Therefore, it is the specific company’s own assessment of increases in exports that decides whether the Trade Council achieves its target. The Trade Council creates jobs The Trade Council directly contributes to employment by attracting foreign investments to Denmark. The target is to create more than 1,000 knowledge-intensive jobs this year. The knowledge-intensive jobs are instrumental in creating another 660 jobs, strengthen Denmark’s competitiveness and contribute to innovation. Foreign companies account for only 1 per cent of all companies in Denmark, but contribute 27 per cent of total exports. They account for 19 per cent of Danish jobs and 22 per cent of turnover generated by the private sector. The Trade Council reaches out to many more small and medium-sized enterprises The target is to reach many more companies than the 3,000 which received consulting services from the Trade Council in 2009. The great number of small and medium-sized Danish enterprises constitutes a huge export potential – and the Trade Council therefore continues its special focus on these enterprises. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must be more accessible to companies – for instance through a hotline and a number of other free services. The specific target is for the Trade Council to advise 7,500 Danish companies during 2010. The Trade Council also kick-starts small global growth enterprises’ exports with a new programme named VITUS. In only nine months VITUS is to lead to specific export orders. The Trade Council enters into strategic partnerships with global Danish companies The most global Danish companies – small as well as large companies – enter into Key Account Agreements with the Trade Council in order to use the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ the Danish Embassies more strategically to promote their exports globally. The companies are assigned a permanent adviser, who is available 24/7. The Trade Council focuses on the most important markets and sectors The Trade Council is to provide consulting services for Danish companies on the 50 most important markets for Danish exports. This applies to traditional neighbouring markets, which continue to account for by far the largest share of Danish exports. In addition, it applies to the new growth economies which have the potential to drive a considerably increasing share of Danish exports of goods. In terms of the share of total exports Denmark exports 33 per cent more Cleantech than the EU average. The share has increased steadily over the last 10 years. With increasing global demand, there continue to be great opportunities in renewable energy. We must maintain that focus. Denmark has a number of other core strengths – 84 per cent of exports come from other sectors than the Cleantech. These are areas we cannot afford to neglect. We are, for example, also strong in terms of design and welfare technology where enterprises understand how to combine good business judgment with Denmark’s strong brand as a design and welfare nation. That is why the Trade Council is strengthening sector-specific advice. The Trade Council creates new market opportunities and acts as a trouble shooter The entire Ministry of Foreign Affairs with its global networks and political and commercial knowledge works for and supports Danish exports. This applies to the entire array of consulting services from new market opportunities to problem solving. It also applies when Danish companies are put under pressure by public authorities abroad. Every time a country changes its environmental and energy legislation, new opportunities open up for Danish companies. On the other hand, changes to legislation may also prove of great importance to Danish companies that are already present in a market. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to help Danish companies proactively – so that Danish companies can benefit from the opportunities and are able to manage risks. The Trade Council brings knowledge to Denmark Companies must compete on their ability to create innovative solutions. Denmark generates only one per cent of global knowledge. So if Danish companies wish to strengthen their growth opportunities, it is necessary to collaborate on research and innovation with the best research institutions and technology-leading companies globally. This is achieved through the attraction of foreign investments and through the Trade Council’s three innovation centres in Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Munich, which have been set up in cooperation with the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also strengthens ongoing dialogue and advisory services with foreign companies in Denmark on how to create the best conditions for growth – for the benefit of both the companies’ own bottom-line and for Denmark. Strategic partnerships create added value for companies The strategy also puts focus on the significance of strategic partnerships. The Trade Council can and should not possess all competencies within the organisation itself. Therefore, strategic partnerships both in and outside Denmark are altogether crucial – this applies for example to partnerships with business organisations, regional actors, knowledge institutions and private consultancies. It is a matter of approaching the companies and their needs even more closely and of creating coherence in the business consultancy in relation to other public advisers and in relation to private advisers.
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