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Denmark contributes to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by engaging the private sector in development cooperation. Business and investors have knowledge, technology and capital that can contribute to sustainable development. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs develops and supports partnerships between business, government and civil society, which would otherwise not take place. We cooperate with international organisations and partners to ensure a better framework for growth and employment in developing countries.
The SDGs establish a common global framework for a more sustainable world. In order to meet the goals, cooperation and engagement of businesses and private investors are necessary.

Companies and investors are increasingly tapping into the market opportunities that the SDGs represent. Businesses and investors can reap financial gains by focusing on sustainability while also gaining access to new markets. Danish companies have special competencies in sectors such as water, energy, food, and health and offer solutions to global challenges. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to bring these skills into play. This is achieved amongst other through the promotion of market-based partnerships, where the business case or the commercial potential is the foundation for creating development in emerging and developing countries.

Market based partnerships can for example contribute to a green transition of key sectors, where the private sector has a lot to offer, and where the private sector at the same time is needed to achieve results on a necessary scale. This is for instance accomplished by the global initiative P4G that is focused on promoting green and inclusive growth within areas such as water, energy, food and agriculture, circular economy and cities, which are all important sectors in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

In addition, Denmark promotes market-based partnerships to support the development of markets and promote sustainable growth globally and locally. Sustainable growth in developing countries reduces poverty and creates jobs including jobs for women and the youth. In this note examples on how Denmark implements market-based partnerships can be seen. The note focuses on market-based partnerships and gives examples on how these are implemented. The note is part of an effort in trying to give a more precise and common terminology based on Denmark's practical experiences. The note is based on experiences from different actors such as IFU, Danida Market Development Partnerships and P4G. Several other relevant actors from the business sector, the civil society, relevant research fields, etc. has also been consulted. The note will be updated on a regular basis.

Furthemore, Denmark promotes responsible business conduct, where businesses integrate human rights, labour rights, environmental considerations, and anti-corruption policies in their way of doing business. When Denmark includes the private sector through partnerships, compliance with international guidelines in the field is required. Read more about the principles for cooperation with the business sector in the development cooperation here.

We strengthen workers’ rights and an attractive business climate in dialogue and cooperation with the social partners. Strengthened labour markets are an important prerequisite for increasing the private sector’s engagement in emerging and developing countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs promotes well-functioning labour markets through social dialogue, for example through our strategic collaboration with a partnership consisting of Danish Industry, 3F and the Foreign Secretary on the basis of Danish experiences and dialogues with the social partners.

Denmark leads the way internationally. We are a part of international networks and collaborations with a large group of partners, including the financial sector, researchers, business leaders as well as Danish and international organisations such as the UN Global Compact, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and the World Economic Forum. Read more about our work in Danish and international networks here.


Fin Poulsen

Email: [email protected]
Telefon: +4533921678