Denmark means business
The director of Invest Denmark outlines the many factors that make Denmark a preferred investment destination for Indian and foreign companies.
What comes to mind when you think of Denmark?
Many would think of wind turbines, bicycles, a strong welfare state or Danish design. But did you know that Denmark is also the easiest place in Europe for doing business according to the World Bank – and have been so for the past 9 years? And that IMD ranks Denmark as second-best worldwide in terms of competitiveness?
Denmark is a small nation; however, it has a lot to offer to the world. In Demark, we have worked closely with the private sector to create good business and research environments that are highly innovative. We have developed sustainable solutions to a number of challenges faced by our society, including energy production and protecting the environment, health, pharmaceuticals, food and use of digital technologies. Therefore, Denmark is also a great place for seeking out business opportunities.
India and Denmark
The two countries enjoy strong political and business relations. In 2019, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations and this year we celebrate the 400-year anniversary of the establishment of the first trading post by Denmark in Tranquebar. And in May, Denmark and India agreed to work towards establishing a new ‘Green Strategic Partnership’ focusing on cooperation within areas such as climate change, energy, circular economy, water, sustainable food and agriculture.
In these fields as well as other, there is immense potential for Denmark and India to further expand trade and investments. As expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘Denmark has the skills, India has the scale’.
Trade and tech
Take digital technologies where Denmark offers Indian companies a strong, innovative investment environment. In recent years, Invest in Denmark has supported companies like Wipro, Tata Consultancy Service, HCL, Infosys, Cognizant, L&T Infotech and Cactus Communication to invest in the country and enter the strong Danish business ecosystem.
When deciding to invest in Denmark, Infosys explained that they see Denmark as a global hub for excellence in innovation drawing on a highly-skilled workforce, a good education system and a track record of entrepreneurial success. Infosys has thus been able to leverage Danish technological capabilities as well as the way we combine engineering, technology, human science and design skills.
Generally, Indian companies are doing well in Denmark and experience significant growth in their Nordic activities.
Trade and investments are also flowing from Denmark to India. Danish exports to India are increasing. Danish companies like Novo Nordic, Danske Bank, Maersk and others have contributed to more than 10,000 IT-related jobs in India. In the case of Maersk, the world-leading shipping company has established a new Tech Center in Bangalore that is driving Maersk’s global digital transformation.
However, as recently stated by the Indian Ambassador, Danish SME’s are still missing out on the full potential of establishing branches in, and exporting to, India.
Similarly, there is also untapped potential for Indian companies to take advantage of new and emerging investment opportunities in Denmark. Not least within green technologies.
In December 2019, the Danish government supported by a vast majority of political parties in the Danish Parliament agreed on a new Climate Act. The Act commits Denmark to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 per cent in 2030 compared to 1990-levels and move towards net-zero emissions by 2050. On June 22, this Act was followed by a climate action plan with concrete measures to reduce 3.4 million tons of CO2 by 2030. These measures include the construction of the world’s first energy islands; significant investments in next-generation technologies like Power-to-X and carbon capture; support for biogas and other green gases; increased utilisation of surplus heat.
With these ambitions come great opportunities. Foreign companies will have access to increased financing of development and demonstration programmes. The Danish government has established a new Green Investment Fund with a capacity of USD 3.75 billion to strengthen the entire ecosystem for green risk capital in Denmark.
To achieve the national target of a 70 per cent reduction by 2030, Denmark simply needs new technologies, innovative solutions and international partnerships.
We already have existing structures in place such as Innovation Center Denmark in Bangalore that helps develop partnerships including within the green solutions domain. We have also seen Suzlon invest in a blade science centre to develop the next generation of wind turbines. And Thermax acquiring Danstoker to leverage their deep knowledge of efficient boilers. It is a strategic priority for Invest in Denmark to attract more investments like Suzlon and Thermax that develop and accelerate solutions, which strengthen the green transition in Denmark and globally.
The global economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic also creates new opportunities for accelerated green transition and finding new sustainable ways forward for our societies. India and Denmark are well placed to take advantage of such developments and to collectively show global leadership.
One way is to invest in green – invest in Denmark.
Maria Nilaus Tarp is the Director of Invest in Denmark.