Louis Funder, DI, Washington D.C
November election already in focus
The calendar says May, but in the US, focus is already on November, when the year’s biggest political event will take place. 11 November marks the American midterm elections, where US voters will put together the new Congress, which will, as usual, have a major impact on both the American economy and the political climate in Washington D.C. The big question is whether Democrats can take control of Congress or whether Republicans can maintain their hold, despite reactions in recent months to the debate on guns and various scandals, for example.
Adding even more fuel to the political debate, the number of Republican members who have decided not to run for re-election has already rounded 35. Normally, the total number of members who do not seek re-election is as low as 22 members for both parties combined. The US midterms tend to lean in favour of the opposition, but if there is one thing recent politics have made clear, it is that anything can happen.
For further information, contact Louis Funder LFKDI.DK
Glen Mikkelsen, DI, Shanghai
The earth is not enough for China
China is not only increasing its influence around the globe, but also in space. In 2016, China Aerospace and Industry Corp (CASIC), the nation’s largest rocket manufacturer, took the first step in the Hongyun project, which aims to create a communications network of low orbit satellites.
The first satellite is expected to be launched in 2018 to confirm the functionality of the applied technologies. The project is expected to be operational in 2022, with 156 satellites providing global internet access on land, in air and in water.
A comparable American project is SpaceX’s Starlink project, which aims to create a network of 12,000 satellites. In the period 2010-2017, China was responsible for over 21% of the world’s total successful rocket launches. China expects to carry out 35 space launches in 2018.
In early February, the Danish military sent its first satellite into orbit, which took place from Jiuquan in China with a Chinese long march rocket.
For further information, contact Glen Mikkelsen GLMIDI.DK
Kunal Singla, DI, Mumbai
Indian fintech booming
In India, politicians, businesspeople and academics often talk about leapfrog development, in which innovative solutions bring about disruption and development within multiple sectors. India’s financial technology, or fintech, industry is a particularly good example of this, and the resulting social impact is enormous.
Driven by private innovation and public support, the fintech industry is booming, aiming for a value of 45 billion dollars in 2020.
The sector provides new solutions and apps to Indian consumers, businesses and authorities within e-wallets for banks, insurance, food deliveries, online shopping etc.
There are fundamental changes underway in a country where the attitude has previously been “cash is king”.
The main challenge will be inclusion of the major portion of the population living in poverty, who are still disconnected from these developments.
For further information, contact Kunal Singla KUSIDI.DK
Camilla Mai Petersson, DI, Market Development
Water expertise to South Africa
South Africa is facing a serious water crisis as a consequence of an extended period of drought. Lack of rainfall has drained water supply by effectively drying up reservoirs in Cape Town and its catchment areas.
Danish research, know-how and technology is far ahead in relation to groundwater, drinking water, wastewater management, optimisation of water consumption and minimisation of water waste. This has made the expertise of Danish companies highly sought after abroad, and in South Africa, Danish competences can help generate solutions to the current situation.
In cooperation with the Danish embassy in South Africa, the Confederation of Danish Industry is organising a joint Danish stall at African Utility Week, which runs 15-17 May 2018 in Cape Town, where six of the Danish participating companies are also exhibitors. African Utility Week is considered a leading fair and conference within the entire energy and water value chain. Here, we will highlight Danish strengths and facilitate the establishment and expansion of Danish cleantech companies in South Africa. With the current water crisis, the need is urgent and the opportunities are many.
For further information, contact Camilla Mai Petersson CAMPDI.DK
Hans Wicks, DI, Moscow
Russian agriculture defies sanctions
Russia’s agricultural industry is booming despite the international disagreements and sanctions that have nearly halved Danish trade with Russia since 2013.
Russia’s record exports of wheat in 2017 did not go unnoticed, particularly when the country managed to surpass the EU as the world’s second biggest wheat exporter. Major investments in the agricultural sector mean that 2018 is expected to be yet another record year with exports totalling 36.6 million megatons – more than any other country in the last 25 years.
In recent years, Russia has invested major sums into gaining the lead within agriculture. This will require technology and equipment, which are not impacted by sanctions. This provides Danish companies with golden opportunities for exports of technology and know-how.
In addition to record harvests and low transport costs, Russia’s agricultural production boasts highly competitive prices. Whereas the cost to produce 100 kg of wheat in Australia, for example, is DKK 103, the price in Russia in DKK 59.
For further information, contact Hans Wicks, HAWIDI.DK