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Danish companies defy fear of globalisation

Danish companies and Denmark as a whole benefit from participating in an open, global economy. This is the general consensus among the Confederation of Danish Industry’s member companies, revealed in a new survey. The outlook of these companies reflects that of the Danish population, which similarly has not been gripped by the fear of globalisation characterising other parts of the world. 
Globalisation and foreign trade are viewed favourably in Denmark – among companies and among Danes in general. Photo: Colourbox

Publiceret: 01.02.2017
Af Karen Witt Olsen mail

Support for an open and globalised world in which Denmark and Danish companies are active participants is strong and thriving, shows a new survey of the members of DI's company panel carried out at the end of 2016.

Of the 451 companies that participated in the survey, 84 per cent answered that ”it's a good thing that Denmark is involved in the global economy because it creates access to new markets and opportunities for Danish companies”.

In contrast, only two per cent of companies think that "it’s a bad thing that Denmark is involved in the global economy because it leads to increased competition from foreign companies".

The companies' positive view on Denmark’s participation in globalisation is also underlined by the fact that 82 per cent of companies wholly or partially agree that “overall, Danish companies will benefit from globalisation”. Not a single company “completely disagrees” with that view.

See also: Video - Danish products travel the world

Companies and citizens stand united

The strong support from companies for an open global economy where goods and services flow freely across national borders also reflects the attitude among Danes generally.

In the summer of 2016, DI had a survey conducted of a representative sample of Danes. Of the survey’s 3,000 respondents, 58 per cent believed that globalisation was of benefit to Denmark. Only 13 per cent disagreed. The rest answered either “don’t know” or “neither nor”.

The same survey also found that only 2 per cent of respondents were "very much" afraid that their current workplace would be closed due to globalisation, while 89 per cent were “not at all” or “only slightly” afraid of losing their workplace.

Denmark’s generally positive of view of globalisation is also underlined by the latest survey from the EU's public opinion institute Eurobarometer, conducted in autumn of 2016. The survey shows that Danes are the population in the EU that views globalisation most positively.

See also: Danish businesses - export are our bread and butter

Denmark benefits from globalisation

An important explanation for Danish support for globalisation may be found in the fact that, since as far back as the Viking Age, Denmark and Danish companies have benefit from trading abroad.

The goods and services have naturally changed in character, but it remains true that we sell the things we are good at producing and supplying, while we buy what others can make better and more cheaply.

An earlier newsletter from DI showed that Danish exports generate 735,000 Danish jobs and that close to half of the production and services created in Denmark are sold abroad. In 2016 alone, Danish companies sold goods and services for more than DKK 1,000 billion abroad.

A survey conducted by the German Bertelsmanns Stiftung last autumn also found that Denmark is one of the countries in the world that has obtained the greatest gains from globalisation per capita.

See also: Danish want to go to Germany and USA

Domestic-oriented companies are more sceptical

If you ask the companies, they have no doubt that they will benefit from globalisation individually.

7 out of 10 companies in DI’s survey declare that they “completely or partially agree” that globalisation benefits their own business. Only 1 of 10 companies have the opposite view.

In DI’s survey, there are, however, some interesting differences between the responses from companies that focus on export markets and the companies that live off selling their goods and services in Denmark.
More than 8 out of 10 companies with exports believe their business will benefit overall from globalisation. The same only applies to just under half of the domestic-oriented businesses.

Likewise, there are significantly more companies focusing on the domestic market who are sceptical of the significance of globalisation for their own business.

The difference between the export-oriented and domestic-oriented industries reflects the fact that while an open international economy is the very basis for an export-oriented company's existence, this is not the case for a company that primarily does business in Denmark.

The overall tendency remains, however, that there are far more companies with a positive view on the significance of globalisation than vice versa.

See also: Half of Danish exports comes from 100 companies

Fear of globalisation increases internationally

Many places around the world, the former support for an open global economy is under pressure:

In the United States, last autumn’s presidential election was characterised by a marked and fierce debate about globalisation’s advantages and disadvantages - not least in relation to the country’s trade agreements.

In Britain, 51.9 per cent of Brits voted yes to leaving the EU, among other things because they wished to stop free movement.

Figures from the economic cooperation organisation OECD show that the development of global trade is very weak and that it has even declined for longer periods in recent years.

84 per cent answered that ”it's a good thing that Denmark is involved in the global economy because it creates access to new markets and opportunities for Danish companies.
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PUBLISHED: 2/1/2017 LAST MODIFIED: 2/2/2017