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Germany is a springboard to the rest of the world

Germany is Denmark’s largest export market, but the opportunities in this neighbouring market are far from exhausted. Germany may also be a good springboard for markets outside Europe, believes Friis Arne Petersen, Danish ambassador to Germany.
‘Made in Denmark’ is a guarantee of quality – whether you ask a Japanese, an American or a German, but local differences do exist. DI Business asked three Danish ambassadors in both neighbouring and more distant markets to provide some good advice for Danish businesses.  

Publiceret: 12.08.2016
Af Kathrine Læsøe Engberg mail

What kind of image does Denmark have in Germany?
- Denmark has a really good image in Germany. That is not just something I’m saying to be polite – with Germany that is really true.

- We have known each other for centuries and the Germans know us as an efficient northern European nation that works professionally and supplies products and services of high quality.

- Denmark is not so competitive in terms of salaries and prices – and the Germans know that. On the other hand, we offer a high degree of orderliness and that is something they appreciate.

Read more: Danish lifestyle is popular in the United States

What kind of opportunities do you see for Danish businesses in Germany?

- We have to admit that Danish businesses are already fantastically good at exporting to Germany. Germany is Denmark’s largest market and buys 89 percent of our total exports. This means that Danish business as a whole very much depends on things going well in Germany.

- Danish businesses could do even better in southern Germany, but we should not forget that the DKK 10 billion they exported to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg last year is a very high number.

- That said, there is still unexploited potential, perhaps especially for small and medium-sized businesses, for example digitisation of communication between the population and government authorities, a field in which Denmark is highly developed. This includes welfare technology for older members of the population whose numbers are increasing as well as solutions in energy and construction.

- You should not forget either that Germany is a European champion in terms of exports so when Danish businesses supply German businesses, they get a springboard to the rest of the world. 

Read more: Remember - the Japaneese are perfectionists

Do you have any good advice about the German market that you would like to pass on to Danish businesses?

- One of the most important pieces of advice is presence. It is hard to sell anything down here if you don’t have a presence either in the shape of a salesperson or a local partner.

- Being very thorough and systematic in your preparations is also very important. You have to analyse the German market and adapt your product – also in terms of packaging and service.

Population: 81.1 million
Denmark: 5.6 million
GDP (USD billion): 3,905
Denmark: 346
GDP per capita (USD): 48,200
Denmark: 61,500
GDP per capita
(USD PPP-adjusted): 45,888
Denmark: 44,343
Source: The Confederation of Danish Industry’s Market Focus for Germany, June 2016
The Germans know us as an efficient northern European nation that works professionally and supplies products and services of high quality
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PUBLISHED: 8/12/2016 LAST MODIFIED: 2/4/2017