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Remember: the Japanese are perfectionists

“Scratches on the packaging will produce scratches on the paintwork,” explains Freddy Svane, the Danish ambassador to Japan, about the strong business ethics and quality consciousness of the Japanese.
‘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 Japan?
- Japan and Denmark have always had a cordial relationship. For example, Scandinavian Airlines were the first to open a route across the North Pole in 1957. This reduced the flying time between Japan and Europe by ten to twelve hours which was a considerable improvement and many Japanese travelled on the Scandinavian Airlines route to Copenhagen.

- Currently, more than 80 Danish businesses operate in Japan, and Denmark and Japan have a long-standing trading relationship. Next year, we will be able to celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations.

- The trust the Japanese have in the Danes takes a long time to build up, but it is essential. Danish businesses are known for high quality and strong business ethics. They do not cheat and they deliver on time.

Read more: Dansih lifestyle is popular in the United States

What kind of opportunities do you see for Danish businesses in Japan?
- At the moment we are seeing that a number of small Danish high-tech companies are able to enter the Japanese market very quickly. These include companies like Secomea who offer IT-based encryption technology that allows users to control a certain machine at a factory from several hundred kilometres away.

- The food industry offers great potential for Danish businesses who are able to occupy a unique position. Also in the organic marketplace, I think, a great commercial adventure is waiting to happen.

- Last, but not least, I would point to Japan’s aging population which means that Japan has a great need for pharmaceutical products and welfare technology because in a country with 300,000 robots, automation of care is already a reality.
 
Do you have any good advice about the Japanese market that you would like to pass on to Danish businesses?
- First and foremost, I would say that they need to believe in Japan. There has been a tendency to talk the Japanese market down, but it is the world’s third largest economy.

- It is a stable market and business ethics are strong here. Japan does not offer astronomical growth rates, but the market has 127 million consumers. In the first quarter of this year, GDP grew by 1.9 percent. Japan offers excellent opportunities for Danish businesses, but they need to remember that the Japanese are perfectionists. If there is as much as a scratch on the packaging, they don’t want the product.

Read more: Germany is a spring board to the rest of the world
Japan
Population: 127.3 million
Denmark: 5.6 million
GDP (USD billion): 4,645
Denmark: 346
GDP per capita (USD): 36,600
Denmark: 61,500
GDP per capita
(USD PPP-adjusted): 37,390
Denmark: 44,343
Source: The Confederation of Danish Industry’s Market Focus for Japan, June 2016
Danish businesses are known for high quality and strong business ethics. They do not cheat and they deliver on time.
FREDDY SVANE, THE DANISH AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
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PUBLISHED: 8/12/2016 LAST MODIFIED: 2/4/2017