MARKET: A modern economy that has a high-tech agricultural sector, advanced industry with world-leading firms in pharmaceuticals and life sciences (Medicon Valley). Denmark is number two in the world for developing biotechnology and number one in Europe with the number of clinical trials per capita, due to this strong life science industry, which employs more than 40,000 people. Other important industries are maritime shipping and renewable energy (Cleantech), and the country has a high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a net exporter of food, oil, and gas and has a balance of payments surplus, but depends on imports of raw materials for the manufacturing sector.
The structure of the Danish economy is slightly different compared to the other Nordic countries, being dominated by SMEs. According to the World Bank, Denmark has been the number one country in Europe for ease of Doing Business, from 2012-2017.
Greater Copenhagen is Scandinavia’s logistics capital, linking Scandinavia with Europe. With 10 countries bordering the Baltic Sea, it is possible to reach 100 million consumers within 24 hours.
LANGUAGE: Although Danish is a Scandinavian language, it has developed differences that make it difficult for Danes to understand spoken Swedish and Norwegian and vice versa. It is, therefore, advisable to use English as a means of communication unless you are used to the Danish language. You can use English on your website, too, and in your sales materials, but if you are serious about conquering Denmark, it is always advisable to use the language of your customers wherever possible.
PEOPLE: All Nordic countries are in the top 10 of the World Happiness ranking, but at No. 1 in the World Happiness Report 2017, the Danes are ahead of the others. Danes and the Danish market are characterised by openness and an international attitude. You can handle a business meeting in Denmark as you would in Finland. Still, it is important to remember that the Danes have something of a reputation as skilled negotiators. It has been said that what fellow Nordics consider to be a done deal, the Danes might see as just the starting point. So, make sure to have a written agreement.
Seppo Hoffrén Consultancy currently has two consultants covering the Danish and other Scandinavian markets.