MARKET: A modern economy that has a high-tech agricultural sector, advanced industry with world-leading firms in pharmaceuticals, and one of the strongest Life Sciences clusters in the world – Medicon Valley. One part of this is expertise in the design, engineering and clinical aspects of medical technology. Denmark is home to over 1,000 companies that operate in the medtech field. Many world-leading players are based here, including Coloplast, GN ReSound, Invacare, Oticon, Philips Healthcare, Widex, and William Cook Europe. This cluster offers opportunities in several areas, including research and development collaborations, design and innovation expertise, test and demonstration facilities, public-private partnerships, and high-tech production possibilities.

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.

There are various business opportunities to be found within the constantly developing Cleantech sector. Around 50 research institutes focus on Cleantech R&D alone, giving an indication of the scale of public and private resources being allocated here. Denmark is a world leader in wind power technology, with over 80% of the world’s offshore wind turbines either being produced in Denmark, or containing Danish components. Offshore and onshore developers, turbine manufacturers and suppliers, research institutions, engineering companies and test centres are all part of the innovative value chain.

The Danish smart grid is one of the most reliable grids in the world. The volumes of renewable energy in the Danish grid are supported by the interconnectivity of the nation’s electricity, gas and district heating systems. This is continuously optimised through the introduction of new technologies for measuring, remote control, automatic response and communication equipment. The high level of renewable energy in the Danish grid means there is a natural focus on exploring possibilities for energy storage and adoption of innovative technologies. An interesting example case is EnergyLab Nordhavn, a residential area, which is exploring innovative energy solutions for urban areas. It is, in effect, a smart city energy lab on a full-scale, created to show how electricity and heating, energy-efficient buildings, and electric transport, can be integrated into an intelligent, flexible and optimised energy system.

Another important industry is maritime/shipping, 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 small and medium-sized enterprises. SMEs are important to the Danish economy and growth opportunities. SMEs account for 44%of employment and 39% of value added in Denmark.

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 often 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: 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 market, alongside the two other Scandinavian markets.


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Richard Whale

Business Consultant
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Marko Arola

Business Consultant
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