Denmark

Known for its strong government programs and high standard of living, Denmark ranks high on lists of best countries for business despite a slow recovery from the global financial crisis.

Denmark is known for its strong government programs, equitable distribution of income and high standard of living.

Its economy is made up of a high-tech agricultural sector and an industrial sector that includes pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy. Denmark has few natural resources and requires imports of raw material for its manufacturing sector.

A member of the European Union, the country could soon be an even more active trading partner with Canada as a result of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement that Canada will soon finalize with the EU.

Denmark’s economic performance since the global financial crisis has been lacklustre. It experienced a technical recession in late 2010 and early 2011 and recovery has been sluggish. Although unemployment has traditionally been low, it rose during the recession.

FACTS FOR INVESTORS

1. Copenhagen is the capital and the financial centre.
2. Denmark ranks third out of 189 countries on the World Bank’s 2015 Ease of Doing Business index.
3. It is the world’s 36th-largest exporter and 34th-largest importer.
4. Denmark is ranked No. 1 out of 144 countries surveyed in Forbes’ Best Countries for Business list.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE

1. Don’t be taken aback. Danes are very straightforward and direct, which could be perceived as abruptness. It’s not — it’s just the way they are.
2. Meeting hierarchy. Danes make decisions by consensus and include stakeholders from multiple levels within the organization; you may do business with the head of the company or with someone quite junior.
3. Dress without stress. Dress tends to be business casual, particularly when there are no big meetings.
4. Watch the time. Danes are punctual. They stick to the clock and prefer well-defined meeting agendas.

TRAVEL TIPS

1. Weather. Denmark has a temperate coastal climate. It rains often, so take an umbrella. Summer daytime highs average 20 C and winter lows average -1 C.
2. Wi-Fi. If you don’t need to be connected at all times, you probably won’t need an international phone plan as Wi-Fi is prevalent.
3. English access. Danes are extremely proficient in English — among countries where English isn’t the first language, Denmark has one of the highest numbers of English speakers in the world. About 87% of Danes speak English well enough to have a meaningful conversation.
4. Tipping. Waiters will be happy if you tip, but they won’t expect it. Tipping is, however, more common in upscale restaurants — 5% is plenty.
5. Getting around. Copenhagen has an extremely efficient public transit system. You can get from meeting to meeting on public transit, which includes a metro and buses. Copenhagen has more bicycles on the road than cars and bikes are readily available to rent. Intercity trains are also dependable and run hourly. First class is more comfortable than second and the price increase is more modest than in Canada. There are also reasonably priced flights between Denmark’s main cities on discount airlines.
6. Currency. Denmark opted out of the euro and instead uses the Danish krone.

Denmark chart

About the Author

Jennifer Campbell


Jennifer Campbell is a freelance writer based in Ottawa.

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