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Denmark's way out of the crisis

At PA’s executive seminar, Bjarne Corydon, Danish Minister for Finance, discussed the prospects for Denmark’s economy as the financial crisis comes to an end. He described how the Danish government has introduced several initiatives to stimulate the economy, create jobs and strengthen the business community.

The minister highlighted how the government’s 2020 national reform plan – which includes Denmark’s goal to become one of the 10 richest countries in the world by 2020 by GDP – is the first of its kind. He said: “I am optimistic and believe that Denmark is going in the right direction. However, we have seen how globalisation has expanded and that it is here to stay.”

Losing foreign investors

At the seminar, PA public sector expert Mikkel Pødenphant presented a development index that demonstrated how Denmark’s economy is improving – but less visibly than other Nordic countries.

“Something is still obstructing our growth and we have difficulty in attracting foreign investments. Looking at the development in foreign direct investment projects, we are at the very bottom, compared to both Scandinavia and Europe. In 2003, Denmark was engaged in 60 projects but following the financial crisis, only 30 foreign companies currently invest in Danish companies,” said Mikkel.

Mikkel also encouraged Bjarne Corydon to find inspiration in the UK: “The UK government has established UK Trade and Investment. This is an organisation which analyses companies, research communities and infrastructure, and compares these with foreign companies that may be interested in investing in the country. This market is incredibly competitive.”

Stimulating growth

According to Bjarne Corydon, the Danish government is doing everything in its power to stimulate growth: “We have done all we can to create a stronger Denmark with huge public investments, tax reliefs, reforms to create workplaces, targeted company tax reliefs and better education.” He also discussed the recovery from a social democratic and historical perspective.

“The analysis of the competitive state shows how important it is that we, as a society, develop to make the most of our strengths. We want people to have free and equal access to the institutions that form our communities. We are spending more money on education and healthcare to allow people to have a higher standard of living in our welfare society. We are moving resources from mere support to concrete initiatives, enabling people to create their own lives, rather than being passive citizens. As Social Democrats we must never remain passive and think we have accomplished enough. Society has always been evolving so we need to as well. This is why we have set our direction for where it is going.” 

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