Spring til indhold

Handels- og investeringsministerens tale ved Danish Chinese Business Forums årsmøde 28. marts 2012.

DET TALTE ORD GÆLDER

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen. Ni-hao!

Thank you for the invitation to participate as key note speaker here today.
It is a pleasure to see so many with an interest in Danish Chinese business and the Danish Chinese Business Forum.

I am particularly pleased that the annual meeting 2012 is hosted by Grundfos.
Here is a company that in many ways exemplifies my vision as minister for trade and investment: Access to clean and reliable supply of water is a growing global challenge.
With a dedicated focus on research, development and innovation Grundfos has developed products that can solve these challenges.

The know-how and expertise developed by Grundfos is one reason behind the Danish water stronghold.
These are competencies that Grundfos is actively using to become a market leader in China, and in the world.
By doing so, Grundfos creates jobs in Denmark and the know-how and competencies attract foreign companies to the Danish water cluster.

Grundfos has been active in China for almost 20 years and is now considering China its second home market.
The company benefits from the long term presence in China in the same way that Denmark benefits from its long history of good relations with China.

Danish Chinese relations go back a long time.
As most of you know, Denmark was among the first western countries to recognise the People’s Republic of China.
Every Danish prime minister since Poul Hartling has visited China or met with the Chinese top leadership, and I know that such a visit is high on the agenda for our new prime minister.
Since Hartling's visit, we have witnessed incredible economic growth in China.
A development so fast that some are considering projected growth rates of 7,5 % a dramatic slowdown!

China is important to Denmark – and Denmark is important to China.
We are the only Scandinavian country with a strategic partnership agreement with China.

We already have a strong presence in China.
The embassy in Beijing is the largest Danish bilateral embassy and we have consulates in Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
We are also increasing our focus on access to innovation in China.
Since 2007 we have had an innovation centre in Shanghai.
During my first visit to China as minister in November 2011, I opened another innovation centre with focus on Design in Hong Kong.

Danish companies know that they have to focus on innovation and be one step ahead of their competitors.
One step ahead, in terms of finding new ideas, in terms of improving their business model and in terms of bringing new technology to the marketplace.
They are fully aware that they need to be at the cutting-edge of innovation, if they want to be successful in the globalized economy of the twenty-first century.  
The innovation centres act as a two-way street for innovation exchanges between Denmark and China.      

Our government will focus more Danish-Chinese trade and investments.
Together with the minister for business and growth I expect to launch the government's strategies for China and the other BRIC countries later this spring.
We will then present specific initiatives, but today I will present my four main priorities for the commercial relations with China.

Firstly it is important that we implement the vision of The Open Denmark.

All of us here today agree that Denmark should attract more Chinese companies, and increase our export to China.
A precondition is that Denmark is an open country.
By removing the border control we have taken a first step, but we must actively demonstrate openness and interest in the rest of the world.

We need to change the Danish mind-set towards globalisation. 
More Danish companies than those present here today must look further than to the traditional markets.
As a society we will welcome Chinese tourists, students, business travellers and not least Chinese companies.
Why not start by offering Chinese classes to school children?
The world is changing. By systematically introducing Danish school children to Chinese language and culture, we help create a society that is prepared for the world of tomorrow.
This will also further improve Danish Chinese relations.

Secondly we need to increase our interaction with China, Chinese officials, and Chinese companies.
The Government must be the frontrunner in this effort.
The various line ministries must focus on developing increased corporation with their Chinese counterparts in areas where Danish strongholds responds to Chinese needs.
For instance, China is looking to Denmark for inspiration on how to create social security for its citizens and thereby increase domestic spending instead of the current high savings.
This interest works to our advantage, and we should work harder to promote the ‘Danish model’ in China.

When I was in China last month, I opened the China National Centre for Renewable Energy.
Because of our long term investments in renewable energy, China looks to Denmark for inspiration on renewable energy strategies.
The purpose of the centre is to develop strategies for renewable energy in China.
The centre will become a platform for Danish-Chinese cooperation on renewable energy and long term cooperation with Danish energy companies.

Another bilateral milestone project is our collaboration in research and education involving the Chinese Academy of Sciences and all eight Danish Universities.
The new Sino-Danish Centre for Research and Education will focus on areas where knowledge and expertise in our two countries can complement each other.

We also see examples of strategic cooperation on regional and municipal level.
The Mid-Jutland Region, Aarhus and Sønderborg are examples of Danish regions and municipalities that have already developed a strategic platform for cooperation with local authorities in China.
Copenhagen has very ambitious plans for engaging with Beijing.
In many cases, local enterprises have been able to benefit from the active involvement of the municipality. 
I strongly support this type of initiatives and, when possible, will facilitate such strategic cooperation.

A foundation for more interaction is means of transportation.
The new SAS route to Shanghai and the intended Air China route from Beijing mean more tourists, business travels and ultimately jobs in Denmark.
I will work hard to attract more direct Chinese airlines to and from Denmark.
Tourism, trade and knowledge sharing depend much on good and efficient flight connections.

My third priority is increased export to China.
Danish companies have an impressive track record in China and the companies who are active in the market are doing a very good job.
More than 470 Danish companies have already established themselves in China.
Goods produced and sold by Danish companies in China does not figure in the Danish export statistics.
Despite this the Danish exports of goods to China grew by more than 13 % last year.
That means that the share of Danish exports of goods to China and Hong Kong has now reached 4 %. 
That is still a low share, but it is double up from 2005.

But suppose we strengthen our efforts? 
Suppose we focus more on the possibilities in China?
If we focus more on China, we should be able to double our exports in the next 5 years.
If we manage to double China’s share of the increase in Danish export, the export to China will account for 18 % of the growth and an increase in value of 27 billion DKK in just 5 years.
That is roughly half the current cost of our public schools.

Going through the 12th five year plan I am convinced that it is possible to increase our export to China.
The plan is extremely ambitious, and it focuses on areas where Denmark has strongholds: renewable energy, reducing pollution, health etc.
Those are areas where Danish companies have developed products that provide solutions to the challenges China is currently facing.

The Danish chairmanship of the recently formed EU China partnership on water is an excellent example.
China will invest 4 trillion yuan in the water sector over the next decade, and that offers obvious opportunities for stakeholders from the European side.
With Denmark as lead nation, this platform will promote policy dialogue between China and Europe on water sector reforms and improvements, encouraging capacity-building, research and business cooperation.
With more than 35.000 Danes working within this sector and an export of 15 billion DKK annually, we have the competencies and the products that the Chinese are looking for.
By forming this type of public-private-partnerships within other areas where Denmark has strongholds, we can assist more Danish companies in entering the Chinese market.

During my meeting in February with the minister for Trade, Mr. Chen Deming, we agreed to hold the next meeting in the ‘Danish-Chinese Joint Committee in the autumn.
The joint committee is a high-level dialogue forum on economic and commercial issues between Danish and Chinese decision makers.
Companies will be able to participate and contribute to the discussion on opportunities as well as the specific challenges.
Hopefully the meeting will take place already early September.

Through my interaction with minister Chen Deming and other senior Chinese officials, I will work hard to improve the framework conditions that the Danish companies face in China.
Issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights, are of particular importance.
During my meeting with Chen Deming we agreed to form a working group on IPR under the joint committee. 

With the growth and expansion in both China and overseas of important Chinese brands, IPR becomes increasingly important to China as well.

In the words of Hu Jintao [Hu Djintao]: China should “step up protection of intellectual property rights and make China a country driven by innovation”.

The Chinese side has also asked for a working group on environmental protection and energy conservation as part of the joint committee.
This will be an important tool in relation to promoting Danish competencies within sustainable urbanisation and renewable energy.

It is another sign of the Chinese recognition of the leading Danish position in the area.

A working group on investments was established during Chen’s last visit to Copenhagen in 2010.
This will be an important tool for further dialogue with the Chinese side on increasing investments in Denmark.

With this I would like to turn to my fourth priority.
Chinese investments into Denmark.
China by now has accumulated a massive foreign currency surplus.
According to Chen Deming and other Chinese leaders this is not sustainable in the long run.
Chinese companies are therefore increasingly encouraged to ‘go global’.

So far, Chinese foreign direct investments have focused on achieving access to raw materials.
This is about to change.
With Chinese companies internationalising their operations in search for new technologies and new markets there is a huge potential for further investments from China. 

I am not afraid, as some are, of Chinese investments. 
To the contrary, I think it is very important for our economy that we attract more Chinese investment in the years to come.

We have already seen positive examples such as the wind turbine manufacturer Envision.
During my visit to China, I had several talks with investors, who are seriously looking to Denmark. 

I will focus on a twofold strategy in attracting more investments to Denmark.
Firstly, I will strengthen Invest in Denmark’s efforts in this important market.
Secondly, I will work with the rest of the government to strengthen the governmental approach to assisting foreign companies entering Denmark. 

These are my main priorities for the trade and investment relations with China. 
To a certain degree the priorities reflect parts of the strategy presented by the Danish Chinese Business Forum.

As a minister I will do my utmost to make sure Denmark as a society achieve the visions just presented.  
I have already visited China once in 2012 and I plan two more visits this year. 
Apart from Belgium, China will be my most visited country in 2012. 
We already have a strong relationship with China. I will do my utmost to enhance it. 

Xiexie dajia.
Thank you.