Exporting guide to Denmark
Denmark is one of the EU’s best-performing economies and very open to international trade. It has low inflation, a healthy economic growth rate and low unemployment.
Gateway to northern Europe
The country offers easy access to the Scandinavian and Baltic countries as well as the growing economies of Germany and Poland. It provides a gateway to northern European markets via Copenhagen airport and its high-quality motorway network.
You'll find doing business is very similar to the UK. Denmark offers a supportive political and economic framework for business development, as well as local and foreign investments.
Denmark: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
Denmark has a prosperous economy and is a gateway to the Scandinavian markets for UK exporters. In 2019, it was the UK’s 23rd largest export market. Total UK exports in goods and services to Denmark amounted to £6.8 billion, which was an increase of 2.5 % or £164 million compared to 2018 (Office for National Statistics, 2019).
Denmark offers the most reliable electric grid in Europe, as well as clean water and well-maintained road and rail systems. The highly developed Danish telecommunications network means broadband internet access is available almost everywhere. Opportunities for UK exporters exist for safety and traffic management consultancies offering audit, consultancy and training services; railway systems integrators; and innovative high-tech utilities companies.
Expanding national network
Denmark’s location makes it an excellent transport hub for both Northern Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea. Enhancements to national networks range from electrification projects and schemes to add capacity, to plans to build very high-speed train lines. The building of the Femernbelt Fixed Link, a subsea road and rail link between Denmark and Germany, is well underway. The project is expected to be completed by 2029. There are also opportunities in airport expansions, such as new retail outlets, airport security and baggage handling systems and construction services.
Transparent tendering processes
The Danish procurement process is transparent and ensures equal opportunities for all bidders.
Expanding offshore wind
Denmark is a wind power pioneer. It plans to add at least 3GW of new offshore capacity by 2030, which offers great opportunities for UK companies within design, development and construction. With more renewable energy added to the energy mix, storage and grid stabilising solutions and technologies are currently being tested and deployed.
Electrification of society
Electrification and digitisation is gaining momentum in Denmark, across all industries in both public and private sectors. The goal is to create greener and smarter living. There is a growing demand for tested and safe solutions – from electrification of heat networks, to individual transport, and smart devices and systems. The ecosystem for testing and maturing innovative solutions is very advanced.
Decarbonisation beyond the energy sector
Opportunities for UK companies also exist in agriculture, heavy transport and other industries. Solutions and innovative technologies to drive both efficiency improvements and fundamental transformations will be needed. Important areas include alternative fuels, recovery of surplus heat and carbon capture.
Demand for UK expertise
The Danish market for healthcare services and products is very open to UK suppliers. Opportunities for UK businesses include healthcare technologies, medical devices, hospital equipment, training in healthcare best practice and healthy ageing services and products.
Export opportunities to UN agencies
Copenhagen is now the second most important procurement centre outside Geneva for the UN. Major international agencies include the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The main areas of procurement are medicine, emergency equipment, medical devices, water and sanitation.
Interest in UK expertise
The UK’s large physical and cyber security sectors produce world-class solutions which are of interest to Danish buyers. The internal market in these sectors is smaller in Denmark, so it looks to strong NATO and UN allies, like the UK, to share their expertise and capabilities with them.
Growing investment in security
Denmark has prioritised investment into both physical and cyber security across its public sector and critical national infrastructure. Investments into large infrastructure projects and local and city-level developments present multiple opportunities for British physical security and cyber security solutions.
Close allies and friends
The UK and Denmark have a strong history of security cooperation, shared values, and similar cultures. Danish investment into Greenland and the wider Arctic region is increasing which will call for both physical and cyber security solutions, many of which the UK could provide.
The Danish government’s Digital Growth Strategy (2018) shows the country is eager to promote agile regulation in the tech sector, supporting Denmark as a digital frontrunner. The strategy puts forward innovative solutions such as new business models and easy access to public data.
Fintech and UK expertise
Fintech companies are the fastest growing start-ups in the Nordics. In full support of this, Denmark is focussing on its ambition to attract companies to its flourishing fintech community. With London recognised as Europe’s tech capital, Danes are keen to use British expertise and help companies from all over the UK to adapt to the Danish business environment.
Industry 4.0 and smart cities
Copenhagen aims to become carbon-neutral capital by 2025. It has the largest smart city lab in Europe, and is inspired by UK smart city solutions. Denmark is focused on smart manufacturing and advanced robotics, and is open to collaboration with UK suppliers within areas such as AI, machine learning, big data analytics and IoT (Internet of Things).
Strong shipping industry
Denmark is the world’s 5th biggest shipping nation, measured in operated tonnage (IHS Sea-web, 2020), and hosts one of the worlds’ biggest shipping companies, A.P. Møller-Maersk. This has helped create the basis for a strong maritime industry, offering great opportunities for UK maritime industries and service providers.
Demand for professional services
The UK is a world leader in financial and legal services to the maritime market. Denmark is an obvious market for these service providers to target, given the size of the maritime industry, the proximity and the close ties between the 2 nations.