Denmark and Japan continue to strengthen economic ties

The relationship between Japan and Denmark has been running smoothly for over a decade and a half. Since 1867, the two nations have exchanged diplomatic relations after establishing the "Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation.” Although their ties were severed during the Second World War, the two countries managed to settle their differences and signed a bilateral agreement during the 1950s. 

According to Ambassador Miyagawa Manabu, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Denmark, the country has been playing an instrumental role in the latest negotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and the EU which was effectuated in February 2019. 

“The strategic partnership between Denmark and Japan has had great focus on promoting democracy, free trade and navigation over the last five years. With the Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and the EU entering into force last year, a large number of Japanese companies were able to increase their investment in Denmark in the fields of renewable energies, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and IT systems, among others. Currently there are ninety two Japanese companies in Denmark, proving once more the positive collaboration between both countries,” said Miyagawa.

Simon Kollerup, Minister of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs in Denmark, stressed the importance of Japan and Denmark’s relationship with each other as they continue to share the vision of a brighter future between their countries.   

“Japan is one of only five countries in the world that Denmark has entered into a strategic partnership with. This means that we are working on strengthening the collaboration on areas of mutual interest, such as in agriculture and green technology. Hopefully, this will lead to new opportunities for both Danish and Japanese businesses as a result.”

Ambassador Miyagawa also emphasized the good relationship between Denmark and Japan, not just in economic affairs, but also through political affairs.

“There have always been long standing cordial exchanges between the Imperial household and the Royal household. Most recently, their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark attended the enthronement ceremony of his Majesty the Emperor of Japan in Tokyo in October 2019,” said  Ambassador Miyagawa Manabu, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Denmark.

On top of having excellent political and economic relations, what stands out in the historical bond between Denmark and Japan is the similarities they share in their maritime industries. With the two countries excelling in this field, both nations are working hand in hand to come up with technological advancements, specifically in developing more environmentally-friendly solutions. 

“The future of the maritime industry brings new demands for higher efficiency and greener technology in new ships and maritime equipment, which the Danish maritime sector, like other countries, will have to adapt to quickly. It is the task of Danish Maritime Authority to provide guidance and encourage this development,” said Andreas Nordseth, Director General of Danish Maritime Authority.

Having a maritime industry that serves as the core of its economic activities and holds a strong position in the global market due to its highly technological advancements and innovations, Denmark was eventually recognized as one of the leading shipping nations in the world.   

“Danish Shipping is in excellent shape, and we are currently the fifth largest shipping nation in the world. Last year alone our export hit an all-time high with an estimated export of USD 31 billion,” shared Anne H. Steffensen, CEO of Danish Shipping.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Miyagawa sees this as an opportunity for Denmark to play an important role in changing the face of the shipping industry across the globe.

“As part of the top shipping nations worldwide, we encourage cooperation and good competition with a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is key for stability and prosperity of the international community. Both Denmark and Japan believe in freedom of navigation and the establishment of rule of law to promote the maritime industry.” 

As Denmark and Japan continue to see eye-to-eye in the development of their economic relations, the two countries are constantly coming up with new ways to further ease the process of conducting business with them as they enter the modern era.    

“Doing business in Denmark has become so easy with digitalization. It is possible to do everything online and get all the permissions needed very fast, even setting up a company completely online,” said Maria Nilaus Tarp, Director of Invest in Denmark. 

Currently, Denmark ranks first place in Europe and fourth in the world in ease of doing business, as well as number one in corruption perception and labour conditions.

“These, together with being part of the EU, makes it one of the best places for foreign companies to set up operations in the continent”, added Tarp.

“Since Denmark is a country which possesses the right technological know-how and expertise, Japan’s growing interest in green energy projects and technology would be able to continue and expand as we look towards the future,” Tarp concluded.

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