Danish Minister held Seminar for Members of DCCC

Ole Sohn’s, Danish Minister of Business & Growth, recent trip to China was focused primarily on maritime affairs and tourism. On Wednesday 29th August, 2012, the members of the Danish Chamber of Commerce(DCCC) in Shanghai had the opportunity to meet with the minister and hear him present the Danish government’s recently initiated business and growth policy. The event attracted 50 participants from the Greater Shanghai region.

Ole Sohn emphasized that the pro-active policy aims at strengthening the horizontal framework conditions for doing business in Denmark and at the same time focuses on growth conditions in the areas where the Danish businesses have greater strength and potential. This includes areas such as maritime affairs, creative industries, water, biological and environmental solutions, healthcare and welfare solutions.

The speech was followed by a Q&A session where Ole Sohn elaborated on some subjects and in return asked the audience to present suggestions on what could be done to strengthen Danish growth. One participant was worried that Danish children would fall behind in the future global competition unless the English language was taught at an earlier stage in the Danish schools than today. Ole Sohn did not disagree and added that the same could apply for teaching German. Another suggestion in the room was to strengthen the areas of tourist attractions and making it easier for Chinese people to study and work in Denmark.

One participant from the press raised the questions whether the government’s plans for growth in Denmark along with the focus on the BRIC countries had failed, as the latest numbers from Danmarks Statistik released the same morning in Denmark showed a decrease in the Danish economy during the last quarter. The minister answered explaining that it was work in progress and Denmark was in good shape. And he felt Denmark was in a better position than many other countries for when the western economy again shows positive development trend.

A final question was raised regarding the tax reform from the Government suggesting changes to paragraph 33a, which many feared if approved, will have a negative effect on the amount of people who would be likely to accept assignments outside Denmark for a long or short periods of time. The minister assured listeners, that all of the suggestions in the governments new tax reform proposal “paragraph 33a” has created a lot of public feedback. All feedback would be taken into consideration by the tax committee that will be working on the final tax reform to be presented later in the fall of 2012.

After the event a large group of people stayed for networking.

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