Officials and experts from Shenzhen, China, were in Denmark to boost trade and attract investment in high-technology, new energy and other emerging industries, on Monday.
“We expect to experience much faster development in terms of the new energy, internet and biology sectors,” said Gao Guohui, deputy secretary-general of the Shenzhen municipal government, at the Shenzhen Economic and Trade Cooperation conference in Copenhagen.
The conference was aimed at connecting Danish firms and investors with relevant Shenzhen counterparts.
“In the coming years, Shenzhen is going to develop emerging industries of strategic importance like new energy, new materials, internet and biology,” said Gao Lin, deputy director-general of Shenzhen Science, Industry, Trade and Information Technology Commission.
“We would like to attract more and more foreign enterprises, especially Danish companies, in line with the industry strategy of Shenzhen,” he told Xinhua.
Located in Southeast China, Shenzhen was designated the country’s first special economic zone in 1980, and today enjoys a gross domestic product of $14,000 per capita — higher than the standard of Beijing or Shanghai.
Traditionally, the city has focused on hi-technology, finance, culture and logistics as growth drivers. Now, the government plans to generate between 650 billion yuan ($100 billion) and 700 billion yuan from emerging industries by 2015, Gao said.
Denmark, with its strengths in renewable energy technology, pharmaceuticals, shipping and logistics, and proven innovative capacity, hopes to play a role in this process.
“We have about 80 percent small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and only 20 percent bigger companies,” said Tom Jensen, secretary-general of the Danish-Chinese Business Forum, referring to Denmark’s industrial structure.
“The innovation process is often very quick in SMEs because they can take decisions quicker than big companies. Therefore, good cooperation between Danish and Chinese SMEs would be a good base for speeding up innovation between our countries to the benefit of Denmark and China,” he told Xinhua.
It is expected that support from Danish and other foreign investors will further boost innovation by Shenzhen’s local firms and start-ups.
Though Danish businesses have previously overlooked the city in favor of Shanghai or Hong Kong, Jensen believes it is time to draw Danish businesses’ attention to Shenzhen.
He added that Shenzhen “can be a good hub” for Danish industries wanting to invest in Southeast Asia’s vibrant markets, as it is geographically close to major financial centers like Hong Kong and Singapore, but cheaper to operate from.