Danish Business Minister signed big fintech, maritime sector deals with Singapore

Bilateral partnerships signed between two countries that are much alike in many areas. Danish companies thrilled about new possibilities in Singapore.

Last week, the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Rasmus Jarlov, visited Singapore, making comprehensive bilateral deals between the two countries in the maritime innovation sector and in the fintech sectors. Two sectors in which both countries stand strong. The first concrete deal was made between the innovation environments Block 71 from Singapore, represented by NUS Enterprise, and Pier 47 from Copenhagen, represented by Rainmaking.

Kristian T. Sørensen, Founding Partner of Norfico, speaking at the signing of the new DanSing FinTech Bridge. Photo: Jonas Boje Andersen.

One the purposes of this collaboration is to move digitalization and innovation into the maritime sector, thereby moving the sector away from a traditional rust belt industry. A move that has great appeal for two of the world’s largest maritime nations.

“Modern ports are more efficient than they were 20 years ago, but there is still much that can be done. We need to continue to innovate,” the Danish Minister expressed.

According to Danishshipping.dk, the two nations only make up for 0.1 per cent of the world’s population but on the same time make up for 14 per cent of the global maritime transport.

A new fintech bridge 
Not only do Denmark and Singapore share strength and challenges in the maritime sector but the two nations also have a lot to offer within fintech. In the financial district in Singapore the Minister met with several Danish and Singaporean business men and women from fintech companies.

On the agenda was the launch of the “DanSing FinTech Bridge” that aims to bring Danish and Singaporean start-ups closer together. One of the collaborators was Norfico, a Danish bureau that offers fintech counselling. One of the founding partners in the company, Michael Rugaard, explains that it’s about attracting companies and individual talents to Denmark and exporting solutions and knowledge the opposite way.

“I have no doubt that Danish fintech companies will actively seek to make use of the new DanSing FinTech Bridge because, as I know them, they have a very international mindset and it’s natural for them to look after customers and markets in many places around the world,” Michael Rugaard says.

Still, Mr. Rugaard believes that most of the traffic on such a fintech bridge will be directed towards Singapore and not so much the other way:

“It is my feeling that Asian startup companies often do not have a European, let alone a Nordic strategy, and this is because, first and foremost, they already have significant opportunities in the very large markets that are far closer to their home base. And maybe there are also cultural barriers that may arise. Fortunately, we know that the Danish Embassy will make an active effort to create interest in DanSing in Singapore.”

After the speeches and the signing of DanSing, the attendees from both countries did a lot of networking and bonding. Other fintech companies attending from Denmark were Penstable, Blockhipping, Deon Digital, MakerDAO and DIKU from Copenhagen University.



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