Danish city’s new action plan focuses on trade with China

Arkivfoto: Birthe Juul Mathiasen

The Business Committee in the Danish city of Sønderborg has just approved a new action plan for internationalization, which will develop the municipality’s business community in a more international direction. In this context, the committee has prioritized China and also Germany as focus areas for the action plan, which is based on experience and completed activities in both 2019 and 2020.

Sønderborg is located in the Region of Southern Denmark and the city has for several years focused on Chinese customers via the city’s cultural event ‘Chinese Days’ which have been marked at the beginning of the year with exhibitions and cultural events. Specifically, the new plan is about developing already established collaborative relationships such as urban collaboration in China and contacts from the business committee’s previous study trip to Nuremberg. A derived effect of the efforts will be to position Sønderborg as a sustainable, innovative, and high-tech area and attract other international companies and business tourists.

According to local media JydskeVestkysten, Gerhard Bertelsen, the chairman of the business committee recently stated in a press release from the municipality that the local companies have a desire to increase trade with China and Germany the city must help create the best opportunities for that development. Increased growth locally provides more jobs in the Sønderborg area, he said.

The action plan is primarily based on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Analyzes show particularly great potential in increasing SMEs’ exports and possible establishment in other countries but companies often lack the necessary prerequisites to enter the international market. The new action plan for internationalization must, therefore, among other things, help to strengthen the companies ‘preconditions for entering the international market and support the development of the local companies’ export opportunities.

To JydskeVestkysten, Heidi F. Jørgensen, Deputy Chairman of the Business Committee explains, “We have contact with cities in both China and Germany with a view on increasing business cooperation, which will also position Sønderborg internationally. Now the work continues to attract more companies to the area.”

Work on the internationalization strategy has been hampered by the corona situation, but is now resumed and applies to the period 2021-2024. It is carried out in collaboration with Sønderborg Vækstråd and Erhvervshus Sydjylland.

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