Danish Minister for Trade and Investment Pia Dyhr led a delegation of business leaders to Yangon in the beginning of December 2012 with the aim to build up contacts and connect Danish businesses with Myanmar partners.
According to Myanmar Times, Ms. Dyhr met the deputy minister for commerce, the chairman of the Foreign Committee of Parliament, members of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and local businesspeople during her visit. She also toured Yangon’s port district on 4 December 2012.
“It is interesting being in a country where you can actually support the democratic process by establishing good business connections,” she said of her visit to Myanmar. “If companies are willing to invest, you can create jobs in Myanmar and create more stability in the country.”
While Danish investment remains minimal, the delegation is the latest attempt to increase engagement with Myanmar. Denmark established a diplomatic office with Norway in Yangon on 4 November 2012 and has doubled its aid to Myanmar by raising funding to nearly USD 18 million a year, with expectations of further increases in 2013.
Mr. Mikael Winther, the Danish ambassador to Thailand and Myanmar, said that while some small and medium Danish enterprises have a tendency not to stray too far from home when it comes to their investments, the country’s larger firms are looking at Myanmar with interest.
“Some of them [Danish companies] are not very adventurous,” said Mr. Winther. “They go to Germany and Sweden and England and the US but we also have some that are remarkably adventurous and skilled.”
Eighteen of these adventurous companies joined the minister on the trip to Myanmar, including representatives from Danish Water Services, pharmaceutical supplier Novo Nordisk and dairy product manufacturer Arla Foods.