According to the World Bank, Denmark is one of easiest countries in the world to do business with. As our neighbour just across the Kattegat, it is the ideal market for Swedish companies in the early phases of internationalisation.
Investments in infrastructure, healthcare and energy
The export of Danish products and services to other parts of the world is steadily growing. That is why the last couple of years there has been an increased demand for consulting services and solutions to help the Danes handle all practical issues connected to the export of products and services. This creates opportunities for Swedish companies. Furthermore, the country is investing in many areas. In terms of infrastructure, the renovation and expansion of roads, railways and bridges is the main priority. In addition, the Danish hospital sector is going through massive changes. The establishment of so-called ‘super hospitals’ throughout the country provides opportunities for companies to deliver services and products to the Danish healthcare market. Within the energy sector, the ambitious Danes want their energy to be 100 percent sustainable. With modern environmental technology, Denmark has taken on the challenge to exchange coal, oil and natural gas for more environmental-friendly alternatives.
Potential growth for Swedish companies
Thanks to Denmark’s proactive digitalisation strategy and large investments in areas such as healthcare, infrastructure, energy and construction, the country offers many opportunities for Swedish companies. Business operations usually go smoothly thanks to the many cultural similarities between the two countries. However, as you can read in the interview with Trade & Invest commissioner Mikaela Sundberg below, there are also some differences to bear in mind. The Danes are some of the most active citizens online. Therefore, many Swedish businesses have created web shops and other e-commerce solutions targeting Danish consumers.
In Copenhagen there are 11 United Nations agencies gathered in the ‘UN village’. Since the early 1980s, Business Sweden in Copenhagen has been working with the UN, helping Swedish companies to collaborate and organise events and seminars together with different agencies.
How we can help
Business Sweden has been operating in Denmark since 1978. The office also covers the Faeroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland.
Mikaela SundbergTrade & Invest Commissioner Denmark
What are the main advantages for expansion in Denmark?
Thanks to a similar national and common European legislation, the Danish business environment is not very different from the Swedish one. Both countries have the same level of digital proficiency and share a focus on sustainability and corporate responsibility. Large Danish investments in infrastructure, energy, healthcare and construction create many opportunities for Swedish companies.
What are the risks and challenges companies may face in Denmark?
Because of the many similarities between Denmark and Sweden, people tend to forget that there are some major differences as well. It is very important to adapt your business operation model to the local conditions, before entering the market. Good research is necessary when it comes to market structure, pricing and competitive structures, customer demands, contracting and employment regulations. Once your business in Denmark is up and running, make sure to observe closely how things evolve.
Are there any cultural aspects to consider?
A major cultural difference lies in the decision-making process. Denmark is more hierarchical than consensus-driven, and fast decisions are highly appreciated. In meetings, there is a strong explicit focus on doing business and negotiations. This is often perceived by Swedes as tough, confronting and price-focused, while Danes see this as a pragmatic and direct approach. Many Danes understand Swedish well and it is often a good idea to speak ‘Scandinavian’ in meetings. If the Swedish participants have a hard time understanding Danish, we recommend switching to English.