Task force to improve city’s business climate releases proposals

Establishing a new European school linked to an existing Danish school among suggestions to attract and keep foreign workers

Over 80 recommendations to improve the city’s business friendliness and drive growth across the country were published last week by the Copenhagen Business Task Force, established in March by mayor Frank Jensen.

The recommendations range from improving Copenhagen’s transport links to offering free internet to travellers and reducing the corporate tax rate.

“I established Copenhagen Business Task Force because I wanted constructive criticism and good advice from people who can see things from the outside,” Jensen said.

“I have to say that I am impressed with the work that the group has delivered in such a short space of time. There’s a lot to take in,” he added.

The Business Task Force was set up in order to address fears that Copenhagen was not proving a healthy business environment.

Statistics released by the group demonstrate that Denmark is dependent upon the growth of Copenhagen, with every 100 jobs created in the city resulting in an additional 20 created outside.

According to their findings, Copenhagen is also lagging well behind Stockholm – the self-branded ‘Capital of Scandinavia’ – which has experienced far greater growth in recent years and is also attracting more business to set up Scandinavian headquarters than Copenhagen.

Among the recommendations is a proposed Copenhagen Business Service – modelled on the successful Citizens’ Service (Borgerservice) – where business could be helped with all their issues in one location.

Cutting red tape and speeding up the council decision-making process were also visited, with the ambition to reduce the time it take to have decisions made by 25 percent. They hope that this, and the introduction of better incentives to ensure infrastructure projects finish on time, will fuel growth.

The lack of international school places was also recognised as a leading deterrent for foreign workers relocating to Copenhagen. They are therefore proposing that the City Council establish a European school that would teach in English.

The school would be connected to an existing primary school in order to allow the students and families to create networks with Copenhageners, which would make it more attractive for them to stay in the country.

Factfile | Copenhagen Business Task Force targets

– Five percent annual increase in gross domestic product by 2020

– Four percent annual increase in productivity by 2020

– Population growth of 8.5 percent by 2020

– 20,000 new private work places by 2020

– More new growth initiatives with global ambitions

– Copenhagen to become northern Europe’s leading location for international business headquarters

– Improve the image of business life in Copenhagen and appear the most attractive city to run a business for both international and foreign businesses

– Copenhagen should move at least ten places up the list of best local business climates. It currently stands at 83rd out of 96 councils