Danish companies reaping Chinese contracts

A number of Danish companies have made profitable agreements with China in connection with the visit of President Hu

A.P. Moller-Mærsk, Carlsberg and Arla are among the Danish companies signing substantial deals with China today during the Danish-Chinese Trade Conference.

The visit to Denmark by Hu Jintao, China's president, has been accompanied by a round of new commerical agreements that are expected to be worth around 18 billion kroner. Hu is scheduled to stay in Denmark until tomorrow, but a number of significant business agreements have already been signed.

APM Terminals, A.P. Moller-Mærsk’s harbor division, has agreed with Ningbo Port Group to invest 3 billion kroner in three shipping-terminal docks in China, to go with the 10 the company already has there.

“China is very important, not only to the terminal division, but to company in general,” said Michael Christian Storgaard, a spokesperson for A.P. Moller-Mærsk, told TV2 News. “We have been there since 1924, and today we have more than 100 offices and 20,000 employees in China, so it has a considerable presence within the group.

Carlsberg has also signed a lucrative deal, agreeing to invest 4 billion kroner through 2025, involving the construction of a brewery in the Yunnan province in Southern China.

With a capacity of 10 million hectoliters – about 2 billion pints – annually, the new brewery will become Carlsberg’s biggest, surpassing their current largest brewery in St. Petersburg, Russia, which can produce eight million hectoliters annually.

Aside from Carlsberg and A.P. Moller-Mærsk, there are a number of other Danish companies that have agreed on deals in connection with visit of the Chinese delegation.

Arla announced today that it would invest 1.7 billion kroner in China Mengniu Dairy Company, China's largest dairy producer. The investment  is expected to drastically increase Arla's exports to the fastest growing milk consuming nation in the world.

Other companies that have reaped the economic benefits of the Chinese visit include Bestseller, Haldor Topsøe, Novozymes, Danfoss, Grundfos, Danish Crown and Aller Aqua.

The trade and investment minister, Pia Olsen Dyhr, told the press that events such as today's meetings between Danish business leaders and Chinese political officials were essential for companies looking to expand in China. "If you want to create more jobs in Denmark then it helps with a little Chinese political attention.”

But the lingering question of human rights issues in China will not be something that will be discussed at today's trade conference, according to Tom Jensen, general secretary of the Danish-Chinese Business Forum.

“Human rights are something the government should discuss with the Chinese behind closed doors. It’s is not the domain of the companies,” Jensen told Politiken newspaper.