International investors spurning Denmark

Danish companies invest far more abroad than foreign companies invest into Denmark

According to a new globalisation report from industrial advocates, Dansk Industri (DI), Denmark is the second-worst OECD nation when it comes to attracting foreign investment. Only Japan fared worse.

The report, titled ‘The Global Benchmark Report 2014’ (here in English), showed that Danish companies have invested far more abroad than foreign companies have invested into Denmark.

“We are falling behind in the global race concerning investment in new technology, new production and new jobs in the private sector,” Karsten Dybvad, the head of DI, said in a press release.

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Must compete better
Only a few nations fared poorer than Denmark, where the difference between foreign invested in Denmark and investment abroad by Denmark was at 516 billion kroner in 2012, equal to 28 percent of Denmark’s GNP (Gross National Product).

“It is a very serious issue that we haven’t been able to attract more foreign investment, because it is a sign that our companies have lost the ability to compete,” Dybvad said. “Foreign investors generally only invest in Denmark if they can see that it is a good business. The numbers clearly indicate that it is rarely the case.”

DI pointed out that accessing new markets and lower labour costs were the primary motives behind Danish investment abroad. Increased competitiveness is a requirement if Denmark hopes to regain the private sector jobs that it lost during the financial crisis, Dybvad said.

DI’s ambitions include recreating the 80,000 industrial jobs and the rest of the 175,000 private sector jobs lost in the crisis.