Danish companies in Middle East on high alert

Joining the coalition against IS has put a strain on business

A number of Danish companies have tightened their security in the wake of the shooting of a Danish employee of Arla by extremists in Saudi Arabia last month.

Peter Thagesen, the director of international market policy at industry advocates Dansk Industri, maintained that Denmark's active foreign affairs policies in Afghanistan and Iraq have pushed the Danish companies to high alert in terms of security.

"With Denmark's participation in the coalition that is fighting IS, there is good reason to tread more carefully,” Thagesen told Berlingske newspaper.

"Many companies have begun focusing on safety conditions – also in co-operation with local security advisers – but of course, the needs vary depending on the part of the Middle East.”

READ MORE: IS supporters take responsibility for Arla shooting

Coalition risks
Fruit company Orana, which has operations in Egypt and is considering expansion in Saudi Arabia, is among the companies well aware of the heightened security issues. The company has employed security guards from an international security firm and also pays the Bedouin in the area for protection.

Pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk is also concerned with the developments and is looking into whether its local organisations in the Middle East need to take further security precautions.

The Foreign Ministry tightened its travel recommendations to a number of nations in the Middle East at the beginning of October after Denmark announced it would join the coalition against IS.