Trading Kingdoms: UK market opportunities for Danish SMEs

Approximately 99.7 percent of all registered companies in Denmark are small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Many of these are successful supply chain specialists to specific export markets.

Sweden and Germany are the preferred export markets for Danish SME export. Many of these companies could experience growth both within the UK and through the UK to export markets traditionally open to companies based in the UK.

Although the UK is Denmark’s third largest export market, the wide range of innovative, environmentally correct and well-designed products could do even better and secure a better market position in the face of increased supply chain competition.

Britain is booming

After a financial crisis with massive cutbacks and challenging unemployment levels, the British economy has made a remarkable recovery.

SMES, which account for 99.9 percent of private sector companies and provide 60 percent of private sectors jobs, have an important role to play in driving growth, opening new markets and creating jobs.

By 2011 and because of the austerity programmes, unemployment levels in the UK reached 8.1 percent with 4.8 percent of the population on social benefits by 2012.

Unemployment is now at 5.4 percent and is expected to be 5.2 pecent in 2016. In this same period, the number of people on social welfare benefits has fallen to 2.3 percent. This means that the British economy is now in a positive economic spiral with more money and jobs available.

Fast track to USA

The UK’s GDP growth rate is at 2.6 percent and is expected to remain at this level for the next ten years.  This is good news for the SME sector in the UK as 13.7 percent of British export goes to the US, while at the same time British imports from the US are only 7.3 percent of British import. Establishing a presence in the UK will ensure a fast track to lucrative US export markets.

TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – Free Trade Agreement) is a unique opportunity for innovative Danish companies, that will increase their prosperity by establishing a presence in the UK and using this presence to export to the US and beyond.

Mariano A Davies is the president & CEO of both the language learning provider Oxford Institute ( and the British Chamber of Commerce in Denmark ( BCCD, the Danish arm of a global network of British chambers, provides networking and facilitation through events and other professional services for the business community in Denmark.

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