News in digest: New Brics to build

The Next Eleven (N-11) are eleven countries identified by Goldman Sachs in 2005 as having a high potential of becoming, along with the BRICS, some of the world’s largest economies in the 21st century.

It would appear that Denmark read that research paper as over the last three weeks it has been eyeing opportunities in no less than four of them: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam.

The focus is in line with the change in direction that Denmark took in January 2014 when it announced the closure of five embassies in Europe, including Switzerland, and the opening of new ones in growing economy countries like Colombia, the Philippines and Myanmar.

Pledged to Pakistan

Denmark has pledged to help get Pakistan’s electricity grid up to speed as its population continues to soar – by 2025, it will have the world’s fourth largest population – and energy demands grow.

“Danish and Pakistani companies can forge partnerships in a variety of sectors to benefit one another,” said Ole Thonke, Denmark’s ambassador to Pakistan.

“Pakistan is aiming to solve its energy crisis by 2018 with a five-year energy plan, and the Danish government is actively supporting Pakistan.”

The Danish private sector, including the likes of consultancy firm Rambøll, are assisting with energy production, policy reform, safety enhancements, and load and grid management.

Industrious in Indonesia

Denmark is also assisting Indonesia, which currently has the fourth largest population in the world, with its growing energy demands.

The energy and climate minister, Lars Christian Lilleholt, recently visited the state-owned Indonesian energy company PLN along with a group of international investors to plan the construction of what would be Indonesia’s largest wind farm and its first major green energy project.

As part of the deal, Vestas will conditionally deliver wind turbines totalling 60 MW. “With the agreement, and the conditional order for Vestas, we have cemented our international position within sustainable energy solutions,” said Lilleholt.

Bangladeshi bonding

The world’s eighth most populated country, Bangladesh, is also in Denmark’s sights. The foreign minister, Kristian Jensen, met his Bangladeshi counterpart in Copenhagen on September 5 to discuss green growth, climate change, development, trade, investment and the fight against terrorism.

Recently, the two nations agreed to another three-year agreement regarding strategic sector co-operation and a new five-year agreement concerning development co-operation.

High respect in Hanoi

And not to be outdone, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the PM of Vietnam, the world’s 14th most populous country, recently took the opportunity to thank Denmark for its development contributions to Vietnam to assist poverty reduction, public governance, administrative reform and environmental and climate change programs.

Welcoming Denmark’s new ambassador Charlotte Laursen, Phuc added that he hoped both countries would expand co-operation in trade, investment, green growth, education, hi-tech agriculture and ship building.

Jensen is due to visit Vietnam in October to look for more co-operation avenues between the two countries.

Busy times abroad

In other overseas trade and aid developments, the Foreign Ministry has unveiled its vision for the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme to help the region overcome many of its current challenges.

A new Nordic-Russian co-operation program aimed at increasing stability, security and development is set to be opened on October 3.

And Jensen has set aside 80 million kroner in humanitarian aid to help the ongoing crisis in the African countries of Sudan and South Sudan.