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Chinese investments are good news for Denmark

Higher Education Minister Morten Østergaard's speech at a Huawei arrangement 9 December 2013 in Copenhagen.

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Huawei’s investments are good news for Denmark

Ambassador, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

Thank you to Huawei and President Wang for inviting me today.

It is a great pleasure to be here celebrating this new cooperation between Huawei and TDC and to discuss future innovation.

It is impressive to see Huawei growing at such speed, not only in China, but also globally. And am I glad that Huawei has chosen to expand its activities in Denmark.

Wang Shengli just mentioned that mobile technology has changed the daily lives of our children. I can only agree with that.

My oldest daughter who is 4 and a half year is addicted to her tablet and the internet – and I am quite sure that her younger brother will follow very soon.

Danish attractions

Two months ago I was on my first official visit to China. I meet with businesses, educational institutions and had a meeting with my Chinese colleague, the minister of Education.

It was an interesting and promising visit. The rapid growth in China is very visible in the urban landscape with impressive skyscrapers.

There are Chinese companies whose turnover is larger than Denmark's total GDP. And the focus on education is massive. A prognosis shows that one in three of the world's students in 2035 will be Chinese.

Coming from a small nation it is difficult not to be very impressed. But though we are a small nation we have high ambitions. And we do have a lot to offer. Not least to foreign investors.

Again and again Denmark is topping the list in international rankings when it comes to best countries to invest in. And let’s face it - it is not because of the weather that we attract foreign investments.

It is rather the good temperature of a highly qualified Danish workforce and knowhow that are our main attractions.

Another attraction concerns ICT and new technology. Denmark is one of the world best test markets in this area.

And I noticed that Wang Shengli mentioned that the fact that we are early adopter consumers - is one of the reasons why Huawei chose Denmark.

Denmark and China

Denmark has for a long time prioritised cooperation with China. And we were one of the first countries to formulate a national strategy for knowledge collaboration with China. This was in 2008.

An important outcome of the strategy was the creation of the Sino-Danish University Center, SDC, in Beijing. SDC opened last year and now offers seven unique master's programmes jointly developed by Danish and Chinese research environments.

And it also goes the other way. Earlier this year I participated in the opening ceremony of the Fudan European Center for China Studies at University of Copenhagen.

This was the first time ever that Fudan University has established a center like this in Europe.

We are proud of these close ties. We appreciate this co-operation very much. And it is the ambition and hope of the Danish Government to expand our relations with China even further – within science, technology and within trade and investments.

Innovation and digitalisation

Today research and development is mobile across the globe. And there is intensified competition to attract and retain investments. It is no surprise that industry and companies that depend on knowledge move to where there is access to highly qualified staff and strong research.

That is why the Danish Government’s approach from day one has been: more and better education and research. We invest more in education and research than any government before us. The ambition has been to lay the groundwork for the brightest generation ever.

And as a part of our national innovation strategy, we want to be good at attracting private investments in research and development. 

Today we are in the top five when it comes to public expenditures in research and development. But we would also like to be in the top five when it comes to private investments in research and development.

In the national innovation strategy, which we call “Denmark – a nation of solutions”, the objective is to ensure closer interaction between research, education and innovation in companies.

And besides more private investment in research, we also aim for a higher number of the highly educated workforce to be employed in the private sector rather than in the public sector.

And we wish to increase the number of businesses in Denmark characterised as being innovative. ICT is a strong tool for innovation. And Denmark's digital economy is growing in importance every year.

Digitisation increases productivity and innovation. And for every job that is lost in society because of the Internet and digitisation, it creates two new jobs.

Three months ago the Danish Government launched a public sector Strategy for Digital Welfare. The aim of the strategy is to accelerate the use of ICT and welfare technology in frontline public service delivery.

So we are well prepared for new technologies and for the future, both in the private and in the public sector.

Congratulation to Huawei and Denmark

Huawei is an ambitious company and a global frontrunner within technology. And Denmark is a country with a strong and successful ICT industry, with a talented workforce and an IT-ready population.

The potential for mutually fruitful cooperation is obvious. And I believe there is a great potential to create value for both Huawei, the Danish ICT sector and the Danish society.

So congratulation to Huawei - and congratulation to Denmark.

Thank you very much for your attention.

last modified Dec 10, 2013