Fostering ties with Denmark

November 5th, 2015, Published in Articles: Energize

Frédérik, crown prince of Denmark

Frédérik, crown prince of Denmark

Denmark is open for business. That was the message from the government of Denmark to the people of South Africa during a recent royal visit to the country.

Addressing a crowd of about 250 representatives from South Africa’s provincial and national governments, municipalities, business leaders and industry associations, Troels Lund Poulsen, Denmark’s minister for business and growth, said South Africa’s strong institutions, substantial public investments in infrastructure and a steadily growing middle class of consumers make South Africa the preferred business partner for Danish companies.

A business delegation of about 100 representatives from 52 Danish companies spent a day at the Turbine Hall conference centre in Newtown, Johannesburg, recently, to discuss opportunities for business and assistance in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, water and agriculture.

Following some in-depth presentations by various Danish and South African representatives on these topics in three simultaneous tracks, a set of three roundtables discussed the benefits of biogas and wind for electricity generation, and energy efficiency. These three tables, which were moderated by Chris Yelland, Mike Rycroft, and Roger Lilley from EE Publishers, provided an opportunity for about 65 representatives from Danish and South African company representatives to discuss typical needs and challenges faced by South Africa in these specific areas, and the possible solutions Danish companies can offer. The Danish companies were offering more than just products though; also on offer was the vast experience they have gained in over 30 years of working in the area of renewable energy.

Addressing the delegates after the roundtable event, Frédérik, crown prince of Denmark, said that his country, which is regarded as a world leader in the area of wind power, biogas, energy efficiency, innovative and intelligent water solutions, as well as agricultural processing and food production, is looking forward to increasing its business relationship with South African companies. The purpose of this visit, he said, was to strengthen the ties of friendship between the two countries and to foster a valuable business partnership for the years to come.

Trine Rask Thygesen, the Danish ambassador to South Africa, said that, although the two countries already enjoy business and investments worth millions of rand, the Danish government is keen to focus its efforts on assisting with skills transfer, job creation and new business opportunities.

Thomas Bustrap, the deputy-director general of the confederation of Danish industry, said that South Africa is the gateway to sub-Saharan Africa which has six out of ten of the world’s fastest growing markets. These markets, he said, will sustain growth and employment for all of Africa. Against this backdrop, he said, a solid relationship between South African and Danish companies, business partners and associates will prove valuable in the creation of the right commercial environment for the sharing of experience, know-how and new solutions.

Poulsen said that a strengthened government-to-government partnership between the two countries will benefit the people of both South Africa and Denmark through economic growth, job creation and environmental sustainability.

Related Articles

  • Government urged to expedite IRP
  • Power developments in Africa, October 2019
  • Machine learning solves grinding mill liner monitoring
  • Will changes in tariff structure threaten solar PV rollout?
  • Wild Fire Fiasco: California utility’s decision to shut off power to avoid wild fires backfires