Speech at the opening of the Danish business event “State of Green – Join the Future. Think Denmark”, Melbourne

Offentliggjort onsdag d. 23. november 2011

Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great pleasure for the Crown Princess and me to be here in Melbourne today to officially open the Danish business event “State of Green – Join the Future. Think Denmark”.

Australia is a very special country to us and we are truly delighted to be here with a delegation of no less than 50 Danish companies. We are here to further develop the existing strong commercial relations between Australia and Denmark in areas of mutual interest, such as; smart cities, clean energy, food and meat technology.

Melbourne is the third stop during our official visit to Australia. Along with the Danish business delegation we have had some very inspiring and impressive days in Sydney and yesterday in Canberra. We are happy to be back in Melbourne and we are looking equally forward to some inspiring and wonderful days in this great city.

Although Australia and Denmark could geographically not be further apart, we are facing similar challenges. Climate change and scarce resources impede us to continue business as usual. Both our countries are looking to reduce their dependency on oil, gas and coal. At the same time, we are not willing to compromise our economic prosperity in order to do so. 

Denmark has shown that it is possible to maintain economic growth and job creation at the same time as we are moving towards a more climate friendly and green economy. Our carbon foot print is shrinking, whilst our economy is growing.  Today, energy technology is our fastest growing sector and constitutes 10 percent of our export.

Many of the companies represented here today are evidence that a green energy economy creates new opportunities in the form of new and growing markets for environmentally friendly technologies. I hope that today’s business meetings will be rewarding in order to further developing business contacts within the clean energy sector.

Another area common to Australia and Denmark is the fact that approximately 90 percent of the Australian population lives in cities. In Denmark the number is 87 percent. Cities comprise complex urban systems. Managing, maintaining and developing these systems pose various challenges, in particular as cities become more populated, dense and big.

Today at this business seminar, Australian decision makers and professionals engaged in urban planning have the opportunity to meet Danish companies and stakeholders with world-leading experiences and competencies within energy efficiency and sustainable solutions to building smarter and more efficient cities and precincts within cities.

Present here today are also Danish companies within the meat technology sector. This sector provides advanced machinery, technology and knowhow to improve food safety and maintain high product quality. I am confident that today’s meetings between Australian and Danish companies will prove valuable in furthering business contacts and contribute to a continued and improved quality and sustainability in the meat sector.

The food sector is another important sector presented by Danish companies here today. High safety standards in Danish Food production give both customers and consumers confidence that every possible effort has been made to deliver healthy and nutritious food. I am also very pleased of the fact that Danish gastronomy has recently gained the highest possible recognition internationally. The best restaurant in the world is currently the Danish restaurant NOMA. And at the same time the best chef in the world is the Danish chef, Mr. Rasmus Kofoed.

I hope you will get valuable and inspiring insight into Danish food traditions and innovative skills during today’s food activities and business meetings.

Transcending all the different sectors and Danish companies is their strive to develop climate-friendly and energy efficient solutions. This being renewable solutions, spatial planning, architectural quality, high quality food products and food processing technology, where Danish companies can deliver technology and competencies of world-class quality.  

I’ve spoken with the majority of the representatives from the Danish companies and organisations that are here today.  And I know that they are all looking forward to an exciting and constructive dialogue with Australian companies and officials.   It is a great opportunity to exchange knowledge, research and expertise and together develop potential solutions in areas of mutual interest.

I am confident that Australian business leaders and officials will find that their Danish counterparts have something beneficial and innovative to offer.

Finally, I am very excited that a number of cultural activities will take place in Melbourne along with the business activities. The idea behind these cultural activities is to illustrate Denmark’s creative approach to innovation, quality and green growth.  This means that you will see design pieces and works of art around the city, in the sector seminars and at the Business-to-Business meetings. I hope you will enjoy it.

With these words, I would like to wish all a constructive business seminar where networking, workshops, sector seminars and Business-to-Business meetings will lead to exciting business opportunities for Australia and Denmark.

Thank You.

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