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Denmark eyes more economic gains from China


10:01, June 15, 2012

Danish Trade and Investment Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr [Photo/Xinhua]

COPENHAGEN - Denmark is looking to China for more business opportunities and economic gains from Sino-Danish cooperation which is set to get strengthened with the upcoming state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Ten cooperation agreements will be signed during Hu's three-day visit to Denmark, which will start on Thursday, Danish Trade and Investment Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr said in a group interview with Chinese media on Tuesday.

"There are still a lot of negotiations going on. But we will, during the President's visit, sign 10 agreements between the Chinese and Danish governments and we will have a lot of companies signing specific agreements with Chinese companies," said the minister, who described the first-ever visit by a Chinese head of state to her country as a "breakthrough" in the Danish-Chinese relations.

In 1978, when China started opening up to the outside world, trade volume between Denmark and China was merely $44 million. It rose to $9.26 billion in 2011, featuring a 210-fold growth in 33 years.

As China has grown into one of the largest economies in the world, the Asian country is now the sixth largest trading partner for Denmark and "if you just look at goods, it is the biggest one outside the European Union," the minister said.

The Danish economy is very much dependent on exports as 54 percent of Danish gross domestic product (GDP) comes from exports and 700,000 Danes are employed in the export sector.

"So if we didn't have trade with the BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, the Danish economy would have been in minus," said Olsen Dyhr.

Danish companies have been very much aware there is a large market in China. From 2005 to 2009, Danish exports to China grew by 50 percent. "I am looking forward to the years 2010-2015 that we can double this amount of exports to China," said the minister.

"I think it is interesting for us to look outside Europe because Europe is at zero growth or a little plus and I think we need as a country to look at the markets that are actually growing," she said, adding that Denmark expects an export growth of 20 percent to China in 2013.

The minister chose the word "hot" to describe the relationship between Denmark and China, which she said should learn from each other.

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