Huge business opportunities in Denmark

The Building Network Construction Conference 2017 presented European and Scandinavian companies with a unique opportunity to engage in potentially rewarding matchmaking when they met with stakeholders for Danish investment schemes that will easily exceed €35bn in the coming decade.

There was a lively exchange of handshakes, business cards, email addresses and phone numbers at the Building Network Construction Conference 2017 on 4 October, when some of the most important European and Scandinavian stakeholders in the building and construction sector gathered at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Copenhagen.

Key actors from large European companies, embassy-based market officers and advisors and representatives from various chambers of commerce in Denmark took advantage of the opportunity to meet with their counterparts when stakeholders from Danish building and construction projects presented plans and bidding requirements for multiple projects, including upgrade of railway lines, new lightrail, metro lines and stations in Greater Copenhagen (€3bn), new super hospitals (€6-7bn) and of course the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link (€8-9bn) connecting Denmark and Germany.

“Foreign companies are in a unique position to establish themselves in Denmark. With public investments in new super hospitals, infrastructure and climate-related projects exceeding €35bn, you’d be hard put to find anywhere else in the world with such similarly attractive opportunities,” declares CEO Mickey Lund, Building Network.

He also stresses the fact that establishing Danish offices can serve to secure a stable and promising foothold for many companies with regard to future activities in both Scandinavia and the Baltic countries.

Preparation essential

Establishing a new business is notoriously easy in Denmark, which also has a history of being extremely diligent in complying with EU legislation. A bit of preparation is nonetheless beneficial when it comes to turning interest in the Danish market into action.

At the conference, participating companies met with client counterparts and also received important guidance and advice on considering future operations in Denmark.

Legal public procurement expert Steen Jensen, Building Network, explained that it was normal to spend at least a year of preparation surveying Danish market conditions.

“You’ll encounter some major differences when comparing Denmark to your previous experiences from other countries. For instance, salary and working conditions differ greatly compared to other European countries as they are controlled by collective bargaining. Social costs are low, but taxes on personal income are relatively high. Generally speaking, the cost of living is among the highest in Europe. And companies can experience some differences in the way tendering and bidding is carried out due to documentation requirements. What’s more, work safety is given great importance in the process.”

“Furthermore, there are huge differences in the way culture and language influence daily operations. All in all, it’s very important for foreign companies to prepare for market entry and perhaps to look for a partnership with a Danish company or to seek professional assistance from companies specialising in tendering, contracts and recruitment,” advises Jensen.

The Building Network Construction Conference 2017 was executed in collaboration with Copenhagen Capacity (the official organisation for investment promotion and economic development in Greater Copenhagen) and with participation from Invest in Denmark, Denmark’s National Investment Promotion Agency Invest and part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Building Network advises and serves foreign companies, providing specialised support for entry into the Danish construction market, with a focus on business development, legal advisory services and communication.