Category Archives: News from ADBC

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Visit by Foreign Minister and Opening of Consulate General in Houston

Foreign Minister Samuelsen opens new Consulate General of Denmark in Houston, Texas

On May 2nd 2018, a new Consulate General of Denmark opened in Houston, Texas. The “Lone Star State” is the 10th biggest economy in the world with 28 million people.

“With the new Consulate General in Houston, we want to make a concrete difference for Danish companies that want to export to the region. The economic growth in Houston and Texas is significant and there are huge opportunities for Danish companies”, the newly appointed Consulate General, Jacob Vind, explains.

Before his appointment as Consul General, Jacob Vind worked for the Danish Trade Council in Silicon Valley as the Head of the Water Technology Alliance in North America.

  • The potential for exporting Danish products and technologies to Texas is obvious as several beneficiary conditions create opportunities for Danish companies:
  • Wind: Texas is the largest producer of wind energy in the US. A windy climate and a vast and modernised transmission network create ideal conditions for windmill production in Texas.
  • Life Science: Texas is at the forefront of advancing life sciences: The Texas Medical Center in Houston is the largest medical complex in the world with more than 100.000 employees and substantial investments.
  • Maritime sector: The Port of Houston, which serves the metropolitan area of Houston, is one of the largest ports in the US and is a focal point for shipping between North and South America.
  • Water: Texas will invest 60 billion dollars in water infrastructure during the next 50 years.
  • Oil and gas: Texas is known as a capital of oil and gas production and currently hosts more than 5000 companies working with fossil fuel energy.
  • Tech and innovation: Austin, Texas is already an epicentre for IT companies. The new Consulate General will work with the Danish Tech Ambassador to take advantage of the growing opportunities for Danish tech companies willing to work in Texas.

The opening of the Consulate General is part of the Danish Government’s goal of a bigger reach throughout the US, which is Denmark’s third largest export market and the largest outside Europe.

6000 visitors at EU Open House!

On May 12th 2018 from 10am to 4pm the Embassy of Denmark opened its doors to the public along with embassies of other EU Member States. This year the Embassy of Denmark and the Representation of Greenland had the pleasure of welcoming a record number of visitors.

The EU Open House is a highlight of the Washington spring calendar and is a unique opportunity for residents or visitors of Washington DC to learn about the national heritage and cultural traditions of the EU member countries. The EU Open House is organised by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. The Embassy of Denmark expected 3-4000 visitors, but almost 6000 visitors climbed the hilly Whitehaven Street to learn more about Denmark and Greenland.

The main theme for this year was “Hygge”. Visitors could enjoy Danish delicacies from the Ambassador’s Chef, tour the Ambassador’s Residence, watch a new photo exhibition by acclaimed Danish artist Tove Dehn, try a bike course, snap photos in a booth with classic Danish backdrops, or listen to the live performance of “The Little Mermaids” – a band consisting of three employees at the Danish Embassy.

Kelsen handed out cookies and “Flødeboller” handed out flødeboller – a Chocolate-coated marshmallow treat – to the great excitement of the visitors. LEGO set up a playground where children (and adults) advanced the endless building opportunities the famous LEGO-bricks offer. Novo Nordisk handed out jumping ropes to make awareness of the crucial importance of exercise to combat diabetes. Joe & The Juice served delicious and refreshing smoothies and sold out after only four hours. Arla provided quality cheeses and snacks for guests who took the residence tours.

From the ADBC Secretariat and the Embassy, we want to thank everyone involved.

 

Signing of Wastewater Flagship Project in Chicago

In April, The Danish Minister of Environment and Food visited Chicago to meet with Deputy Governor of Illinois Leslie Munger and Deputy Mayor of Chicago Robert S. Rivkin.

One purpose of the trip was to promote Danish water solutions. A significant upgrade of the aging and troubled water infrastructure in the US is needed – investments of around $743 billion over the next 20 years according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. There is a big potential for Danish companies – which have excelled in optimizing both drinking water and wastewater technology – to be part of that.

The Minister also had the chance to meet with the Danish Water Technology Alliance, which has been very successful in cooperating with US water utilities. The Water Technology Alliance provides a full range of services to Danish water technology companies that wish either to enter the North American market or to further grow their US presence and activities. The alliance organise workshops, country-to-country fact-finding missions, an engage in general collaboration and knowledge sharing with US water and wastewater utilities.

While being in Chicago, the Minister of Environmental and Food had the chance to participate in the signing of a new wastewater Flagship Project between the Water Technology Alliance and Downers Grove Sanitary District. The agreement recognized the new wastewater treatment centre as Flagship with regards to optimization of processes, using Danish methods and technologies energy optimization. Plant processes will be retrofitted according to Danish experiences and workflows and contain Danish components whenever possible and feasible. For each individual work process in the project, DGSD will enter into sub contracts with the respective Danish companies.

District signs Wastewater Flagship Project agreement with Water Technology Alliance

A New Chapter in Danish-American Cultural collaboration

We are pleased to announce that Denmark on May 3rd launched a new cultural strategy focusing on the United States. The inauguration of this new chapter of exchange between Denmark and the USA took place at the Nordic Museum in Seattle. HRH the Crown Princess, Mary, and the Foreign Minister of Denmark, Anders Samuelsen, spearheaded the initiative.

By this initiative, The Danish Ministry for Culture seeks to support cultural and art export to American citizens beyond Washington D.C and New York. Therefore, the activities coming from this strategy will focus on Seattle, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago. The intention is to get in touch with local actors and communities and help facilitate opportunities for Danish artists throughout the United States.

In Seattle, the Danish Foreign Minister officially launched the first concrete project, a collaboration between the Seattle-based radio, KEXP, and Music Export Denmark (MXD) about promotion of Danish artists. KEXP has dedicated listeners worldwide. MXD supports Danish artists to travel to  Seattle, and KEXP will also report from Danish music festivals over the summer.

The cultural strategy is already off to an impressive start with many more exciting opportunities ahead in the next three years.

Ambassador Lars Lose becomes Honorary President of American Chamber of Commerce

Recently, the American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark has decided to include both the Danish Ambassador to the US, Lars Lose, and the US Ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands, as Honorary Presidents.

Over the time, ADBC has developed a valuable cooperation with the American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark, and this assignment in a welcoming opportunity to grow even closer and explore opportunities that will benefit members of both organisations.

ADBC is both working to promote Danish companies in the US and American companies in Denmark, and ADBC shares AmCham’s mission to advocate for competitive business, facilitate knowledge exchange between the US and Denmark, and to provide a forum where international business and political leaders can engage with each other.

“Economic diplomacy is part of the core business at the Danish Embassy in Washington, DC. Whatever we do, we try to use our insights about and access to the political system in the United States to advance the commercial ties between Denmark and the United States. The American-Danish Business Council is an important part of that and I believe that our cooperation with AmCham can strengthen our economic diplomacy efforts even more,” says Ambassador Lose.

Introduction of new Defence Industrial Cooperation Attaché

From June 1st, Jesper Duevang Rasmussen will start at the Embassy of Denmark as Defence Industrial Cooperation Attaché. Jesper brings with him 26 years of national and international experience and strong relationships with military professionals on both sides of the Atlantic.

Jesper has a strong military background that has taken him on multiple missions and assignments. He has been responsible for search and rescue operations in Denmark, tactical education of future leaders in the Royal Danish Navy, Public Affairs Officer and spokesperson for the Danish Defence regarding operations domestically and abroad. Most recently, Jesper worked in Poland, where he ensured the seamless integration of assets in maritime and land domains.

As a naval officer, Jesper has commanded four warships and worked in several multinational headquarters in Denmark, Spain, and Poland, and has gathered extensive experience that has honed his skill in developing strong relationships. He holds a Master Mariner degree from the Danish Naval Academy and a Master in Military Studies from the Royal Danish Defence College.

Jesper is relocating to D.C. with his wife Sarah, an American anthropologist, and their three children.

Jesper is replacing Defence Industrial Cooperation Attaché, Per Lyse Rasmussen.

2018 Food Fight

On May 6th 2018, the Embassy of Denmark and ADBC member Systematic helped pack meals to feed more than 800 children for a year. The 2018 Food Fight is a meal-packing event with the aim to pack and distribute food to people in developing nations coordinated by the non-profit organization Feed My Starving Children.

Systematic and Embassy staff joined a session in Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia, which hosted over 1000 volunteers. The volunteers hand-packed scientifically formulated meals for undernourished children and the expectation was to pack over a million meals to El Salvador and Haiti.

Kerstie Sherman from Feed my Starving Children explains the concept of the day:

“So our food is four ingredients. Vitamins, veggies, soy and rice. It is a complete meal for a child who is malnourished. And so, what the volunteers do is to scoop those four ingredients into a bag, the bag gets weighed, the bag gets sealed, put into a box, 36 bags in a box and that is 216 meals. Then our warehouse comes and picks it up, puts in on a pallet. Once a pallet is completed with 36 boxes, that’s what’s loaded onto trucks or sea containers and send to the countries where our distribution partners are receiving the food.”

ADYP event on American-Danish relations

Yesterday April 24th, the American-Danish Young Professionals hosted an event at the Embassy of Denmark focusing on American-Danish relations, both from a diplomatic mission and a corporate perspective.

Vice Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Lars Bo Møller, Market Director at Rambøll in the USA, Ms. Mette Søs Lassesen, and Senior Director Government & Public Affairs, LEGO Americas, Ms. Nancy MacPherson all gave inspiring presentations on ways to “do business” between Denmark and U.S. as well as funny observations about cultural differences. To the surprise of the participants, Ms. Nancy MacPherson from LEGO tested the cognitive skills of the audience by handing out 6 pieces of LEGO bricks asking everyone to build a duck in 45 seconds. The countless ways to visualize and interpret “the LEGO Duck” resulted great amusement and let to a lot of mingling and networking after the presentations.

We would like to thank the presenters as well as the participants for their entertaining and inspirational engagement and participation at the event.

Here are a three examples of the “LEGO ducks”:

 

We hope to see you for our future events!

Please remember to sign up as a member (free) at www.usadk.org/adyp to receive information about future events.

Highlights from ADBC Board meeting

On March 19th, Danish Ambassador Lars Lose hosted ADBC’s annual board meeting.

It has been a bit more than a year since the ADBC’s last board meeting in December 2016, so many activities were on the agenda for evaluation.

Steve Williams, Co-Chair of ADBC and President & CEO of Terma North America Inc. elaborates on the current shape and relevance of ADBC:

“As a forum that promotes open trade, the Council continues to be well supported, from companies across Denmark and the U.S. Together with the Danish Embassy, the ADBC is a constructive voice and advocate for close mutually beneficial bilateral and industrial ties. Multi-sector Danish-American collaboration remains strong, with the U.S. as one of Denmark’s top trading and investment partners, from agricultural, energy, pharma and transport sectors to defense, transportation and high-tech industries.”

Here are some of the highlights from the board meeting:

# Bigger and Better events

In 2017, the Embassy and ADBC have together invested heavily in positioning Denmark and Danish companies towards U.S. stakeholders and creating partnerships between Danish and U.S. companies. Two major events have proven to be especially successful networking opportunities for ADBC members: The Danish Constitution Day on July 5th and the Christmas Cocktail Party in December (over 400 guests visiting each of these events). The Danish Ambassador and the ADBC board members agreed that these events were of significant value and decided to keep these as foundation events for the year ahead.

# Striking the right balance in ADBC’s Financials

From ADBC’s Treasurer, Benjamin Walker, the message was that we have now reached a good balance between ADBC’s income and ADBC’s activity level.

In 2017, ADBC spend more than its income, but invested in internal as well as external marketing material – a lot of good stuff we did not have before, which we can reuse for future events.

In 2018, we have budgeted more conservatively and established a “Restricted Income Fund.” We expect, however, to maintain the same level and quality of ADBC activities due to an agreement with the Danish Embassy about a flexible arrangement of secretariat assistance and an expectation of more members joining ADBC in 2018.

# High Value for ADBC Membership

ADBC board members were satisfied with the range of ADBC activities looking back at 2017 and into 2018 (see 2018 calendar in this newsletter). The ADBC budget allocates funds for four main events over one year, two of which are the Constitution Day and Christmas Party and the other two events may vary. Apart from that, the Danish Embassy invites ADBC members to a whole range of other Embassy activities when relevant. Many of these are sector specific events, mostly within the Danish Trade Council’s industry focus areas: Energy, Environment, Architecture, Defense, Health, Food & Agriculture, and IT. The Danish Embassy will also continue to invite ADBC members to Danish Ministers’ delegation visits in the U.S. and cultural events.

It is the clear view amongst the ADBC board that ADBC members get high value for their membership, and it was requested that the Embassy share an activity calendar with events relevant to ADBC members regularly.

# Recruiting new members

The Ambassador reported that in 2016, ADBC grew 40% and in 2017, the ADBC Secretariat has focused on consolidation and creating value for members. The ADBC board discussed the opportunity of attracting new members to ADBC in 2018. The opportunity for ADBC members to network with each other is invaluable, and the ADBC board welcomes the idea of looking for new members to join ADBC in 2018 with a particular focus on attracting more American companies to the network. These initiatives will be key areas of focus for the Secretariat in 2018.

ADYP – a network for young professionals in the US

Do you want to join a social and professional network to share your interest in Denmark and American-Danish relations?

American-Danish Young Professionals, ADYP, is an organization for people under the age of 35, who have a relation to Denmark. Some are Danes working in the US, some are Americans who have been on exchange in Denmark, some work for Danish companies located in the US and some just have a great interest in Denmark and Scandinavia.

Mads Kampp Christiansen, President of American-Danish Young Professionals, says: “We want to create an opportunity for Danes and Americans with an interest in Scandinavia to come together, visit exciting organizations and companies, learn about Danish-American relations as well as joining social events and expand their network.”

American-Danish Young Professionals is associated with the American-Danish Business Council,

“We are very happy for our relation to the embassy and the member companies of American-Danish business Council. I believe this relation is beneficial for both the members of our network, for the companies in American-Danish Business Council as well as the general relations between Denmark and the United States,” says President Mads Kampp Christiansen.

The network arrange tours, corporate events and social after work get togethers. In April the network will host a kick-off at the Danish Embassy, joined by Deputy Chief of Mission, Lars Bo Møller, among others. In May the network will visit IMF and Executive Director, Thomas Ostros, who represents the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Furthermore, the network arranges some quarterly social events together with their Scandinavian sister organizations in the Swedish and Norwegian Chambers of Commerce.

You can read more about the network and become a member here: https://www.usadk.org/adyp/