Category Archives: News from ADBC

2

Greetings from the Ambassador

Dear Members of the American Danish Business Council,

2020. That is a year I will hardly forget! It has been a year that in many ways feels like a whole decade, while at the same time, as if it passed by in an instant. Many things have transpired this year, and while it has indeed been quite challenging at times, I look back on a year that marks many great successes and accomplishments. 2020 was the year where working from home and interacting virtually became the new norm for most of us. But also, where solidarity and community spirit would bring us together to protect the most vulnerable in our societies.

The year started off not unlike many others, and the bilateral economic relationship was looking stronger than ever with the U.S. recently being declared Denmark’s largest export market. In the ADBC, we were ready for a year with great activities and engagement, not least our flagship events here at the Embassy, and with the upcoming Presidential Election in the fall, it was looking to be an eventful year. Little did we know that a global pandemic would strike us all and so radically change how we live our lives and interact with each other. However, while the pandemic left all of us in great uncertainty, we learned and found ways to navigate the situation, and I am confident that together we will come out even stronger.

Going into 2021, I am optimistic that we will be able to get back to a new normal and we will continue strengthening the ties between the U.S. and Denmark. Certainly, the eyes will be on the President Elect and the formation of a new U.S. Administration in the beginning of the year, and we will closely follow the transition period and look for opportunities for Denmark and the U.S. to work together. The change in leadership in the U.S. and expectations toward President Elect Biden are naturally something that greatly occupies the interest of the business community that is ever-eager to further the close relationship between our two nations. The ADBC will make it a priority to facilitate knowledge sharing, networking, and interaction in this regard.

Despite recent spikes in Covid cases, both in Denmark and here in the U.S., I hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy and I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season. With the holidays awaiting just around the corner it is time to wrap up the year, slow down a bit, and unwind before the next. I believe we all need this a little extra this year. I look much forward to next year and to be able to meet you all in person again soon.

Yours sincerely,
Lone Dencker Wisborg
Ambassador of Denmark to the U.S.

Thoughts on the incoming Biden Administration with Biden Advisor and Former Ambassador Rufus Gifford

On January 11, 2021, the American-Danish Business Council will host an exclusive members-only virtual briefing with Rufus Gifford, Deputy Campaign Manager for Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, and former United States Ambassador to Denmark.

As a central figure in Biden’s campaign and with extensive knowledge on US/DK economic relations, Ambassador Gifford will provide insider perspectives on the transition from President Trump to President Elect Biden as well as provide his remarks on expectations to the Biden administration after the Inauguration. Afterwards, members will have the opportunity to enter into dialogue with Ambassador Gifford.

Invitations and further information will follow on email to members of the ADBC, but for now please save the date.

We look forward to a very insightful briefing and should you already now have any questions you would like to put forward, please direct them to the ADBC Secretariat.

Invitation to 2021 U.S. Presidential Inauguration Briefing

The ADBC invites you to join AmCham Denmark in their virtual 2021 U.S. Presidential Inauguration Briefing on Jan 21, 2021 at 9am EST.

As President-Elect Joe Biden ascends to office, he inherits an extremely divided nation in the middle of a global pandemic. What will the impact be for businesses operating there?  Join us as we discuss the U.S. economic and political outlook, and the possible impact on business in the U.S. – Denmark’s most important market. 

Program:

U.S. Economic Outlook
 Ulrik Bie, Economic Editor, Berlingske Tidende
U.S. Political Outlook
– Steffen Kretz, Chief U.S.Correspondent, DR
Business Challenges & Opportunities
    – Mark Luschini, President, Janney Capital Management
Panel Discussion / Q&A

To sign up for this event, please use the link here.

About the speakers:

Steffen Kretz is a senior international correspondent and news presenter with the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (“DR”). Over the past 25 years, Mr. Kretz has held numerous positions within DR including a period in New York as a US correspondent. Today, Mr. Kretz is Chief US Correspondent based in Washington DC.

Ulrik Bie is currently Economic Editor at Berlingske – a Copenhagen based daily newspaper. Ulrik is an experienced economist providing research on global economic and political issues, primarily covering the United States, the United Kingdom and the euro area.

Mark D. Luschini is President and Chief Investment Officer for Janney Capital Management. Mark leads the Investment Strategy Group and in that capacity he and his team are responsible for establishing the firm’s broad outlook for the economy and financial markets developing investment strategies and financial planning.

ADBC Board Meeting

On Friday Dec 11 2020, Danish Ambassador to the U.S., H.E. Lone Wisborg, hosted the annual Board meeting in the American-Danish Business Council to discuss the ADBC going forward. Unlike other years, this board meeting was conducted virtually.

Here are some of the highlights from the board meeting:

Danish businesses in the U.S. have performed well this year despite the pandemic
Despite the continual Covid situation and implications hereof for the duration of 2020, Danish exports to the U.S. has gone up significantly through 2020 so far. In particular, health and pharmaceuticals has been contributing to the developments. The Danish companies have done better than initially expected – even better than 2019 which was already a great year in the bilateral economic relationship. We are optimistic for 2021 despite all the uncertainties we are facing.

2020 was the year ADBC went virtual
It has been a quite unusual year in the operations of the ADBC with Covid-19 continuing to interfere with our activities. Yet, still we have managed to achieve access and engagement for the members of the council through a strengthened virtual presence. The virtual events and briefings with high-level stakeholders have been well received and is a format that we should continue to utilize, also in none-Covid-19 times. Being virtual provides the added benefits of extending our outreach for the platform beyond the physical boundaries of the DC area.  However, while virtual events are great for shorter sessions with focused scope, our continued priority is to support the members of the ADBC through high-level physical events and receptions. When possible and safe to do so, the ADBC will start to host physical activities supplemented with virtual presence.

ADBC are positioned to take on 2021
Due to continued restrictions going into 2021, the ADBC will focus on virtual events in the first part of the year. We hope to be able to host the annual flagships event (Constitution Day Celebration in June and Christmas reception in December.) We will also focus on more engagement with the Congressional Friends of Denmark Caucus that are to be relaunched in the beginning of 2021. With a new U.S. Administration to be formed as well a new Congress, 2021 will be an interesting year for the ADBC. Through financial savings on activities as well as reduced rate from the Embassy this year and continuing through 2021, the council is in a good place financially to provide high impact value to the members of the network. Should members have any ideas or suggestions for activities, you are welcome to contract the ADBC secretariat.

2021 Transatlantic Company of the Year

AmCham Denmark, in partnership with The American Danish Business Council in Washington D.C., is pleased to announce that nominations are open for the 2021 Transatlantic Company of the Year.

About the Award
The Transatlantic Company of the Year recognizes the important contributions and positive impact of Danish companies investing in the United States. The award is presented annually in order to highlight the importance of the economic ties between the United States and Denmark and to celebrate business excellence by a Danish company in arguably the most competitive market in the world.

Criteria
The Transatlantic Company of the Year is awarded to a registered Danish company invested in the U.S. that has demonstrated significant achievements within the United States, in one or more of the following areas:

  • Growth: Relative growth in turnover, employees or profitability in USA
  • Investment: Significant investments in R&D, new facilities or acquisitions in USA
  • Partnerships: Strategic partnerships in USA, with organizations, companies or government agencies
  • Innovation: Development/implementation of an innovative solution in USA
  • CSR/Sustainability: Meaningful initiatives in the USA, and their impact both internally and externally

Previous winners include:
Ørsted (2020), Rambøll (2019), Siteimprove (2018), Vestas (2017), Sitecore (2016)
Gehl Architects (2015), Lundbeck (2014), Terma (2013)
Novozymes (2012), Grundfos (2011) and Novo Nordisk (2010)

The Jury
In order to ensure complete impartiality in the selection process, we have appointed an independent jury of distinguished business leaders to evaluate the applications and select the winner. Jury members include:

  • Jørgen Bardenfleth, Chairman (Lyngsoe Systems, Symbion et al.)
  • Sanna Suvanto-Harsaae, Chairman of the Board (Bo Concept, TCM, etc.)
  • Bjarne Corydon, CEO, Børsen

If your company is interested in being considered for this year’s award, please contact AmCham’s Therese Oliver (to@amcham.dk) for further details on the nomination process.

Nomination deadline is February 26, 2021.

The award will be presented at AmCham’s Transatlantic Summit in the Spring of 2021.

For more information, contact AmCham at mail@amcham.dk.

Note: There is no charge to submit a nomination. However, if your company is chosen as a finalist, there is an administration fee to enter the final round (DKK 7.500 for AmCham Denmark & American-Danish Business Council members; or DKK 12.000 for non-members).

Greetings from the Ambassador

Dear Members of the American-Danish Business Council,

As we continue to navigate the ever-changing framework conditions that COVID-19 imposes, we are also learning that business indeed goes on and finds ways to work – even in the most challenging of times. In fact, difficult times such as these often function as a catalyst for creating new ideas and solutions. As the year continues, the global pandemic has not just yet loosened its forceful grip on society. We must equip ourselves with continued patience and keep standing together (with distance) to keep everyone safe and get through this challenge together. The Danes have a word for this: “Samfundssind”. While not fully captured, it can be best translated into “community spirit” or “social mindedness” – to put the well-being of society at the forefront of our minds.

In the ADBC, we are determined to move on and work tirelessly for our objective of creating value for our members and ever-closer ties between the United States and Denmark, and while this year might have been quite unusual, we are optimistic that we will all be able to gather for a pronounced, physical celebration soon enough. At the moment we are, as most Americans and many others across the globe, committed to the 2020 Presidential Election. Regardless of outcome, this is exciting times for the United States but also for Denmark as one of its closest allies. We will be following the developments very closely, and we will provide information to our members whenever we can. A few weeks ago, we hosted a members-only pre-election briefing where I provided my insights and thoughts on the upcoming election. We additionally had the pleasure of having PEW Research Center provide insightful and data-driven public opinions on the central focal points of this year’s debates. I thank all who attended this event and I hope that you found it informative.

Looking into the remainder of 2020, the ADBC will have a board meeting to further discuss how to assist our members in the best possible way, and we are excited to host more virtual event for all of us to meet. In that regard, I welcome any input that members may have. Please reach out the ADBC secretariat if you have suggestions or aspirations, we are here and are always ready to discuss. Once the results are in from the election, we aim to host a post-election event for all members. More information on this will follow.

In closing, I wish you all a great election, and I hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy as we carry on our bilateral activities across the Atlantic in these unprecedented times.

Yours sincerely,
Lone Dencker Wisborg
Ambassador of Denmark to the United States

U.S. public opinions on key issues leading up to the 2020 election

The ADBC has talked to PEW Research Center on American public opinions toward central issues leading op to this year’s Presidential Election – and it seems that this election is perceived to be more important than ever in the eyes of the Americans.

PEW Research Center reports that 83% of votes perceive the outcome of this election to be of great importance. This number significantly outperforms previous years’ expectations as seen in figure 1 below.

Figure 1, Source: PEW Research Center

When looking into what is important in the eyes of the voters there is a discrepancy between Republicans and Democrats. For the Republicans the most dominating issues are the economy and crime, while the Democrats prioritize the global pandemic and health care as most important (figure 2). The increase in political polarization has been a widespread issue for multiple years and it seems that this year’s election shows no change. When looking at how either side perceives their core views and values to be compatible with the other side, both Republicans and Democrats are distancing themselves from each other with only about one-in-five saying that they share the same set of fundamental core values (figure 3).

Figure 2, Source: PEW Research Center

 

Figure 3, Source: PEW Research Center

Yet despite disagreements on fundamental values, both Republicans and Democrats are increasingly concerned about the environment, although increases are largest on the Democratic side (Figure 4). The Americans are increasingly agreeing that climate change is a thread and while the means of which measures to use in addressing the issue are not necessarily matching or whether its caused by humans or not (22% of Republicans say yes, 72% of Democrats say yes), they increasingly agree that something needs to be done.

Figure 4, Source: PEW Research Center

ADBC hosts Presidential Pre-election Briefing for members

On October 22, the American-Danish Business Council hosted a member-only briefing on the 2020 presidential election. Many ADBC members had tuned from both the US and Denmark for this virtual event weeks before the election will take place.

The Danish Ambassador to the US, Lone Wisborg, greeted all guests welcome and introduced the ADBC’s new Executive Secretary, Mr. Jacob Vind.

Mr. Vind – a quite familiar face in the North American Region having served as the Consul General at the Danish Consulate in Houston since 2018, then proceeded by introducing himself to the ADBC network, expressing his excitement and eagerness to work with the council and to support its objective of facilitating the transatlantic economic relations and engagement between the US and Denmark.

The Ambassador then moved on to provide her throughs and outlook toward the future in a Biden I / Trump II Scenario, where many topics such as the pandemic, green agenda, trade and foreign policy among other thing were addressed. Afterwards, members had the opportunity to ask questions.

Finally, we had the great pleasure of having Mr. Alec Tyson, Ass. Dir. at PEW Research Center joining us for a very informative and data driven analysis of key trends on US public opinions on central issues in relation to the upcoming election.

Thank you all for participating and see you next time.

Changes in the ADBC Secretariat

As of September 1 2020, Jess Møller Knudsen is leaving his position as Commercial Counselor at the Royal Danish Embassy in Washington DC. This also means that he will leave his function as Executive Secretary for the ADBC. We want to thank Jess for all his hard work and dedication to the ADBC the past three years and we wish him all the best in his future career. Jess will stay within the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he will assume the position as the General Consul in Munich, Germany.

Replacing Jess, Jacob Vind will be the new Commercial Counselor and Executive Secretary of the ADBC going forward. Recently, Jacob comes from a posting in Houston, TX where he has been serving as the General Consul for the Consulate of Denmark since the opening of the Consulate back in 2018. Prior to his posting in the Lone Star State, Jacob served as Head of the Water Advisory at the Danish Innovation Center in Silicon Valley. Thus, he comes with great experience and knowledge about the US market having been working with a multitude of Danish companies in the US. Before to joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jacob worked in the private sector as a business developer, fundraiser & management consultant.

Jacob Vind holds a Master degree in Information Studies from Aarhus University, and a leadership program in Breakthrough Leadership from Harvard Business School.

We at the ADBC are very excited to get Jacob onboard the team and we look forward to working with him on creating impactful value for Danish and American companies, and supporting the bilateral economic relationship.

Welcome Jacob Vind!

Greetings from the Ambassador

Dear Members of the American-Danish Business Council,

The past few months have indeed been quite eventful, I must say. As we were gearing up for yet another promising year in our bilateral relationship, a global pandemic stroke and left all of us stumbling with uncertainty about what the future might hold. These are challenging times for all of us. However, difficult times such as these can also be a catalyst for creating new ideas and solutions, and while the pandemic seems to prevail for yet some time, we have together learned new ways of working and engaging with each other. Thus, as always, the transatlantic relationship between Denmark and the US will continue to build on our strong foundation and create even stronger bonds.

A testament to this is the ADBC’s digital meeting series where we have adopted new ways of meeting with each other on public affairs agendas. On May 1, we had the pleasure to invite all of you to an exclusive virtual meeting with Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) on current affairs in US politics with emphasis on COVID-19 and implications on global supply chains. On June 11, we welcomed Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) for a discussion on healthcare policy during a global pandemic. After the summer vacation, we will continue our efforts in extending the platform for our members to engage, share perspectives, and learn from each other.

Virtual meetings are just one small example on how our common objectives continue despite the circumstances – and how partnerships and collaborations can grow, even in unprecedented times. As Ambassador of Denmark to the US and Chair of the ADBC, I feel incredibly encouraged by this. However, these accomplishments are only made possible through the great contributions and commitments amongst the companies of our two nations. Therefore, I want to thank each one of you for your engagement and determination – not just in your commitment to the ADBC, but also for your own work within your respective fields and sectors. To support the economy and continued growth, it is imperative that companies are maintaining their overseas ambitions and efforts, and I believe that the ADBC’s role in facilitating this is now perhaps more important than ever.

This June, I was hoping to be able to invite all of you to the Embassy to celebrate the anniversary of the Danish Constitution that has become such a wonderful tradition in the ADBC. However, this year, we are standing together by keeping our physical distance, and when the time is right and the circumstances once again allow us to gather, I look forward to welcome you again.

I wish you and your loved ones a great summer with some much-deserved time to unwind and recharge. As we continue to navigate uncertainty, I look forward to welcome all of you (virtually at least) to more exciting ADBC-events after the summer.

Yours sincerely,
Lone Dencker Wisborg
Ambassador of Denmark to the United States