Category Archives: News from ADBC

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/

New resources to the ADBC secretariat

At the Danish Embassy, we have decided to allocate an extra resource to assist the ADBC secretariat on a daily basis. Apart from the Trade Counselor, Jess Møller Knudsen, acting as ADBC’s Executive Secretary, we have added one Commercial Advisor permanently to the ADBC secretariat.

ADBC Welcomes Heidi Roborg Storgaard, who has been Commercial Advisor at the Danish Embassy in Washington DC since April 2017. Heidi is specialized in Public Affairs and has successfully helped out Danish companies in managing U.S. stakeholders. Especially, she has been instrumental in organizing last years’ Danish Embassy events in the U.S. Congress. Heidi previously held positions in both the private and public sector in Denmark and the EU. She is looking very much forward to contribute to ADBC.

The ADBC Secretariat will continue to benefit from having one of the Embassy’s Trade Interns assisting ADBC full time.

Upcoming events for ADBC Members

ADBC Young Professional event at the Danish Embassy

April 24th

In April ADBC’s Young Professional Network hosts a network event at the Danish Embassy. Deputy Chief of Mission, Lars Bo Møller will give a presentation about Danish-American relations, and the two ADBC Members Rambøll and LEGO has agreed to give the young people some inspiring company presentations.

2018 Food Fight – charity event

May 6th

ADBC Member, Systematic, has given us a unique opportunity to contribute to a truly good cause. The charity, Feed My Starving Children, is hosting the Food Fight 2018, where we get to join about 25,000 volunteers packing food for those in need around the world.

ADBC Members are invited to join #Team Denmark along with Systematic, Danish Vice Ambassador Lars Bo Møller and Danish Embassy staff on May 6th at 9AM at the Dulles Expo Center to give a couple of hours of your weekend to make a difference.

Who can fill the most boxes with food? Please bring your family along!

EU Open House

May 12th

The Embassy of Denmark hosts an Open House in collaboration with other EU nations. ADBC

You are also invited to just bring your families and enjoy the different Danish activities and food.

Woonded Warrior reception, Virginia Beach

June 1st

As part of the Woonded Warrior Week, ADBC hosts a reception in honor of the attending Danish veterans. The Ambassador will attend along with both local and Danish dignitaries.

ADBC Annual Meeting and Constitution Day

June 5th

Celebration of the Danish Constitution Day at the embassy residence emphasizing the close, rewarding and necessary cooperation and friendship between Denmark and the United States. Hosted by Ambassador Lose.

DC Pride

June 9th

The Danish Embassy participate in DC Pride along with our Nordic colleagues. We will have a Nordic Float in the Parade. ADBC Members, families and ADBC young Professionals are welcome to walk with us in the parade and celebrate this festive day.

DC Jazz Festival

June 17th

On this year’s Jazz Festival in Washington DC, Denmark has a pavilion and the Danish group Hess is more will play at the festival.

Christmas Cocktail Party

December

Ambassador Lose hosts the annual Christmas Cocktail Party at the residence. ADBC members are invited alongside with their key stakeholders, together with political and cultural stakeholders of the Embassy.

ADBC reception with Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Key Account Managers

On March 19th, following the ADBC board meeting, all ADBC members were invited for a reception at the Ambassador’s residence to great the Danish Foreign Ministry’s “Key Account Managers.” Key Account Managers are “Heads of Trade” from the Danish Missions around the world. They each act as coordinator with regards to the arrangements between one Danish company and the Danish Foreign Ministry globally. In the week of March 19th, the Foreign Ministry’s Key Account Managers were gathered in the U.S. and ADBC members were invited and encouraged to meet them.

Nancy MacPherson, Senior Director for Government & Public Affairs, LEGO Americas elaborates:

“It was great to have the chance to discuss LEGO’s policy priorities with the Key Account managers building on our long partnership with the Danish Foreign Ministry around the world”.

Thank you ADBC – Making the Christmas Cocktail Party 2017 Possible!

On the evening of December 7th, Ambassador Lose hosted the annual Christmas Cocktail Party at the residence. With almost 400 guests attending, the residence quickly filled with true Danish “hygge”, as conversation and laughter started to spread.

Alongside with members of ADBC, congressional staffers, government officials and political stakeholders were among the attendees. Not only did the guests get to see the remarkable art displayed at the residence, a live jazz concert by Danish jazz singer Tine Bruhn contributed to setting the scene for a joyous evening. The guests enjoyed traditional Danish Christmas cuisine, which among other delicacies consist of the traditional pork roast sandwiches, cheese nips, Danish butter cookies, “floedeboller” and glögg. This was all possible because of funding from ADBC and generous donations made by Arla, Danish Crown, Kelsen, and Floedebolle. All contributions allowed the guests to get a sense of what a true Danish Christmas tastes like. By the look of it, the evening sparked interesting conversation among the guests, and is a true testimony to the important relations Denmark has in the US. The event was the perfect conclusion to 2017, and we look forward to the collaborations to come in 2018!

Did you catch the Ambassador’s New Year’s greeting? Watch it here:

ADBC Members Set Agenda Before Meeting With US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

As the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Anders Samuelsen is visiting Washington DC, he met with US Secretary of State, Mr. Rex Tillerson on January 29th. Prior to the meeting, the Minister and Ambassador Lose hosted a business luncheon at the Ambassador’s residence alongside with top tier Danish companies on the US market. The objective was for Samuelsen to gain insights to the reality that Danish companies face in the US, and how to ensure the best framework conditions for the Danish industry as a whole.

Present was ADBC members Vestas, Maersk, LEGO, Novo Nordisk, Arla Foods and cBrain, allowing them to set the agenda for the fruitful discussion. The business lunch served as an important opportunity for Samuelsen to bring forward the valuable insights from the Danish companies at his meeting with Tillerson, later that same day. After meeting with Tillerson, Samuelsen summed up the discussion: “We had very good bilateral meeting, where we managed to get around a lot of issues on the agenda and re-affirm and recognize that we have good ties between Denmark and the US”

Danish Technology Can Help Solving U.S. Water Infrastructure Challenges

The US continues to face still more challenges as a result of its aging water infrastructure. As the demand for better water infrastructure from the US citizens is growing, action as well as input is needed. To promote exchange of knowledge between Denmark and the US, the Danish Embassy hosted a lunch briefing in cooperation with the Congressional Clean Water Caucus at the US Capitol.

Between 2013-2020, the cumulative cost from degrading water/wastewater infrastructure will be more than doubled according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. The overall cost for residential units is predicted to exceed $59 billion, whereas it is expected to be more than $147 billion for businesses. The objective of the lunch briefing in the US Capitol was to highlight how modern wastewater treatment facilities can be net positive energy producers and a very good investment business case.

Clean Water Caucus welcome Danish input

At the Capitol lunch, Congressmen and co-chairs of the Clean Water Caucus, Mr. Dan Lipinski and Mr. John Duncan stressed that we cannot take water resources for granted, and that a large-scale transition of the water sector in the US is necessary. The Congressmen welcomed the input from Denmark and remarked that the lessons from Denmark can serve as inspiration for the US infrastructure bill.

The lunch briefing featured Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency Ms. Molly Walton, who presented the current state of the US water infrastructure. Walton put great emphasis on how potential energy savings could be achieved in the US water sector by optimizing the process. Subsequently, Marketing Director at Danfoss, Mr. Bioma Morray presented the net energy positive wastewater treatment facility in Marselisborg, Denmark, as the first case study. He was followed by Mr. Tom Kunetz from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, who went into details on recovering resources and converting wastewater into biomass and thus a source of sustainable energy.

Finally, Ms. Maureen Holman from DC Water provided unique best practices from Washington DC, highlighting the alternative financing opportunities such as green bonds.

The lunch briefing showed how mutual beneficial synergies arise from increased cooperation between Denmark and the US. If you want to see how the lunch briefing unfolded, check out our video from the event below:

Uniting the Champions of Wind

On October 25th the “Champions of Wind” learned that great results come from great cooperation. And for this cooperation to succeed, it is crucial to share experience and capabilities across the Atlantic.

In cooperation with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the Danish Embassy hosted a reception in the US Capitol celebrating individual states and companies that have been driving the deployment of wind energy in US.

Senator Chuck Grassley is the “father” of the US production tax credit for wind energy, and his home state Iowa generates around 35 % of its electricity from wind energy – just the same as in Denmark. “Climate change is taking place and we must take that seriously. My way of doing this is to promote alternative energy,” Grassley stressed on the evening.

The other Champions of Wind, Democratic Senator Ed Markey even wanted his state, Massachusetts, to be “the new Saudi Arabia of Wind”. Ed Markey encouraged all parties present to now promote investments in offshore wind energy specifically with the key argument that off-shore wind energy is not only a cost-effective source of energy, it also creates thousands of jobs:” There are only 50,000 coal miners left in the United States. With the current tax arrangements, by 2020 we will have 500,000 employees in solar and wind energy.”

 Democratic Congressman Bill Keating from Massachusetts made clear that President Trump’s energy policy will not determine the investments in renewable energy by the individual states:” The reality is that coal cannot compete economically. Gas and renewable energy is the future and a single man [President Trump] does not have a chance to stop it. The individual states all want clean energy”.

 Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities, and Climate Mr. Lars Chr. Lilleholt embraced the opportunity to meet with US counterparts and to learn how much potential there is for offshore wind energy in the US
Prior to the reception, Minister Lilleholt and US Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke signed a partnership on offshore wind energy between Denmark and the US. The Department of Interior is the government entity that ultimately gives all licenses for offshore wind development in the US. This is the first partnership Denmark is entering at the Federal level under the Trump Administration.

At the same occasion, Minister Lilleholt extended an invitation for Secretary Zinke, and Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, to take part in the Nordic Clean Energy Week in Denmark 2018.

See more on the Champions of Wind event below :

Constitution Day Celebration

On June 5th the Ambassador hosted a celebration of the 168th anniversary of the Danish Constitution.

More than 600 guests were at the residence to celebrate, with Danish Minister of Defense, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, kicking off the night with the traditional constitution speech. Congressional Friends of Denmark Caucus co-chair Congressman Tom Cole then spoke about the strong bond between Denmark and the United States, which was underlined by the attendance of several members of congress.

As Warrior Week was the week leading up to the Constitution Day, a week you can read more about HERE, numerous Danish and American veterans were also in attendance. Jacob Panton-Kristiansen, a Danish wounded veteran, gave a stirring speech, which left everyone very emotional. As Ambassador Lars Lose said following the event:

“I am truly grateful that we were joined by Danish and American veterans and their families. It was a true honor for everybody here at the Embassy that we got this chance to say thank you for your service to our countries. A special shout out goes to Jacob Panton-Kristiansen who works day and night to assist his fellow Danish veterans, and who gave an incredible speech that reminded all of us of why Denmark and the US stand shoulder to shoulder around the world.”

The residence and garden had been transformed into the most incredible setting for a festive night, showcasing Danish art, food and drinks. Particularly the signature cocktails made with Danish aquavit proved very popular. Following the speeches, live jazz music was played all night, with the dance floor quickly being filled. Financial support from ADBC made the event possible, and donations from Danish suppliers of cheese, flødeboller and chocolate made sure everyone got to try a taste of Denmark.

The event will be a flagship event for the Embassy going forward, so mark your calendars for 5th of June, 2018.