Category Archives: News from the Embassy

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Industry Minister met with the Danish Defense Industry in the US

The Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Brian Mikkelsen, visited Washington D.C. and Fort Worth in Texas in the beginning of March. Here Minister Mikkelsen met up with some of the largest Danish Defense Companies based in the US.

“It is important for Denmark to have relations to the United States Defense Industry because it’s the world’s biggest market. I can help establishing the right connections,” Minister Brian Mikkelsen said just before entering the defense meeting hosted by Terma North America in Washington D.C.

Attending the meeting was also Systematic, Weibel and GomSpace. The agenda was to discuss the current and future business opportunities for Danish defense materiel in the US. The future holds a close cooperation within the Danish Defense companies to secure the best products on the market, if you ask CEO and President of Terma North America, Steve Williams:

“I like to call it Team Denmark – it is not only about one company, it’s about all the companies that work together. We have very important parts of what customers need at Terma but when we combines those with our other industrial partners we becomes a team that brings that affordability, value proposition that our customers need,” Steve Williams said.

“Meget opløftende hvor dygtige underleverandører vi har til det amerikanske forsvar. Terma var vært for en arbejdsfrokost hvor jeg blev præsenteret for Team Danmarks indsats i USA. dkpol #defense #forsvar #DenmarkinUSA,” Minister Mikkelsen tweeted after the meeting.

Video from the defense meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZlNTuHUooA

Brian Mikkelsen also attended a meeting with Marrilyn Hewson President and CEO at Lockheed Martin before flying south.

Signing of Danish internship program with Lockheed Martin

After two days in Washington the minister’s visit continued on to Fort Worth, Texas, where Lockheed Martin’s production facilities is situated.

Here he attended the signing of a brand new cooperation agreement that will provide Danish interns to Lockheed Martin for eight weeks of internship. The students will amongst other things receive training in programming – a competence much needed in Denmark. The partners in this cooperation are the Danish Industry Association, the Danish Metal Association and Multicut – and of course Lockheed Martin.

Minister Mikkelsen afterwards went on a guided tour to learn more about the production facilities and maintenance of the F-35 that Lockheed Martin is the main producer of. F-35 is Denmark’s newest investment within defense and Danish Terma A/S also delivers many parts for this aircraft.

Go follow ‘Denmark in USA’ on LinkedIn

We just launched a joint LinkedIn business page for the Danish missions in the US: Embassy of Denmark in the United States, the Consulate Generals, Trade Council North America and Invest in Denmark.

Please share your stories with us to post on LinkedIn.

The name of the new LinkedIn page is ‘Denmark in USA’.Our aim is to promote Danish export as well as foreign investment in Denmark and bringing together trade and innovation. With the joint LinkedIn page we want to facilitate connections, share knowledge and create workplaces in the United States.

“We call economic diplomacy front and centre of everything we do. This means that everybody employed here at the embassy and around the country at the Consulate Generals support Danish Export to the US and support American investments to Denmark. It’s the most essential thing that we do here in the US,” Lars Gert Lose, Ambassador and Chairman of Trade Council North America.

On ‘Denmark in USA’, we will be exposing stories relevant for trade, investments and innovation. Go follow the page today for the latest news and please share your success stories with us at any time. We might also repost stories from your company LinkedIn profile on ‘Denmark in the USA’.

Introducing TechPlomacy

Denmark has spearheaded a new diplomatic trend by recognizing technology as a key foreign policy priority. Meet Casper Klynge, the World’s first Tech Ambassador, who is ready to put TechPlomacy (technological diplomacy) on the diplomatic agenda.

By elevating TechPlomacy to a crosscutting priority in its foreign and security policy, the Danish Government has appointed the World’s first ever Tech Ambassador. The Office of the Tech Ambassador has a global mandate and a physical presence across three time zones in Silicon Valley, Copenhagen and Beijing, thus transcending borders and regions and rethinking traditional diplomatic representation in the process.

TechPlomacy is an acknowledgement of the key role that technology and digitalisation plays and will increasingly play in the future for individuals and societies alike. Rapid developments in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things and cyber security also raise fundamental issues as to the future of public policy, regulation and global governance. The initiative is acknowledging the need for a stronger multi-stakeholder discussion on how we want these new technologies to shape our societies in the future. This requires us to rethink the relationship between governments, civil society and the private sector.

“If you look at these companies’ involvement and significance for you and me, many of them have a much greater degree of influence than most nations,” Klynge said to Business Insider.

Tech Ambassador Casper Klynge and his global team will therefore work to build strategic partnerships and engage directly with tech-hubs, governments, international organizations, civil society, cities, regions, world-class universities and other stakeholders.

In December, Ambassador Klynge visited Washington, DC to promote Denmark’s new technological focus. I collaboration with the Ambassador Lose and Founder of The Institute for Education, Coach Kathy Kemper, Ambassador Klynge held a panel discussion. Participating in the panel discussion was White House advisor, Matt Lira, and former U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith. The evening provided insights on the new relationship between technology and diplomacy, shedding light on the government perspective in particular. The conversation also referred to the fact that governmental institutions tends to take aim at major tech firms. In contrast, Ambassador Klynge will establish networks and nurture relationships with these companies. The attendance at the evening was a reflection of the huge interest present for the new TechPlomacy that Denmark is pioneering.

Do you want to learn more about the TechPlomacy trend? Listen to the #DigitalDiplomacy Podcast by the MFA here, where Casper Klynge is starring the first episode.

Reach Casper Klynge: caskly@um.dk or +1(650)334-7034

Cultural Diplomacy Tells the Stories of Denmark

Culture and arts are not as easy to put in numbers, however at the Danish Embassy; we recognise that culture and arts play a substantial role in understanding Denmark and Danish society. We call it Cultural Diplomacy.

When you see pictures of various receptions and meetings, it is often hard to tell them apart. That is not the case when you have a reception filled with guests from the world of art. The clothes are more colourful, the glasses have abnormal shapes and there are definitely more hats. In mid-October we had such an event at the residence, celebrating Danish arts.

When the ambassador moved into the residence, so did a new art project: Art in Embassy. Art in Embassy displays 37 pieces of art from 14 different artist. All of them tell a story about everyday life in Danish or societal developments. The art has been chosen to build an obvious platform for discussions about Danish arts and culture; because culture and arts reflect our society.

Diplomacy is more than politics

Especially the piece ‘Types of Relations’ by Mette Winckelmann is often up for discussions when the ambassador has diplomatic event at the residence. It is a flag but often not in the eyes of Americans. Let us call it a deconstructed flag.

The deconstructed flag has a unique way to start a conversation, because it brings out a lot of emotions. It doesn’t matter if you are Danish or American, it doesn’t matter if you are a republican or a democrat, if you are a politician or a businessman. The art makes room for conversations that is founded in something other than politics and brings up interesting conversations. That is why Cultural Diplomacy is important,” the ambassador says.

Art pieces like this spur conversations about flags, but also about nationality, about values, about what is Danish and why that is.

Two of the Danish artists on display through Art in Embassy visited Washington DC. The visit of Rose Eken and Camilla Reyman gave a unique possibility to brand the project and the Danish cultural scene. To celebrate the Danish arts and worldwide culture, an event was held Monday October 16th as a part of the Art in Embassy project, hosting 80 people from the art world.

A reflection of Denmark

An obvious question asked at such an event is ‘What is Danish culture and arts?’

That is indeed a good question and it is hard to single out what defines Danish culture; it is simply hard to narrow down. We are have had international success within everything from movies and TV-shows to fine cuisine and obviously Danish design, which is branding Denmark around the globe. However, the question of what Danish culture and arts are is a question we, through the Art in Embassy project make sure to discuss often.

Danish society and the values we stand for are clearly reflected in culture and art. It is an important way of understanding Denmark, why the project is of great importance to the Ambassador. Danish design often refers to the classics from the mid-20th century drawn by Arne Jacobsen or Finn Juhl, and these are examples that proudly furnish the Embassy. Fortunately, Danish culture and arts did not stop developing in the 60s. Art in Embassy display the result of this development and reflect the same development in Danish society.

Both Camilla Reyman and Rose Eken, artists in Art in Embassy, are currently displaying a store front exhibition here in Washington DC called Aloud, which was promoted through the reception too in collaboration with Transformer Gallery – a large arts organization in DC.

 

Danish Veterans Run the Marine Corps Marathon

On October 22nd, the Danish Team Veteran proved that true companionship is the key to overcome the toughest obstacles. The society for Danish veterans gathered in Washington DC to overcome yet another challenge, the annual Marine Corps Marathon. After the marathon, the Ambassador hosted a barbecue at the residence to show his gratitude to the dedication of the veterans.

As a sign of the great strength it takes to overcome both physical as well as psychological injuries, all ‘Team Veteran’ participants crossed the finish line and completed the 26.2 mile marathon. The team consisted of 30 veterans, all carrying mental injuries after serving the Danish army, as well as 20 assistants. The day ended at the residence of the Danish Embassy ​​where Ambassador Lars Gert Lose hosted a well-deserved barbecue. The following day, all veterans visited the Lockheed Martin’s Fighter Demonstration Center in Crystal City, Virginia where the company showed the technologies of the F-35 aircraft. The veterans got the opportunity to try the simulator as well as the advanced helmet for the plane. Lockheed Martin has been a key sponsor for the Danish veterans through several years, which is greatly appreciated by the veteran society.

Team Veteran is a Danish organization aiming to help veterans with physical and mental injuries. The community of Danish veterans engage through sports, companionship, and social gatherings. Since 2010, the organization has participated in the annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC, as well as several other events in Denmark. Team Veteran also works closely with public rehabilitation offers, as well as activities financed by private investors.

Hear more on how two Danish veterans value Team Veteran as a way to combat and overcome the mental injuries through their running club in training for the marathon:

Building Partnerships for Sustainable Growth and Development Towards 2030

To promote cooperation on the Danish development strategy, Ambassador Lars Lose and Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs hosted a briefing for all Danes working at the World Bank Group on October 13th. Minister Tørnæs emphasised that building partnerships is crucial to Danish development efforts, and that the multilateral institutions have a critical role to play alongside the private sector.

Earlier this year, a broad political majority in the Danish Parliament reached a five-year political agreement on Denmark’s strategy for development policy and humanitarian action under the title “The World 2030”. The strategy provides a framework for Danish efforts to realize the global ambition of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards 2030. These efforts are defined in four key focus areas: security, migration, sustainable development & democracy and human rights. Crucial in understanding the strategy is that focus is now on development cooperation rather than development aid. The new development approach underlines the importance of building partnerships in order to fulfilling the development objectives.

Private Sector Engagement

The strategy also stresses the unique and active role that private sector actors have to play. As companies contribute with knowledge, competencies and technology, they are central to solving sustainability challenges within areas such as climate, energy, water, food and health. Official development aid (ODA) cannot solve these challenges on its own. Rather, ODA should be used to catalyse private funds and foster innovation as suggested in “The World 2030”. Denmark is committed to working to ensure that development banks, such as the World Bank Group, increasingly bring innovative financing into play.

Maximizing Finance for Development

The World Bank Group has an unmatched level of development expertise and experience as well as ability to mobilize public and private finance. This makes the World Bank Group a key actor for creating inclusive, sustainable growth and development. It is increasingly evident that strong collaboration between the multilateral institutions and the private sector is necessary to maximize finance for development and reaching the SDGs. The World Bank Group offers channels for the private sector to seek opportunities in developing countries by creating new markets, identifying unmet demands, supporting SME’s and providing cutting-edge thinking and technologies via projects on the ground.

 

Ambassador Lose and Minister Tørnæs were happy to engage in an open dialogue on these important issues. The Danes working in the World Bank Group possess extensive expertise and networks that makes them an important resource for the Danish development efforts.

Read the Danish development strategy “The World 2030” here.

Read more about the World Bank Group and private sector engagement here.

EU Open House at the Embassy

The 13th of May the EU delegation to the United States and the European Embassies in the United States opened the doors to the Washington public. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the embassies offered a rare look inside the buildings providing a unique opportunity to experience the country’s cultural heritage.

EU Open House is an annual event and is celebrated during Europe Week drawing +50.000 visitors in total to the embassies. The Danish Embassy opened the doors to share with the local community what Denmark is about; Danish culture, our commercial strengths and solutions and our contributions to a global society.

Promotion of Danish solutions

As Denmark is a global leader in renewable energy, sustainable production and healthy living, we chose ‘Smart Cities’ as our focus area at EU Open House this year. Smart solutions and sustainability was a continuous subject at our EU Open House in our promotion of Danish entrepreneurship and the Danish ‘way of living’. This year of EU Open House the Danish companies Terma and Novo Nordisk were invited to the event showcasing their products and services to the public, both of which are ADBC members.

As something new this year the exhibit – Denmark in the U.S. – was on display showcasing Denmark’s deep and longstanding cultural, political and commercial ties with the U.S. The exhibit had focus on creating of trade, jobs and investments between the U.S. and Denmark underlining the Danish Embassy’s focus areas. This new exhibition is developed by sponsorship from the American-Danish Business Council.

Activities

During the day the guests had the opportunity to tour the Danish Ambassador’s home a mid-century architectural gem showcasing unique contemporary works from the Danish art scene. The tour ended with cheese tasting at the Ambassador’s balcony sponsored by Danish dairy giant Arla. Furthermore, the day offered tasting of Danish sweets such as butter cookies and ‘flødeboller’ which was a big hit thanks to our sponsors Kelsen and Flødebolle. Kelsen and Lego sponsored gifts that were given to winners of a ‘Denmark Quiz’.

Despite an alarming weather forecast the weather stayed clement. We received positive feedback from the guests and overall EU Open House 2017 was a great success!

Danish vets celebrated during Warrior Week in Virginia Beach

As the first foreigners, Danish veterans were invited to celebrate the annual Warrior Week in Virginia Beach with U.S. veterans.

Around 25 Danish veterans with family members and friends flew across the Atlantic to participate in this year’s Warrior Week from 1-4 of June in Virginia Beach, VA.

For four days the wounded veterans enjoyed the beach and did a long list of activities including surfing, wrestling, workout sessions, horseback riding, and bicycling. The week was arranged by United Service Organizations (USO), who support members of the U.S. military and military veterans.

“I think it’s fantastic. We collaborated at the same battlefield and now we found each other across the Atlantic Ocean and we collaborated as a wounded warrior,” says Jacob Panton, who is the founder of the Danish Wounded Warriors, to wawy.com “They made us feel the same patriotism that they share with their wounded warriors and that’s just fantastic.”

The week got kicked off with a reception at Sheraton Hotel on June 1st. The Danish Minister of Defense, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, and Mayor of Virginia Beach, Will Sessoms, all held speeches praising the relationship between Denmark and the United States.

In his speech, Claus Hjort Frederiksen awarded GN Hearing and their US President Kim Lody this year’s HRH Prince Henrik´s Export Award for making a significant difference for thousands of wounded veterans.

“The company has helped to ensure that Americans, including numerous wounded veterans, are enabled to hear more. And by hearing more, they can do more in their everyday lives. This ultimately allows them to be more as human beings – giving them the ability to live fuller lives,” said Claus Hjort Frederiksen.

The next day, the Danish Ambassador to the U.S., Lars Gert Lose, Member of the Danish Parliament and former Minister of Defense Søren Gade and Claus Hjort Frederiksen welcomed Danish veteran Jens Søndergaard in Virginia Beach. Jens Søndergaard had biked almost 500 kilometres with fellow riders from Vice President Mike Pence’s residence in Washington D.C., while only using his arms. The day ended with a big event at the beach, where Lars Gert Lose, Terry McAuliffe and Will Sessoms all skydived above Virginia Beach, with 30.000 people watching.

Though most the of the activities were in a loose atmosphere, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Søren Gade and Lars Gert Lose held a series of meetings with organizations and companies to learn from their experience in how to take care of military veterans and their families.

Warrior Week was an excellent opportunity to strengthen the exchange of experience and knowledge between Denmark and United States, and the countries share the ambition of ensuring that our veterans gets the support they deserve.

The Danish Wounded Veterans Organization is planning to host its own Wounded Warrior Week in august in Denmark, Jacob Panton says, and will invite a group of American soldiers.

Please enjoy this video with highlights from Warrior Week:

Women and Innovation – the perfect match

On June 13th, the Embassy of Denmark and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University hosted a high-level panel debate on women and innovation with a focus on how entrepreneurship can provide important means for women to empower themselves in the future job market.

Innovation is where foundations for new businesses are laid out. Innovation and female entrepreneurship empowers women and gives women a strong platform in market economy. Evidence shows that gender balanced organizations contribute to diversified discussions and debates, as well as a healthy, productive work climate, which is good for business. In other words, women and innovation comprise an attractive match.

A panel comprised by scholars, practitioners, policymakers and entrepreneurs sat down to discuss solutions as to how we can develop an innovation sector, which reflect diversity, as well as empower women to design policies and products. Throughout the discussion, the panel touched upon topics such as government structures, the Nordic approach, local initiatives, the future of jobs and the impact on the global economy.

Panellists included Ms. Betty Bernstein-Zabza, Senior Advisor and Director of Operations at Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, Mr. Ryan Ross, Halcyon Incubators, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, Director at IMF’s Human Resources Department and co-author of “Women, Work, and Economic Growth: Leveling the Playing Field”, Ms. Annamaria Konya Tannon, Founder and CEO at Equita Accelerator at George Washington University and Ms. Ulla Rønberg.

Invitation to attend a panel debate on “Female Entrepreneurship – Empowerment Through Business”

Start: June 13, 2017 at 3:00 PM
Venue: School of Advanced International Studies (1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW), BOB 500

On June 13th, the Embassy of Denmark and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University will host a high-level panel debate on female entrepreneurship with a focus on how entrepreneurship can provide important means for women to empower themselves and create jobs for both women and men. Confirmed panellists include CEO at Halcyon Incubators, Ms. Kate Goodall, Director at IMF’s Human Resources Department and co-author of “Women, Work, and Economic Growth: Leveling the Playing Field”, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, and Founder and CEO at Equita Accelerator at George Washington University, Ms. Annamaria Konya Tannon.

For further information, please contact Anna Cecilie Friis Back at annbac@um.dk.