Danish expats feel underutilised
70% of Danes abroad disagree that Denmark is good at taking advantage of them as a resource. A new task force aims to better bring them into play.
Approximately 250,000 Danes – with descendants – reside abroad. But a survey conducted by the organisations Copenhagen Goodwill Ambassadors and Danes Worldwide shows that 70% do not think that Denmark effectively draws upon them as a resource. A whole 80% do not think that Denmark does enough to maintain their connection to Denmark.
“Danish expats are an overlooked resource that we as a country owe it to ourselves to better utilise. Most of them are part of the working age population and are often specialised employees who play a big role in representing Denmark internationally,” says Director Thomas Bustrup, the Confederation of Danish Industry.
Task force launches initiative
Last Monday Copenhagen Capacity – together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Danes Worldwide – launched a special task force that will examine how Denmark can strengthen its ties to Danes living abroad and take advantage of their international network. Also present at the launch was Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who expressed full support for the initiative in his speech, noting that he looks forward to receiving the task force’s recommendations.
It makes a lot of sense to turn to the Danes who actually live abroad for help. They know best what might work in their everyday lives Director Thomas Bustrup, the Confederation of Danish Industry
“I have high hopes for the initiative being launched today. I expect that the suggestions will also involve the businesses and organisations that are part of the work required on many fronts if we are to derive full benefit from each other,” said Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
The prime minister also emphasised the potential he sees in Danes living abroad.
“They are people like Copenhagen Goodwill Ambassadors who have the resources, desire and opportunities to build the relationships that can help make Denmark wealthier. And I have no doubt that there is great untapped potential here,” said Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
Danish expats will also be heard
At the head of the task force is Flemming Besenbacher, who also serves as chairman of Carlsberg Group and the Carlsberg Foundation. He is joined by a number of people from business organisations, including Thomas Bustrup and Linda Duncan Wendelboe from the Confederation of Danish Industry.
“To begin with, we need to examine how best possible to encourage Danish expats to help promote the interests of Denmark, for example by marketing and branding Denmark, so that more people abroad see the potential of Denmark as a travel destination, workplace and investment opportunity,” says Thomas Bustrup.
The suggestions of the task force will also be assessed by a sounding board consisting of fifteen Danish expats.
“It makes a lot of sense to turn to the Danes who actually live abroad for help. They know best what might work in their everyday lives,” says Thomas Bustrup.