15-03-20 News

International media paint a misleading picture of how Covid-19 affects Danish business

Reading international media could give you the impression that all of Denmark – including industry – has been closed down. This is not the case, but this perception has already affected Danish companies such as the furniture producer, Steens. Danish authorities should react and help give foreign media correct information about the current situation in Denmark, according to DI.

The Danish furniture producer Steens in the city of Kjellerup in Mid-Jutland has experienced disruptions in their delivery of furniture products to a large foreign customer.

The reason was that their freight forward, was of the impression that all of Denmark – including industry – had been closed down, according to Preben Mosgaard, CFO at Steens Group.

- Yesterday morning, we were due to ship two truck loads of furniture to a large British customer. But the freight forwarder had read in the newspaper that Denmark had been closed down. We were therefore waiting in vain for them to come and pick op the goods, says Preben Mosgaard.

Steens managed to convince the freight forwarder that they could safely pick up the goods in Denmark, which happened at around 5pm that same afternoon. Regardless, it was a frightening experience, according to Preben Mosgaard.

- This just goes to show how important it is that newspapers chose the right headlines for their news articles. It’s imperative that we give an accurate account of this serious situation, says Preben Mosgaard and adds that Steen continues its production and that its employees are at work as usual.

See also: DI's site about covid-19 in English 

Denmark is closed to Corona, but open for business

If you look at British newspapers, it’s not surprising that you could get the impression that business in Denmark has closed down.

The Daily Mail for instance wrote that Denmark was the second country in Europe “to go on coronavirus lockdown”. Daily Mail has a daily press run of 1,2 million copies.

In the same manner, the British Metro-newspaper wrote that “Denmark is the second country in Europe to impose strict lockdown”.

Reading further into the British news articles it says nothing about Danish companies being shut down, but if you read the articles at a glance, the headlines and the comparisons to the very serious situation in Italy, can quickly lead to the conclusion that Denmark has shut down entirely, DI’s Director for International Market Policy, Peter Thagesen, points out.

- It’s imperative that we successfully relay the message that our companies are fully operational and that you can still buy Danish goods, he says and adds:

- Denmark is closed to Corona. We are not closed for business.

Peter Thagesen adds that Danish borders remain open for goods, both those going into the country, but also goods coming out of the country. Likewise, the border is open for truck drivers, workers and others, who have a valid reason to enter Denmark.

The authorities need to react

According Peter Thagesen it would be good if the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs took steps to ensure that our global markets have as correct as possible an impression of the current situation in Denmark.

- In order to ensure that misleading stories in foreign media do not lead to lost contracts and orders for Danish companies, we need to react now, he says.

See also: Information - in English - from the Danish authorities about corona virus/covid-19 in Denmark.

Peter Thagesen

Director, International Market Policy

  • Direct +45 3377 3752
  • Mobile +45 2949 4569
  • E-mail pth@di.dk

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