Article: When China Rises Denmark should Capitalise on Niches and Document Strengths

In 2017, the Danish Digital Growth Panel estimated that the Asian countries will grow rapidly in the years to come and China will be the leading country within digitization by 2025. We should not be surprised about this development, as especially China is very open on the country’s strategic plans. The 13th Five Year Plan combined with the 2025-plan show very precisely what industries China wishes to be in the forefront of.


The Economist has described China’s business potential with the sentence “even a pig can fly in a hurricane”, meaning: China has a tremendous advantage with its huge home market of 1.4 billion consumers.

One way for companies to document authenticity and quality to consumers could be through blockchain technology.


Today, China is world-leading within FinTech and Payment solutions via smartphones. Its large eCommerce sector will ensure China to attain a leading position within Big Data processes. Since its acceptance into the WTO in 2010, China has gone from largely nothing to being responsible for a fifth of the World’s total production. It is no wonder that with this sort of growth, their 2025-plan now also focuses on innovative sectors such as Big Data, IT and robotics. Once this plan has been implemented, the Chinese will challenge current price-levels radically. It is therefore important that we - here in Denmark - define a model that can ensure that we will be able to feed our population and finance our welfare system. We need to base our approach on our existing strengths. Whereas China has an advantage in its huge home market and large production runs, Danish businesses are known for having leading positions within a range of niches. The common denominator across these niches is that Denmark is known for good quality to the rest of the world. We should therefore entrench and build upon these strengths by documenting and facilitating knowledge about the quality of our products. Authenticity is a determining factor when consumers - not least in China - choose products.


Let us take agriculture as an example. Almost half of all Chinese consumers are worried about Chinese-produced food products. Large food scandals have filled the headlines in the Chinese media during the last years – cases like infant formula being contaminated with melamine and 15,000 dead pigs floating in the Huangpu river have alarmed the Chinese consumers and increased their demand for food safety.


Agriculture is one of Denmark’s biggest strengths: Michael Porter, known for his book about the “Five Forces”, once described Denmark as “Europe’s fridge” – meaning that our core competence is agriculture - of which we have developed related industries.


In the public debate we often tend to forget the significance of our primary production to our economy, but if we can document and communicate the benefits we have, the World’s (and China’s) markets are open. One way to get there is the blockchain technology which can be used in an easy and safe manner to document to the consumers that a product comes directly from Denmark. This can be used to accommodate the fraud that occur in the food industry and thereby increase consumer confidence – which can benefit those companies that offer the best and safest products.


The same technology can benefit the medico industry which also is one of Denmark’s growth engines. The same applies to devices and equipment, where authenticity is a very important concept, but also within pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, where – unfortunately – fraud occurs on a massive scale. 


Another advantage in using a solution that is built on authenticity is that Danish businesses will have an instrument to create a supporting story-telling which is substantial in a company’s effort to build a brand.


Since Denmark’s well-functioning social system allows us to create healthy and well-tested quality products, it is crucial that it is being communicated to the end-consumers effectively.


If we can create a story-telling about authenticity and use technology like blockchain to verify the products, then Denmark has created a winning strategy based on our unique niches. There will be big gains if Denmark develops a well-thought-out strategy when globalization – and not the least China’s part of it – takes off.


Therefore, let us be known for developing solutions that secure authenticity in our products, let us rely on technology that can verify this authenticity towards the consumers, and last but not least, let us become good at communicating the story of Denmark being a place where you get good quality for money.

















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Hans Henrik Pontoppidan
Secretary General, DCBF 
Who's Behind The Blog


Danish-Chinese Business Forum

Address: Tingskiftevej 5,

DK-2900 Hellerup

Phone: +45 33 32 97 78


CVR: 29 05 16 31

The views expressed of the authors do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of DCBF.