‘Nations of innovators’ – Scottish Government looks to deepen Danish ties

Written by Margaret Taylor and Sam Trendall on 1 September 2022 in News

New trade facility opened in the capital city of the world’s leading digital government 

Buildings on the river bank in the Danish capital of Copenhagen   Credit: Pixabay

The Scottish Government has added to its footprint of international trading outposts with the launch of a base in Danish capital Copenhagen – home to the world’s leading digital government.

The aim of the office is to strengthen relationships between Scotland and the Nordic countries, whom Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon described as fellow “nations of innovators”.

The Scottish Government claimed that the trade facility will “unlock new economic and trading opportunities by increasing Scotland's cultural and economic visibility across the Nordic region”.

When he announced the launch of the office in September last year, external affairs secretary Angus Robertson said Scotland shares “deep cultural and historical ties with the Nordic nations, with whom we have so much in common, and a mutual sense of affinity that stretches far beyond geographical proximity”.

Sturgeon, who visited Copenhagen last week to open the office, noted that the Nordic region is one of the biggest providers of inward investment to Scotland, which in turn exported £2.6bn of goods and services to Denmark, Norway and Sweden in 2019.

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“We have a centuries-long partnership with countries in the Nordic region and cultural, social and linguistic traces of our shared history and heritage can be found across Scotland,” she said.  “To this day, we have much in common with similar population sizes, dynamic cities, and large rural communities.” 

She added: “We are nations of innovators that share the same ambition to accelerate decarbonisation, and we continue to work closely to exchange expertise on renewable energy technologies and sustainable economic development. This office will support that ambition and build on the strong ties that already exist between us by promoting investment, trade and economic opportunities to benefit people and businesses across our countries.”

Denmark’s innovation has been recognised in the biennial rankings of the world's leading digital governments compiled by the UN. The Nordic nation topped the most recent list, published in 2020. The Republic of Korea and Estonia completed the top three, with former number one the UK now down in seventh spot.

The Scottish trading office is co-located with the government’s international trade agency Scottish Development International inside the British Embassy in Copenhagen.

The Scottish Government now has nine international bases focused on building trading relationships, with a Warsaw launch planned imminently.


About the author

Margaret Taylor is a journalist at PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets as @MagsTaylorish.

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