Denmark is well known for Hans Christian Anderson’s tales. Children around the world have been lulled into a state of wonderment by his famous The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid.
However, Denmark has a lot more to offer than fairy tales. The Scandinavian country is one of the most dynamic places in Europe in terms of trade and tourism - having its capital, Copenhagen, crowned the top city to visit in 2019 by travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.
In terms of trade, Denmark is an agriculture superpower. Livestock and crops are major exports ($13.21 bn), to the point where Danish farmers produce sufficient food to supply 15 million people every year – three times its own population. Wheat and barley cover more than half of Denmark’s agricultural area and around 19 million slaughter hogs are produced every year. But Danish production also includes beef cattle and poultry, and it leads in production of grass, clover and horticultural seeds.
It should be noted that Danish farms are characterised by freehold and family ownership, with farmer-owned cooperative retaining control over the main processing and marketing industries.
Danish agricultural production is exported around the world; with only a little less than half of it going to EU-countries (top EU trading partners being Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom).
Other top exports are Packaged Medicaments ($9.4 bn), Refined Petroleum ($1.9 bn) and Electric Generating Sets ($1.92 bn), while top imports are Cars ($4.13 bn), Packaged Medicaments ($2.86 bn), Refined Petroleum ($2.28 bn), Computers ($2.05 bn) and Crude Petroleum ($1.19 bn).
In addition, Denmark is the most popular holiday destination in the Nordic Region among foreign tourists and Copenhagen has taken advantage of this to further grow its economy.
The total contribution of tourism to the country’s GDP was of $23.7 bn in 2017 (7.7% of GDP) and is forecast to rise in the next years, thanks to $3.1 bn of investment into the sector.
One other reason for a major increase in tourism is that Copenhagen recently topped Lonely Planet’s famous “top city to visit” guide. The travel guide publisher writes, “Copenhagen is the epitome of Scandi cool. Modernist lamps light New Nordic tables, bridges buzz with cycling commuters and eye-candy locals dive into pristine waterways”.
Again, Denmark’s agriculture and food industry is under the spotlight as one of the most highly praised features of the capital. One can simply not turn a blind eye to Danish delicacies, especially the ones founds at the Reffen experimental street food and craft market.
According to its managing team, the project aims at creating a playground where focus is put on sustainable food, craftsmanship and local culture. In short, to have a place where tourists experience modern Denmark culture while SMEs showcase their products.
Top sights in Copenhagen:
- Tivoli Gardens
- Rosenborg Slot
- Statens Museum for Kunst
- Christiansborg Slot
- Frederiksberg Have