Foreword: Understanding and collaboration is our path to more growth

Julie Dorthea Bøge

This foreword is part of our playbook.
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We live in an ever changing world that serves challenges and crises - from the climate crisis to the energy crisis, the food crisis and the migration crisis. Europe is at war, inequality levels are rising and we are standing in front of a recession. At the same time, the Danish welfare system is well under pressure. The crises are complex, societal challenges - that calls for an international perspective, political cooperation and the willingness to act. Politicians bear an enormous responsibility for finding solutions. But at the same time, business plays a decisive role when it comes to turning challenges into opportunities and development.

At The Danish Chamber of Commerce we work to provide Danish organizations with the best conditions. It’s our vision to make Denmark the best country in the world to establish and run businesses in. I believe that one of the decisive solutions to fulfill this vision is to create closer collaborations between the accountant, company and bank to obtain the knowledge that enables us to make better decisions.

We need to establish the best prerequisites for building stronger companies. It’s clear that there are many actors who play a significant role in order for this ambition to succeed and for us to create the optimal circuit. The financial sector is also part of this cycle, and the sector plays a large and indispensable role in ensuring welfare and prosperity in Denmark.

The same applies to the companies’ other advisors. As in all relationships, some things work well while others may work better. In other words, we must turn obstacles into business. We must turn obstacles into business, not only for the individual company and for society as a whole. But also to praise cohesion and action - for a green transition and more jobs for the benefit of society.

The future is digital

At The Danish Chamber of Commerce we are discussing digital action and we are constantly working on becoming one of the leading countries of digitalization. Digitalization improves efficiency for both companies and the public sector. At the same time, introducing new digital and automated solutions will improve the quality of the products and services offered to clients and residents. Banks and new fintech challengers have paved the way for development by introducing new digital solutions that improve the productivity and transparency in our institutions.

At the same time, they grant Denmark a global position with opportunities for new export adventures. Solutions that create the foundation for increased growth and welfare in Denmark. We must increase the digital action plan. Today, manual processes such as bookkeeping, reconciliation of bookkeeping and invoice rounds up in a total of DKK 3.5 billion annually. This is estimated by Danmarks Nationalbank's Payment Council. Money we will lose by not granting the full prospect behind digitalization. If we are to benefit from the advantages, it requires that both the companies and their financial advisors embrace the digital transition to let it redefine work processes, products and services.

In many ways, we must rethink our understandings of society - and the world. Outdated public IT systems must retire, and public IT development must undergo further innovation in a closer collaboration with private companies. Great demands are laid upon the individual company owner, especially small and medium sized companies. In return they will need knowledge, capital and a qualified workforce. I believe that we as a society are responsible for educating employees with the required knowledge and adequate digital competencies. At the same time, we must ensure reasonable conditions for the companies, to have the right prerequisites for engaged dialogue with their banking advisor and with investors about investments in digital infrastructure as well as within the use of new technologies.

The future is green

The climate crisis is one of the major societal challenges we face. A green transition is necessary, and it’s gaining momentum these years. Denmark has a unique opportunity to live up to the government's 70 percent target and become a leading country in this global movement. If we show initiative and are willing to invest massively in research and development, we can develop new solutions to lead the way for a CO2-neutral society by 2050. Although Danish emissions are very small compared to the world's total emissions of greenhouse gasses, this effort is of crucial importance. Through this we can inspire the rest of the world. But the path must be demand-driven for other countries to buy our innovative solutions. Laws and regulations are slowing down the introduction of innovative, green solutions. We have to end to it.

In Denmark we have experienced economic growth since 1990 without increasing our energy consumption. This is a clear sign that Denmark has already managed to break the negative link that previously existed between economic growth and a green transition. We must continue this movement. Investors and financial institutions play an important role as mediators of growth capital and in financing the development of new, green business models, products and services in both start-ups and established companies.

In the same way, the companies are dependent on advice and support. The Danish advisory industry – accountants, lawyers, management consultants and bank advisors – acquire highly specialized knowledge, which is of crucial importance for the companies. The future calls for collaboration and political reforms.

With this playbook we are eager to understand how better collaboration makes room for new opportunities. Opportunities to do something we are already doing- but in better, more efficient ways. Through a broader understanding of each others’ business models and a mutual understanding of the basic needs it takes to run a company. To support this, companies must be offered optimal conditions. Conditions such as taxation, charges and access to financing - it’s about simplifying administrative burdens, conditions to streamline the public sector. With better conditions, companies can take the necessary digital action, push forward the green ambitions and create new jobs. I believe that it’s absolutely crucial that we have politicians who dare to make brave long-term decisions when it comes to these factors. Denmark needs reforms that paves the way for healthy companies and a strong and sustainable society.

If Denmark is to become more prosperous, we must also ensure that all parts of Danish society are suited to embrace opportunities. We must be aware of the great potential within optimizing the collaboration between companies and their advisors. Through a closer collaboration, we obtain knowledge that enables us to make the right decisions. On this basis, together we can turn challenges into opportunities to build stronger companies.

Brian Mikkelsen
CEO, The Danish Chamber of Commerce