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Country Forecast Denmark April 2018

Country Forecast Denmark April 2018

  • April 2018
  • ID: 483908
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit


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Policy towards private enterprise and competition

2018-19: Low barriers to entrepreneurship. Modest regulatory burden, except in parts of domestic-oriented services sector, including construction, transport, retail and finance. Modest reforms to planning regulations and funding for innovation.

2020-22: Medium-term policy aims to focus on strengthening investment, productivity and economic growth potential.

Policy towards foreign investment

2018-19: Positive attitude towards attracting foreign direct investment, although limited funds available across Europe.

2020-22: Focus on attracting investment into "cluster" industries: information and communications technology, including "smart city" solutions and data management services; life sciences; maritime business; and green technology.

Foreign trade and exchange controls

2018-19: Foreign trade governed by EU rules. Brexit negotiations focus on trade and fishing quotas. Increase in business uncertainty over post-Brexit UK-Danish trade links. Risk of US-sparked global trade tensions and worsening EU-Russia relations.

2020-22: Promotion of the liberal trade regime under EU single market framework against backdrop of gradual rise in global protectionism.


2018-19: High personal tax burden persists. Limited changes expected, as government unable to garner support for planned tax reform package (mostly income tax cuts). New property valuation system introduced. Lower marginal tax rates on pension savings.

2020-22: Reduction in property and land taxes. Long-term goal of fossil-fuel independence by 2050 means relatively high energy taxes.


2018-19: Further gradual strengthening of banks' capital positions amid tighter regulatory environment. Modest growth in bank lending to corporates. Dominant role of mortgage bond market persists, amid reforms to boost equity finance. Pockets of housing market risk. Denmark makes its first steps to join the EU banking union.

2020-22: Market interest rates move away from negative territory.

The labour market

2018-19: Moderate rise in labour supply and tax base as a result of earlier labour market reforms to strengthen work incentives. Lack of available skilled labour in some sectors constrains output and pushes labour costs higher. New apprenticeship and upskilling programmes. Increased efforts to attract foreign, qualified labour.

2020-22: Standard pensionable age of 65 increases to 67 in 2022. Further tightening of welfare benefit eligibility criteria is likely.


2018-19: New light-rail transit system in Aarhus and first high-speed rail link. Modest roll-back of renewable subsidies, but on track to meet 2020 energy targets (35% share of renewables in final energy consumption). Electricity prices remain comparatively high.

2020-22: Metro extension completed in Copenhagen, the capital. Sustained high broadband penetration and digital investment.

Technological readiness

2018-19: New digital growth strategy aims to strengthen firms' knowledge base and support transition to new technologies and business models. Existing e-government strategy (2016-20) aims to enhance already high penetration and quality of e-services.

2020-22: Danish companies remain among the most digitally intensive in the EU. Increased risk from cyber-crime and cyber-espionage.

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