Investors from Denmark see lower cost of doing business, direct flights as Cebu’s come-ons
Danish companies are expected to set up shop in Cebu soon as Denmark seeks to establish partnerships with growth areas outside Metro Manila.
Jan Top Christensen, Danish Ambassador to the Philippines, said he sees a potential for Danish companies to come down here with Cebu becoming as competitive in business as the nation’s capital.
“Manila is getting clogged because the whole place is so big and not enough has been done for infrastructure. I think it is easier to solve infrastructure here and ensure that it will function in the long term,” he told reporters during a meeting with local businessmen in Cebu City on Wednesday night.
Christensen said Cebu’s lower costs of doing business compared to that of Manila makes it an ideal place for Danish companies to locate in.
He added that the opening of more direct flights from Cebu to international destinations was also a factor behind the growing interest of Danish businessmen to partner with Cebuano traders.
The ambassador was in Cebu this week to meet with local government officials and business leaders as he sought more opportunities for partnership between the Philippines and Denmark.
Among the areas which Denmark and the Philippines, particularly Cebu, can cooperate in are energy, waste management, traffic, infrastructure, agriculture technology, and business process outsourcing, said Christensen.
This early, Denmark already marked its maiden partnership with Cebu with a Danish consultancy firm helping out in the construction of the Cebu-Cordova Toll Bridge, which is spearheaded by Metro Pacific Tollways.
“There are many other infrastructure projects that would have to be done in Cebu and around the city. We have the expertise on that, whether in bridge building, internal building, land reclamation, there are a lot of opportunities,” Christensen said.
Christensen said Denmark has a very broad spectrum of industries and that he would like to facilitate, through the Embassy, contact between Philippine and Danish companies to see how both can benefit as well as eventually resulting to job generation.
There are more than 100 companies in the Philippines are Danish-owned, have Danish equity, or have Danish agents, but none of them are in Cebu except for transport and logistics company Maersk.
“I definitely foresee a process where Danish companies will be visiting. Hopefully, this will lead to more economic development for Cebu as well as engagement between local and Danish companies,” said Christensen.
Local businessmen present during the event, which was organized by Honorary Consul General Perry Pe of the Royal Danish Consulate of Cebu, welcomed the initiative of the ambassador.
Danes, Cebu infra
Eric Mendoza, president emeritus of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), said he was happy that Denmark was involved in the realization of the Cebu-Cordova link.
In line with infrastructure, he said the MCCI was looking for help with the re-zoning of Mandaue City in order to accommodate more developments in the locality.
Ted Locson, Jr., Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) vice president for external affairs, said he was also looking forward to working with Danish companies regarding the use of alternative sources of energy in the city.
“Cebu has always wanted to have that kind of technology, so we can have savings. I also anticipate how this can help our micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises,” he said.
Denmark is best known for its sense of style while its capital, Copenhagen, is home to some of the world’s most sought-after designer brands and classic products.
Among Denmark’s biggest brands are Pandora (jewelry), LEGO (children’s toy), Stelton (kitchen and tableware), and Ecco (footwear).
Denmark, located in Northern Europe, only has a population of 5.68 million as of 2015. It is also perceived to be the least corrupt out of 168 nations as well as the happiest country according to a United Nations study.