Denmark

Inhabitants: 
5.584.758 (2012)
Area: 
43.098 sq.km.
GDP: 
239,2 billion Euro (2011)
GDP/capita: 
42.800 Euro
Main industry sectors: 
Food processing, agro-industry, chemicals, engineering, electronics, shipbuilding.
Description: 

Smallest of the Scandinavian countries, Denmark occupies the Jutland peninsula, a lowland area. The country also consists of several islands in the Baltic Sea; the two largest are Sjælland, the site of Copenhagen, and Fyn.
The word ‘Denmark’ dates back to the Viking age and is carved on the famous Jelling Stone from around 900 AD. Today though Denmark is very different from its historical past. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, Denmark was a superpower whose influence was as powerful as that of the largest European countries. Today, the current size and influence of Denmark is the result of 400 years of forced relinquishments of land. For a small country though, Denmark still punches above its weight in many different areas including design, architecture, farming, green technology and pharmaceuticals.
The lack of raw materials other than agriculture (until the discovery of oil and natural gas in the 1960s), meant Denmark's industries developed as secondary production and processing concerns, usually specializing in narrowly-defined fields. This has led to the predominance of small-or medium-sized firms making niche products, often with a high-tech or design focus. For example, in a small design-oriented field such as furniture making, Denmark excels—in 1998 accounting for 20 percent of furniture exports by EU countries. The complexity and versatility of this organization of the industry has somewhat sheltered the Danish manufacturing industry from fluctuations in the world market. Alongside food processing and agro-industry, chemicals and engineering are important industries, and electronics are increasing in significance. Denmark's position in the North Sea has led to the development of a strong shipbuilding sector—it is currently the world's third-largest shipbuilder after Japan. The general trend in the manufacturing industry is that work-and material-intensive industries such as food processing, textiles, and metals decline or stagnate, while knowledge-and technology-based industries such as chemicals, electronics, and engineering have been expanding. Industry contributed about one-quarter of GDP in 2000. The sophisticated technology of much of Denmark's industrial sector has meant that high or increasing productivity does not always correspond with high or increasing employment. Over the past decade, the percentage of the workforce employed in manufacturing has remained fairly constant at around 25 percent.
Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus. Government objectives include streamlining the bureaucracy and further privatization of state assets. The government has been successful in meeting, and even exceeding, the economic convergence criteria for participating in the third phase (a common European currency) of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), but Denmark has decided not to join 12 other EU members in the euro.