African protectionism raises concern
Anne H. Steffensen, CEO, DanishShipping
Danish shipping is deeply dependent on international trade. That is why African countries setting up trade barriers raises concern at Danske Rederier. The EU should speak to the African countries, DanishShipping´s CEO stated at a seminar yesterday.
Danish shipping is Denmark's most globalized business with over two thirds of exports outside the EU. But there is room for much more, especially in Africa, which accounts for 10 percent of exports today.
But yesterday, Anne H. Steffensen, CEO of DanishShipping expressed concern that the Blue Denmark could take a hard hit if the African countries continue to set up trade barriers for shipping.
"Unfortunately, now more than ever before the African economies choose protectionism as a tool to promote national economic interests. It is an unfortunate development, which we’d like to see the EU address in the forthcoming dialogue meeting with African government leaders. Maritime traffic has the potential to link the African economies up to the global value chain and thus increase prosperity for the benefit of the local population," she said.
At the meeting, the interaction between the private sector and the public sector was in focus regarding how trade and sustainable development can go hand in hand. And there was broad agreement that it is the double bottom line - a positive development in both business and sustainability - that must be a driving force, supported by the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs:
"With the government's development policy and humanitarian strategy, we have increased focus on promoting growth and sustainable development through partnerships between development organizations, industry and the public sector. Today's event focuses on opportunities for Danish business in developing countries - especially in Africa. Danish shipping and the Danish food cluster are good examples of sectors that can contribute to sustainable development while creating growth and employment both in Denmark and in Africa "said the minister at the meeting.
Source: Danske Rederier / Maritime Denmark