During COVID-19 pandemic, more than 300 Danish companies operating in Turkey decided to keep business on track
Denmark and Turkey set an ambitious goal for economic development and cooperation to reach €5 billion in bilateral trade and green energy is one of the hot sectors helping to achieve it, the Danish ambassador in Ankara said on Tuesday.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Danish Ambassador to Turkey Danny Annan said the priority in bilateral trade will focus mainly on the green energy, energy efficiency technologies, pharmaceutical sectors, textile, district heating, cooling and waste water management.
The green energy sector has actually developed recent years, the ambassador stated and explained that the green transition energy sector in Denmark has created four times faster jobs then in the private sector.
Despite its small size, Denmark can be called a “super power” in wind energy and in other renewable energy technologies, innovation and installation, the ambassador said and added that many Danish companies in green sectors are eager to invest in Turkey.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, huge drop in global energy demand and investments caused more disruption than any other event in recent history, he said.
Annan stated that there was an ambitious goal to increase trade volume between Denmark and Turkey from €2 billion to €5 billion before the pandemic, however the pandemic forced a drop in Danish exports to Turkey around 12.5% as Turkish exports to Denmark dropped 2%.
He maintained that further interaction after COVID-19 era with Danish and Turkish trading players will boost trade from around €2 billion recent years to up to €5 billion.
“Forget about the pandemic, it is in the past now!” he said and explained that surprisingly between January-July period this year, Danish exports to Turkey jumped 40% while Turkish exports to Denmark rose 30% despite the pandemic.
“We are moving ahead, we are developing the trade and it is going very fast in Turkey,” he added.
Annan said despite all the disruptions in production sector during the pandemic, more than 300 Danish companies, including Denmark’s huge companies like Danfoss, DFDS, DSV, Aquaporin, that operate in Turkey decided to keep the business open and on track.
Annan said that Turkey has some edges compared to other manufacturing powerhouses around the world, like geographical proximity to Europe, a young labor force and business friendly environment and the country can be a great alternative for production base compared to other far eastern countries including China.
“All the logistical problems we are facing now due to the global pandemic, as a solution to that Turkey is only one border away from internal markets in Europe,” he said.
“Not offshoring to China, but nearshore to Turkey can be a reliable and strong alternative.”
Denmark’s unique energy island projects
According to the Danish Energy Agency, the world’s first energy islands will be constructed in Denmark, one in the North Sea and the other in Baltic Sea.
The energy islands will serve as an energy hubs that can create better connections between energy generated from offshore wind and the energy systems in the region around the two seas.
The plan envisages the establishment of an artificial island in the North Sea that will serve as a hub for offshore wind farms supplying 3 gigawatts (GW) of energy, with a long-term expansion potential of 10 GW.
The energy island in the Baltic Sea will be Bornholm, where electrotechnical facilities on the island will serve as a hub for offshore wind farms off the coast supplying 2 GW of energy.
Operating as green power plants at sea, the islands are expected to play a major role in the phasing-out of fossil fuel energy sources in Denmark and Europe.
Annan shared some statistical fact about country’s unique artificial islands project which will be finalized by 2030.
The project aims at providing energy hubs for the country by creating concentrated offshore wind energy, he said and added that country’s ambition is to significantly expand the offshore wind capacity connected to these energy islands so that the energy generated from the offshore wind farms be enough to generate 5 million households in the country.
In addition to electricity generation, the country also focuses on green electricity storage technologies.
Hydrogen can be one of the alternatives, he said. It is the top future for a lot of countries in Europe to store electricity in green fuel form mainly hydrogen, he added.
Annan also said that Copenhagen aims to be first carbon neutral capital by 2025.
Today 70% electricity is from renewable energy mainly wind. Some days,wind produces more than 100% electricity consumption in Denmark.
He also stated that due to environmental concerns, countries are seeking cleaner and sustainable energy solutions to meet their needs, Annan said, adding that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement of Turkey’s decision to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate before Glasgow Summit on November 22-23 will definitely boost Turkish-Danish business relations.