Denmark wins silver in global talent competition

For the fifth year running, Denmark has ranked second in the annual World Talent Ranking compiled by the Institute for Management Development (IMD).

Denmark wins silver in global talent competition
File photo: Keld Navntoft/Ritzau Scanpix

Attracting skilled labour remains a challenge, however, according to the director of research and higher education at the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI).

Denmark would receive silver if the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) gave out medals in its annual World Talent Ranking, having, for the fifth consecutive year, finished in an impressive second place – surpassed only by Switzerland, writes

“It is excellent news that Denmark ranks second for the fifth consecutive year – although it would be wonderful to beat Switzerland and take first place next year. Delving into the numbers, it becomes clear that Denmark is an attractive place for talents. But we don’t quite manage to make it all the way to the top. That surprises me – because there is much to be gained from bringing bright minds and skilled hands to Denmark,” said Mette Fjord Sørensen, DI’s director of research and higher education.

The IMD report examines countries’ performance in three main categories: appeal, readiness and investment and development.

Denmark ranks first in investment and development, seventh in appeal and eighth in readiness. But each category conceals certain nuances.

“Denmark ranks first in investment and development. That’s good, but it’s important to remember that the IMD includes Denmark’s state education grants (SU) in its calculations,” Sørensen said.

“Due to the re-prioritisation policy [Danish: omprioriteringsbidrag, ed.], the disproportion between state student grants and expenditure on education in Denmark has become greater since 2016, meaning we actually spend less on education than on grants. That’s a shame! We would rather spend resources ensuring high-quality programmes than on giving students money for beef in their bolognese,” she added.

Several of the parameters are based on surveys among businesses and Denmark is generally highly ranked in their responses. In nine out of 17 indicators, Denmark ranks within the top five, and the lowest ranking is 18th.

“In the vast majority of parameters, businesses are very optimistic on Denmark’s behalf. But attracting qualified workers is a challenge. That applies to both Danish and international talents, whom companies expect will become more difficult to recruit in the future,” said the director of research and higher education at DI.



Danish business organisation calls for tax breaks on leisure

A major interest organisation for Danish businesses has proposed tax deductions for visiting tourist attractions, temporary reduction of the value-added tax (moms) rate, and millions of kroner in state support to help get the tourism and experience industries in Denmark going after a long shutdown.

Danish business organisation calls for tax breaks on leisure
The Big Bio cinema in Copenhagen. Photo:Asger Ladefoged/Ritzau Scanpix

The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) presented on Wednesday twelve proposals to help the hard-pressed sectors.

“Something needs to be done now. Many of our neighbouring countries have already gone on the offensive to ensure that their hotels, restaurants, and attractions emerge from the crisis strongly,” DI’s deputy director Henriette Søltoft said.

“We will also have to do this if we are not to be outcompeted by attractions abroad,” she added.

DI has therefore proposed a stimulus package that will increase activity in the sector, lower costs for businesses, and support development and restructuring in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Among the proposals is to introduce a tax deduction in the style of the existing deduction applicable to home improvements (håndværkerfradraget) on services valued over 250 kroner.

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The deduction would apply for two years and allow taxpayers to deduct value-added tax (moms) from their tax return when, for example, they visit a restaurant or the cinema.

“Our hope is that this will seriously get Danes using all the fantastic leisure options that we have here at home,” said Søltoft.

DI is also calling for a lower value-added tax rate of 12.5 percent for hotels, the restaurant industry, and amusements, valid for one year.

The organisation argues this will improve the price level and be in line with similar initiatives in Norway, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

DI has not estimated the cost of the plan for the Danish treasury. But the organisation writes in the proposal that it is necessary to consider unconventional methods in an extraordinary situation, even if it will be costly.

Other proposals from DI are to set aside 200 million kroner for restructuring of the cultural industries and 200 million kroner for innovation in the tourism and leisure industries.

Denmark’s tourism industry saw a 31 billion kroner drop in its turnover in 2020, according to DI.