Henrik Bramsen Hahn Denmark Ambassador to Mexico

Henrik Bramsen HahnEditor’s Interview

How do you grade the competitiveness of Mexico for Foreign Investment?

The credentials that Mexico has built up over the last 25 years in being open to trade and foreign investment means that for businesses, Mexico is certainly one of the places to be. Whether it is the NAFTA agreement, the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union or the more recent Pacific Alliance, Mexico is on the forefront of free trade in the Americas. And looking more recently, the modernizing reforms are a very positive sign for what is in store for the future.

What is your plan of action at the Embassy in terms to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Denmark and Mexico?

We want to strengthen our position as a trusted partner of Mexican businesses and authorities by providing the Mexican society with innovative solutions to a number of challenges that Mexico faces in areas where Denmark has strong skills.

As an example the Embassy will as of this year employ a highly specialized health advisor to focus on areas such as diabetes/obesity treatment, mental health treatment and digitalization and telemedicine. The aim is to strengthen cooperation between our authorities, and the areas are all examples of where we are enthusiastic about how Danish solutions can contribute to make life better for all Mexicans.

We have a similar focus in the area of green tech. Denmark has a lot of amazing solutions that can contribute to Mexico’s energy and environmental challenges while creating healthy business.

What is the current situation of the diplomatic relationship between Denmark and Mexico?

The diplomatic relations between Denmark and Mexico are, as they have been for a long time, excellent. Denmark sees Mexico as an important friend and partner in not only businesses but also in global matters such as climate change and human rights issues.

Only last month Canciller Meade visited Copenhagen while the past few years have seen the Crown Prince Couple of Denmark visit Mexico as well as a long list of ministers.

What is the current situation of the commercial relationship between Denmark and Mexico?

The trade between our two countries has seen a significant growth during the last 10 years. The commercial relation is very good but there is a great deal of potential for further growth. There are areas of Danish and Mexican expertise that can be mutually beneficial if shared.

Which are the areas of opportunity that you see in terms to strengthen relations between Denmark and Mexico?

While the opportunities are great, there are 3 specific areas I would like to mention. They are: food and agriculture and especially within the pork and dairy sectors, health, green tech and energy efficiency. In energy and health Denmark and Mexico have recently signed bilateral agreements, which will help our cooperation grow and flourish even further.

What is the current situation for bilateral investment between Denmark and Mexico?

Danish investment in Mexico consistently ranks among the highest of the EU countries. The ranking last year of 7th among EU member states far outweighs the size of our country. One of the biggest investments by a Danish company in Mexico is the new container terminal by Maersk in the pacific port of Lazaro Cardenas.

Maersk terminal at the Lazaro Cardenas port, Michoacan

Which areas of opportunity are being seen by Companies from Denmark to invest in Mexico?

One specific opportunity beyond the previously mentioned sectors of agriculture, health, green tech and energy efficiency, which Danish companies are focused on is using Mexico as a manufacturing base for not only North but the whole of the Americas. The free movement of goods promoted by NAFTA and the Pacific Alliance makes Mexico more attractive as a potential center for production.

What is the role that Mexico plays for investment from Denmark for the markets in the American Continent?

As previously mentioned Mexico due to among other things NAFTA is an attractive location for production with an eye on the North American market. The Danish toy maker LEGO has recently expanded its factory in Nuevo Léon and a big reason for this is the possibility of exporting to the US market. What we are seeing at the Embassy is that there is a growing interest from Danish companies in locating their production in Mexico. A big reason of that is NAFTA.

The geographical location of Mexico makes it an attractive destination as it is as an open country from which one can use as a base to look further south. The Pacific Alliance provides an especially exiting framework for Danish companies that would like to use Mexico as a base for Central and South America. It is a development of which there is a huge potential for future growth.

What is the level of satisfaction of Danish companies with their operations in Mexico?

The overall level of satisfaction is very high. Danish companies are very pleased with the strong Mexican commitment to the open market and they find Mexico a good place to do business.

It is of course important to note that doing business in Mexico comes with certain challenges such as security, red tape and corruption. If Mexico continues to improve on these areas I am sure we will see and even bigger increase in business from Danish companies.

Is there any additional investment from Denmark in Mexico to be expected in the near future?

We certainly hope so and at the embassy we are working proactively to encourage this. As to specific investments I would like to leave it up to the respective companies to make the announcement themselves.

Any last comment for the MexicoNOW subscribers?’

Yes, there are 2 comments I would like to make. First is that while Danish investment to Mexico is growing it is also important to remember that Mexico has had successful investments in Denmark. There have been Mexican businesses that have had very satisfying investments in Denmark.

Finally, I would like to invite readers who have an interest in Danish products or companies to contact us at the Embassy where our Trade Council will happily assist in creating the contact with our Danish companies.