The Danish shipping industry is powering ahead at full steam, and is on course to achieve record foreign currency earnings in 2008, reports financial daily newspaper Børsen. Previous expectations have been estimated at around DKK 190bn (USD 37.6bn), but the recent strengthening of the US dollar has led to an upward reappraisal.
Jan Fritz Hansen, executive vice president of the Danish Shipowners' Association, told Børsen: "If the dollar [exchange rate] holds itself on the right side of 5 kroner, the figure will approach DKK 200bn (USD 39.5bn)."
That level of foreign currency earnings would make a net contribution of around DKK 30bn (USD 6bn) to Denmark's balance of payments. No small sum, but it seems that there is no stopping the Danish shipping industry with its current head of steam. Now it has hatched ambitions to be the global No.1.
"Expansion of the Danish fleet will continue," asserts Jan Fritz Hansen. "We are among the very biggest, but we still have to surpass Japan." Currently, Denmark has 6% of the world's gross tonnage, while Japan has 13%.
"Obviously we're not going to become No.1 [in the world] overnight," continues Hansen. "For the present we will cement our position as Europe's No.1, and then begin to work our way upwards from there."
Over the next 10 years, Jan Fritz Hansen reckons that the Danish merchant fleet will double its current tonnage.